The down and dirty of the emergency

Let me first explain that the word emergency is not about threat emergency.  I want to discuss those uncomfortable moments that will find themselves creeping up on you, and it will.  We have spoken about how you have to be cognizant of what you eat on a detail and that is for a couple reasons.  The wrong combination of protein/carbohydrate/fat ratio can make the most fit specialist lethargic and finding themselves struggling to stay awake and aware.

The second issue is that eating improperly can expedite or bring upon an unscheduled need to visit the toilet.  No sense in avoiding the topic becuase we all have been there.  On my first trip to Liberia, I was warned over and over to NOT ingest anything that uses the local water.  I limited my meals to poultry and salads.  The fish sold there were local “line” fish and the ocean was contaminated.  The lettuce was shipped in from the Netherlands.  What I didn’t take in consideration was that they washed the lettuce before they served it. High five to the hotel for cleanliness but a abruptly slap in my face for missing that one thing.

The next morning we had a major movement to the Liberian President’s office.  While in the lobby briefing the team on the schedule I had that unmistakable grumbling that I knew was far different than any other I had experienced in my adult life.  I immediately turned over the shift to Minister.  I reached in my pocket in my IFAK and grabbed 2 immodium AD and 1 cipro pill and sprinted to my room.  The cipro and immodium combo acted fast and shut the issue down.  I recovered within minutes and returned before the principal was ready to leave.

I know of one highly experienced specialist that was the detail leader of a detail overseas and literally had his driver pull over during their route planning, to relieve himself on the side of the road.  This can be a serious issue if you are unable to manage or hold that urge to go.

Watch what you eat and drink even in CONUS.  You don’t want to go down as a specialist that stinks.  Not in capabilities but literally.


  1. Tracie

    I know that feeling of the urge to go. I was working a hip hop show where i was posted at the front of the stage. The fast food I had started working against my stomach and i had to go. Image trying to get to a bathroom on another side of the arena worst feeling in the world. What are some good snacks to eat before a detail?

    1. Eric Konohia

      Clean foods
      Fruits nuts seeds and good quality bars like Odwalla or Clift

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