11/08/2012

38 Days

In 38 days Squishy graduates from college!

This is a huge change in our relationship. After three and a half years of dating and 4 years of knowing each other he will be within 30 minutes of me everyday. I will be able to see him more than every month or two.

I cannot imagine that it will feel that different at first but as the time stretches on past 1 month, 2 months, I know it will sink in. I am excited for this change in our relationship.

So far in our relationship we have had summer and winter breaks together, occasional long weekends, and weekly phone calls. Lately the phone calls and texts have become more and more frequent as the end is so near.

This was the hardest semester for both of us. Each time we have to say see you later it becomes just a little harder to do so. This is because over the years of a long distance relationship we have become so close. Just the fact that for so long our entire relationship has been based on talking and learning as much as we could about each other.

For now he is applying for jobs and trying to find a job close to home.

I will be going back to school come January and will be working a full time job and being a full time college student at the same time. Along with the stress of that I have car payments for the car I just purchased because my old one was not long for this world. We will also likely be getting engaged and possibly even married in the mean time and trying to pay off the $100,000+ in student loans he had to take out to go to school.

But I am excited. Very very excited.

8/19/2012

Legitimate Rape

Todd Akin
Dear Todd Akin,
I am composing this letter to you and anyone who believes some of the worthless drivel that comes out of your mouth.

I hope with all my heart that you do not have a daughter, a wife, a sister, a niece, an aunt or a mother you love. I am assuming you do not and if you do I hope they are never assaulted.

I heard recently that you made a comment stating that if it was a "legitimate rape" there would be no need for an abortion because the body has ways of dealing with that.

Really!

Ok let us start slowly here...

Do you honestly believe that statement? By saying that you are saying that any woman who reports a rape and gets pregnant did not get raped.

Oh that is not what you meant... Let me guess you think women will use the excuse "I got raped" to justify an abortion. I have news for you. The number of women who lie about being raped is much lower then number who do not report having been raped.

Oh you did not know that. Did you also not know that most women are raped before the age of 18? Which in most states is the age for consent.

( I used women in this letter because men do not need abortions. I know either gender can be raped.)

Oh you did not know that?
Are you also unaware that the process for reporting a rape is horrible.
After you have already been violated you have to answer probing questions about your sex life and sexual partners. They will also ask you multipletimes if you said no or fought back. Bought asked why you were dressed like that and why you were where you were.

You have to strip naked in a room with some one watching.
Then you have to stand there while the photograph you injuries while still naked.
Then they comb your hair and cut your finger and toenails so they can collect evidence of your attacker.
After that you lay on a bed and they do a gyneocological exam on you. I have to tell you that after you have been raped the last thing you want in there is a speculum.


So now that we have got the basic facts of how a rape exam goes how does one go about proving a "Legitimate rape"?

Do I have to not be able to sit down for a week due to the extensive bruises on the genitals and surrounding areas?
Is the fact that I was a VIRGIN and UNDERAGE taken into account?
Is the fact he out weighed me taken into account?
Should I have to let him actually crush my wind pipe while he had his hand squeezing my throat so I could not speak?
Should I have kept fighting when he placed the knife against my skin and threatened to cut the artery if I kept fighting?
Should I have had a camera crew follow me around my whole life just so when I did get pregnant I had proof it was not consensual?
If I had had a camera crew there when I was being raped do I have to just send the tape to you? Do I take it to my doctor when I go in for prenatal care? If I do have an abortion do I have to take it withe then too?
Should I have asked the rapist to sign a piece of paper stating that I fought hard, begged him not to do it, told him I was too young, cried as he hurt me, only stopped fighting when my life was in danger, and that it was not consensual sex?
Should the rapist also have to sign saying I was not dressed provocativly?

When my pregnancy with the child I conceived from that attack began having troubles in utero how far should I have had to go to keep the pregnancy viable at risk to my own life and career and my ability to ever have children of my own?

What about the second time I was raped?
Can I still fight for it to be considered a "legitimate rape"?
I know it was the second time it happened so it must be my fault, right?
Is it still my fault if I know self defense?
Try never to be alone anywhere?
Was just studying and happened to have to use the restroom at the wrong time?
My fault that he drugged me and tied me up?
My fault for dressing too sexy in a baggy pair of jeans and an old ratty sweat shirt?

Just wondering how to prove my rapes were legitimate despite the fact that both times I was raped I conceived a child.

Can I collect money from the rapist or you for the prenatal care and treatments I needed? For the loss of time at work due to the pregnancy? Who pays for me to give the child away to a loving family?

Who pays for the PTSD I suffer to this day because of what happened to me?

Once again I really feel for any woman in your life.

Sincerely One Angry Survivor

9/23/2011

Songs my sister sings

Me and my sister are close. Pretty much from day 1 we have just had that bond. We are sometimes the same person and others we are the ying and yang, peanut butter and jelly. It is interesting but it works. She likes to sing old songs and recently I have been hearing them more and more as she sings them while rocking Monkey (kidlet #1) to sleep. These are just 2 of the songs I am learning. Please ignore the outfits these are from SCA events. I was too lazy to get my sister to sing them for me.


I am my mother's savage daughter,
The one who runs barefoot, cursing sharp stones.
I am my mother's savage daughter,
I will not cut my hair, I will not lower my voice.

My mother's child is a savage.
She looks for her omens in the colors of stones,
In the faces of cats, in the fall of feathers,
In the dancing of fire and the curve of old bones.

Refrain

My mother's child dances in darkness,
And she sings heathen songs by the light of the moon,
And watches the stars, and renames the planets,
And dreams she can reach them with a song and a broom.

Refrain

Now my mother's child curses too loud and too often.
My mother's child laughs too hard and too long,
And howls at the moon and sleeps in ditches,
And clumsily raises her voice in this song.

Refrain

Now we all are brought forth out of darkness and water,
Brought into this world through blood and through pain,
And deep in our bones the old songs are waking,
So sing them with voices of thunder and rain!

(i) We are my mother's savage daughters,
The ones who run barefoot, cursing sharp stones.
We are my mother's savage daughters,
We will not cut our hair, we will not lower our .

(ii) We are my mother's savage daughters,
The ones who run barefoot, cursing sharp stones.
We are my mother's savage daughters,
We will not cut our hair, we will not lower our .

(iii) We are my mother's savage daughters,
The ones who run barefoot, cursing sharp stones.
We are my mother's savage daughters,
We will not cut our hair, we will not lower our voice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY3I1-ZG2Rc


Sheild my Kinsmen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UDqnyCs2rc Starts at 00:40.

Shield my kinsmen from their foes
and from the teeth of the wind.
Shield my kinsmen from sorrow and from shame
until fate brings us shoulder to shoulder
to stand as brothers again.

We are the children of the ice and snow
and of the golden plains and rolling hills.
We are the children of the water, cold and wide,
and cool dark forests--
we are the people
we are the people of our home, Northshield.

The winter tries to break us on its anvil made of ice
but our blood beats hot and true as steel.
Not a drop of it is spilled on our pure white snow
but what was bought by rivers
Crimson rivers
crimson rivers of our foemens' own!

We are the keepers of our future and our past
and the names of our heroes passed and gone
on whose courage, strength and wisdom
the Northshield stands--
teach their stories to your children
To our children
'til their names are written in our blood and bone.

Now we run behind the hawk who leads the way to war
for he flies in the fashion that we live--
like a keen and blooded spear poised at the Dragon's side
we will face our foemen
and fight for the honor
Fight for the honor of our home, Northshield!

Shield my kinsmen from their foes and
from the teeth of the wind.
Shield my kinsmen from sorrow and from shame
until fate brings us shoulder to shoulder
to stand as brothers again.

9/08/2011

Post Expo

It was amazing to meet everyone at the EMS World Expo in Las Vegas Nevada last week. So a quick overview of the week.

