Today started at 32 degrees. I got out of my car and had to scrape the windows with my ID card. As I was doing it I was thinking that I hoped there were not a lot of flights with patients today because the guys were really cold last week and the temperature was not bad and today would be unbearable for them. Well we had 2 flights, but a low number of patients.
I spent most of the morning getting rid of excess supplies and packing them for down range again. They need a full-time person just to do this job for them. They have 6-9 pallets that are excess items that the troops will not use here but MPS will not take it the way that it is and so it must be done about 10 boxes at a time. With the Christmas rush coming and people again sending whatever items they wish to send they will be over flowing with items they cannot use. I wish we had a way of getting it on a flight to DC because our VA hospitals could use it ALL. What I don’t get out of here very soon will be turned over to German Red Cross.
For the love of two countries
This afternoon I went to the wards with the WWMC cart. Most of the wounds that I have seen this trip have been much less severe than the wounds I saw on my previous working trips.
Chuck Norris was in the hospital today visiting the wounded but we were not blessed with a visit. I talked to some of the liaisons and they did not get to see him either.
They said that they usually do not get to see the VIP’s. I don’t think that is a proper call on the VIP’s part as most of these liaisons work their butts off for these patients and deserve a huge pat on the back for their work. I can’t imagine how many miles they must walk every day getting patients to doctors, getting supplies, checking on med flights, etc for these patients and then not getting a visit in their trailer is just not right.
If you read my previous years blogs, you know that LRMC cares for all our allies fighting in OIF/OEF. We have had several Canadians in lately. When I went to the ward this afternoon the Canadian Chaplain was with one that had just arrived. He told me that he would make sure he had all the items he needed. Later in the afternoon I saw the chaplain and he told me he lost the patient. At first I thought he meant lost, like he had died, then I realized he meant he had just lost him out of his room. He was told he went to x-ray. No Canadian. He was told another department and after checking there he realized his patient was missing. I told the chaplain that he must do a better job and not lose his charges. He agrees. After about 2 hours he came into the WWMC pushing his patient. I told him “I see you found him.” I looked at this young man in his early 30s and told him that when my kids did not report in or went astray that they always had a punishment and I would have to think about his. He smiled at me and said that his mom was the same but it was not his fault that he had to have an x-ray on his foot, then his knee, then his back. The other volunteer and the chaplain were deciding what to get for him and you could just tell he was freezing. I bent down and looked at him and said, “you’re cold, huh?” He said, “yes.” I said, “Well, instead of worrying about what to pack, why do we not just put it on you?” So I grabbed a sweatshirt and I put it over his head and we were real careful with the IV block still in his hand. I got a pair of breakaway pants that we sent and got his good leg in them and then snapped the other side on his casted leg as he sat in the chair. The chaplain and other assistant looked on but I have dressed several young men in the WWMC and so one more, what does it matter? I told the patient that I had dressed so many men in the WWMC that it would probably shock my husband. His leg was bandaged heavily and his little toes were sticking out so we looked for a little cast sock.
When I leave here we might be able to start shipping QUILTS only. The quilts that the guys are choosing off the shelf are red, white and blue, sports theme, and I had a kid ask me today for a Yankee quilt, no success. I had another one ask for a football one, but I only had basketball. NASCAR themes, outdoors themes are popular. I am pushing the blankets as much as possible to get LRMC to start requesting more, but if you want your quilt to move when it arrives here think about one of these themes. The quilts here are also about 4×4 and the patients say they are short. Is this a standard size for quilts? Patients want them to cover them but not be so long that they drag the ground in chairs or be too big for their bags. This is why our 3×5 works well , except for the really big guys who take two quilts or use their woolly with a quilt. I think all of our pillows are gone. There might be 2 or 3 left, but I will check the other storage room tomorrow to look for more pillows. If you are making pillowcases think about adding a LHCP label.
Today was another 10-hour day thanks to Susan Grey Waggoner and her contribution to my trip in tribute to her parent’s 60th anniversary.