Friday, August 29, 2008

Just another short update as things just continue to repeat themselves over and over again. Thanks for reading and commenting on the piece I wrote for Newsweek. As you can imagine, it was a very moving time for me and for everyone here. Having been here as long as we have with the same group of nurses and docs has been an incredible experience in many different ways. Good and bad. That soldier I wrote about was part of the life of two of our nurses in the ER. I can't imagine what they went through seeing their friend there. The nurses, medics, and docs that are here for the entire 15 months together have very much become a second family. We have been through a lot together - also good and bad. I have a hard time beliving I will ever experience the comraderie found here ever again, and I will definitly miss that. On the flip side... I REALLY can't wait to get home to the 'first' family.

Things continue on here, slowly marching forward towards that date 5 months from now - even closer, though, is my leave in just a few days. I just can't wait to see Amy, Sara, Naomi, and Riley again. The real test will be which ones of them remember me.

So - the pics... went out on an adventure again around the IZ. One of our nurses, Heather, had never been outside the hospital FOB. So we got a hold of a big old suburban and saw the sights. In the process, met some Iraqi Army soldiers who were guarding the Tomb of the Unknown. It was interesting trying to communicate with hand gestures that we wanted to go up to the monument - eventually, they let us pass. But I have to admit it was a little sketchy and we did not stick around for long.

Then up on top of one ofthe other FOB's, were treated to the rare sighting of the American Great White... just thought it was a funny picture in the middle of Baghdad during a war...

Also spent some time hanging out with some of the local British troops. Saw a few of their armored personnel carriers in the parking lot, and felt the need to ask to play inside of them. Then on the way back, saw some of the Baghdad Fire Department firefighters - and asked them for a joyride in theit Engine - which they obliged.

A little earlier we had a visit from one of the politician's in the news quite a bit lately. He caused a bit of a stir in the hospital. Of course, as one of the few democrats in the entire hospital, I missed his visit due to some other issues going on. One of the highlights of his visit, though was the way he got to CSH - he flew in on the Marine Osprey's - which landed here for the first time. Pretty impressive things.
Other than that, just passing time in the usual way. Marty (one of the other ER docs) is teaching herself guitar. While the rest of us hang out in the usual Army way...
Hope you are all doing well...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So things here have gotten much slower, thankfully. It's happening for a lot of reasons, but mainly because of the decrease in violence against US troops. There is... dare I say... hope in the air. Hope that things in this country will improve, that the Iraqis will forgive each other and move on, hope that the government of Iraq will be able to step up and function as it should... on its own. Enough of the soapbox, though. So the slowing down in the hospital has actually made things boring. Sure we still have busy days, but two days ago was not one of them. In fact, we proved that idle hands are not the best idea when it comes to people who have been living away from home for almost 11 months... Watch the video to see what I mean.

Moosh and Bear are the stuffed animals of two of our nurses who seem to go on more adventures then anyone else I know. They have been flown to almost a dozen different bases, explored numerous locations and slept in countless beds. Anyway, they left the bears in the ER one day, and well, we were bored and came up with somthing to do.

Other than the facial expressions (and the fact that the casualtiy is a stuffed elephant), the video is not too far off from what happens when a real person shows up here - since a lot of you wanted to know what I do on a daily basis.

There is a sequel in the works...

There really isn't all that much else to say today. Other than I get to come home for leave soon. I get to find out if the girls still remember who I am and that they really do still have a father. Sara had her third birthday party and is growing into quite the young princess. Naomi has finally grown some teeth on the bottom and wants to do everything her big sister does... including talking non-stop. Can't wait till I get to see them.