Sunday: I flew into Vegas on Sunday night. I stayed with my grandparents that night. I got to their house, ate dinner, swam and then went to bed early.


Monday: On Monday morning I woke up early and was supposed to meet @ssgbroyles at his hotel. Unfortunately I was at the wrong hotel and after 15 minutes I figured it out. So on my first day alone in Vegas I also took my first cab ride ever! (I was soo glad that I had cash on me for that adventure). When I got to my hotel/ the conference center I still had 30 minutes until class started. I decided to see if I could check into my room early. Luckily for me the hotel clerk was able to get me into a room that very minute. A room that just so happened to be 10 feet from the elevator. In case y'all do not know i am directionally challenged in the urban environment. I literally threw my things on the bed and rushed to check in before my first class. Little did I know every one had waited until the last moment to check in and there was quite a line. As I was checking in there were many many people around me in camo. I happened to see a SSG with the name Broyles on his uniform. So I introduced myself to the infamous @SSGBroyles.


I was very nearly late for class due to the size of the line and the fact that I had no clue where my classroom was. However I made it and was offically checked in for my first conference class. I took Basic EKGs for EMTs because EKGs are the thing I struggle the most with and I know I need as much help and as much practice as I can possibly get. The class was great and was taught by 2 Paramedics. Much of what was taught on Monday was review for me however some of it was new to me and it was great to just see everything again and have time to start with the basics.


Monday night was the night I first started meeting all my internet friends in person. And like some other people I had the urge to just walk up to people and ask them if they were from the internet. That was the night on the way to the Bellagio me and @ssgbroyles got lost and walked 2-3 miles out of our way to get to where we needed to go. When we finally got there I met @SamBradley11 @MsParamedic @EMTHOTTIE28 @CowTownMedic @emtmom71 For the first time in person. These are people I had been talking to for quite awhile and in most cases reading their blog posts religiously and listening to their podcasts. These people were pretty much famous in my world. Then I had the privileged to meet @Grindermedic. We sat at the Bellagio for awhile shooting the breeze then we decided that we should go and eat. We had delicious food at a restaurant I cannot remember the name of and then it was back to the Hilton. I had decided to go to bed when I was informed that @PenguinEMT was in the lobby with her husband. I went in search of them, turns out I passed the two of them in the lobby 3 times before I finally looked at the people I was wit and asked what @PenginEMT looked like. @EMTHOTTIE28 turned around and said "Like that" as she pointed to the couple I had been seeing wandering for 10 minutes. I introduced myself and hung out for a little bit before I begged their leave and left with the satement "Some of us have to go to class in the morning". And then ended my first official night of the EMS World Expo at 0230.



Tuesday: On Tuesday morning I woke up at 0630 in order to eat breakfast and grab a shower before class at 0800. I met a few cool people in my class. A few airmen and a EMT-B named Nick from Nevada. We had a great time trying to beat the other teams in the class in a full class online EMS game. Our team lost on a technicality. We were released early from class because we elected to skip breaks to get the class time in faster. After I got out of class I was asked by the #notatexpo crowd to post pictures of the EMS conference. So I took a long walk from my room the the conference hall and back. I took pictures roughly every 100-200 feet and tagged them #notatexpo for all of those missing out for one reason or another. I tried to get intot he Expo hall but was informed that it was only open to exhibitors until the next day. At that point I went back to my room and grabbed my swimming suit and went swimming. I had a fun time just relaxing in the pool then I went back to my room and grabbed a quick nap.

10 minutes into my nap @EMTHOTTIE28 and @emtmom71 texted me and we headed to margaritaville for drinks before we went to the ZOLL Blogger Bash at The Hard Rock Cafe.Walking into That night was the blogger bash that was put on by Zoll. That night was the moment where I first truely learned about the second introduction. That was also the night where I had to decide whether or not I would be coming out to everyone in the room as FrecklesEMTP after my first introduction. So I just decided to go for it. I had been reading what these people had to say for over a year finally I would get to meet everyone in person. The first person I met was Charlotte. Charlotte is one of the Zoll representatives that was incharge of the whole shindig. The Zoll people rented out the entire 3rd floor of The Hard Rock Cafe for the night just for us. There were over 160 people there on that floor and I tried to meet as many people as I could in the time we were there. Most of it consisted of "Hi my name is ___" then they would respond "Hi, I am ____" And then you would get "I am __(insert twitter handle here)__" and the other peson would do the same. Then you would see the realization in their eyes like "Oh I know you from the internet". I was humbled that some of the people I have seen on the internet and follow religiously the people I look up to actually knew who I was. That night I managed to make it to bed by 130.


Wednesday On Wednesday morning I once again woke myself up early to get to class however today was the first day of the conference classes. First class was trouble shooting the vague complaint. The class was mostly example based with the entire class writing notes and diagnosing as we went. My event was the opening ceremony. Due to Irene we had a different guest speaker for the opening ceremony. I came in late due to a room change so I id not get to see or hear much of the speeches. After the opening ceremony I was able to walk around the exhibit hall for awhile. I met up with @epijunky and @TC_Lifesaver and a few other people and we hit the Zoll booth. We practiced CPR against a machine and learned about some of the cool new products and systems they have in place. I especially loved the free for everyone ability to transmit 12 leads to facilities.


That night I went to Ellis Island in Las Vegas with @theHappyMedic, @WmRandomWard, @Medicskb, @MsParamedic, @chicagomedic. The food was great the beer and root beer were made in house and the food was the least expensive I had all week. We then made our way to the something Haus and people were drinking beer by the liter as I was watching and laughing. @PenguinEMT and @epijunky met us there after they were finished seeing Phantom of the Opera live on stage. After that we moved to the Hard Rock hotel bar adn casino. Where @NJDiveMedic magically appeared. Hilarity ensued and at 0230 @SamBradley11 and I decided to take our respective groups of slightly intoxicated people back to their hotels. It took ssome conjoling and convincing but I managed to make it back home by 0315.


Thursday On Thursday morning it was hard to actually drag myself out of bed to grab a shower and shuffle to class in time. However I made it tomy first class with 5 minutes to spare. My first class of the day was Pediatric drowning and learning about prevention, the treatment of, and how to recognize one in progress it was a great class for all EMTs and anyone with small children. The next class was crush injury versus crush syndrome. This was one of the 4 classes I asked for the power point for as I really wanted to be able to share the information with other EMTs in my service and with my medical director. This class was very informative and taught at a very in depth but easy to understand way. My next class was in the same room and I had a great discussion of protocols across services while waiting for the class to start. My next class of the day was about the other causes of breathing difficulty besides asthma. The class was lead from case to case and we had to come up with a DD and TX and slowly had assessment finding filled in for us and had to amend TX and DD as we went. @TC_Lifesaver and I walked around the Exhibit hall for awhile and were asked how long we had been married. That elicited the comment from me of "No. He is old enough to be my dad." After that comment math was done and we discovered he happened to be exactly old enough to have fathered me but 5 years younger than my father. Then we headed to separate classes for the afternoon.

I went to Cardiac Mapping for STEMIs I just want to say this class alone would have been enough to justify me going to Las Vegas. I had an incredibly hard time learning how to read 12 leads while I was still in Paramedic school. Given enough time I can read any 12 lead with decent accuracy it was frustrating for me to have to work so hard to read 12 leads. And it was not getting any easier for me to read them as time went on. Scott Vivier was the man who changed all of this for me. At the beginning of the class he informed us that we would only be writing on our hands. I thought this seemed silly however this was the best way I have ever seen to lear where each lead is looking at on the heart. Walking out of that class I had random letters and numbers all over my hand however I could very quickly read 12 leads without hesitation. I was wiggling like a little puppy who had just been given a new toy leaving that class.

