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

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Turbulence


video

video

video

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As you journey through life take a minute every now and then to give a thought for the other fellow. He could be plotting something.
-Hagar the Horrible

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
-Mark TwainUS humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit (1835 - 1910)

The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.
-Ursula K. LeGuin

He's turned his life around. He used to be depressed and miserable. Now he's miserable and depressed.
-David Frost

Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let's love turbulence and use it for change.
-Ramsay Clark

We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.
-H. G. WellsEnglish author, historian, & utopian (1866 - 1946)

This is a super sized post because you get extra videos and extra quotes today. The videos are from Dr. Mossaud. I love videos that show a little slice of Kabul. The first one is the long version of a Buzkashi game. I also included a shorter version on the video in case it takes too long to download. It is so funny because from my impression it looks like a ton of people are gathered around another big group of people riding horses all huddled in a circle. Someone grabs a dead decapitated goat in an attempt to bring it to the other end of a field. In the process, the group of men on horses charge towards the crowd that runs away like a matadors being chased by a bulls.

The other video a really young kid doing very hard work. I think he is pounding steel. Next to him are other people sharpening knives, etc. Of course no one is wearing eye or ear protection. The last video is a tour of bird alley. You see an old man making bird cages and you see all kinds of birds in this crowded alley.

Today I noticed a 360' difference in the quality of the patient care. I walked into the inpatient ward and every bed had sheets on them and they were all clean. The room did not smell. I asked the patients if they were satisfied with their care and they all unanimously said that they were very happy. I spoke with the head nurse and he said that everyone ended up pitching in to help out. You could tell that he was very proud of what they had achieved.

Brand new defibrillators came in the other day so I set one of them up in the ER. They were pretty user friendly. I went over the different cardiac life support algorithms and I showed the ER doctor how to use the machine. We placed electrodes on one of the assistant so we could view an actual EKG on the monitor. I was not sure how to print out a rhythm strip so I started to look through the user manual. The assistant immediately jumped off of the bed and joking said that he was through being a patient if I needed to read the manual.

A police officer was brought in by his fellow officers. He had just been dragged by a taxi that he had stopped and was trying to question. I was very impressed to see that the ER doctor actually filled out a standardized form requesting an x-ray. He also showed me an excel spreadsheet where he kept all kinds of patient statistics. Things have really started to come together.

I received a great Christmas present from my day care provider today. It was one of those gifts that you have to run back into your home to rescue when your house is on fire. It came with a dictated letter from my 4 year-old daughter. Here are parts of it:

Dear Daddy,

I love you. Happy Christmas! I goed to Bethany's birthday. I like when you are home. I know that you miss me. I miss you too. Goodbye. I love you.

Thanks for reading.