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.


Today Show Clip

Chipin Widget

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Light Amid the Thorns

The world is my lobster.
-Henry J. Tillman

A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
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The human race is faced with a cruel choice: work or daytime television.
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What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give.
P. D. James, Time to Be in Earnest

The world is not respectable; it is mortal, tormented, confused, deluded forever; but it is shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter; and in these, the spirit blooms timidly, and struggles to the light amid the thorns.
George Santayana

A lobster, when left high and dry among the rock, does not have the sense enough to work his way back to the sea, but waits for the sea to come to him. If it does not come, he remains where he is and dies, although the slightest effort would enable him to reach the waves, which are perhaps within a yard of him. The world is full of human lobsters; people stranded on the rocks of indecision and procrastination, who, instead of putting forth their own energies, are waiting for some grand billow of good fortune to set them afloat.
- Orison Swett Marden (1848-1924), Editor, Success Magazine

The hospital was great today. Last week I brought over a large dry erase board and I have been trying to give a lectures on different topics every time that I go there. Yesterday's lecture was on asthma and today's was diabetes. We must have covered ever aspect from the basic definition to the management if diabetic ketoacidosis. It is actually really fun to teach people who are engaged and eager to learn. You could tell that the ER doc was listening because he was asking a lot of questions. For some reason he really got hung up on the whole concept of short and long acting insulin.

He said to me, "Tell me what you are going to talk about next time so I can read about it before you give your talk." I had been getting discouraged the last few days because I would bring things in and somehow they would disappear. But I was thinking about it earlier today, when you give someone knowledge and information that is something that is very valuable and it does not have to be locked up and can be useful and passed along very easily.

We have all gotten comfortable enough with each other that I can feel free to tell them something and not worry about offending them. For instance, they like to keep their used scalpels in container that is filled with rusty alcohol. I pointed to the container and made a disgusted face and they were able to understand what I meant.

I recently got a really sweet care package. It was meant for a patient that I mentioned on the wards. One really nice lady was so moved when she heard that a patient's family was giving him potato water for nutrition through his feeding tube that she sent me a number of bags of different kinds of beans. I thought that it was a very sweet gesture. The patient was discharged already so I could not give the beans to his family (not to mention I think that they would have clogged his tube). I gave the beans to the interpreter to give to a homeless family. They are very easy to find. The same person also sent me little hats for the new born babies. I was able to give them to the OB department. They really needed them.

When I was in the inpatient ward I encountered a new patient. He was quadriplegic and had a serious head injury from driving over a land mine. They had just removed his trach which is a breathing tube that comes from his neck. He had 2 family members there taking care of him. He was moaning some incomprehensible words. It was very sad to see.

I just came back from a comedy show. It was OK. It was very nice of the comedians to come all the way over here to perform for us. I think that they make the show extra raunchy because we are military. They think that we like it that way. Oh well.

I took some pictures today that I wanted to share. Unlike the slide show and title pics, these are actually mine.

Would you buy fish that was nailed to a board?

Who needs an SUV. Just shove everything into the trunk. Adam said that he saw a goat in the back of a taxi today. I would of loved to have gotten a picture of that.

Here are 3 women wearing burqas in the back of a taxi.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Nyn said...

Baby hats? You (they) need baby hats for newborns? I'm a knitter and I can whip up an infant's hat in about an hour, easily. I would be happy to knit some for the babies and their mothers. Do I send these through the VCR program, straight to you, or where?