My next class was @AmboDriver's class for instructors.(Yeah I know I am not an instructor) But I love to teach so I will probably end up teaching eventually. I ended up telling @TC_Lifesaver all about my last class before class started. @AmboDriver presented great strategies for having your students want to learn and how to make sure they all get the most out of the class. There was a brief moment however where he forgot he was wearing a kilt for Kilted To Kick Cancer and put his foot on a chair. (What has been seen cannot be unseen) But besides that unfortunate accident the class was great.

That night was the Holly wood nights at Planet holly wood in Ceasar's Forumn. The people were great and once again there was a livefeed of tweet deck that we were all posting too about the night. The company was great. After most of the people had cleared there were mostly just internet people left. It was then that @theHappyMedic faced his fears in the form of the clown from poltergeist. There may or not be a video recap in his own words on the internet. That night we finally found our way out of Ceasars and home by 0230.


Friday Friday mornign was the morning I had the hardest time getting out of bed however I dragged my butt to class while eating a granola bar. My first class of the day was @AmboDriver's Lecture on the airway continum. His lecture was based on the Force Continuum Law enforcement uses. It was a great lecture and a helpful reminder that just because you can does not mean you have to. An open and secure airway and proper oxygenation of your pt is what you are trying to accomplish.

Then I went to the calss on the new AHA guidelines for peds and adults where we spent most of the time discussing arbitrary new changes, procedures, and products that most of us will never see in the field.

After that I tried my hardest to see every booth I had not yet seen in the expo hall. I got lots of cool presents and promises to have presents sent to me in order to show my boss and hopefully have him purchase some of the products I saw that would make the crews lives easier on a daily basis.

My last class for the day and the Expo was @theHappyMedic's presentation entitled "How a Blog Saved My Life" as someone who had been reading the blog almost from the very beginning and who has read every post I thought I knew most of the story but I was still very interested to hear what he had to say. This is the man who taught me that it is alright to state what you feel adn put it out into the ether that is the internet and as long as you do it appropriately and politely it does not matter if people agree or not because it is yours and for you. As he said "It is like yelling into an empty room" it is for you and no one else and it helps sometimes.

That Night we went to @scoolgirl101 and @leatherheadff 's weddign at La Bella chapel in the Hilton hotel. After that we all decided to spend our last night together in Vegas sitting in the bar in our hotel lobby at tables together and just talking and hanging out. At the end of the night when I decided I needed to turn in or I would never get up for my flight in the morning. There were many goodbye hugs adn promises to see each other soon but not as soon as any of us would like. I headed up to my room and packed my duffel bag and back pack to make it easier for me to leave at 0700 the next morning.

Saturday I met @PenguinEMT and her husband along with @cowtownmedic and we all shared a cab to the airport. And that is where I made my final goodbyes for the conference. I made my way to my check in counter to find out that my flight had already been delayed 2 hours. my only thougt was great. I made my way through security in a matter of minutes and sat down in the terminal to eat breakfast. I opened my computer to watch ome movies I had on my hard drive. After having my computer on for a few minutes I realized that McCarren had free wifi. Which made my day. I was able to check emails, play games, watch hulu, and Skype with family and friends while repacking my bag to make it work better for me. When my flight finally boarded I was exhausted and practically fell asleep before the plane even took off. I managed to sleep for an hour on the flight and then I watched Rio on the overhead tv screens. After that I realized that i would most likley not be making my return flight. once again Great. As we pulled up the gate we were de-planing at I realized I had 15 minutes to make my flight. I was very excited. I arived at my gate with 5 minutes to spare and was told that I could not get on the flight. WAIT WHAT. I calmly explained that I had a ticket with a assigned seat for the flight that was taxiing away from the gate as we spoke. I was informed that they had over booked the flight adn after they had boarded the plane and there was no one in my seat and I did not answer the over head pages my seat was given away. I was then informed that the next flight to MKE with open space was leaving at midnight (it was 1755). I was trying my hardest to not yell or steam at the ears, but I was fuming. I calmly informed the airline attendant that I was not late for my flight and my seat had been given away and that was in no way my fault as the flight by their same company had been delayed for 2 hours. And that I absolutely needed to be on the next flight out or I would have no way to get home. The attendant said she would "try". She then looked in the computer they all have adn informed me that there was an earlier flight out and that she could maybe get me on it. When I boarded that plane there were 10 people on it by the time we took off there were 12 people on a plane made for 45 people. I am glad she had to "try" so hard to get me on that flight and to have to act so put out by it. I know she has to deal with yelling and screaming people all day but to treat a customer badly just because it will take 30 more seconds of effort on your part in inappropriate.

Finally I was back in Milwaukee. @Squishy_Eng met me at the airport. We went out to a fancy dinner of McDonalds and then he took me home. I threw all my dirty clothes to the washing machine and laid down on my bed fully clothed. Squishy laid down next to me and cuddled with me until we both fell asleep. He gently woke me up told me to set my alarm for the next morning. He tucked me into bed and told me he would lock the door on his way out.

And Thus ended my First EMS conference. EMS World Expo 2011

8/22/2011

One Year Anniversary

Well folks here it is. As I leave for the EMS Expo this Saturday it will be my 1 year anniversary at work. I cannot believe I have been working as a Paramedic for over a year now. I am surprised by what has changed and what hasn't.

1 year ago today I could barely work a cot properly. I was the quietest voice on any call or any scene. I sat back and watched picking up small tricks listening to how my crewmates handled situations. I was just barely over shaking on every call. A year ago today was my first time ever working on an ambulance, the first time I had ever been in one outside clinicals. I was only allowed to drive without a pt in the back and never emergently.

People doubted I could even run a call because I did not feel I needed to be the loudest voice on scene. They wondered if I should be driving because I actually drove the speed limit and did not always know the fastest way to facilities.

In the last year so much happened. I had rumors spread about me and due to those rumors I was placed on probation. Within my first day of having to run 2 medic again my partner who was supposed to be retraining me decided that everyone was crazy. That I was actually competent and so we went through every thing I was supposed to know and be able to do. He gave me tests so that we would have physical proof of my competance.

I was released to single medic again after a month. People at work finally began not spreading as many rumors and seeing that I was competent. Then due to the ridiculous amount of calls that came in one night I ended up being on the crew with our dispatcher for the night. That dispatcher happened to be the owner/ boss of the company. We ran a pediatric call with a highly unstable pt. (What we did was not important. Everything that should have been done was done.) After the call as we were cleaning the ambulance he turned to me and just had this llok on his face. I asked him what was up and all he said was "I just wanted to let you know you did a great job on that call.". Then he went back to cleaning and picking up. That simple sentence did more than he will ever know for me. In the following days he continued telling people that I was a good medic and people were telling other people. For once the rumors being spread about me were good.

I can work a cot like a champion. I have tamed the finicky IV pumps. I still have yet to do CPR. Within the last month my white cloud finally burst. Every shift I have been slammed. I transferred my first pt to Flight for Life. I did my first IO. I have learned that it is more important sometimes to hold hands with pts and prattle on about random things for an entire transport if it makes your pt feel better. I have learned to listen for the small things people say. I am still the quietest voice on scene. But that is because I do not have to be the loudest to have effective pt care accomplished. I go to my pt and introduce myself. I rely on my partner to talk to bystanders and figure out the story from them. I talk to my pt and take vital signs. My partners are finally realizing that just because I am quiet does not mean that I am not doing my job. And they listen when I ask them if they could please do things for me. I finally am starting to feel good about where I am and what I am doing.

5/31/2011

90 Days to the Expo

So I finally decided that the money I will be spending on the EMS Expo including food, travel, lodging and classes is more than well worth it. So a few days ago I finally purchased the 3 day pass, the plane tickets and the hotel room I would need to accomplish this wonderful adventure.

I have also determined I have 400 dollars for souvenirs, food, and anything else that comes up while I am in Las Vegas.

So now I have to make a packing list for what to bring with me. Figure out what I need to see while i am there, what classes to go to. I need to find out what amazing people are going to be there that I need to fawn over.

