17 August 2011

I’m ba-a-ck ... I think

I hurt all over! No, it isn’t flu, it is “crash and bang!” There are several postings around the world where U.S. Foreign Service personnel are at an increased risk for things, such as mob mentality, kidnapping or targeted terrorism. If we are assigned to such a post, we are tasked to complete a defensive driving course, the idea being that we out-drive the threat and get to safety. My Pakistan assignment requires me to take this course.

We are taken to a racetrack in the boonies to drive worn-out police cars way too fast. I probably wouldn’t complain if it was just speeding, though I am truly a granny driver. No, we have to drive through water so we can skid and try to stop the inevitable donut-spin that comes if you don’t brake absolutely correctly! We must ram an almost done-for vehicle into the front, then the back, of a totally done-for vehicle, to move the thing out of our path.

Then there is the exercise of driving forward at about 40 mph, stopping as quickly as possible, backing up using mirrors and doing a rapid Y-turn so you are going back the way you came. I don’t get motion sickness easily, and I’m not a whiney person, but I am sure whining over this experience.

The requirement is 100 percent participation, so when I place my hand over my stomach and turn my green face toward the instructor, he simply asks, “Do you need to hurl before we continue?” Considering that my abdominal contents are unsure which way to face forward and that’s it’s 100 degrees,, yes, that is exactly what I must do.

My three days of vehicular terror are over. I had such a nice weekend planned, but now it consists of moving from the tub of hot water, where my very sore muscles are trying to un-spasm, to the couch, where I lay quietly, trying to convince my stomach that life is back to normal. Before this experience, people would tell me “crash and bang” was great fun. Just goes to prove, once again, one size does not fit all!

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.


  1. Judie,
    My name is Ashleigh and I have very much enjoyed learning about your journey as a nurse practitioner. I would love to ask you some questions about your job as I am interested in the possibility of doing what you seem to be so good at. Is there an email address where I can reach you if you don't mind me asking some questions? Thanks so much.
    Ashleigh W.

  2. Ashleigh, Send a message through the flower icon, JHP, on followers to the left.


  3. What a funny story! I laughed aloud when I read it. I do greatly enjoy reading your blogs. They encourage me through the overwhelming journey of being an FNP student. Thanks for sharing your adventures!