Problog

Hello and welcome to my blog. It is a blog about an Air Force Physician that was reluctantly deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan for 6 months.

I have to admit, I did not exactly volunteer for the deployment, and I was a little anxious about how it would all turn out. I ended up making the best of it, and surprisingly, I actually had a pleasant, life changing, experience.

I decided to keep the blog up and running because I kept on hearing, "Why is it that you only hear the bad news coming from Iraq and Afghanistan." I figured that I was helping spread a positive message about what we are doing over. Even more important, I wanted to continue to spread the word about the plight of the Afghan people, 99.9% of which are the most incredibly friendly people that you will ever meet. The title picture is a great example of that. I have never encountered such genuinely warm and friendly people. It was so strange to see so many people with so little material objects, yet at the same time, filled with so much of the joy that comes with close family ties, abundant friends, and a close knit community. We could definetly learn a lot from them.

You may notice, as you read the blog in its entirety, my arc. I shift from focusing on myself and my personal comforts, to shifting my focus on the Afghan cause. It is very easy to get distracted by the hustle of daily life and the comforts that the U.S. provides. It is really a challenge to awake from that coma and to start to care and think about the welfare of other people unrelated to you. I think it really took me about 4 or 5 months before I really opened my eyes and became personally affected by what I was experiencing. I hope I was able to recreate it.

I have tried to keep the blog squeaky clean so as to not offend anyone (or get me in trouble-I am still in the military). Even though I am a political junky with very strong personal opinions I have been steadfast in keeping this site free of any politics. I was called to do a job and I tried to do it to the best of my ability regardless of my political stance.

I recreated the blog to read more like a book, or should I say blook (get used to the corniness it only gets worse from here) just to make it an easier read. I have removed some names and pictures just to keep it more anonymous. I hope that it helps in making it less about me and more about the cause.

Lastly, in the spirit of the blog, I decided to include the Chipin Widget that I used to raise money for Nazia. If I get any additional money I will send the funds to The Women of Hope Project and someone over in Kabul will discretely give it to her (unless I hear otherwise). You can also contribute directly to the Women of Hope Project website. They are a wonderful cause. If you enjoy this blog then feel free to contribute. I am sure that once you read her story you will be very moved.

So kick back. Get ready to hopefully laugh and definitely cry.
If you like what you read then post a comment. I will be continuously editing this site in an attempt to improve it. Who knows maybe one day it will become a book!

Enjoy. Thanks for reading.

-Shazdoc

Today Show Clip

Chipin Widget

Monday, May 5, 2008

Gross Anatomy

"Et tu, Brute!"
-William Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar", Act 3 scene 1Greatest English dramatist & poet (1564 - 1616)


"The billeting office will require you vacate this room by 30 November."
-Camp Phoenix Billeting Manager

I am being thrown out of my own home. Good 'ole Camp Phoenix is kicking me out of my room. They want me to move into a B-hut. It is just as well, I was leaving them anyways. I am moving on to a bigger and better FOB.

Today's lectures went very well. One of the lectures was a continuation of my mascal lecture from yeaterday and then I touched on some physical exam topics. They really liked the scenerio where a soldier had a rocket granade embedded in his leg. It actually came from a real life incident. It is a tricky scenerio because if you try and remove the granade it might blow up. "How would you catagorize him?," I asked. "Immediate, Delayed, Minimal or Expectant." Bascially I was asking what order you treat this patient if you had a number of patients that also needed life saving care. Unfortunately for the soldier in my example leg amputation might have been a real possibility.

I planned to show some physical exam videos and I needed a sleeve to hold my CD. I thought that my choice of sleeve cover was kind of ironic.


They are both kind of related. They both deal with physical anatomy. One just goes into a little more gross anatomy. Emphasis on the gross.

After the lectures we then started to discuss equipment training. I set up 3 stations- an EKG machine station, otoscope/ophthalmoscope/blood pressure/temperature station, and fetal doptone station. All of the equipment was new to them. It was all fancy equipment that even I do not have in the states. I asked the ENT doctor if he wanted to discuss how to use the otoscope (the hand tool that allows you to see the eardrum). He declined indicated that he wanted me to show how to use it. After I showed everyone how to use it the ENT doctor wanted to look in my ears. He just about penetrated my brain with how far he inserted the ear speculum. Then they all took turns looking into each others ears. I tried to tell them that they should change out the speculums. I think it got lost in translation so I just let them do their thing.

All in all I think that it went very well. I heard a funny quote not too long ago that aptly describes how progress is made in Afghanistan, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

Thanks for reading.

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Happy Veterans Day

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