So now I have 3 months to get my butt in gear. I am super excited for my first EMS conference ever.

P.S. What does one wear? Bring? Do while not in the conferences?

Until next time me safe.

5/29/2011

The Awkward Post

So This is not EMS related but this is me related. I finally figured out how to explain to people the lasting effects of rape.

Why Rape is like Electrocution:
So let us say for example you have never plugged anything into an outlet before. (Maybe you were never allowed to have electricity in your house or something) I don’t know just play along with me for a minute.

Now let us say that you go to plug something in and you get electrocuted doing it. You have the shock (no pun intended) of what just happened, you have the physical injury of the electricity running through you, and you have the mental association of the only time you have ever plugged anything in you got shocked.

Now you will get over the initial shock pretty quick you will move away from the outlet, drop the cord, maybe cry, tell someone what happened and maybe seek medical attention. People ask you what you were doing. Why you were plugging it in to start with, why you were plugging it in there, why you think it happened, have you ever plugged anything in before, where and what have you all plugged in ect.

Then while you are still in pain, still in shock, they will begin poking at your wounds. Cleaning them, telling you how to take care of them. You will not remember much of what they tell you.

After that is over you go home. You find it hard to sleep because of the pain the first few nights but slowly it gets better and better. Eventually the injuries heal. You maybe left with a few scars but mostly you forget about it most of the time. That is until you see the offending outlet or appliance that injured you. Just seeing them makes your heart rate increase, your palms get sweaty and makes you nervous. But slowly the nervousness lessens.

Your friends begin talking about how they plug things into an outlet all the time and how they enjoy having electricity in their lives. They ask you why you do not like electricity, they buy you appliances that need to be plugged in trying to convince you to try again. They show you the proper way to plug things in and they have conversations about safety when using electricity. But still every time they talk about it your palms sweat, your hands shake and you feel sick.

One day you decide there is no way you can continue your life the way you want to without using electricity. So you find an appliance that will be work it and you get a surge protector and you finally plug something in again. It may take you a very long time to plug it in or you may do it quickly just to get it over with.

Over the years you get more and more comfortable with electricity and most of the time when you use it you never think about the first time you ever used it. However some days you will feel a twinge where you got burned, smell a smell that reminds you of that day, pause an extra second before plugging something in.

It is something that never totally goes away. It just becomes part of your past, something that occasionally flitters through your mind when you are doing other things. The pain lessens, the scars heal, the memory becomes less clear, your palms stop sweating, and your heart rate barely increases.

This is the best way I know to describe to something so intimate and personal.

12/16/2010

Storytime With Freckles #1

Ckemtp was bored the other night on twitter so I offered to tell him a story. This is the story I made up to learn the roles of cells in the immune system.

So once upon a time there was a ninja training ground we shall call Bob. Bob was not just any ninja training ground he was a human!

As Bob had gone about his life he had become sick, and then gotten better, he had been injured, and then gotten better. For this reason Bob never thought about the ninja training facility in his body called his immune system. At some point he had been told of the awesome ninjas living inside of him but as they was always doing their job Bob never really thought about them.

Well one day Bob sustained a particularly nasty cut and he decided to figure out just what was happening inside his body. So he got a friend to use a shrink ray and go inside with a camera and this is what he saw...

There were millions and billions of Ninjas everywhere. And then he spotted them, the invaders, and he was not the only one. At that very minute a Macrophage named Mac walked up to an invader and gobbled him up. Now Mac was a messy eater so he got the invader all over him like he was a 2 year old child.

At that very minute a Helper T cell ninja named Hank spotted the invaders. Now there are T ninjas and B ninjas and they never talk. However Hank talked to both sides even though he was technically a T ninja.

So doing his job he started elbowing the T and B ninjas. At first they were like.. "WTF Hank". And then he pointed to the invades and to Mac and his friends who were having a feast. At that moment they sprung into action the B cells tried to find a matching antibody to the antigens the invaders had on. Finding the right antibody is slow work but eventually they did find the right one. As soon as they did they began mass production of it so that they could fight the invaders by making them unable to replicate or move. They needed more workers to do this fast enough to kill the invaders before they killed Bob. So they began cloning themselves along with the antibody weapons needed.

As all this was happening the cooler T cells began slicing and dicing the invaders where they stood. It was a blood bath and pretty awesome to watch. The T cells also cloned themselves over and over to have a large enough army to fight the invaders off.

Finally the battle ended. Mac and his friends were gorging themselves by eating all the invaders and the invader bits left over from the battle. They then became globby puss that oozed out of Bob's wound.

Hank and his friends managed to recruit many many ninjas of both kinds to help in the fight and he even made clones to help them in the recruiting process.

Once they checked the perimeter and posted guards to prevent furthur invaders from entering the T ninjas and B ninjas had story time.

The T ninjas and the B ninjas sat down all their new children. The ones they had cloned out that second/ minute/ day (all 8 billion of them). And they passed down the story of those invaders. The B ninjas also gave all the children the weapons that had killed the invaders in the end.

However the much cooler T ninjas did not have to pass down weapons, as their children are born killers and do not need weapons to kill.

This passing on of the stories and weapons was tradition among the ninjas. This tradition exists in the hopes that if the invaders ever returned there would be T and B ninjas to remember how to fight them. And hopefully if they remembered and had the tools necessary already they would get up an army faster and make their clone daddies proud by having their own massacre. The End

The scars we all hide.

I have always been surprised by how many people will, when someone is hurting, be like yeah I have been there and have the scars to prove it. I also love the fact that most people have scars, both those that can be seen and those that cannot be seen.

I have had friends who have been too close to the edge of their sanity for any of their friends to be comfortable. That is usually when they get taken aside and are subjected to "show and tell". That is when we give the "We understand a bit of what you are going through... look at my scars... this is what I have been through... we are here for you" speech and they are also told that we love them and want them to be safe.

This solution has worked with 14 out of my last 16 friends. We had one friend that his did not work for and this is her story.

We went to school together and that summer we were working at the same place. She was my best friend and we had know each other for years. Me and her were 2 peas in a pod, inseparable and a little crazy. We were preparing for our freshman year of college trying to make some money for fun at school. We loved our summer job working at camp, playing with kids all day, swimming and teaching swimming lessons.

And then her world came crashing down around her. It was horrible to watch this sweet, wonderful, energetic, charismatic, outgoing 18 year old girl change before our eyes. When we had hung out on Saturday she had been one person and on the Monday after it happened she was completely different. In one day she went from loud to quiet, from a daredevil to skittish, from outgoing to reserved, from being some one who was always hugging others and giving back rubs, to a girl that could not be touched. In 15 minutes of sheer terror she lost everything that made her who she had been. She was a shell of herself and she knew it and hated herself for it.

She told not one of us what had happened that day. She just said she had a bad day and asked us to leave it at that and we respected her wishes. And despite the fact that she was so different, and wearing long sleeves and pants in the middle of summer we let it go for awhile.

Slowly we watched her move baby-step by baby-step closer to who she had been before that summer. She moved at her own pace and week by week she let us know what she needed from us. She would tell us that we were to remind her to stay out of corners, not bit her lips, we were to begin hugging her again, calling her to hang out and telling her that she was to come with us.

And she did it. In 3 months she battled her way back to the point where most of us could forget about the change we had seen that summer and all the events after it.

And then 3 months later she came into my room like she did most days. This day was different though, she told me that she needed to go to the store right then and asked if I would go with her. So I agreed, we went to the store weekly to get food for the week so this was not unusual. As we were walking there I asked her what was so urgent that we needed to go right then. The look she gave me told me that I should let it go. We went into the store and she purchased 3 pregnancy tests. We spent the entire walk home in silence, both of us lost in our own worlds trying to think about how to bring up the elephant in the room.

