Retirement Countdown

Friday, September 11, 2009

14 Hours of Blood Soaked Shoes




I had a wonderful welcome back, 14 hours of surgeries and blood soaked OR shoes. Woohoo! I scrubbed a 6 hour vascular repair case wearing a x-ray protection vest the whole time, it looked like I just completed a marathon after the case was over, sweat soaked everything. Maybe that’s why I’ve lost so much weight! Speaking of weight, I averaged a weight of 144.2 pounds for August with an average run length of 3.37 miles at a pace of 8:35 per mile. I’m a number freak, what can I say!

The pics this week are of me in the Arabian Gulf enjoying the sun. The salt content of the water is very high, actually burned the eyes when water went in them. The water was also very warm, almost hot! Aaron was standing by me and he said that he found a cool spot, I told him that’s the spot I just peed in and that my pee was cooler than the water! Just kidding! Haha. The second pic is of Shayna with her external fixators on, she sure is happy to have the right one off. She says that the left one is a little slimmer which makes her happy. She should be starting to work out again soon, that will make her feel great since she is a workout freak of nature! She’s going to try swimming to see how that works out, she already has started the abdominal and upper body exercises, way to go gorgeous, I’m proud of you!

It was a long trip back to Kandahar from Qatar. We had to check the flight manifest on the night of the 7th at 2100 hours to see when we were scheduled to leave the following day. We all hoped that it would be a nice, leisurely afternoon flight, yeah right. The flight time had us show at 0230 in the morning of the 8th, and we finally arrived back at Kandahar at 1700 or so that afternoon, long flight but uneventful which is a good thing. The last leg of the flight we had a Stryker vehicle and a MRAP in the plane with us, two very large, very armored and very heavy vehicles, it was concerning upon take off and landing. I kept thinking of the scene from Saving Private Ryan when the pilot was saying that his aircraft crashed because someone armored it without telling him!

The last couple days of the trip were spent at the pool, gym and a couple meals at Chili’s. It was only 4 days off, but what a fantastic break it was. When we arrived back in Kandahar we heard that some General in his infinite wisdom has cancelled all the R&R breaks for all US personnel in Afghanistan until further notice. I guess that he is going by the old adage, “Beatings will continue until morale improves!“. I’m sure that there is a good reason for his decision, but it escapes me right now! The toll it has taken on the young Sailors that were gearing up to leave is enormous. They have worked their butts off at a high tempo, extremely emotional job and this feels like a punishment to them. If anyone of any importance in the military is reading this, please re-instate the R&R policy in Afghanistan, it is a serious mistake getting rid of such a small but helpful time off to recharge.

September 11th, the reason why were here. It was a quiet day, we were wondering if the pace would pick up a bit due to the importance of the day. We had a flag raising ceremony, which I was unable to attend due to being in the OR. I wonder how many 9/11’s will be remembered by US personnel in Afghanistan in the future?

Hours worked:
9 SEP 09: 14 Hours
11 SEP 09: 12 Hours

# CAUSES OF SURGERY AS OF 12 SEP 09
100 GSW
98 IED
7 SVBIED
12 SUICIDE BOMBER
8 ROCKET ATTACK
40 NBI
6 MINE
9 AIR STRIKE (SAME PATIENT 9 SURGERIES)
4 MVA

Well that’s about it for this week. Only around 7-8 more entries and then I’ll be writing from home sitting in a pair of shorts on our couch, woohoo! Shayna I love and miss you very, very much. Everyone else take care and we’ll be seeing you soon.

Dave

1 comment:

  1. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 09/14/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

    ReplyDelete