New Volunteers, New Chaplains, New Staff….

Day #1

Friday, March 12, 2010

Today was a great day. The weather started with just a little bit of snow and a bite to the air, but it was a good day. You know it will be a good day at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) if you find a parking spot within the first 10 minutes.

The Wounded Warrior Ministry Center has not changed since last year. Of course new volunteers, new chaplains, and staff, but the process is the same.

We only had about 10 patients come in today and most were repeat patients looking for another bag since they were going home and they had to condense their “stuff” from many bags to one larger bag. As many of you may know, airlines charge for all those different bags you carry and military flights are no different in the sense that they limit the total bags the patients can take with them; which is not a bad thing if you saw how much some of them want to take home from Germany. 😮 Many supporters of the wounded troops send smaller duffels and they just can’t hold the gear and personal clothing the guys and girls come in with. Remember, many of our patients come in with full gear on their backs, so when they fly home they need a bag for that gear and clothing they have purchased or received from the WWMC. LHCP sends bags no smaller than 28′ or 30′ duffels and what is called a parachute bag, which is great for gear.

The other hot item of the day was gloves for the chaplain’s trip on Saturday. I was going to be going with them, but things have changed and I will be staying put and getting caught up on computer work this weekend. We have PLENTY of the gloves, so no problem there.

The WWMC has scheduled their spring cleaning for March 24th. I do not believe I will be helping with that, as they have some other projects that need doing. I guess we will find out next week.

I thought it might be interesting this year to follow a patient through LRMC. So…that is what we are going to do; it will give you an up close and personal insight into the operations of LRMC.

The patient has a leg injury, the only thing we can see is swelling around the ankle. The patient has to be taken to radiology for x-rays, then back to the doctor. They said the patient would be “fast tracked.” I am not sure what that means, but will ask. I was surprised that the patient did not have to wait for the doctor to order the x-rays. Any time I have had x-rays in the states, the doctor has had to order them, but here at LRMC the tech orders them based on the symptoms. I imagine that cuts down on a lot of wait time for patients here. The doctor comes back to the patient, and sure enough, the ankle is broken. All this decided in less than an hour, OK, I am impressed. As the doctor does the physical exam, the patient says there is pain around the knee, so back to radiology for more x-rays. This is a new department for me, as I have never taken anyone there before. They are set up nicely, depending on what type of test you need. After our patient gets x-rays of the knee, we go back to the doctor. OH NO, a second break, same bone broken at the top and the bottom! That has got to suck, really how do you do that without major anguish? Makes me shiver just thinking about it. Anyway, the patient is put in a splint and arrangements are made for the patient to see an orthopedic specialist on Monday. I will try to keep everyone up to date on the status.

I have not had a chance to really dig into the store rooms yet, but I will have some “special” help in a week, so I am going to leave that to our VP Jim Spliedt, who has decided to pay his way over here to help out. He gets store room and spring cleaning duties. They do have a volunteer now who does nothing but store room twice a week, so it should not be as backed up as it has been in the past.

I cannot wait to see what my duties will be next week. They are down several people, so I hope to get a chance to slide around and do a little of everything.

I would like to thank Bernie for her donation for this working trip. Bernie has been a member of LHCP since August 2005. She has been a great asset to our American troops and our allies. The great thing about Bernie is, she is a true French beauty and supports our troops with more gusto than some Americans. Thank you Bernie!

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