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In the late 70s I ended up in the Balboa Naval Hospital after suffering a burst appendix. Getting there was an adventure onto it's self. During recovery I was placed in a large open bay with beds spaced about every ten feet. I was the only patient on active duty in this ward, the rest of the patients about twenty or so, were veterans, all older than myself. I was known as the kid. All of us were recovering from surgery involving our midsections or groins. Several times each day the nurses would have us hold our pillows and cough several times for reasons that now escape me. The pain of coughing is quite vivid though. The real torture was a self inflicted variety, laughter. We started telling jokes. Eventually. just saying, "Did you hear the one about..." would bring about uncontrolled laughter mixed with moans of pure pain. None of us died, but it was touch and go a few times.
 

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Remember any of the jokes?

Any of them clean enough to tell here?
 

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My primary surgeon in the V.A. hospital for a burst appendix was unable to speak understandable English. A matter of concern, but at that point I was just happy someone finally believed I had a problem. No one else did.
10 days with tubes sucking brown stuff out of my abdomen, I have no doubt that he saved my life and I'm eternally grateful to that Philippine gentleman.
 

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My primary surgeon in the V.A. hospital for a burst appendix was unable to speak understandable English. A matter of concern, but at that point I was just happy someone finally believed I had a problem. No one else did.
10 days with tubes sucking brown stuff out of my abdomen, I have no doubt that he saved my life and I'm eternally grateful to that Philippine gentleman.
Sounds like my experience with the same medical condition in 2016--except my doctor spoke English. I ended up at the V.A. Hospital after the local "hospital" tried to tell me that it was "acid reflux" and sent me home from the E.R. By the time I got into the V.A., my white blood count was over 25,000. No doubt in my mind that the good doctors and nurses at the Spokane V.A. saved my life. I have always got excellent care there.
 

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A fellow accompanies his friend to his friend's favorite bar. As they were sitting and enjoying a couple cold brews, one of the other patrons shouted "57!" The entire room erupted with laughter. :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

A few minutes passed and another patron called out "24!" Once again the room exploded with laughter. :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

The fellow turned to his buddy and said "what's going on with all the shouting and laughing?" :hmmmm2:
The friend said "Oh, all of us have been coming here for many years and we've heard all of the jokes. So, we decided, rather than tell the entire joke, we would assign each joke a number." :smokin:

Shortly thereafter, a patron shouted "39!" There was dead silence.

The fellow looked at his buddy and said "how come nobody laughed?" :dontknow:







The friend smiled and said, "you know how it is, some people can tell jokes and some can't. " :dancing2:


T.S.
 

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My room-mate as I recovered at Tripler Army Hosp was a Navy SEAL. He had caught a mortar fragment in the eye and was in for removal of the fragment. As it turned out, the impact - following removal - restored his vision to 20-20. He was happy!!! Unfortunately, I as an 18-year-old was mostly engrossed in my own pain. Nonetheless, his happiness was emboldening for me: something along the lines of "were I in his shoes"... Un-seen, that fabulous SEAL gave me courage and energy to overcome my whimpy sorrow. I'll never know his name, but sir:

Thank you for your service and most importantly, thank you for helping me through the worst pain in my life! It was nothing compared to what you went through!
 

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Is this a joke thread or a military apendicites thread?
My son was in the Air Force Security Forces and was sent to Afghanistan in 2004. His first night on duty he was sent out to man a guard post on the perimeter. He began to feel terrible and called in complainig of a wicked stomache ache. The person on the other end of the phone decided that, being a new guy, was suffering from heat and/or dehydration and told him to drink more water and suck it up. My son called back a couple of hours later saying he felt much worse. They had no one to replace him with and told him to suck it up again. Eventually the NCOIC came around inspecting the guards and found my son curled up on the floor with a fever. Now they sent him to the Air Force infirmary where he was diagnosed with appendicites. The Air Force couldn't deal with it there, they had to send him to the Army hospital where he was preped him emergency surgery - then there was a rocket attack so everybody went to the bunkers. By the time they took my son's appendix out it was close to bursting. There is more to this story, but it is a military apendicites thread so I will leave it here.
 

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Ct, did your son make it out okay? We hope so!

Not a military appendix thread. Had a female guard unwittingly give birth while on guard back in '82 in Frankfurt. She "didn't realize" she was pregnant... She and her child were safely evac'ed to the states. Wanted her to name it "Gibbs" in honor of our base...Hopefully, she didn't give it a "Gibbs Slap"...

With every deployment, common medical challenges happen. The med guys are more focused of life-saving trauma, but can deal with typical problems - given the opportunity. It seems the med guys treated your son as best as they could, and we are all thankful for that.

Hang tough!
 

