Saturday, October 06, 2007

Blogs are Educational

Good morning class. Today we are going to learn two new words. Are you ready? I knew you were. Our first word of the day is:

Pneumoconiosis

Can you say, “pneumoconiosis?” Good! I bet you want to know what it means, right? Well open a dictionary and look it up you lazy piece of sh… Sorry. This is supposed to be educational, so I just tell you. Pneumoconiosis is an occupational lung disease caused by the inhalation of dust. The type of dust determines the type of disease. You may have heard of Coal Workers Lung (Black Lung), Asbestosis, or Silicosis. There is another type of pneumoconiosis and it comes from sand. That’s right, just like the kind you get in a desert. Like in Iraq. In the average year, a person in Iraq will inhale the equivalent of ½ to 1 cup of sand. Some are lucky and breathe it right back out. Others are not so lucky and have lung changes that never go away. Ever. How do we know who gets sick and who doesn’t? We don’t. Smokers have a worse time clearing their lungs (thank God I never smoked), but sometimes otherwise perfectly healthy people are forever changed by exposure to this much dust. Could you wear some sort of protective mask, you ask? I guess, but it’s hard enough to breathe in this heat, and the type of HEPA mask necessary to block out this kind of dust isn’t readily available, and probably wouldn’t be used if it was.

Our next word is:

Leishmaniasis

Can you say... aw fuck it. I tell you about this one, too. This is a particularly nasty disease that is transmitted by the bite of certain species of sand fly. In the US, we call them no-see-ums, and they are merely annoying. Here in Iraq we call them “Those damned little pieces of shit that you never see bite you but leave a mark exactly like a fire ant bite.” If you’ve never had a fire ant bite, ask a Texan or Floridian about them. That’s right - flying fire ants! Hoo-ah! When you get the disease here, it even earned its own cool nickname, “The Baghdad boil.” How cute!

In tomorrows class we’ll discuss shoving a hot poker up your ass. It’s just as fun as these diseases, but you never have to leave home!

1 comment:

The Sister said...

The things our recruiters never told us. Over here on the ROK I had the awesome opportunity to travel to China. Visions of finding myself through introspective meditation while perched upon the Great Wall danced through my head. Then I filed my paperwork. Among warnings of Malaria, Bird Flu and Tuburculosis I was told to "go and have fun!" I went. Sat upon the Great Wall. Came back to the ROK and promptly found out that by having gone to China I am never allowed to give blood again.