When we got back to the dorm she stashed the tests and we went to dinner like we did every night. We spent the rest of the night together. I did not know what to say so I simply stayed with her making idle chat. At 2 in the morning she got very quite, grabbed her teddy bear and started to talk in a very quiet but determined voice. She said "I need you to not talk until I am done." Then she started the story I had been waiting 3 months to hear. "On that Saturday night my entire life changed. That night was the night I lost my virginity. That night my whole world fell apart. I did not want to believe it was real. I wanted to pretend it was all a dream."

At that moment everything that I had seen in the past months made more sense. I told her that I was sorry that that had to happen to her and that I was there if she needed anything. She demanded my silence, I was not allowed to breathe a word of what I knew to anyone. After I told her that I would keep her secret she asked if I would keep 2 more secrets for her in the next 24 hours. I once again told her that I would do whatever she needed.

So with no warning she said "Secret number two.". As she said this she rolled up her right sleeve and pulled her shirt up to expose her left hip. The marks there left me speechless. I did not know how to convey how sorry I was that she was hurting herself without sounding like I was condemning her and her actions so I simply said "ouch". She dropped her shirt, grabbed her teddy bear and crawled onto the futon next to me and just started crying. It threw me for a loop. I had NEVER seen her cry before. I had watched her sit on the dirt of a softball diamond with a dislocated knee, I had seen her break both feet in gymnastics, and an arm snowboarding and I had yet to see her cry. All I could do was hold her and tell her I was there for her no matter what. That I always had been and that I always would be there, whether she needed me standing next to her, beating people up for her, hugging her, or just listening.

We talked for hours about why she was hurting herself. She tried to explain that it seemed to help her and that it was the only thing she had found that seemed to help her cope with everything that was going on. I was worried about her but she said she was not suicidal just that it was the only way to deal in her world. She said the only way to block out all the emotions she was feeling was to feel physical pain instead.

Then we talked about the need for the tests she purchased and we figured out a game plan for the outcome neither wanted us to happen. She decided to carry it to term if she was pregnant, get the doctors to obtain a sample of the baby's DNA so that it could be put on file, and then give it up for adoption because she knew she would not be able to handle loving the child created in such a horrible way.

By the time we had talked through all of this it was 6 am. She decided it was now or never to take the test. We went to the bathroom on a different floor of the dorm and I waited for her. She came out without looking at it because she couldn't. As soon as I looked at it my face fell and she knew what it showed. She took two more just to be sure. And with that she whispered "secret number 3". At 8 am when the clinic opened we made an appointment for the doctor to confirm what our tests had shown and to get her prenatal vitamins.

Waiting for that appointment was the longest 2 hours of my life. We got dressed and walked to the clinic. I helped her fill out paperwork and by the time we got into the room she was shaking like a leaf. The doctor confirmed that she was pregnant. And then she told us that she would not need the prenatal vitamins as the fetus was not viable. My friend chose to go home and let what was going to happen, happen. We spent the next 48 hours together and we talked, ate ice cream, watched movies, and generally took it easy so that what was going to happen could be a private affair.

Over the next few weeks her mood got better and she seemed to go back to her old self. I helped her catch up on the school work she missed staying home to recover. We giggled talking about what was happening in class and with our friends while doing our homework. This improvement carried over through finals week and through us going home for winter break. We did not see each other over winter break due to the fact that we were both busy with our lives, working, and family.

When we got back to school she was the girl I remembered from years before. We had no classes in common that semester so we only saw each other at night and usually it was just dinner or a study party in our dorm rooms. Because I was so distracted with classes and life and so wrapped up in my own little world I missed it. I completely missed the signs that something was going wrong, that despite all appearances she was not ok. She was just putting on a brave face and pretending she was fine. She had been going to class, hanging out with people, being able to laugh and joke, and doing decent in school. She seemed to be doing well coping with it, even without cutting.

And suddenly she stopped. And by stopped I mean she dropped out of life. She stopped going to class, stopped doing home work, stopped eating, stopped sleeping, she became unable to open her door to even go to the bathroom alone. She began cutting with a vengeance to feel anything. In a room full of friends she knew and trusted she often ended up under a piece of furniture or in a closet crying and completely out of touch with reality.

When we could get her to even agree to try to sleep it had to be broad daylight out, with 2-3 of us in the room, there had to be music or a movie on to distract her, and no one could touch her or get near her. And she would never sleep for more than 30 minutes without waking up screaming her head off. The flashbacks became longer in duration, and more intense for her.

We took turns staying in her room with her keeping guard over her when she was sleeping. We also took turns walking her to the bathroom and standing guard over the stall she was in showering or using the facilities. We also took turns trying to get her to eat and drink enough to keep her going. We were in over our heads and had no clue what to do for her. We tried multiple times to get her to talk to someone who knew what they were doing. She was wasting away in front of us and there was nothing we could do.

Finally we reached our limit. As far as we could tell we were the only reason she had not killed herself yet, whether on purpose of not, and we finally got up the courage to do something none of us had ever considered before. We had to tell her that we would be involuntarily committing her if she did not get help. She went voluntarily but none of us felt good about it and she was angry at us for quite awhile. But we wanted her to get better and she was getting closer and closer that final mistake.

She dropped out of school to get herself better and her life back in order. Eventually she got to a point where she realized that we did it for her, that it hurt us to see her like that, and to have to give her that ultimatum. When she got to that point she made contact again and apologized for being angry with us.

Today my best friend is working for a great company. She is living on her own. She has a fiance who knows everything and loves her and her quirks. We talk every night, and share everything with each other to this day. She is the strongest person I know and I love her to bits.

12/05/2010

First day without Traing wheels

On my first day without training wheels my White cloud exploded and so much happened and it was bad. BAD for me may not be what most people consider bad. However before yesterday I had never had a code, never had a pediatric patient alone, never been the lone ALS provider on a scene, never had a parent in the bad of the ambulance crying as they and I watched the child die infront of us despite everything I was trying to do, I just wanted a hug so bad after that call.

I want my my training wheels back.

11/04/2010

My first month.

So I am a Paramedic fully licensed and certified and accredited.

I spent my first month doing Dialysis transports and inter-facility transports to get a feel for the paper work and procedures that my particular ambulance service uses. I work for Blauer Stern Ambulance Company, this is not it's real name however in our town the german heritage is more than abundant.

Blauer Stern Ambulance Company has many different shifts and different ambulance stations.

Red Station- The 9-5 Ambulance does mostly discharges and dialysis transports and is usually staffed by IV techs and Basics. The 24 hour trucks out of the red station do some 911 calls but mostly advanced inter-facility.

Orange station does 911 for the surrounding area and some inter-facility and discharge transports.

Yellow Station- this station is where our dispatch is located and our office and billing staff are located. Ambulances only run out of here when we are over taxed at all other stations.

Green Station- This station runs most of the 911 volume for their response area

Blue Station- This is the station most critical care runs out of due to it's proximity to major teaching hospitals.

I have mostly been working at Red Station to increase my basic level skills. I was only technically allowed to do IV Tech level skills. I was also running as a third on an ambulance crew to allow me to be observed. I had great teachers and preceptors while working in this station. They taught me how to drive and ambulance and the ins and outs of how to properly document what my patient does and says. I went through a driving course that allows me to drive lights and sirens with and without patients and in adverse weather conditions. I ran 9-5 weekdays for my first month and can now write almost entire reports for certain patients without seeing their paperwork at all.

As of 2 days ago I was cleared to run as a full Paramedic. That means I get to run with just me and another Paramedic. So 2 days ago for the first time in my life I was allowed to run code 3 to a call. Full on lights and sirens and speeding. I was told of the fact that in Wisconsin there is no limit for how fast you can go while running Code 3 as long as you are traveling with due regard and have the safety of yourself and others in mind. I was too scared to go more than 10-15 mph over the speed limit, I just did not feel safe doing it.

