Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday 22FEB10

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. I've been waiting for something interesting to happen. Well it finally has. This patient is a 25 year old Afghani female (we're guessing because she did not know how old she was). Last July she was hit in the belly by either a bullet or shrapnel. She had damage to her colon. So, a laparotomy was done, and to make a long story short, she ended up with a colostomy bag. Two weeks ago she came to the ANA hospital to get it reversed. The ANA general surgeon did not want to do the procedure. I'll leave the answer to the why out of the story. Anyway...we we're able to get her transported to the Role II hospital run by Spain, at Camp Arena (about 5 miles from here). Camp Arena has many countries taking part in this mission. Some of the folks I met were from Albania, Lithuania, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria. A very small US contingent is present. A Bulgarian surgical team took care of her. I was able to able to make arrangements with Colonel Paulino (US Army nurse) and the Bulgarian Surgeon to visit Role II and be with her during the procedure.  She basically became my patient while at Camp Zafar.

Anyway...picture 1) The Surgeon (left), his assistant (middle) and the nurse (right). Very good team. The surgeon knew more English than I knew Bulgarian...so we chose to communicate using English. It was broken...but good enough.

Picture 2) This is the entrance to Role II hospital...nothing to write home about, (what?) but I thought you might like to see where I went. The entrance does not do the hospital justice...it's actually a very nice place...I was impressed, and actually wouldn't mind spending more time there.

Picture 3) This is the reanastamosis in action. In the surgeon's left forcep is the proximal colon. In his right forcep is the distal end. The posterior, or "back" side of the colon has already been sewn together, and the anterior, or "front" side will be next. They didn't wait for you to read this...it's already done.

She is recovering nicely and will now be able to poop in the normal fashion :)


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Having a bad day?

I had more pictures to post, but my connection is so slow today that this is the only one that took. Anyway, This poor guy is a member of the ANP. About a week ago, there were 5 ANP involved in a gunfight... with each other.  It happened about a mile from here and apparently you could see the tracers flying over camp stone. I don't know, I was sleeping. So the story is (I can't confirm it) 4 of the ANP tried to "have their way" with this guy. He didn't like the idea of that so he started shooting at them. When he was done shooting, he sped away and slammed into a road barrier and now has MAJOR head trauma. Of the other four, one is dead, two are doing well and are on a regular ward, and one is in the ICU right across from this guy. Essentially, this guy is also dead. The only thing keeping him alive is the vent. His pupils are fixed and dilated, his brain is exposed (see above). Today, Doc and I talked with the ANA docs about shutting down the vent. None of them wanted to be responsible for turning it off, because that would be killing him. They said they will have a meeting to discuss it. I said I would do it. Then the discussion (b/t me and Doc) turned into if one of us did it, they could say an American killed an ANP. So...we decided against that. We will leave the decision up to them. We're not gonna do it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Monday???

We got the day off today for Super Bowl Monday. That's right...Kickoff was at 0400. Almost the entire JMOC crew showed up. We had all sorts of "football food" wings, pizza, smoked salmon (thanks wendy).  Still no beer though. A couple of folks used the day off for some much deserved Sleepin in. Those of us that got up, walked to to the JMOC in our first snow of the year. It is really cold out, but none of the snow stuck. After the game, it was so clear out that I went to the "tower" towards the middle of camp for some pics. They are from each direction. The top picture is East. Iran is just over those mountains. About an hour drive. The second picture is facing south. The orange building is the "house" right next to mine. BTW...it's still available in July. The third picture is facing West. Behind those buildings is Camp Zafar...the ANA base (where I work). The fourth picture is out of order but oh well...Those are called "onab" they come from the onab tree. They are a type of fruit that I have never had before. They are really chewy, and sort of taste like a cross between a fig and a raisin. I put the battery in the picture as a reference for size. Apparently they are not in Herat, They came from Farrah, a district south of here. They were a gift to me from an ANA soldier that I helped take care. He was the one with the bullet in his ankle. The fourth and fifth picture are North and Northeast. Just wanted you to see the mountains back there. If you click on the individual pics, they enlarge, and you'll get a better view. Have a great day and congrats to the N.O. Saints

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Adding some beauty to my blog

Looking back over some of my past few blogs...I see that they have been a little less than positive. I apologize. So I thought I'd switch things up a little this morning and show you my beautiful family. These pics were taken on the morning I left for Afghanistan. Have a great day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Haven't been in the greatest of moods the past couple of days....work has been tiresome and frustrating. It's better to just say hi and end the post before I bore you with Afghanicrap. Please see my friends post at:  docnthedirt.blogspot.com     he's got some new stuff up.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Scenes from "ou there"

So this morning, instead of going to the hospital, I decided to go to one of the Kandaks (ANA battalion) with SGT Micham and SGT Drella. The are two Army medics with the JMOC team. Today was graduation for twelve ANA infantry soldiers who just completed CLS (combat lifesaver course). SGT's Micham and Drella were the teachers of this class. I have to give them props because they did an outstanding job. Refreshments followed the ceremony and the ANA soldiers were very proud of themselves. Afterward, we decided to do a little off roading. We drove out the back gate to see what was "out there". As you can see...not much!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Two ways to get hurt

The first picture is the foot of an ANA soldier who got shot in the foot during a fight with the Taliban. Believe it or not...this debreidment took place under local anesthesia. The second picture shows you what I found in the GARBAGE in the ER. Every day, I stress the importance of using the sharps containers. When I walked into the ER and started going through the garbage, the nurses and medics scattered like roaches when the lights get turned on. They know its wrong, and still continue to do it. I had yet another talk with the senior ER nurse, he continues to blame the night shift...whatever...I am determined to fix this problem. Next step is to bring in the CO...he scares the crap out of people. Maybe that's the solution.