I have my brother John Howard of Battlefield Acupuncture fame to thank for the gift of my Bethesda Naval Hospital, Marine Amputee Grand Rounds experience. From which I have never recovered. Walking up and down a long corridor housing 17 Marines, hanging on, wracked by phantom pain, and trollied down to ICU regularly for debraiding, and recovery from the lala-land of morphine. We entered each room geared up in gel, gloves, and disposabal gown over our scrubs. Infection was the new enemy.
One Marine we looked in on was fading fast. Both legs and an arm blown-off. Tubes everywhere. Hyper-ventilating. Waxen, ashen face, covered with a light sheen of sweat. What to do? Anything? I looked down at his stumps. A voice said no Kidney channel, Kidneys pull down Lung Qi. Ear is the Entrance to the Kidney. Some force took an ASP dart clutched in my hand and pushed it in the Kidney point on his ear. He grinned weakly, started breathing more evenly, and whispered "Oooorah".
John and I finished up our rounding, and on the way off the ward passed by a door with a big red placard taped on it, with the following Marine message:
ATTENTION TO ALL WHO ENTER HERE!
If you are coming into this room with sorrow or because you feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the Freedom of a Countyr I deeply love.
I am incredibly tough, and will make a full recovery. What is full? That is the absolute utmost physically my body has the ability to recover. Then I will push that about 25% further through sheer mental tenacity.
This room you are about to enter is a room of fun, optimism, and intense, rapid regrowth. If you are not prepared for that GO ELSEWHERE.
I can say nothing more. Only committed, full-out action is the appropriate response.