I got my first four 911 calls in my first day and I learned a few important lessons.
1. Always put your day bag in the ambulance first thing in the morning
as you are getting in to do rig check.
2. If you will need food, a glucometer, medication, caffeine or anything
like that for you to get through the day it needs to be in your day
bag before you get to work.
3. The second you punch in CHECK YOUR RIG...and restock it immediately.
If you do not your first call will be within 10 minutes of the
beginning of your shift.
4. If you think you need to go to the bathroom go to the bathroom.
5. When you get a chance to eat... EAT
6. If you want a call... Heat up food, sit down, drink lots of water,
and take off your boots you will get a call within 10 minutes.

I am sure there are many more truths about EMS that I have not learned yet. But I am working on it and i will post as I learn them.

10/02/2010

Pink

I decided to make my background pink in honor of all of the people out there with boobs. Many of the people who's blogs I read every day decided to do it so I figured I would play along. So for Aunts J and J. Grandma, and Great Grandma. This is for you, and all the other people out there who have chesticals.

9/11/2010

How far

Today as everyone is posting reflections about those who died on 09/11/2001. Where they were, what they were doing, what they remember. I figured I would post some reflections of my own.

*Nine years ago I was 13 and in 8th grade.
*Today I am now 22, I am 2 classes short of a degree, and will soon have a full time job.

*Nine years ago I sat in my class room in a small catholic grade school watching in disbelief all the coverage on the television. My teacher, my 10 classmates, and I watched all day.
*Today I made care packages and talked to my brother and friends on the phone.

*Nine years ago my little brothers were 9 & 11 and in 4th and 6th grade. They had hot tempers and were always getting in fights.
*Today one is a Marine. He has been to war and come back a man. They both started their freshman year of college this week. They still have hot tempers and get in fights But they have grown so much.

*Nine years ago every member of my family, and all my friends were civilian or retired.
* Today in the Air force I have, Jacob, Giana, Kelsey, Katherine.
In the Marines I have, Kyle, Brian, Carl, Mark, Justin, Ross, Ryan, Nate, and Steve.
In the Army I have, Shauna, Travis, Rob, Alex, Caitlin, James, Bob,and Eric.
In the Navy I have Jeremiah, Rebecca, and Travis.

These people are friends, uncles, cousins, fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers, aunts. These are the people I call and send care packages to on this day. The people I am so proud to say I know.

On this day I remember the events that brought me and all the people I care about to this point. However I celebrate the people that were willing to give up what they had in order that I remain free.

6/18/2010

Ta Da

As of today I have...
ACLS
PHTLS
PALS
CPR
And I have passed both the written and practical versions of the Paramedic exam.
Just waiting on my state to send the sparkely patch and the paperwork to me so that I can be officially licensed here.

I also still really need a job. So if anybody is looking for a Paramedic in the beautiful state of WI let me know I will be your lady. A full time job would be awesome but at this point I will settle for any job that will help pay my bills.

Well back to filling out job applications.

5/26/2010

The End is Near

Today my friend and I took the NREMT-P test. Now we are both officially one step closer to the end of this crazy year. And one step closer to being big girls and getting big kid jobs and use the sparklely patches that will soon be on their way through the mail. We were so excited we both barely slept last night and we were both at the testing site an hour early. Finally got called for an interview the other day but they want to wait until I am all done with testing and have a license before they even consider hiring me.

I am so nervous though for the tests and then the interviews and then having to prove myself to a large group of new people. I am also nervous because over the last year so much has been crammed into my head that sometimes I feel like I have learned nothing at all.

But on that note I should go back to studying and filling out job applications.

I promise to update this more once I have the time to remember more funny incidents and anecdotes that were relayed to me over the last year.

4/23/2010

The Job Outlook

So recently I have been filling out and handing in large quantities of job applications hoping to find a place to use the license I will be graduating with in a little over a month. The first 5 were rejected outright for lack of experience. In there job descriptions nowhere did it mention the amount of experience needed to apply for the job. But I had another thought... Okay so you are rejecting me because I do not have experience as a Medic. I get that and that is totally your right. However, if no one is going to hire a brand spanking new Medic, how is she supposed to get this experience that they all want?

So I figured someone had to be hiring those of us out there who are just being given our patches and being punted out into the world. So I kept applying and yesterday I got a phone call asking me if I could come in for an interview. Now I do not know much more than I am supposed to show up at a place at a time for an interview because I was sleeping when the phone rang. So my first impression on that particular member of the board of trustees is a semi-unconscious, hoarse voiced, mildly confused, paramedic in training, trying to hold a conversation in her sleep. I did wake up enough to get the details and a name of who called but It was 7 in the morning and I had been awake until 5 am due to pregnant sisters and false labor.

However now I have to figure out how formal this interview is and what I should do to prepare for it. I was a ride-along at this ambulance service for 7 months so although I know all the people for the most part I am not sure what to expect from the interview. I have to go into the dreaded "Office". In all my time as a ride-along the "Office" was a place preceptors disappeared to to complete paperwork and the boss man spent most of his time. Rarely people were called to the office to do QA and be informed of things I was not supposed to be privy to. However most of the time I as told within 10 minutes anyway.

But all of this had me feeling positive until class. Yesterday we had the dreaded talk about how we have to work extra hard from here to the end because it is going to kick our butts from here to kingdom come. Our teacher is desperately trying to put fear in us and scare us and push us hard enough that come the Practical and Written we all find it easy. (Okay well not easy but at least we will not be barfing our guts out or failing epically)

4/21/2010

Things I am afraid of

There are things that I am afraid of now that I am graduating.

*I have never done CPR on anything except for a manikin. I am terrified that my first time will be when I am incharge/lead and that I will freeze.

*I am nervous about finding a job. So many places will just flat out reject you until you are completely finished. I just want a place that says when you graduate we will have a job for you.

*I need to find a new place to live but with no money in my name anymore because of school, and no job right now I am just working on keeping food on the table and gas in the car.

*I am worried that the people in my life who I care about will not understand how much I love this.

*I wonder if I am worth the man who is putting up with my whining. The one who knows the secrets I hide from the rest of my friends and family. The wonderful man who listens when I am crying or talking 90 miles a minute.

4/20/2010

The End of Clinicals

Well it is official I am done with clinicals. I have met many amazing people during my time in and out of hospital ER's and OR's and Ambulance Services. A few shout outs to the ER Tech's I was constantly stealing keys from to get into supply closets and who were constantly giving me advice and tips so that I was more efficient in my IV starts and so that I was not constantly blood letting pt's. To the nurses that put up with my constant begging to do everything that they would let me do and then begging for signatures for all skills I begged to be allowed to do in the first place. To all the RN's willing to sign for pt's they saw me at least check on at the end of the night. To all of the ambulance preceptors who joked with me, pushed me to do and say what was needed for pt care, to the preceptor who yelled at me in private when I left a sharps sitting between the bench and wall without telling anyone. To the preceptors who sat through my sometimes ridiculous questions and who went over EKGs and pt scenarios over and over and over.

Now onto some numbers...
630 hours at a clinical site.
57 shifts
30 ambulance shifts
22 ER shifts
5. OR shifts
225 Pts
16 Pediatrics
3 confirmations of death
175 IV starts
20+ IV Fails
108 Drug pushes (1/2 Zofran, 1/3 MSO4)
5 Neb treatments
12 ETT
40+ hours of clinicals a week
30 hours of class a week.
12 the number of times I did class to clinicals to clinicals to a 4 hour nap to class to clinicals.
2800 cups of coffee the coffee maker has kicked out for our class.

Tons of inside jokes. Lots of laughs. Quite a few new friends made along the way.

12/16/2009

End of the First Semester

Well the semester ends this Friday. I cannot believe how short the time has seemed and how little I feel like I have learned.

My classmates and I have grown quite close in the past few months. We have our inside jokes and we know exactly how to annoy each other to no end, and tend to do so. However we have also learned how to motivate each other and how exactly we all learn.

