A "Traumatic" Week
Well, it's Sunday and I've just gotten some time to tell of my latest "rite of passage". As I've stated previously, the Army has a way of taking really cool things and bringing out it's Mr. Hyde to make average Joe hate it. Some examples thus far have included parachuting, and initiating IV therapy on one another until we have no accesible veins. Seriously, if something happened to me I don't think a paramedic could get a viable vein on me right now unless he went for my neck. Every single spot on my arms, feet, hands, and legs have been hit several times. I am a walking hematoma.
Well, this past week we learned how to perform Nasogastric intubation. That is when you take a very thick tube and stick it up your nose, down your throat, and into your stomach so someone can retrieve gastric contents. Yes, we had to do it on one another like little guinea pigs as usual. we've had to do far more embarassing things up to this point that I haven't mentioned, but this was by far the most painful of all.
To my utter misfortune, my partner could not get the tube down my first nostril. That's not a big deal normally, but he seemed to think that if he just banged it harder it would somehow go in. The problem was that he was aiming too high and was just ramming the back of my nasal cavity. Yeah, blood was everywhere. Now, after the instructor finally told him to try the other side, I had to stop the guy to make sure he understood what he did wrong. This (I thought) would avoid both nostrils becoming useless, and having to go to plan B- right down my throat (this stimulates the gag reflex more easily). So, GI Joe starts on my right nostril, and sure enough can't get it. So, what does he do? You got it- banging away, nosebleed #2. Well, now that both of my nostrils are pouring out blood, I am not about to puke all over the place due to having to swallow that tube all the way down, so I grab Joe's hand and guide it in myself. It's in! Well, all that's left to do is put it all the way down to my stomach, listen for sounds when he blows air with a syringe and aspirate the syringe to get some gastric contents. My buddy forgot to listen with his stethoscope, and my instructor gave him a lecture on procedure for like three minutes. Three minutes may not seem like a long time, but when you've got a huge pipe down your nose and throat with a double nose bleed, it can be a little uncomfortable.
Finally, old boy, remembers to use his stethoscope, gets gastric contents, and slowly pulls out the tube. I puked everywhere once it got out, not from the tube but from all the blood which was now irritating my stomach.
The instructor went around and made sure everyone got their turn, and eventually we all recovered, some better than others. I took a total of 50 seconds on my partner to get it in, listen, get gastric contents, and get it out. I wanted so badly to torture him, but I couldn't bring myself to do it, the taste of iron was still too fresh on my tongue.
The class ended with "Welcome to Trauma gentelmen" by our instructor.