4 years ago I was thousands of miles from home, or what I had known as home my whole life. 4 years ago home was in a foreign country in the Middle East. I traveled through places I had only dreamed of going. I stopped in places I had never heard of until 4 years ago. With the support of the wonderful husband I have, I took a job with Kellog, Brown, and Root. I lived in Kuwait. I had a 1 year contract but only ended up staying 3 months. My hubby got hurt and had to have surgery. I came home for his surgery and then flew back. I was back about a week or so when I got reports from my daughter that he was having a very hard time rehabing because he was trying to take care of 2 kids by himself, the house and everything else that goes along with being a single parent. I don't know who the seperation was harder on, me or him. It was probably equally as hard for both of us just in different ways. It was one heck of an experience for me. I tried food that I never thought I would try. I lived among people and a culture that I had only read and heard about. While I didn't really experience too much of the Kuwaiti culture, I got a good taste of it. I met some increadible people. I was a medic in a clinic. I had never experienced clinical work, not like that. I was the "doctor" for these people. I had a great PA that I could rely on when I had questions. When we ran into something that none of us could figure out, we had a contract with a doctor in Kuwait City, Dr. Richard. He was an Egyptian doctor that was French trained, spoke fairly decent English, and looked like Mr. Bean. I pulled multiple bugs out of ears. I handed out lots of antibiotics and even put in a stitch or two. It really was fairly boring. Long hours. I worked 12 hours a day 7 days a week. Occassionally more. If we had a patient that had to be in the hospital we had to drive them in our "ambulance". Our ambulance was a GMC Suburban. No lights. No siren. The US Military had the 5th floor at the Kuwaiti Armed Forces Hospital. All the signs indicating that it was at one time the L&D floor were up. Apparently when Iraq invaded Kuwait in the 90's they went to the hospital and threw new borns off of the balcony. Therefore the Kuwaiti's refuse to use that floor. I never was able to verify if that was fact or not.
While it was an increadible experience, it was horrible at the same time. My hubby and I fought all the time or so it seemed. I was so lonely. He was scared. They kept telling me I was going to be moved from Kuwait to Camp Anaconda in Iraq. Things were really bad then. Shortly after I got in country we had a convoy hit in Iraq. One of our drivers was kidnapped. He eventually escaped. We were put on lock down and mission essential travel only because of threats from Saudi. We were only 20 miles or so North of Saudi. I dealt with a lot of PTSD. Not personally but from the multitude of truck drivers. I did lots of wound care on truck drivers that had been hit with shrapnel and fairly minor gun shot wounds. It amazed me what some of these truck drivers went through and yet they refused to go home. In the end, I made the decision to come home early. I cried the entire day as I was packing. I wanted to stay but I needed and wanted to come home. In the end, I was glad to be home and never looked back. I don't regret my decision to go nor do I regret my decision to come home when I did.
As-salaam-aleykum (peace be on you)
View from my room at the Khalifa