We wrapped up ACLS today and we still all feel like we do not know enough. Our teacher sensing this pointed out how far we have come. However he made sure we all knew that we have so much still to learn.

In the beginning for chest pain we had pretty much 1 route to follow.
*Aspirin 324mg chewed (as long as they were not allergic).
*Nitroglycerin up to 3 tabs (As long as the patient hadn’t taken any and BP was above 110 systolic. Also no sexually enhancing medications).
*Oxygen 15L by NRB
*3-5 lead EKG. We can see if the rhythm looks strange and potentially send to the hospital for prewarning.
*Gasoline to Hospital.

If they happen to code on the way to the hospital we did what the AED told us to do and we called for more trained help. Performed CPR and used a BVM, OPA, NPA, or Combitube.


Now we know why we do what we do and have more options.
*Aspirin: to make the platelets slippery so the clot does not get worse (be careful of allergies, ulcers, active bleeding. It does it by blocking Thromboxane II.)
*Nitroglycerin: up to 0.12 mg. Vasodilates vessels in the body. Is used in the hope that blood will then be able to squeak past the blockage. (Can be repeated as long as systolic above 90 systolic)
*Oxygen- At whatever level will keep the patients O2 sats WNL and in the hopes of getting more oxygen to the ischemic tissues causing the pain. O2 also vasodialates in high concentrations.
*5-12 lead EKG- We can see abnormal variations in rhythms and the electrical activity in the heart. Using all of its capabilities and our basic knowledge we can now tell roughly where the problem is, and potentially even how bad it is.
*Morphine: We can give morphine to reduce pain. It also reduces preload, afterload, and myocardial oxygen demand.

Now we can treat some of the abnormal rhythms we see in the hopes of preventing codes. We do this with medications, and electricity. However if they do code we can monitor their rhythms and provide appropriate shocks to treat the severely disorganized electrical activity. We also give many medications dependant on what we see. Amiodarone, diltiazem, lidocaine, epinephrine, atropine sulfate and more. We still perform CPR and use BVMs, OPAs, NPAs, and Combitubes. However we can also intubate via the oral- or nasal- pharynx.


Looking at what we have learned I guess we are in a vastly different place then when we stated the class. However we still get stuck sometimes. Some days we do not think enough like Paramedics and we under treat the patients. Some days we think too much like Paramedics and forget a basic intervention that would have been easier, and just as effective as the advanced skills we jumped to.

It is a challenge to remember to start basic and move towards advanced; while still remembering that there are advanced skills for a reason. This is especially challenging with the growing sleep deficit the class is beginning to experience.
40 hours of class a week
+ >10 hours of HW and reading to do a week.
+ 30-40 hours of Clinical time a week.
= >80 hours a week

None of that includes drive times to and from all of these places, sleeping, eating, bathing, laundry, second jobs, or families.

Not that I am complaining I am loving every minute of it. Despite my new caffeine addiction or ability to fall asleep when and where I want.

11/22/2009

Month 3-4

Well we finished up Respiratory and started Cardiology. I am currently drowning in EKGs. Sometimes I think I understand what is going on and then I look at the net strip and suddenly I have no clue what I am looking at and might not even know how to find out what it is.

Clinicals are in full swing and I am currently pulling 24 -30 hours a week in random hospitals in my area and soon I will be pulling random shifts on ambulances also. I had two fairly slow shifts, one at the blue hospital and one at the teal hospital. Each shift I had a maximum of 3 patients in 8 hours. However on my second shift at the blue hospital I had three pediatric patients come in in the first 10 minutes. With a rash, a transient medical issue related to a permanent debilitating medical condition, and a little baby needing stitches. I did a quick sets of vitals on all three and then helped hold down the baby for stitches. Then a little old lady who had a syncopal episode. The next patient was a college age student to fell and dislocated her wrist at a family function. Then another college age student came in with a severe medication reaction. All in all it was a fairly slow night but better than the ones I had been having.

I am really excited to begin working OR shifts and being able to intubate patients and start massive quantities of IVs.

That is all for now more to come.

10/28/2009

0200 Beginning of Month 3

Well it is official my professor's predictions and warnings on the first day of class have come to fruition.

*SAY FAREWELL TO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS BECAUSE FOR THE NEXT 9 MONTHS YOU ARE MINE. I OWN YOU:
I have no life. All my friends are at university or working and when they have free time I am in clinicals. I am not meaning to whine I love class with all my heart and soul. However the only time I am able to talk to my boyfriend is really late at night (right around now) or random five minute bursts

*YOU WILL LEARN TO LOVE COFFEE. THIS IS NONEGOTIABLE.
I am getting less sleep now than I did during college. The only difference is used to stay up late to hang with friends and eat and play games. Now I stay up late studying Calcium channel blockers and Tricyclic antidepressants, Medications, dosages, uses, indications, contraindicates, special considerations, routes, dosages (adult and peds). I have begun to consume coffee to stay awake during lectures in class.

*IF YOU ARE AT ALL SHY YOU WILL NOT BE. BY THE END OF CLASS YOU WILL HAVE BEEN IN EACH OTHERS PERSONAL SPACE SO MUCH YOU WILL NOT BE EMBARRASSED ANYMORE.
I have officially passed into the realm of, my hand is going into your crotch to tighten a strap and you know this, so I will simply mutter move the boys if you need to while tightening. I also do not feel bad popping an angiocath into somebody's arm and fishing a little bit to get a decent vein and flash.

*YOUR HUMOR IF NOT ALREADY SLIGHTLY WARPED WILL BECOME WARPED SOON ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SEE.
We make jokes about the songs we sing while doing CPR to keep a steady beat. We had a debate about when it is appropriate to sing "Another One Bites The Dust" vs. "Staying Alive". We came up with some definite guidelines that shall never be repeated.

*YOU WILL KILL SOMEONE.
No one in class has done this yet and this is part of the prophecy that we hope does not come true. However as a class and as individuals we have killed several simulated patients in scenarios. In our defense we were trying to do this while looking at an examiner in a chair not acting at all and having no paper on which to write vitals or anything from SAMPLE or OPRST or anything else pertinent. And the patient we killed as a class had a problem none of us had ever heard of and we were only allowed to ask one question before the professor moved on to the next person. It was the worlds weirdest way to diagnose and very hard to get other tudents to follow your line of thought.

Well for now that is it but there will be more when we start respiratory and cardiology and definitely some clinical stories. Of course all the stories will be completely fictional or so generic no one will ever know who it could possibly be.

10/01/2009

What can you do?

I am writing this because... Well I need opinions and I need to get it off my chest.

So you are called to a house for an assault. Her roommate states that your patient stumbled into the house crying, bloody and very confused.

When you open the door to her room you find an approximately 18 year old female cowering in the corner. She is bloodied, her clothes are torn, and she is rocking back and forth slightly. As you introduce yourself from the door she doesn't move or acknowledge your presence. You slowly enter the room watching her and talking to her the whole time. Eventually you are close enough to see her well enough to start your assessment. You can see she is breathing, slightly fast but adequate. You observe quite a bit of blood coming from some deep lacerations to her face and arms. As you keep talking to her, your partner brings you a sheet to wrap around her while you take her to the hospital.

As you slowly move closer she still is not showing any sign that she sees or hears you.
**How do you proceed?

You touch her foot as they are the part of her closest to you. She looks up at you and starts rocking faster.
**What do you do now?

You keep talking to her and reassuring her but you back up a little to give her some space. You bring the roommate in, in the hopes that a familiar face will calm her down and it seems too. You have the roommate help explain who you are and what is going to happen now to your patient.

