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

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Kitchen

“We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand... and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late.”
Marie Beyon Ray

That picture is from a NY Times article here is the link
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/12/world/asia/12afghan.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper&oref=slogin

Welcome to my blob. We had a good time today. One of the boss’s young son came to visit so I lent him my digital camera and iPod for the day. He had a good time going around the clinic taking all kinds of pictures. I think that it was the first time that he ever used a digital camera.

Today the inpatients from the old hospital moved in. It was a little amusing seeing the train of patients in their gowns and foley catheters walk slowly through the front door and up the stairs to their rooms. A lot of them were in pretty bad shape and had to be carried up the stairs in their wheel chair.

The ER is an interesting place. It almost reminds me of when you have a party, no matter how big your house is, everyone always ends up hanging out in the kitchen. That is what the ER is like. Even though they have a big hospital all of the specialist bring their patients into the ER. I think that it has to do with its location and that it is well stocked because we have been focusing on it.

The surgeon brought a patient in with a pretty bad ingrown toenail. Toenail removals are pretty routine and fairly easy procedures for Family Practice doctors to perform in their office. This definitely was the most interesting one that I have seen. First of all, when you numb up the big toe you usually have to give it a good 15 minutes before you do anything because it takes a while for the digital block to take effect. Immediately after applying the lidocaine the surgeon went right to work and you could tell that the patient felt it. The surgeon was as sympathetic as the Ortho doc was the other day. I am a little less assertive when it comes to mentoring the specialist only because I do not have the experience and knowledge to back me up. Towards the end of the procedure the assistant proceeded to splash water onto the patients face and body and then the surgeon lifted both of his legs 90 degrees, I think in am attempt to get more blood back to his face. Everyone was laughing (the patient had a smirk on his face). I just looked on and smiled wondering how to even start the mentoring process.

A cute little boy that was six years-old came in with his father. I make a point of keeping candy and toys in my pockets and I hand them out whenever I see some children. I gave the little boy a lolly pop. After a little bit I asked the ER doc what was wrong with the little boy. He said, “He is here for a circumcision.” My eyes got really big in surprise. I said, “Are you kidding with me?” He said,” No, male Muslim children need to get circumcised by age 7.” I asked how they planned to do it. He said that the surgeon planned to use local anesthesia. I replied, “What will you use for pain?” He replied, “Ibuprofen.” I looked at the poor child thinking in my mind, he has no idea what he is in for.

We visited Phoenix today and I was able to get a new hard drive. I should be up and running after I install all of the new software. It was snowing really hard over there. If you stood in one spot for longer then 10 minutes you looked like a snow man.

I came back to a ton of packages, everything you can think of, candy, beef jerky, movies, toiletries, batteries, games, books, all kinds of great stuff. I also received a really nice Santa suit and 3 more Christmas trees. We will be moving offices soon so I think that I will set it up over there. We also got a few boxes full of new winter clothes for the VCR program. I plan on going on a trip this Friday. I will be sure to take a lot of pictures.

Take care.

12 comments:

FredR said...

Merry Christmas, today the Christ was born to sacrifice His life in fulfilment of the law of Abraham to sacrifice the flesh of pleasure from infants so the least of our brothers would not have to be subjected to genital terrorism anymore. I'm sure Jesus is very upset that the Christians have turned into the hipocrates He came to stop. Americans should not promote genital terrorism of another country's boys. You don't wound the enemy and set them free or they will come back and bite you in the ass when your back is turned.

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