When we arrived at the hospital a corpsman (USMC navy medic) took my temperature, looked at my leg, and said he was going to get a doctor. The doctor came in and took one look and said it looked like I had a serious infection.
The next couple of hours was a whirlwind of activity. I’m admitted, I’m poked, I’m prodded, and I’m told I have a hairline fracture in my tibia that has gotten seriously infected. I’m also told that they may have to perform surgery! I’m not happy at all.
if I’m away from my platoon for too long, I’ll get dropped and have to go to a different platoon to finish boot camp. I explained that to the doctor and he said they’d know their course of action within a few days. In the meantime I’d be hooked to an IV with some heavy doses of antibiotics going into my body. Either way I wouldn’t be out of the hospital for at least a couple of weeks.
Once I was discharged from the hospital I’d have to spend a week or two in the medical rehabilitation platoon. I was so mad and disappointed! That settled it, I was going to be dropped by my platoon and would be stuck in boot camp even longer. The doctor apologized and said I was actually pretty fortunate, if the infection had gotten much worse there was a real possibility that I’d lose part of my leg, and that the infection could actually kill me. I felt a little better about everything after hearing that, but not too much.
My stay in the hospital was actually pretty relaxing. After a few days I was given a wheel chair and was able to move around the ward. There was television and a very nice second floor balcony we could go to and pass time. Smoking was allowed and we were able to order items from the post exchange. I felt somewhat guilty about all these things, because my friend Charlie was still with the platoon and I was living the high life.
After two weeks in the hospital, I was transferred to the “Medical Rehabilitation Platoon” for another week, before returning to recruit training. There were a couple of differences between the hospital, rehab platoon, and regular boot camp. The biggest difference was the way you dressed. For the first half of boot camp we didn’t starch our utilities or covers (hats). We also didn’t blouse our trousers, and had to button our collars. They wanted us to look like anything but Marines at that point.
While in the hospital or rehab platoon, we had to dress just like we were stationed there and not in recruit training. Even worse, it was easy to quit acting like a recruit. These facts would soon cause me major problems …
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