Eventually you get her in the vehicle and start towards the hospital. She still has not spoken but she is following simple commands and nods in the affirmative and negative in response to questions. She starts crying and grabs onto your hand. You just keep talking to her.
**What do you talk about? (Anything you can think of? weather, sports, school)

When you get to the hospital and the nurses take over and ask you to leave the room she will not let go of your hand.
**Do you reassure her and leave? Do you see if you can stay just a little longer? Do you out her hand in a Nurses and tell her that she will be taken care of?

** How do you decompress?
** What if this was your best friend, your little sister, your mom, your girlfriend, your daughter?
** What would you have done differently?

9/19/2009

Weeks 1-3

Ok so for the 2 of you that actually read this I apologize. It has been more than a little crazy around here. I am sorry that I have not posted in such a long period of time. So here it goes.

Wow so classes 2-11.
We have been covering everything we ever covered in Basic class. Taking vitals, Pt assessments, immobilizing Pts on backboards, standing take downs, KED, extrications, KTD, hand washing, PPE use and removal. Then we moved on to Anatomy and Physiology. We have been studying body systems, the differences between the different age brackets, how to approach and interact with patients.

We are now in our second book of the 5 books we have for this class. It has been hard work to keep up with class mostly due to the fact that we are going very fast to get through the information that we should know already and the information that we will build upon for the rest of the class.

We have also been working on learning drugs. So far we have to know, Name, class, doseage, route, actions, emergency use, contraindications, and special considerations. For the first 9 drugs. Acetominophen, Adenosine, Albuterol, Amniodarone, Aminophylline, Amyl Nitrite, Asprin, Ateolol, Atropine.

The class is definitely bonding though. We joke and tease like we have know each other for a very long time. We have begun forming study groups and exchange emails and text messages of a fairly regular basis.

We are becoming the family that we will need to survive and pass this class.

Week 3

Ok so for the 2 of you that actually read this I apologize. It hasbeen more than a little crazy around here and I am sorry that I have not posted in such a long period of time.

8/24/2009

Day 1

Today was day one of Paramedic school. We began today with 12 students, 4 girls, 8 guys. We spent eight hours in conference room that will serve as our classroom for the next year. After an hour of paper work and procedural things our professor Jay began to lecture. He began his lecture with a small bit of a reality check for all of us in the class.

Jay: Look around this room. Go home tonight and say good-bye to your families. You are mine, body, mind, and soul for the next year. The people you see around you will be your family for the next year. No matter what you back each other up. You all need each other to learn from and to be there for support. Your significant others will not understand, your children will not understand, you friends will not understand. The people in this room will understand. You miss classes or come in drunk or hung over you will be automatically dropped. If you fail to achieve a 80% or higher on every test and every quiz you fail. You fail to complete a skill, you fail. You do something outside you scope of practice, you fail. Understood?

Class: (all looking like we want to run for the door and yet still smiling and looking like we want to be there) Understood.

Jay: However I am the rule maker. If you are a good student and a good person and are working hard in the class and something comes up tell me. I will do whatever I can within my power to help you. But there are limits to how much I can do for you. Try your hardest and we will get along just fine.

So now I am both excited and terrified. This is what I want to do no matter how hard I have to work to achieve it.

5/29/2009

Memorial Day

This Memorial Day was more bittersweet for me than most others have been. With my little brother gone with the Marines I found myself reflecting on the true meaning of the day more than usual. I have never really thought of it as just a vacation from school like some people I know. But this time it truly made me think of the men and boys my brothers age who died so that I can live and have the freedoms I do have.

Later in the day I went to a party with my friends. Some of whom are enlisted and some of whom were missing from the party because they are currently in deserts in other countries. One got back from field training the day before and one left for 4 months the next day. Playing kickball and swimming and dancing with these men who have just left boyhood and who would be leaving soon was also sad. Everyone made sure to give them a few extra hugs for the road.

I almost had to use my EMT Training more than once at the party. We play this game that is a mix of wrestleing, tag, and frogger. It leaves major bruises and more than a few people had to tap out before they got hurt. Playing it in the water was even more dangerous. It had less of a danger of simply getting bruises but more a danger that someone would be held under water by accident.

All in all it was a good Memorial day.

5/08/2009

Silly Police

Disclaimer: I have no problem with law enforcement personel. In fact I have many friends who are in law enforcement.

So at 0645 this morning I was driving down the hwy in Fond du lac. I was going maybe 70(at the most) in a 65 zone. Yes I know I should have even been going that fast but I was keeping up with traffic. And then I made the mistake of trying to pass the car I had been following for an hour. As I was passing him I saw the trooped ahead of me and took my foot off the gas and let it drop to 65. At this point the guy on my right flew past me. And after I got in the right hand lane again the trooper pulled me over.

He took a good look at the box that was taking up most of my car and then told me he was giving me a written warning for speeding. Yeah right. I know he did not clock me speeding. I figured he had pulled me over because he didn't think I could see well enough to be safely driving with that box in my car. In fact he tested this by pulling up behind me so I could not see him out of my side mirrors and then turned his lights on so that he was only in my rear view mirror.

So now for the first time in my life I have gotten in trouble with the law. I am more angry that he pulled me over for going 1 mph above the speed limit when all the cars around me were going faster. And he could have just said that the box looked dangerous and not given me a warning.

Grrrr

5/03/2009

Reciprocity

For my summer job I was getting all ready and packing. Buying sunscreen and soap and such things necessary to live somewhere for 2 months. And then my boss sent me an email. Dear Freckles I sent your credentials into the health department and they have decided that you are not qualified enough. Apparently in this state being a NREMT is not enough. So now I have to prove that I took a class and have the WI EMS bureau fill out paper work on me to send to them. And then I will get a number that will allow me to take a refresher course and test to be a legal EMT in the state I will be working in all summer. That is all fine I can do that. The problem is this state is a 10+ hour drive for me and I have to take the refresher course there. And with enough time to fill out all the necessary paperwork and have it all filed and cool before I am supposed to start working. I have 1 month.

Well here is hoping for Reciprocity to go quickly and everything to fall in place easily.

4/29/2009

Presidents and Press Conferences

Thank you president Obama. Without you how would we know that to prevent Swine flu we should... wash our hands, cover our mouths, and stay home if we are sick. I am not sure about you but I have known this since I was 2. Get off my tv and talk to people who care.

I strongly dislike when presidents interrupt regular programming to hold a press conference. I also dislike when they do it because something they deem really important happens. I do not mind a quick blurb or a scrolling across the bottom of the screen.

I feel that maybe there should be a tv channel completely devoted to the president and world events or something like that. A news team on every continent could broad cast on it for 2 hours a day each covering world events on their continent that are important. And when the president feels that he has something really important to say he can go on there and talk to his hearts content. And they can replay the president on it for those that missed it the first time and really want to see it. Heck make it interactive let us pose questions for him.

Sorry I really have nothing against presidents or press conferences and I am not that addicted to tv I just really do not like all 3 together.

4/24/2009

Results

Today I found out many things
a) I do not have Tuberculosis (I already knew that) 1 test down 1 to go.
b) I got offered the job I have been waiting for. Outside doing first aid all summer!!!
c) My parents really are worried about me going away all summer.
d) Allison (my car) looks better with out paint on her front bumper.
e) My Big Brother from school is graduating in a couple of weeks and is on his way to being a grownup.

My brother is also sleeping next to me on the couch right now he got leave for a week before he is leaving again.

Today is a good day.

4/18/2009

Yay for paperwork

Today I received my Pre-Paramedic paperwork and it made me feel like a dog. I have to prove that I have had all of my shots and in the proper order and amount. I also have to go get more shots and boosters to satisfy the requirements of my program. MMR, TB, Varicella, Hep B, Hep A (recommended),Tetanus. Not that bad but still trying to find the records is tough when you have had several different doctors over the years.

Yay for TB tests I have to have a 2 step test again because it has been 12 months and 4 days. At least this time I know I am allergic to their bandages so I will not get a false positive due to a bandage reaction this time.

Well off to become a human pincushion. Here is hoping I do not have TB.