Friday, October 16, 2009

A great meal...

Another week in Kabul has been completed. It has been a typical week, but only out on the road once since I last posted and that was too NDS. We did roll through where the last SVBIED tried to take out the Indian Embassy. It never ceases to amaze me as to the amount of destruction explosives packed into an SUV can do. . .

One of the big accomplishments this week was finally taking delivery of a new OSI Ortho Table. This is a special surgical table used for hip and leg fractures. It allows the surgeons to use traction, and it is also big enough that the C-arm can be easily used. Every OR in the US that does ortho trauma surgery will have some type of OSI Ortho table. It got shipped here in 5 separate crates. It was a several day evolution to get it to NMH. On the first day, I went to the National Depot to meet with the vendor. All supplies get delivered to the National Depot which is near the hospital. I ended up having a long discussion with the vendor. If we unpacked the crates at the depot, there was no way we could then get the OSI table and all its pieces and parts to the OT. I convinced the vendor to deliver it to the hospital. He contracted a crane & truck to bring everything to the hospital 2 days later. On the day it was to be delivered, it took 3 ½ hours to unpack the crates and inventory all the pieces. Of course, 1 small part was missing. The vendor doesn’t get paid until all the parts are delivered and accounted for. In the next few days, I will be training the OT nurses and the Ortho surgeons on how to use the OSI table. It is a complicated table and many OR nurses in the states have difficulty using it properly. I won’t let the surgeons here use it until they attend training. It is a $130,000 table, so everyone will be trained before using it.

We had two big visits here this past week, both on Wednesday. The first was the US Navy Surgeon General. He met with his Afghan counterparts during the morning, then toured the hospital in the afternoon. He also took an hour and a half out of his schedule to visit with us in our office. He met with the team and we had a good question and answer session. After his visit with us, the second visitors came. A group from Outback Steak House and Carrabba’s Italian Grill came and cooked supper for us. What an awesome thing to do for the troops and it was the best meal we have had in theater. They cooked Ribeye & NY Strip steaks, 3 different pastas, Blooming Onions, Calamari, Fresh rolls, baked potatoes, rice, vegetables and soup. For dessert cheesecake and carrot cake. They even brought their own servers to bring the rolls, calamari and blooming onions to the tables. The next time any of you visit Outback or Carrabba’s in the states, thank them for coming to Afghanistan. The meal was the highlight of the week!!

On Thursday, there are no cases booked in the OT. It is a day to get caught up on cleaning. I got to eat some bolani, which they told me is an Afghan favorite food. From Wikipedia: Bolani is a vegetarian flat-bread dish from Afghanistan. It has a very thin crust and can be stuffed with a variety of ingredients, such as potatoes, spinach, lentils, pumpkin or leeks. We had potato in the ones I tried. It is good.

Other than that, nothing new to blog this week. Today we didn’t have to go anywhere for once. It makes for a good jumaa when we can sleep in and not travel anywhere. We got to actually enjoy the reduced battle rhythm day.

Whereas I posted the new pictures earlier this week, I don’t have new ones to post. I hope to get some pictures of the training on the OSI table that I will post.


  1. Hey Dan, Man you guys got an OSI table, that's awesome. We are still resorting to sliding the patient down on the table and propping the legs on a Mayo stand just so the C-arm can clear the bed post! Keep safe man.

  2. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 10/19/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.