Retirement Countdown

Saturday, July 25, 2009


We had a helicopter crash this past week, I’m sure you’ve seen it on the news, if you haven’t look it up on Fox News or CNN. From what we’ve heard it was a Russian company that is contracted by someone to carry supplies and civilian personnel around to their places of work. This particular helo took off with 18 passengers and 3 flight crew (2 pilots and an air crewman). The pilot told us that he took off, flew for about a minute or so, and the engine gave out. They fell to the ground, the impact caused the helo to catch fire, don’t know if it exploded or not. 16 of the passengers were killed (all contracted civilian workers), two injured with burns and cuts. We took care of the pilot, co-pilot and air crewman, many nasty fractures but no life threatening injuries. The crash happened just as we were finishing the cases for the day and hoping to get out of there early for once, it ended up being a 15 hour workday even with the second OR team called in. It was exciting but we are all hoping that we don’t get another aircraft crash for a while, if ever!

I started my rehab on my left ankle, after being hard-headed and not doing anything for a while! Shayna sent me an article from a Runners World issue and that coupled with the exercises I learned today I should be good to go in a couple of months. One of the exercises I was told to do is to pick up socks with my toes and put them in a container to strengthen my arches. I figure that by the end of the deployment I’ll be like a chimp and be able to use my feet as hands, I’ll be much more efficient. I’ll be able to give Shayna a massage with my right foot, fold laundry with my left foot, use the remote with my right hand and eat with my left hand! Haha. The physical therapist (Pia, from Holland) stated that it was fine for me to run just as long as it doesn’t hurt. She also stated that she would like me to run short distances outside on the uneven terrain when I’m not tired (yeah right) to help strengthen the ankle. I don’t know if I’m going to do that, I may just stick with the tread mill so I don’t twist it again. We’ll see.

Can you tell which one is me in the picture? Haha. Peter is standing behind me, he is our Anesthesiologist from Holland. They don’t have American football in Holland, that’s a shame because Peter is a very big person as you can see in the pic! We are going to take a picture of team Noodles (NLD + US=Noodles) and I’ll be posting it. Again, the team is very nice and we work well together.

Shayna had her second surgery, placement of the external fixation on the left leg, on Thursday and is doing fine. I told her that this round will be much better than the first because she’ll know what to expect, and it is so far! Woohoo. I’m very happy that she decided to stay up in Wisconsin during the recovery, it’s really nice of her family to take her in and take care of her. Thanks to my parents also for opening their door to her, and Dan for arranging and getting her flights. It is all much appreciated!

Just found out today, 22 JUL, that my roommate Ron will be leaving for Kuwait in the near future. The reasoning is that the Canadians do not recognize a Nurse Anesthetist as an anesthesia provider. It is a gross misuse of personnel, which is agreed upon by all the US personnel and most of the Canadians here at the hospital. So basically we are sending Ron to Kuwait and receiving an Anesthesiologist from Kuwait in return. It’s a shame that some of the people in higher positions are not fighting this harder than they are. Ron is an integral part of the Canadian surgical team and will be missed. This is another reason why I’m going to turn down Lieutenant Commander and retire as a Lieutenant.


19 JUL: 1. Tracheostomy. 2. Open reduction internal fixation left humerus. 3. Washout left arm. 4. External fixation left leg, vascular repair left leg, washout right hand with finger amputation, washout right leg. 5. External fixation left acetabulum, external fixation right femur, splint right ankle fracture, splint right wrist fracture.

21 JUL: 1. Incision and drainage left leg, dressing change right leg. 2. Wound vac change right leg. 3. Bullet extraction left leg. 4. Burn debridement both arms and face. 5. Amputation right thumb and index finger, washout right leg and left hand. 6. Appendectomy. 7. Craniotomy, bilateral eye washout and inspection. 8. Craniotomy.

23 JUL: 1. Craniotomy. 2. Craniotomy. 3. Washout multiple back wounds. 4. External fixation adjustment, suture removal. 5. Tracheotomy, facial repair. 6. Appendectomy. 7. Bilateral leg amputations (below the knee). 8. Washout right arm. 9. Appendectomy. 10. Washout right leg below the knee amputation, left lower extremity fasciotomy, left lower extremity external fixation.

25 JUL: 1. Vascular repair, auto venous graft. 2. Egd. 3. Thoracotomy. 4. External fixation left arm. 5. Washout wound vac right arm. 6. Percutaneous tracheotomy, central line placement.

Shayna I love and miss you soooo much, everyone else take care and I miss you too! Haha.


1 comment:

  1. 28 July, 2009

    Time to start your 'short timer's calender'.
    99 days and counting.