Tag Archives: medicine

The Casualties of War

3 Oct

In case you haven’t heard, a US airstrike in Afghanistan has led to the death of several personnel who were part of a doctors without borders facility stationed there. You can read about it here.

I find it tragic that those humans that were doing their best to undo the damage that war causes were, themselves, casualties to the same war. I also find it tragic that these lives seem to matter more than the other civilian lives lost.

The article I’m referencing is from the Times, and while they make mention of other Afghanistani civilian lives lost, it is written to bear less weight than the people in this hospital. Apparently there is outrage at our decisions to make an airstrike in this location, and maybe there was some miscommunication, or misinformation surrounding and leading to it, but this article (and the outraged people) seem to lack understanding of how airstrikes work.

Forgive me, and correct me, if I’m wrong (I’m not a military expert), but the nature of an airstrike alone lends itself to killing unwanted targets. We can type in coordinates, and launch whatever ammo we are using in a particular situation, but we can’t say there are 30 people in a building and we only want to bomb 5 of them. It doesn’t work that way.

Any war, at any time has caused civilian casualties. We seem to feel okay if its “the enemies” civilian casualties versus our own, but we shouldn’t. And we shouldn’t feel okay about either, no matter who it is causing them.

My hope is that maybe this situation will help more people realize that civilian casualties aren’t uncommon, and there are more reasons than just a fallen soldier and money to fight less. I also hope that they do look into what happened that lost these doctors their lives, wounding so many others in this hospital, and they find that the original threat was an actual threat. No one will be happy with that, of course, but at least if this is founded, these people didn’t die for no reason.

Finally, I would like to note that this article was so right when they described the capability to perform airstrikes as “devastating”.


Do You Self-Diagnose?

18 Apr


With the vast number of resources out there and the wealth of information, its no surprise that people often self-diagnose their illnesses. Some of us may seriously think there is something wrong (hypochondriacs), while others may just off-handedly comment on their “illness”.

A few weeks ago I went through a period of time in which I had so much energy and my mind was racing and I just had so many thoughts that I needed to get out that it was impossible. I felt like I was invincible. This went on for about 4 days, and then I woke up the next morning and it was like someone had sucked the life right out of me. I felt dull, I was exhausted, and my level of functioning seemed to be at 0. I didn’t want to do a single thing.

I went to work, and was telling a coworker about it, and she commented that it was scary. I thought that was weird, but then she commented it sounded like I had a bipolar episode. Later that day, I randomly commented that I was bipolar.

Now I wasn’t necessarily serious, but we all do things like that. Think of how many times you say something about your “OCD”. Maybe two days ago I commented on my OCD – I check my zipper multiple times per day. I don’t honestly know if I have a disorder (I probably don’t), but so many people say they have these things when really, they don’t.

Especially with things like webMD’s symptom checker, I’m sure that more and more patients are going to their doctors telling them that they have some rare and unlikely illness.

Do you ever [seriously or otherwise] self-diagnose yourself? Do you catch yourself saying you have OCD or something similar? Have you ever dealt with hypochondria in you or a friend?