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RFJ22553: He did just fine. It was a matter of first best guess and more new guys had problems with dehydration and heat stress than apendicites. And, from my experience, rocket attacks never come at opportune moments.

After recovery he was put on light duty in the office but in a couple of weeks they were tired of him so he was sent out to wander around the perimeter and find weakspots. He found so many weak spots that they gave him some Afghans and sent him out to fix the perimeter. Very quickly thereafter his detail consisted of 4 other airmen and he was in charge of reinforcing the perimeter. During slow times he provided security for Intel Ops looking for weapons caches outside the wire. So in the end - apendicites proveded him with his job keeping the Air Force section of Bagram safe.
 

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Regarding torture in a military hospital (sort of). In the early '60's at Ft. Belvoir, VA in West Point Prep School, a physical requirement was that you had to have all of your Wisdom teeth removed.
Three Army Dentists set up chairs in a vacant class room & about 80 of us lined up. The first thing that they said was that they needed to get the job done fast so that we could all get back to class & that no one REALLY needed novocaine!
You sat in the chair & made a fist to put under your jaw & on your chest. The Dentist took a hammer & chisel & broke each tooth into four pieces & then pulled them with pliers!
Everybody stumbled out with bloody faces & shirts & went back to class.

Almost worse was laying in a cot in the ICU of a MASH unit, with no rifle, mortars exploding close & an attack going on. The best that we could do is hug the floor with tubes sticking in us, Well, I did have this nice nurse holding on to me, but she was like way old, like maybe 30!
 

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path, I recall having all four wisdom teeth removed in one procedure.

Sort of... Was drugged out but still semi-awake. I recall the hammering but not much else. Gauze in my jaw afterwards. the Military Dentists were pretty good, but then again I was stateside as an Army dependent...They did well, and - to spite them - I munched on potato chips the next day, albeit I munched on them until they were mush...

Probably sucked, but Percocet and other things pretty much washed out any real painful memories. Plus, I had our family dog curled up next to me: far better than any narcotic!
 

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I spent 19 months in Bethesda Naval Hospital in 1971/72.
There was a fair amount of torture involved in the process of 11 surgeries. I do remember some humor though, and sneaking out of the ward on 4th of July to get drunk, sitting on a grassy bank under the stars there on the hospital grounds with 2 bottles of Jim Beam my brother brought for us to share.
Couldn't see any fireworks, but it was still a nice escape.
My Doctor didn't see the humor in it at all.
 

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Went to ROTC Advanced Camp at Ft. Sill in 1969. During entry physical the Dental Tech looked in my mouth and laughed, called next tech over and he looked and laughed, then the Captain did the same.

Tech finished his check, signed paperwork and told me I could leave the chair.

I said, "Wait a minute -- what was so funny?"

"Oh," he said. Your wisdom teeth are coming in sideways."

After I was commissioned and sent to Ft. Knox I gave the Army the three remaining wisdom teeth one day.

My appendicitis story: When I was a senior in college my belly started hurting Sunday evening and I thought I had pulled a muscle or something and didn't worry too much about it.

Monday was worse, but consistent with pulled muscle. Tue was even worse and I started to get concerned so after taking a quiz Wed. I went to the infirmary.

Doc had me lay down and pressed on lower abdomen and I told her it felt better. Then she released the pressure and it didn't.

Sent me to hospital to get white blood count checked.

Guy met me at door with paper bag, bowl of soapy water and a razor. I looked at that and said, "I'm not here for a blood count check, am I?"

He shaved me from neck to knees and into surgery I went.

Afterwards doc called my dad and told him I could have waited another hour ;)

Thursday doc came around to see me and I wanted to know when I would get out and he hemmed and hawed but finally said as soon as I had a solid BM and quit taking pain pills I could go.

What they didn't know was my girlfriend was coming to town that weekend and I hadn't seen her in six months. What I did tell him was I hadn't had much to eat for two days and wasn't taking any pain pills. So he got me fed and I walked out Friday at noon.
 

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showed your post to my wife, 30 years in ER trauma nursing. She cannot figure out the pillow deal. She wondered if they thought it was some kind of exercise.
 

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showed your post to my wife, 30 years in ER trauma nursing. She cannot figure out the pillow deal. She wondered if they thought it was some kind of exercise.
I think the coughing was some type of breathing therapy. Coughing was very painful to our lower abdomen, holding the pillow seemed to help with the pain or maybe kept the inside stuff inside.
 

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The pillow deal is to help with the coughing (coughing can re-distribute internal organs a bit). It is VERY common to have a heart-shaped pillow given to one following heart surgery or a heart-attack. It works GREAT!!!

With my current (suspected cracked ribs), a similar pillow would be welcome. As it is, it has been close to a month and the occasional discomfort is bearable. No collapsed lung, at least...I think...
 
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