Kold in Kandahar

Okay, so now it’s really cold! The high yesterday was 46 and it’s currently 27 at 08:00 am. It’s amazing how it was in the 110s when we first got here! I have to wear gloves now when I walk to work and the sun goes down around 4:30pm. So in order to keep warm, I have been going to the gym. I kinda plumped up the past couple months because of all the snacks from my care packages! Not that I didn’t enjoy every one of them, but it is time to stop. I have no excuse not to be in great shape. The gym is just outside the door! I have made it to the gym the past 8 out of 10 days. Hopefully I will be able to keep up my routine. On my nights off, I have been waiting until around 10:30 pm to go because it is not that crowded. I have convinced one of my co-workers to be my workout buddy so that we can help motivate each other and hold each other accountable.

As far as work is concerned, the night before last night, when I arrived to work, the charge nurse told me that the ICU doctor had specifically requested that either she or I be assigned to take a 9 year old boy who had suffered multiple injuries. I guess he didn’t feel that the other nurses on that night were strong enough in their pediatric nursing skills. This was very flattering, especially since I never even had any pediatric experience until I came here.

The boy had picked up a piece of unexploded ordinance and it blew up. He suffered a brain injury due to a fragment entering the front right part of his skull and exiting the lower left out the back. He had fragments to both of his eyes and one of his eyes was completely destroyed. He had multiple jaw fractures, hand fractures and feet fractures. Multiple fragments went into his abdomen as well, puncturing his liver, bowels and one up towards his right lower lung, causing it to deflate. I received him from the operating room after 10 hours of surgery during which the surgeons put a drain into his head, fixed his jaw fractures, removed fragments from his left eye to save it, put a tube into his lung to re-inflate it, resected his colon, and fixed his hand and feet fractures. They also had to take a vein from his leg and place it in his arm in order to restore blood flow to his hand.

Amazingly, this kid stayed stable for me through the entire night with a rock solid blood pressure, no bleeding and eventually woke up in the morning, moving everything purposefully. Despite a fragment rattling through his brain, he appeared to not have any brain damage. It is absolutely amazing how resilient the human body can be, especially in these kids.

On a lighter note, I bought an 8”x11” handmade Afghan rug today! I had been eyeing a particular one in the rug store here at the Boardwalk for about two weeks now. Most Afghan rugs are primarily dark red with either black or dark blue designs, but this one had more browns and olive green, like the color of my dining room walls and just stood out more than any of the other ones. The rug vendor said that they don’t usually use these colors, so this is a rare rug to find. Out of the 30+ rugs of that size that he had available, this was the only one with a different look to it. It is 260 knots per square inch which makes the rug very high quality. Used Afghan rugs of this size with half the knots per square inch are selling on the internet for more than what I paid for. I was able to bargain the vendor down by $650! I thought that was pretty good. I found similar rugs for sale on e-bay for $5,000-7,000! Even a machine-made rug of that size from Macy’s will run you $1800. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter what it cost, it’s the meaning behind it; it is something from here that I will always have and will be able to pass on to my family.


7 comments on “Kold in Kandahar

  1. Dad says:

    Nice to see you back at your blog. Thanks for another peek into your life over there. Keep up the good, and meaningful, work. Hugs.

  2. Marita Zieger says:

    Krista, I truly believe that you have a certain angelic touch, especially with chidlren. They are so lucky to have you take care of them and obviously the doctors know it, too. I am so proud of you! Children are so close to my heart, too.
    Your rug sounds interesting and different. What an heirloom! I am sure you have found many nice and different things over there.
    Stay warm and keep up your spirits. Hugs and all good wishes! Love you, Marita and Erhard

  3. Jessica Titus says:

    Of course you are great with kids! You are great with everyone. You should take a picture of the rug, I want to see it 🙂

  4. Marj Frank says:

    Yes, can you send a picture of the rug. It sounds lovely.
    Thanks for this story. I hope this little guy recovers. Bless you for your good nursing skills and loving heart.

    Love to you.

  5. Thomas Penn says:

    A Soldier’s Prayer…
    The soldier stood and faced his God Which must always come to pass…
    He hoped his shoes were shining Just as brightly as his brass.
    “Step forward now, you soldier, How shall I deal with you?
    Have you always turned the other cheek? To My Church have you been true?”
    The soldier squared his shoulders and Said,”No, Lord, I guess I ain’t…
    Because those of us who carry guns Can’t always be a saint.
    I’ve had to work most Sundays And at times my talk was tough,
    And sometimes I’ve been violent, Because the streets are awfully tough.
    But, I never took a penny That wasn’t mine to keep…
    Though I worked a lot of overtime When the bills got just too steep,
    And I never passed a cry for help, Though at times I shook with fear,
    And sometimes, God forgive me, I’ve wept unmanly tears.
    I know I don’t deserve a place Among the people here…
    They never wanted me around Except to calm their fears.
    If you’ve a place for me here, Lord, It needn’t be so grand,
    I never expected or had too much, But if you don’t, I’ll understand.”
    There was a silence all around the throne Where the saints had often trod…
    As the soldier waited quietly, For the judgment of his God,
    “Step forward now you soldier,
    Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
    You’ve done your time in Hell.”
    Dedicated To All That Serve… God Bless America!

  6. lynne says:

    Krista, who knew you might become a pedatric ICU nurse!! Nice compliment by the MD, much deserved, i’m sure. Not sure if you are hearing from anyone in CRU. But, will update you. Parry’s have sold their house and moving to a short term rental until they find THE house. Vanessa has a sexy sassy new hair do. Margaret and Corbin explored India. Emily is on semi bedrest until number 2 son is born in Jan. Jag has taken swim lessons. Kelly works a lot of her shift on days. Jen A found a really good sounding Holiday cockail recipe. Dale still doesn’t know when the Canadian holidays are. Teresa continues to hold the unit together. Rachel has had some health issues, but doing ok and her usual fiesty self. I have the cutest, smartest 6 month old grandson, in Whatcom County.
    I so admire what you are doing and proud to say i know you. You will bring a lot of joy to your peers over this Holiday Season. Lynne

  7. Karola says:

    I look forward to your stories of this great adventure you are pursuing.I admire your strength and courage and am so proud of you! I share your blog with my coworkers here at the hospital and they find your stories as inspiring as I do! Nursing is such a rewarding career and you have taken it to the top. There is no better feeling than knowing you have helped someone heal and recover from some of the most catastrophic injuries you will probably ever see in your lifetime. As the Christmas holiday approaches it must be difficult for you to celebrate without Tom, your family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you every day and remember you have several angels watching over you!
    Merry Christmas and God bless.

    Love you

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