The Fobbitt

How long was it? A week? A week and a half? When that bastardly little scab was picked off and disregarded. Must've only been a couple days afterward when the scab was replaced by a swelling redness, right on the front of my upper leg.

Oh well.

So then how long was it before it started to hurt just climbing up the front of the Stryker? I can't remember, but at some point, I thought, "Damn, this is probably infected or something. I should get it looked at."

The Aid Station always has that sterile bandage smell. I walked in, signed up, and dropped my pants.

"Oh yeah, we're gonna have to cut that and drain it."

"You're gonna hate us man."

I leaned back and grabbed my camera, when they started sticking me with lidocaine. "Pinch and a burn" they called it. Jab jab jab, fill em up with the numbness.

Then the doc started cutting, and I didn't feel a damn thing of course, thanks to the miracle of modern medicine. So I sat up and watched him slice a fucking trench in my leg and squeeze all kinds of delicious infectious waste out of my putrid sore.

They packed the hole full of gauze and wrote up a profile for me. A "profile" is a piece of paper that says you can't do this or that because the doc says so. It's an excuse you fold up and keep in your pocket to get out of work. The profile stated that I needed to come back once a day to have the gauze changed out, and it requested that they "please make him a Fobbitt for a while" about one week.

Now, where I come from, if you're on profile, you are automatically a "shitbag" and a sorry excuse for a soldier, and you receive (arguably) punitive shifts in the company TOC (think headquarters or something) where you sit in front of the radios for eight hours and do all you can to not chew through your own wrists.

Before starting my first TOC shift, I went to the aid station to have the gauze changed out. My leg had been pretty sore ever since the lidocaine wore off, making it feel like someone was holding a cigarette up to the leg.

"Ok man, now you're REALLY going to hate me," one of the medics told me. He ripped the gauze out good and fast, and I wondered why I was supposed to ha--


I looked down and stared at a gaping open hole in my leg, and the pus covered gauze dangling from doc's hand. This shit fucking HURT.

He threw the gauze out and grabbed new materials, and a long Q-tip.

"All right man, sit on your hands and look away."

"What? Why--GGGRRRRRRHHNNNNnnnnnn.....!!!!!"

Raw exposed nerve endings surrounding the wound, screaming and protesting, because doc here is using a Q-tip to forcefully pack a string of gauze into my leg. I've never been in so much pain that I was actually SWEATING before.

My body temperature fluctuated, eyesight blurred up, cold sweats, hollow feeling in the pit of the stomach. All signs pointing to the fact that I am a little bitch.

Dig after dig and horrible sweep after bastardly sweep, he finally finished up. I felt like I had just been thoroughly raped by a wooly mammoth. They cracked jokes, and I didn't even bother to acknowledge them. I was in a whole new state of Feeling Sorry For Myself.

"Ok, see you same time tomorrow!"

I groaned. They laughed as I walked out.

I've been doing this every day for almost a week now.


If you go to google.com and type "soldier blog pissed off bullshit fuck" in the search field and click "I'm Feeling Lucky", you will be immediately directed to this page?



  1. unhappycamper said...
    In 1968 I developed a case of jungle rash. The stuff started with a small spot on my arm. Within two days, most of my body was covered with it. The itching was driving me nuts.

    I went to the medic & they gave me some cream. It stopped some of the itch, but did nothing to get rid of the rash.

    Back to the medic.

    The second guy I saw said the best way to get rid of it was to stop showering for a week.

    After three days of no shower, the stuff started to go away. (Of course so did pretty much everyone I knew.) After six days it was gone.

    I took a shower on the 7th day and never saw it again.

    Hang in there, Brother.
    Anonymous said...
    So, you don't even have to click "I'm feeling lucky." Yours is the first entry...
    Sorry for the pain.

    WmEarl said...
    Don't you just love germs? You were warned, and lucky us living in the age of modern medicine and medics - treating you like the spoiled piece of meat you really are. Hang in there, the worst part after the pain and healing is the time spent as a slug on profile in the TOC where one never wanted to be unless you are strange... and you aren't that.
    boneman said...
    Well, good news/bad news.
    I got here via a cool gal in Florida who has posted your site on her blog. She's a sweetie, and, I'll betcha if you ask real nice, she'd send you some cookies.
    You could ask me, but, heck, I'm a dude and as an official dude, I can cook up great chicken, pork shoulder steaks, but, I always burn m'cookies.

