24 January 2009

Balad Burning Pit

The first morning here I smelled something burning and saw the smoke. Then it was there the next day. Why is there a constant fire? Then I was told about the Burning Pit. Apparently it used to be a lot worse, but it gets the blame for the Balad crud that causes the upper respiratory illness & sore throat that most people get by the second week here.

If you haven't heard of this, here are some articles that explain the history and possible health hazards:
Burn pit at Balad raises health concerns
Troops say chemicals and medical waste burned at base are making them sick, but officials deny risk
US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine US Army FACT Sheet
Balad Burn Pit May Pose Health Risk from the Salt Lake Tribune and posted on Military.com
Balad Burn Pit Update: Effects of Toxic Smoke Worry Troops Returning from Iraq - DoD Admits Problem, Then Denies Problem posted on veteransforcommon sense.com


Busy day today. Talked to the head MD in the ICU and he's ready for me to take over writing the TPNs and the TFs (i.e. the Nutrition Support). Which means I'm going in to work on Sunday mornings.

But that's okay.

Not like I have much I can do on my day off. But the nice part will be I won't have to "get dressed" tomorrow, I can go in wearing my PT gear (which is the only clothing you can wear if you are not in your AF uniform).

Tonight I got to chat with the hubby (konashark) and we even saw eachother on our webcams until the local bandwidth got crowded. We're looking forward to the day when I can access the wifi from my room.

I'm slowly getting aclimated to the noise. And the chilly nights. I'm expecting rain any day now (advanced thanks to my BFF Jill who is going to send me some rain boots to keep the mud off my working shoes). And thanks to konashark who sent me applesauce & pudding cups for our patients with chewing/swallowing difficulties (we don't always get these foods from the main kitchen), the earplugs, the rubber door stops, the birthday candles, and some long sleeve workout shirts (and his friend Ron who found them and who also donated the GVR shower gels). I didn't realize how great it would be to get a box from home.

For my ARG friends - if a trailhead somehow shows up here, I promise to share it with you all. Wouldn't that be a hoot - swag in Iraq.

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