December 04, 2004

Just up and about

As you can tell, it is pretty early in the morning here. I can't really sleep, although I do keep drifting in and out, and right now I have no concept of time. (My watch got pulled off at the scene and now I know someone in my company has it) THANK YOU all so much for the emails and comments. I swear I have never seen my inbox that full ROFL:-D
So my little war story:
We left early this morning from camp, enroute to Baquba (ba-kuba) to drop off troops and pick others as well as equipment up. Hence the reason we were driving an LMTV (aka known as a big freaking truck). Most of the drive was uneventful, and we pulled onto the long stretch of highway towards 'quba'. I was seated with my back to the driver, parallel to the door, keeping an eye out for anything bad. I heard a very loud bang and looked to the windshield and surmised that we had just been hit with an IED as our windshield was shattered. In that split second I thought we were fine and then realized that we were barrelling full tilt towards one of those barriers that sits in the road. I vaguly remember rolling, but the next thing I clearly remember is looking and realizing that I was 1. good and truely stuck, and 2. hanging upside down, and I was alone. I started to scream bloody murder, and one of the other females on the convoy came over, grabbed my hand and started to calm me down. She held onto me, allowing me to place my leg on her shoulder as it was hanging free, until the medics came, I am told some 30 minutes later. It took them awhile to pry me out, using the Jaws of Life, but finally I was free and was placed into a C collar and rolled over onto the stretcher. I remember laying there, looking at the sky, and realizing that I could actually breathe easy and this was a good thing. Of course the whole time I was trapped and then being pulled out, my ever present humour was out in full force. While I was under the truck, I thought that my face had been blown off, so I made the remark that I wouldn't be pretty again LOL. Of course the medics all rushed with reassurance which was quite amusing as I know what I look like now and I don't even want to think about what I looked like then. OH and BTW, it was a COLD morning. I was ready to swear I would never be warm again, especially since they literally cut ALL the clothes off of me, although not all out there. They got me stabilized and into the Blackhawk. (Goes to figure I finally get a ride in the Blackhawk and I can't quite enjoy it) From there we flew to the base where I am now at, and they wheeled me into the emergency room, where I was worked on by a very nice Australian, and a bunch of very nice AF doctors. The Aussie had a good time jibing me about the fact that I was wearing matching panties and bra (The old adage, always wear clean underwear), and helped me out alot. By the time he was done with me I was mimicing him back perfectly and had quite the accent going. They wheeled me into the ward where I was staying and the dentist came to see me, and actually ended up putting me into a truck and taking me to the clinic to work on my teeth right then and there. (I am missing my front left tooth now FYI)
When they brought me back, (oh and I have never had better drugs, I don't remember them working on me at all) My command group was there to see me. The other command group of the MI BN up here had previously been to see me, and had brought a phone, but seeing faces I knew was great. I think I actually fell into one or the other of them crying. I then learned that the driver of my truck had indeed not made it through, and that is a very tough thing for me. Thankfully, it was quick, I am told.
It was interesting in the ER as when I rolled in I was still cracking utterly inappropriate jokes and keeping myself upbeat and not letting myself think about my injuries. While the facial doctor was working on me though, for some reason it all of a sudden hit me that I was alive and that I would make it through. All I have is a face full of stitchs, and a couple of nice gashes on my legs. I was telling the doctors that I have never had stitches, or a root canal before and here I have had both on the same day:-D ok not so funny but is ok.
It was while not quite great laying out there under the sky, I had my LT there encouraging me, another person was holding my IV bag, and I think I will ever love him for not wincing at the sight of my face, and just everyone out there on that convoy was really helpful in keeping me up and alive. I think at one point I rolled my head and asked my BC if everyone out there would be recognized please. Then I got my CSM to laugh when I pointed out that this was probably the only time I would get away with totally screwing with the uniform (I am wearing PT shorts, black long sleeved shirt, black fleece jacket, black socks, and for the topper, my bright pink shower shoes) One of my comrades went through my gear and packed up my ruck for me, so I have a few things of my own, including the all important TIGGER!
Well, I am going to hobble back to my bed, and see if I can't drift off some more. Have a good day all.

