Things are changing. The patient load is becoming a little more of what I guess I thought it would be like to work at LRMC. For a time, about all we were getting were local patients. Lots of diverticulitis, lap-chole's, and the like. Now...well, things are changing.
Over the past two weeks our caseload has went from a mixture of locals and a few soldiers from down-range with either minor injuries or medical conditions to an entire new game. I was feeling like it was any other hospital throughout the US with the only difference being that the average age of patients was about 26. We are seeing lots of wounded soldiers now. Amputations, burns, multi-trauma. And they are so young....I have a Canadian patient who is 20 that is breaking my heart!
It's difficult because from a professional level, I am enjoying the learning and the experience. But on a personal and emotional level, it's really difficult to see and deal with.
I hope every night that I can say the right thing and be supportive enough. The wounds that we see are only the beginning. Although most of these boys are dealing well, there are always a few that seem to be having trouble. Recognizing this and being able to support them is important to me. I haven't been there....won't be going there (down-range) and cant even begin to understand what it's like there. I'm not certain that I can offer the proper support that's needed. But, I try...
That's all for today...just needed to vent a little.
So, when you see a soldier returning from the war...remember to say 'Thank you', or give them a smile as you pass them on the street. I still don't believe in what we are doing over there but I support our soldiers!!
Thanks too to all of the NATO troops. You guys ROCK! Thank you for standing beside the US, fighting the same fight and trying to make a difference.