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

Sunday, April 6, 2008

R.I.P. Hard Drive

"True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing. And in knowing that you know nothing, that makes you the smartest of all."
-Socrates

My computer died on me earlier today. I will need to get a whole new hard drive. All of my music and photos are gone. I will just have to continue on undeterred.

The housekeeper said that the people that were getting married did not want him taking photos at the wedding. So instead he gave me a photo taken at one of his relative's wedding.

Today we had a peaceful protest near our base. I was told by one of the interpreters that they were the widows of men that had died from war related causes. They were protesting the UN building for more widow's rights.





Today at the clinic I spent some time with the OB/GYN doctor. I think that I will dedicate a lot of my time with her. It is like I am starting from scratch. She does not do any of the basic assessments that are normally done in the states. From the measurements of the abdomen of 2 of her patients today I am not even sure she knows how to accurately predict due dates.

Although I was really impressed by something that she did. Like I said yesterday, one of her patients tested positive for something called Toxoplasmosis. Just to give you an example of how rare it is in the states, one of the nurses over here is married to an OB doctor that has been practicing in the states for over 20 years. She asked him what to do to treat Toxoplasmosis and he said that he had only one patient 20 years ago with it and he is not quite sure what he used. I did a little reading yesterday and I found that Spiramicin can be used to limit the transmission to the fetus. Here is the article.

I have never heard of this drug and in the article it says that Spiramycin can only be obtained through the manufacturer (Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Bridgewater, N.J.) with approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. I thought to myself there was no way I was going to get a hold of this drug. Earlier today I was going over how to do a OB history and physical. When we got to the part where we list the current medications the patient pulled out a plastic bag and took out boxes of Spiramicin. I was shocked and thrilled to see it. My faith in the OB doctor was renewed.

The G.I. doctor came down to the ER to get my opinion on a abdominal CT result on a 30 year-old patient of his. The report said that there was an abdominal tumor that from the appearance most likely looked like a sarcoma which is a type of cancer. He asked me for my opinion and I told him that he should get a biopsy and then the patient should be referred to an Oncologist. The G.I. doctor replied that they do not have any oncologist in all of Afghanistan. I asked him how do they give chemotherapy or radiation to people with cancer and he said that they don't. I found it to be so strange. It really makes you think twice about trying to institute any screening measures for cancer if you do not even have any way of treating it once they get identified.
-
One last interesting thing. Today a husband brought his wife into the ER who was having problems with headaches, dizziness, and episodes of fainting. The ER doctor was doing a great job obtaining a history and then doing a physical exam. He moved the patient's head scarf just slightly over to the side and started to palpate the side of her head. 999 times out of 1,000, when someone comes in with a headache and you actually feel their head, you will not find anything. Well when he did it, with his hands deep under her headscarf, he said with a big surprise, "Oh, there is an abnormality!" I looked at him somewhat skeptical. He pulled back the head scarf to reveal a golf ball sized mass over the upper part of her head. You think that she would have mentioned it before we examined her. It was a good catch by the ER doc.

The VCR program did their sorting tonight. There was a lot of donations. It obviously had to do with Christmas. Take a look.


Thanks for reading.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”
-Khalil Gibran

I think this is my favorite quote you have posted so far. It seems to sum up well the experiences of the people you see there - and the experienes of my life. Stay well. Dani

Kristen in AZ said...

I know all too well about Hard Drives. I burn one up once a year it seems and most times than not I have lost everything. It stinks! I even did a scrapbook page about it last year after I finally got an external hard drive to do backups (which don't happen every night these days BTW LOL).

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