The best way to describe life around here is like Ground Hog Day because it is the same thing day after day . . . work, sleep, eat and the forecast is the same every day . . . hot and sunny with lots of dirt in the air. The smell of sewage is the same every day and the sounds of the jets flying over head as well. So how do you keep from going crazy or getting depressed?
Well, last night, two of our enlisted Corpsmen and a contractor from a company called Avenge, met up to play their guitars together. They played old-style country music while people gathered around to enjoy the music. The contractor, who led the makeshift band, was an excellent singer as well as guitar player. He could actually make up a whole new song right on the spot, the chords as well as the words! He would make up funny songs about being deployed to Afghanistan and the smell from the poop pond. He sang some Janis Joplin, Patsy Cline and Jonny Cash among other things. It was a nice way to break the monotony of things around here.
We also like to goof off in the ICU on slow nights. We do what’s called Deck of Card Physical Training. Everyone gathers around in a wide circle. Each person picks an exercise they would like to do; some do push-ups, some do sit-ups and some do squats. The dealer throws out a card to each person and the number on the card is the number of push-ups, sit-ups or squats you have to do. If you get a 5 or lower, you are dealt a second card to make it harder. Face cards are worth 10, Aces worth 11, and Jokers are 15! The deck has been altered so that there are 6 Jokers! Of course, if you get an Ace or Joker everyone moans because you have to do so many. If you are dealt several face cards in a row, you will be sore!
We do this every two hours throughout the night, as long as we aren’t busy. It has become so popular, we now have people come from other areas of the hospital to participate! By the end of the night, each person has done approximately 200-500 total push-ups, sit-ups or squats. I usually alternate between two different types of exercises because I am not strong enough yet to do that many of just one. However, if we keep this up for several months, I should be able to do more as I get stronger!
We also keep stuffed animals around the ICU to entertain us and, on occasion, the laundry delivers us the wrong scrubs. Instead of the military scrubs, we get brightly colored ones. I like to wear those when they are available, to try to brighten up the place a little! Here is a picture of me sporting an extreme weather hood. We were laughing because of how big it is compared to my head; it was made for a giant! I don’t think I will be wearing that around base when it’s cold!