Doing the Deid

I know its been a while since I’ve wrote anything. Afghanistan wasn’t the most blog friendly environment, I guess thats saying the least about the general friendliness of AFG. But, I do have a small collection of notes and random thoughts from the last 6 or 7 months that should make a couple interesting posts. I also have a cluster of small little notebooks laying around from various travel shenanigans over the last few years that I’m going to start trying to integrate here. So I have this new, overly ambitious goal of writing one post/week from the backlogs. So, this little project will kick off by examining what is effectively know in the Air Force as “Doing the Died”. Read more


Leaving for a conventional military deployment has come a long ways since the days of GIs stepping out to a rusty old plane hell bound to fight the Germans. The images of the lonely soldier dragging his olive drab bag down a flight line with a tearful wife holding a newborn baby in his wake are no more. Read more

Afghanistan Ho…

I’ll be there in a week, stories to follow…

In other news if you’re curious about the progress of the school in west Africa, Gisele managed to finish the second building by putting on a roof, building the floor and buying some desks. There is also a new playground underneath a solid metal pavilion for shade. We now have 105 kids, up from 48. I’m in the beginning stages of organizing a benefit concert in New Orleans to fund the school, shooting for March timeframe. I got permission from the Air Force high command so to speak to take this on as my own project and advertise to the public, which is a huge victory in a world of intangible bureaucracies.

A Whole New Standard

Placing a blood pressure cuff on a patient is typically a simple task.  This time was an exception. I felt for the cuff in my bag, pulled it out and went to secure it around the patient’s arm. As I did the floor shifted again and I tumbled forward. I grabbed the guy’s opposite arm to prevent face planting into his stomach. Unfortunately for my patient I grabbed the rubber bone sticking out of his arm that was covered in fake blood. In a second attempt, I was more successful in actually getting the cuff around his arm. As I went to turn the vital signs machine and complete the ritual I paused for a long moment, turned away, and proceeded to vomit in a painfully small plastic bag. Read more

Flying Scut Monkey

It’s incredibly difficult to be a good surgical resident when it’s the exact opposite of anything I self identify with.  Working in the TRU is a lot of fun, and in my opinion it’s the reason the Air Force sends us to Shock Trauma. Unfortunately, call is only every third night, although working more than that could easily kill a man, but call is where I learn the most. Read more

CSTARS: first call

The Trauma Resuscitation Unit, or “TRU,” as it’s known, is probably the number one place you don’t want to find yourself after a night of barhopping or drunk driving in Baltimore. The TRU is kind of like an emergency department, except the only rooms are trauma bays. Each bay comes stocked with everything a team of nurses and doctors would need to keep someone alive or bring them back to life. Read more