Thursday, December 30, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Lillian received a book from her cousins today. She loves books. She'll bring them to me all day long. I've recently caught her flipping through her favorite jungle book while doing her lion roar. "Baaawwh!"
Lillian loves her new book. Though my voice is on vacation somewhere warm without me we read it six times in twenty minutes. How she heard me is a mystery.
Friday, December 24, 2010
While my sister was visiting we patronized Nashville's own Parthenon. It's the world's only full size replica and has an interesting history in it's own right. Built to last only 6 months during the world fair in 1930 it was refurbished much later to stand in the glory that it is today.
The double brass doors on each side of the building are 24 ft tall 6 ft wide and a foot thick. They weigh 7.5 tons each! They were very impressive. I'm lamenting that none of my pictures show the scale of these beautiful doors that were made in 1930 in Long Island, New York.
Here is one of the kindly firefighters putting out my fire. Party crashers! I've learned a valuable lesson in this. Invite all your neighbors to the celebration. That includes the ones that live through the woods, over the river (creek) and across the fields. Yes, invite them before they erroneously report a house on fire. Thanks guys. Love you too.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Thanks to my family, friends and all well-wishers for the emails and letters and care packages. They are all very appreciated.
As some of you (few) readers may have heard from Dad, I had a crappy mission on my birthday and one of my patients died. I don't want anyone to be over-worried about me, I am doing fine. It is unfortunate but sometimes it happens. I have a lot of supportive friends here that I can talk about these kinds of things with- they're my fellow flight medics and they all know what it's like.
In this particular incident the patient what a middle-aged Afghan who was severely injured in some kind of vehicle-related accident. When I got to the aid station that he was being treated in, he was already doing very poorly. Things went downhill from there as we secured an I/O (like an IV that is drilled into the bone) sedated and paralyzed him, intubated him, performed chest decompressions, connected an assortment of machinery to him and moved him to the helicopter. On the flight back his heart stopped and my crew chief and I performed CPR and ran a full cardiac code on the patient until we reached the hospital about 20 minutes later. By that time there wasn't anything left to do and the attending doc called it.
A few days before that I had evac'ed a 6-year old boy that suffered a terrible fall and later died of his injuries. On Thanksgiving we picked up an 11-year old who suffered multiple gun-shot wounds he received accidentally (I assume) from American soldiers. Both later died in hospitals from their wounds. It is very sad.
It is not normal for me to have that many fatal casualties in such a short period. But, sometimes that is the way the dice rolls. Thankfully most of the patients we take are not so bad off and they can eventually be healed. We have flown over 3200 missions as a company in the last 10 months and have been able to do a lot of good for a lot of people. I don't feel sorry for myself because this is the job I wanted and I have enjoyed doing it. Also, this is what real life is like for the people who live here and other impoverished and difficult places. In the end, I get to go home and live wherever I wish and do whatever I want. These kind of experiences are bitter but brief and help me to really appreciate all the blessings I have like my family and country, and especially my faith in God and his plan.
On the other hand, I have had many very happy experiences this week as well. I have received a mountain of mail- including more peanut MandM's that I could eat in a year. I have had a lot of down time to relax and goof off at sites away from KAF and it's rules and high ranking officers. I became an uncle again. I (with permission) threw a pie in my battalion commanders face- not something that happens every day. So things are not all doom and gloom in the world of Dave Harrell. Things here are the way they normally are for everyone: fine with little bursts of really crappy and really great.
Also, I wanted to let my family and friends know that I really appreciate all the support and love- they keep me sane. And your prayers for me- I know they keep me safe.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
We were blessed to enjoy her birthday with family in Alaska. It was great! We celebrated a duo birthday bash and birthday breakfast with grandma Cathy. Who shares birthdays with baby dearest. Which is way fun. Then we shuffled over to my parents place for MORE birthday cupcakes, paper ripping and blowing out candles. What a fun day!
For lack of a better time, I am announcing baby's internet name here.
Lillian.It might seem silly to give her an internet name now that's it been a year. It's also silly to keep referring to her as baby. She may not appreciate that name in the future. She may not appreciate us using her given name in this medium in the future as well. Thus we have Lillian. Sweet, fun, baby Lillian.