Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Brooke Army Medical Center

While at work at home I try to adhere to the rule "never stand when you can sit and never sit when you can lay" in order to save some energy for the bike or other labors on the homestead, my job makes this challenging as I am on my feet 75% of the time. While attending a conference I try to adhere to the rule "never sit when you can stand and never stand when you can be moving", despite adherence to this policy today was a challenge.

The last time I was in San Antonio was last spring for NORBA national #1, two things stick firmly in my mind. 1st the building material of choice here is white limestone and 2nd my XC was a debacle after having a top 20 opening TT. It all started with a flat tire on the start line which gave the field a 2-3 minute start on a mud chocked single track course, as I was moving through the field I crashed in a mud hole and landed on some sharp mud covered limestone and gashed my elbow open. This resulted in 11 self induced sutures in the hotel room following the race, don't worry I have experience suturing up my other arm. Its not the suturing that is bad, it is the scrubbing and debreidment without anesthesia that's stings a little. Actually Rog and I have become quit skilled in simple soft tissue closures and I now have a full stock of suture kits on hand, I guess this is another story. Anyway this go around in SA I am without my trusty Raleigh and spending my days in a state of the art military hospital.

Today was primarily didatic material on everything from battlefield surgical techniques to post operative stump management to the psychological issues of the Iraqi veteran. Tomorrow we dive into the hands on clinic work. If you are in the military and injured any where in the world you will either come here or go to Walter Reid in DC. This place is full of sad stories, 20 y/o marines with bilateral transfemoral amputations, severe burns, and head trauma. The 2500ish casualties you here about on the news are a drop in the bucket compared to all the serious life changing injuries. I respect these guys for following their leaders but man lets get some leaders that will get us out of Iraq. I better not get started. Throughout history medical advancement has come during periods of war and now is no different, we are learning and developing at a crazy pace and hopefully peace will again reign and we can use the advancements to prevent rather than patch up.

Sorry for the graphic nature of this picture. This is the result of a road side bomb while traveling in an armored vehicle, I am going to be more greatfull for my legs even when their turning the pedals slow.
This is a relative minor blast injury, just four fingers!

Sorry for so much writing but I have little else to do, after today's work I took nearly a 2 hour hike through town to find a grocery store, it's not threshold work but at least it is movement. I am already dreaming of a quick bike ride when I get back Friday night and hope to make it to the Lava race. A week of no training is not the best prep but I think it will be good for me in the long run.

At Ease


Blogger StupidBike said...

wow, back to reality for sure, the leader thing, ya, i hear you. Of course for too many in rhe u.s. and in iraq it is adly too late.

10:21 PM

Blogger Utah Mnt biker said...

It does really make you think about all the things you take for granted like the ability to pedal and pick up your kids.

6:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not really wheather or not you believe what is going on in Iraq is right or not cause that is a whole nother story, its the fact that the soldiers are there performing their duty and follwing orders. What is sad, is that these happen to our friends, families and kinship. What is even worse is the looks and feeling that these vetrans get when they go in public as a result of war. I wish nothing but the best for our soldiers and vetrans. They do not get the attention they deserve. And yes it is a humbling look to see what people have to go through when an IED goes off. My hearts and prayers go to those that have served or are in service now. Thank you to all.. oh and Bart good post. (rant off)

10:56 AM


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