14 comments:

Dennis said...

Dear Lizzie

Seems like just yesterday I checked in. I read your blog at lunch everyday. After eating and reading I walk and pray. I know two guys, one who recently returned from Afghanistan, the other a marine back from Iraq and going again next year. I pray everyday for all of you, and my pastor who was activated and is going to be one of the Chaplains at the hospital in Germany. I know you must have a crowd praying for you and it worked, praise the Lord! Don't ever let anyone tell you it doesn't make a difference. God bless you and hurry home soon.

JUST A MOM said...

Hey Lizzie, good to hear up and around atleast. So does this mean that you will be going home a little early? God love ya girl Hang in there!

Angel said...

Lizze,

Wow, miss a day and you go and get yourself blown up!

I hope you get to feeling better REALLY SOON!!! Tell them to keep the good drugs flowing freely until you do :)

First time poster, so don't worry if the moniker does not ring any bells, but I read you almost daily :)

I wish you the speediest of recoveries.

Angel

Anonymous said...

Lizzie, saw your link at Hugh Hewitt. I agree with a good sense of humor, it does ease the pain & apprehension. I trust you have a speedy recovery. Keep smiling & know that your service for our safety is very much appreciated. Gerry, an old Marine.
ps you can send the pictures if you will also send more as you heal. Gerry@Townsend.org

Anonymous said...

Lizzie,
Read about you from HH. Get well soon, glad to know you're okay. Take care.

thebronze
(USAF Reserve)

BurtB said...

Heard about you from HH.

Bet you are up and around in no time. And do not worry. Hugh has some hollywood connections.

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed your blog and I wish you a speedy recovery.

Aaron
(USAFROTC)

Cowboy Blob said...

Get well soon! Thanks for serving.

-[Medic]- said...

Lizzie,

I just found your blog and I am enjoying it very much. I am glad that you are getting better and thank you very much for the job you do. Also trackback to this post from my blog at http://medicthoughts.blogspot.com/2004/12/life-in-this-girls-army.html

Zee said...

Dear Lizzie,

I send you great big hugs and best wishes for a quick recovery. May you come home soon.

Zee

Another American said...

Dear Lizzie;

Wow...this is too real sometimes! Thank God you're basically OK, give or take a wound or two (easy for me to say ;). It is VERY bizarre to be back here, in the comfort and safety of my home and read about something like this! To read of your experience...a "virtual" acquantance- makes all of this very real and odd as this may sound, brings it very close to home!

I am so sorry to hear of what happened to you and the troop you lost. My family and I include you and your fellow troops every night in our prayers, and it worked for you. We hope you have a speedy recovery, we hope that you keep your sense of humor and irreverence stays intact. I've become a Blogaholic lately, reading of your and others experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan...I have a nephew who has 1 tour in Iraq for the 82nd AB and is prepping for tour #2 and a friend (a Jarhead) who is heading over early next year as well. My admiration for you and your fellow troopers grows daily...words can't begin to express my gratitude!

Good luck, God Bless You and THANKS from the bottom of our hearts!!! Have a SAFE and MERRY CHRISTMAS! Your sacrifices ARE APPRECIATED, deeply!! We are grateful and deeply in debt to you!

The Sterner Family

Paul said...

God Bless you. We are praying for your full recovery.

Thank You for your service.

Double prayers for the driver's family. Our heart's are heavy and sad.

Cathy and Paul
The North Coast of Ohio

Patriot Flyer said...

Lizzie, what a girl! God bless you young'un! I'm a grizzled old retired AF type, and a paramedic for over 22 years. Girl, if they would take a crippled 61 year old man back, I'd be there in a new york minute! Tell your doc, if they need an old paramedic, I'll be on the next bird out.

Don't let anyone at all tell you that you're not beautiful! You beat 'em all out! Keep on getting better, and stay strong. Our prayers for you and for your buddy that you lost, God bless!

Joe
Vidalia, GA

Andynonomous said...

That is truly an amazing story. I wish you the best of luck in your recovery and sincerely hope you keep writing!