That was the subject from an email I received today – from a nurse I worked with at the Trauma Research Center at Balboa Naval Hospital, San Diego way back in 1980. Wow – that was a while ago.
While there I wrote some short stories about life in a Trauma Research center. We saw so many things – amazingly odd stories. It remarkable how many ways people can find to harm themselves.
I called these short stories, “Minor Surgical Procedures You Can Perform in the Comfort of Your Own Home with Ordinary Kitchen Utensils. ” It was subtitled, “Unheard of complications I have heard of”.
It was mostly just stuff to make my coworkers laugh. It must have worked, since the first thing this nurse asked me after 27 years was about this little “book”.
I’ve worked on the “book” on and off through the years – but it’s been so long since I worked in medicine that I’ve kind of run out of stories – even interest, I guess, in finishing it.
I wonder what would happen if I put it on a private WiKi and invited anyone who worked with me during those years to come in and add to/edit it?
I’ve lost touch with the vast majority of those people – so just finding them would be difficult – getting them involved would be another challenge.
But as a group, we have some amazing stories to tell. Our Medical Director was Dr. Ben Aaron. He was a surgeon. Some years later he would operate on President Ronald Reagan after an assassination attempt. For all of us that knew Dr. Aaron, this was no surprise. It’s just seemed logical to us that he would be the guy to operate on the President during a national crisis. Is was typical Dr. Aaron. He always seemed to be where things were happening.
One of my co-workers, a Navy Nurse, went on Price is Right – and won over $26,000 – in 1980 dollars! She almost went broke paying the taxes on her winnings.
It would be interesting if one of them Google’d something that sent them here. It would be interesting talking to any of them – I was SO young then (19, but looked 14)!
Finally, this post reminded me of a pretty amazing story. Fast forward to 1996. I am at the house of a Navy Captain. A surgeon. I was going to my now ex-wife’s office party. The house was amazing – on the beach, on Oahu. Out in Barber’s Point. There was actually a Gilligan’s Island type hut out by the beach.
As we sat in the den and had drinks, I noticed the plaques and awards on the wall. A lot of awards from time onboard ships, and at a couple of Naval bases. But I saw one that said, “Balboa Naval Hospital”.
I asked our host when he was at Balboa, and he said 1980-1983. Same time I was! I asked where he worked. A Trauma Intern! He worked in my unit – with me, 15 years earlier. And we meet again in a beach-house in Hawaii.
And if you don’t think that was a weird coincidence – briefly, here are two more:
1987 Letterman Army Hospital – San Francisco. I met an Army LT. nurse that was a Navy Ensign nurse when I worked with her 7 years before. In Florida.
In 1983 I was walking down the streets of Manilla, in the Philippines – and I ran into the first girl I ever loved – who I hadn’t seen or talked to in 3 years. Just walked right up to each other – half a world away. And it seemed as if we had only seen each other the day before.
The world is a small place. And getting smaller. Every day.