War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

being DAGged

This is quick reminder to readers and an intro to new readers of this site, that my lack of Capital Letters is intentional, as are the short, breathy, sentences. This “form” is meant to reflect the temporal nature of war, it’s nerviness, it’s breathlessness, as well as the fact that what you are reading is NOT finished work, but rather, I am letting you into my sketchbook. You are witnessing the creative process at its early stages.

today, a beautiful summer day here on the west coast, I drove into town down to the base hospital and began the process known as DAGging. the term DAG, comes from Deployment Assistant Group, the team that prepares military for serving overseas.

DAGging consists of health checks, visits with the social workers, preparing financial and other arrangements which need to be taken care of while one is away, last will and testament, etc. etc.

my DAGging, as a civilian artist going for a very short time, really only consists of making sure my vaccinations are up to date, taking a first aid course, and of course, making sure kith and kin are well-cared for.

so today, I arrived at Naden’s hospital wearing a sleeveless top ready to offer up my left arm for my country… Nurse H greeted me with a big smile as I walked into her office and then presented me with a huge list of inoculations she deemed necessary for someone of my vintage (they hadn’t even invented some of these vaccines when I was a kid and I’m not joking!!!)… I honestly couldn’t remember the last jab I’d received so she informed me that I’d be a human pin cushion by the time she was through with me… a little plea bargaining, and I convinced Nurse H to just give me three vaccines today, another three in a month, and then the final three (or is it four or five), a month later

she sat me up in a high chair, swabbed me down, then carefully chose the smallest needle she had (“not much of you is there,” she said). three, two, one, jab… holy crap, if that was the littlest needle I’d hate to experience the biggest…

“all done?” I asked.

“yup,” she said, “the first one” then proceeded to swab an entirely different part of my arm and give it a jab

now I’m no wimp (just ask my husband who watched the anesthetist put an epidural into my spine before my daughter was born… I didn’t even wince), but those little needles hurt like hell, and as I write, my upper left bicep is definitely aching

“here, have a candy,” Nurse H offered, “the guys always take one after they get their shots. and here’s your vaccinations book. good for the rest of your life… shows that you’re good to go.”

I grabbed a toffee, popped it in my mouth, went to sit outside her office after her recommendation, “until I know you won’t go all chickeny on me and faint.”

well I didn’t go wobbly, I sat a minute, read a military mag., stood up and headed out.

“see you in a month,” I said to Nurse H

“I’ll be here,” she waved.

I hand-sani’ed and made my way out into the sunshine absolutely certain I’d made her day.

1 Comment (Closed)


Ouch!! My last experience with a ‘Dag’ left me having to stay on this continent. Those innoculations don’t always work as they should… and, ouch!

Jun 23 2009 · 22:04

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled being DAGged. It was posted here on June 23, 2009.


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