Tuesday, September 25, 2007

So Much Fun on Tuesdays and Fridays

Not only do we pack our weekends, it seems we are packing our weeknights, too. Anna has Girl Scouts at 1600 and Drew has judo at 1800. I have judo at 1900. That one little hour between all the activities is when everyone eats dinner.

I started judo this summer because Drew really wanted me to go to the "Parents' Class." I wasn't sure I would like it and I really had to push myself to get past the ickiness of "touching-someone-who-isn't-a-family-member (-or-a-patient)" . I also feel less than graceful on the mat; dance moves have never come easily to me without a lot of practice.

But now...well, I feel as though everything is clicking. I am remembering the moves (I love muscle memory because I don't have to think). When we do randori I am able to get submissions as often as I have to submit ("Mata!"). I am really happy to have a regular hour of exercise and to do something that is just for me.

When I come home, I am still sweaty and I feel relaxed and joyful. Judo means "way of gentleness" and I thought this was interesting:

Principles and Goals of Judo
Judo, which is translated as the "gentle way", teaches the principle of flexibility in the application of technique. This is the flexible or efficient use of balance, leverage, and movement in the performance of Judo throws and other skills. Skill, technique and timing, rather than the use of brute strength, are the essential ingredients for success in Judo. For example, in Judo classes you may learn how to give way, rather than use force, to overcome a stronger opponent.

The principles of Judo, such as "Maximum Efficiency" and "Mutual Welfare and Benefit", can also be used in our dealings with others in life. The ultimate goal in Judo is to develop oneself to the maximum extent possible, always striving for perfection, so that you can contribute something of value to the world.

Maybe a little bit of the pleasure I derive from the practice of judo is related to the preparation for and completion of class. I no longer dread class. It's amazing what a little mastery can do.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Top 10 Differences Between Navy JAG TADs and Navy Nurse TADs

1. Lawyers sleep on at least a queen-sized bed.
Nurses get a cot with a sleeping bag.

2. Lawyers get a mini-bar.
Nurses get a vending machine.

3. Lawyers call the front desk for a wake-up call.
Nurses hear "Reveille, reveille, all hands heave out and trice up..." on the 1MC.

4. Lawyers call maid service for additional pillows.
Nurses stuff hands under their heads or double up their sleeping bags.

5. Lawyers eat at a 5-star restaurant suggested by the concierge.
Nurses crawl into government vans and ride to the chow hall.

6. Lawyers enjoy luxurious showers with the latest amenities.
Nurses enjoy brief showers with at least 5 other women, restock the heads with toilet paper from the supply locker, and wait for their turn at the sink.

7. Lawyers enjoy catered working lunches.
Nurses steal MREs from the Fleet Hospital stash.

8. Lawyers sit in air-conditioned conference facilities.
Nurses lay down in the dirt and let others practice dragging them around so everyone is familiar with the latest casualty movement techniques.

9. Lawyers order rounds and initiate hangovers.
Nurses take incoming rounds, get casualties "off the X," and stop extremity hemorrhages with a C-A-T.

10. Lawyers are familiar with the latest travel regs and would never tolerate 4 legs on an itinerary that resulted in more than 18 hours in the air.
Nurses return from their TAD and are aghast to learn they should have requested a business upgrade.

Camp Pendleton Tactical Combat Casualty Course (TCCC)

I spent the last week at Camp Pendleton living a surreal life. The week leading up to my TAD was stressful because I was convinced I had packed away my cammies and combat boots. I scrambled at the last hour trying to find men's size 3 1/2 R combat boots or women's size 6 R. First clue: you can't buy them off the shelf.

Fortunately, while unpacking boxes from our recent move, I found my boots, still neatly stenciled with my maiden name and the tops folded down and laced, ready for inspection. Well, except for all the scuff marks on the toes. But, no worries. Field conditions mean no spit shine.

I spent the last night at home sewing on my name tapes and repairing the dry rot that ravaged the right rear pocket of one set of woodland poplins. I also repaired the shoulder seam of the blouse.

I started traveling at 1620 on 27 August, Guam time, and finally arrived at my destination at 0130 28 August, California time. I traveled from Guam to Narita, to Honolulu, to San Francisco and then to San Diego. My travel wasn't over until I caught the Cloud-9 shuttle to Camp Pendleton and then it wasn't just inside the front gate. Oh, no. It was the last gate before reaching Orange County. At that point, the Navy might have been better served to have had me land in LA and take a shuttle south to Camp Pendleton. I finally got to bed, which consisted of a cot and a sleeping bag, at 0200, then woke up to catch the government van to the chow hall at 0615.

You can read more about what I learned at TCCC here:
Naval Operational Medicine Institute

If I were to go on an IA now, I would feel a lot more confident about my abilities to save lives. And, as an instructor, I feel much more capable teaching young corpsmen how to keep themselves and their Marines alive.