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Heart of the American Soldier

Inspiring read at Cassy Fiano's blog about a wounded soldier:

Today’s tissue warning comes from Soldiers Angels Germany. I read it with tears rolling down my cheeks. I hope MaryAnn doesn’t mind my excerpting the entire thing, because it just needs to be read.

He’d gotten blown up. Sustained burns to the face and hands and suffered blast inhalation. Breathing in superheated air is not good for the bronchial tubes and lungs. He’s being mechanically ventilated.

I watch him struggle even when completely sedated, but some patients have a real rough patch before extubation. To make sure a patient can breathe on his own, first the docs need to dial back on the meds.

This is called “waking him up”.

Still out of it, he gradually becomes more and more aware of his pain and the discomfort of the breathing tube. He feels like he’s choking. Constantly. And he’s too out of it to understand why.
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