    Now, as for the bad news.
    Damn I went through the whole system, basic, ait, airborne (yeah, one of those guys that don't like to land on the danged plane he took off in) Nam, Lang Vei, which is closer to Cambodia than North V.N. but, on a strangely barren mountaintop in an engineered bunker (thank God for engineers! We were just helicopter crewchiefs, not hole diggers)worse thing was my pilot got killed, co-pilot nursed in the bird, had to clean meat and blood from the cockpit (51 cal. is like, I guess, a bunch'a small hammers pounding away at things) but, got back with only some ear damage (a bunch of us helicopter meachs were standing around, and we heard the noise, but, not paying attention...thought they were just dropping equipment from a heaight off the ground (love the engineers, laugh at the engineers) but a couple of close mortar rounds pretty much gave me a forever tinitnitus (damn, even with the noise in my ear to this day, I can't spell the stupid thing) but then....) While doing the med rounds at discharge, a nurse-in-training stuck me for blood, but, no blood showed up.
    Pulled out the needle, stuck me again, still no blood.
    Stuck me a third time and suddenly a golf ball sized lump appears where the needle went it.
    He leans forward to remove it, I guess, but, I'm thinking, what the heck. Maybe stay in the army a few more years till this guy ain't working here no more. I back up, he protests, but not loudly enough. I start to wander out'a the room (needle and "golf ball" still in place, he gets a lot louder, and some rank walks in.
    "What's the problem, here?"
    this guy starts talking real fast, but, I pull my arm around in front of the rank and point, the trainee gets sent elsewhere, rank takes the needle out, asks for the other arm and (I can still feel it) plunges into my right arm, zip-zop! Bam, and I'm out'a there!

    I'll take the hurt anytime...just as long as the end results aren't a golf ball on my arm.

    Well, keep your head down. Stay safe and come home!
    Jenni said...
    Doughboy, you're still the man. Only you would take pictures while they're cleaning that up!!!
    Shari said...
    Hope your leg gets better soon....I had a toe, my BABY TOE for that matter, get infected once. It hurt to HELL...and I have birthed children!!!! I can't imagine what that leg would feel like... Hopefully its starting to heal by now....

    Stay tough
    Calista said...
    Hope that gets back to normal and that they let you out before you chew through your wrists!
    Anonymous said...
    I know how much you like to gross people out, but DUDE! That was DISGUSTING! I own a daycare, and I've seen poopy diapers that weren't that gross! Woof! Now that's burned permanently into my brain- along w/ the sound you made when he told you to sit on your hands. Nothing like leaving a lasting impression on the world, man!

    Aunt Sandy
    OIF3 said...
    Those type of infections are pretty common there. All it takes is to pop the wrong pimple or scratch the wrong scab. One of my team leaders tried popping one on his A$$ and ended up having to do the daily gauze pack routine you describe. Resist the urge.
    the more things change... said...
    Well, i guess that stryker dude i saw somewhere on Military.com today wasn't you...

    Man! I kept waiting for you to tell us it was the infamous brown recluse spider that did the damage to your leg, but YIKES, I don't think they cause that kind of pain...a hole where some skin & necrotic flesh used to be, but not the daily torture thing...

    btw, thanks for the tip re: HOUSE TO HOUSE...the radio problems with the marines and the cluster fuck at the breech reminded me of the old saw that battle plans become obsolete about the time the battle begins...

    and hey, are we to believe that the TOC isn't really the nail-biting nerve center we see on THE UNIT...damn!
    kbug said...
    I'm so sorry that you're in pain...but you had me rolling the way you described it. Hang tough, it'll be over soon...isn't that what they always tell you?? :)
    wakingdaydreams said...
    I work in a hospital, so instead of getting some well deserved sympathy from me, all I can think is "how can he be in the desert for the last 6 or 7 months and still be so pasty white?"

    Sorry dude...
    Jessie said...
    Hey, imagine having that packing in your ass, right near the crack. Oh, yeah, that was a fun couple of months. It was a hole about 4 inches long and 2 deep. Damn diabetic abscess. I couldn't even sit up for like a month.
    Red said...
    SH*T! That looks like all kinds of fun...NOT. Hang in there man. You would have to take pics of that. lol.
    Army Sergeant said...
    You are a masochistic (insert expletive here). Also, you know you're a milblogger when you document for further posting rather than simply screaming obscenities at the doc.

    Also, nice, on the google supremacy.
    Anonymous said...
    Hehe, I was thinking the EXACT same thing Mandy was. Don't hate me. ^_^

    Anonymous said...
    I know I shouldn't, but you have me laughing. As bizarre as it is I have your blog saved to my favorites. Mid America ex teacher, professional, old enough to be your grandmother, I love your writing because you have talent. Oh sorry, I didn't mean to tarnish your image.
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