I guess I'll start of this post with my usual apology for not having posted in a while. School for the past two months has been a nightmare with AP and IB exams going on (and the last minute preps for them that our teachers give us. I wouldn't necessarily just call it supplemental work, that word is too benign; it was more like a forced march). Now that these exams are over though there's nothing else to do (this hold especially true for seniors) and so we eagerly await the next two weeks in the hopes of suturing closed this part of our lives. In my case, I have mixed feelings- I'm going to miss the friends I've made in high school and my accomplishments, I have no regrets about anything I've done. On the other hand, I'm ready to move on and hopefully come one step closer to med school.
As far as college goes, I'm thinking I might decide to switch over to chemical engineering with a minor in BME at UVA. I bought a textbook on organic chemistry which I plan to read this summer (we'll see whether or not that happens- it probably won't).
Yesterday was our "senior trip," in which the senior class went to a large park. Some of us brought water guns. I formed a fire team which we will designate as "Bravo" consisting of Adam, Will, and myself. Bravo's mission was to locate and take out (well, soak) an enemy civilian which we will designate as "Echo" (hey there Emily!). On the first encounter, Echo was spotted taking the point and heading east-bound on one of the trails. This trail happened to intersect another trail where a large tree was found. As Echo rounded the trail we opened fire. She can slap pretty hard and thus we were forced tactically to fall back. We then lost contact with Echo and had to decide on which direction they went. Deciding that they were again heading east-bound, Bravo team took one of the higher trails which would cut off the east-bound trail and give us plenty of time to dig in. After about twenty minutes of marching we reached the engagement zone. An unarmed scout (Will) was then deployed to find the target. An enemy fire team found us first though and proceeded in our direction. We fired a few cover shots and then were forced yet again to make a tactical fall back (12 against 3 are not good odds). Thankfully the enemy fire team consisted of drama students and thus did not pose any real danger (as it could not exceed the speed of 2 mph and even with that would be forced to sit down and rest). Having again lost the target we moved to the base camp (where the buses were) as this is where the target would have to come eventually. Sure enough, the target arrived about 20 minutes later and the mission was completed (at the cost of my arm after being slapped repeatedly).
As for the title of this thread, Ditch Medicine is a book by Hugh Coffee which describes the role and procedures of the PHCP (pre-hospital care provider) in a combat zone, thus it kind of relates to the story above (though no casualties were sustained). It's actually a very good book and describes basic surgical procedures (including wound debridement) and small wound care/repair, needle thoracocenteses, chest tube thoracostomies, IV therapy, advanced airway procedures, amputations, burns, psychological support, nutrition, and anaphlyactic shock. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in combat medicine (or EMS).
Stay safe everyone,