Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

I hope that everyone can be as thankful I am for the last year. 2009 brought a lot of joy and lot of heartache and dissapointment. I learned a lot. I have continued to learn about myself and continued shaping myself into the person I want to be. I am looking forward to 2010 to see what it holds.

I am ringing in the new year with one of my biggest blessings of 2009, my roommate, my best friend, Sara.

I wish everyone a great year and please, if you're going to drink, be responsible! If you need a ride please call me!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

feeling better

Well, I am feeling better, I suppose thats a good thing. Although Im pretty sure I do have pink eye in BOTH eyes, Im heading to the doc this morning for the sore throat.

Besides that is has been an uneventful week at work....I am pulling a rare day shift on New Years we shall see how that goes.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

when it rains it pours

Well folks, it seems that when it rains it pours with me....

I absolutely hate being sick. I used to be a pretty big baby when I got sick, but lately I have been doing better. Now I just need to decide where the line is for calling into work.

Last week I had some congestion ( for the 4th time this season) and a sore throat, worked 3 nights before it got so bad I couldnt stand it, had a fever the last 2 nights I worked, turns out it was strep throat....who knew? Got 5 days of antibiotics and was good as new, for a few days....then the throat started back up, the congestion never went away, and then the icing on the cake, I woke up today to my left eye lid being swollen and my eye all weepy. I put some eye drops in it, and now its dry but still swollen....I probably shouldnt be at work...but here I am anyways....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Whats your EMS opinion?

Well, work has been pretty calm. I had a few days to think about my last few serious calls. I am constantly reminded that I do know what I am doing, although I don't always feel like it. I had an interesting OD call the other day that I wasn't really sure if I did the appropriate thing. Although I have been working in PA for over a year I still sometime revert to the protocols that were engrained in my mind originally (which would be WV...which limit a provider). I was dispatched for a male in his 30s who took an unknown amount of Seroquel. Upon my assessment my pt states he took several different kind of pills, at least 3 different colored pills. The EMTs had gathered pill bottles for me before rendevousing with me and all the bottle they had were Seroquel, all stating the pills were either white or yellow. The pt reported taking several large pink pills as well, the wife stated maybe some Lamictal.
Pt was initially A&Ox4 and stated he felt high, loopy, and nauseated. He attempted to induce vomiting before calling 911, no luck. In PA ALS providers do not carry or administer charcoal, some BLS units do and can give it with approval of medical command. BLS put pt on oxygen and called for ALS. Throughout tx pt became slower to respond to questions and began to get sleepy. Pt could be aroused by a gantle shake to the shoulder but was unable to stay awake for long periods of time and when he talked his speech became more and more slurred, his oxygen saturations also began to decrease as did his respirations. I ended up giving 1 mg Narcan, just to see if it might help, his oxygen saturations came up but he still remained with slurre speech and sleepiness.

When I got back I talked to one of my medic partners who has been a round for a while and she said she wouldnt have even given the 1 mg in case he became violent...

What do you all think?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

off day...

So I have to say Im officially having an "off" day. My shift tonight started out BUSY. We as the medics didnt have any calls, but the ER was swamped, and on divert for at least 6 hours. Things eventually calmed down and I was really getting into the game I was playing onmy laptop when the tones sound for an unconscious male, and it was my turn to take a call. As I am enroute further from dispatch is possible cardiac arrest. I keep waiting for the ambulance to mark up, and I wait, and I wait, and I wait. I request PD while Im enroute to the scene (fearing I will be left attempting a code by myself, I assume they can at least provide some man power). I arrive to find a rather large man in his 30s in cardiac arrest with 2 obviously distraught female bystanders.
Long story short: I get a bystander to help me with CPR for 5-7 min until another medic and PD and BLS crews show up. Pt is DRT, in asystole. I attempted an intubation, get no breath sounds but get gurgling, and then stomach distention. So I try a King, no distention this time but only gurgling and no air movement in lungs, so I try the fix all of airway devices, the S.A.L.T.....and still NOTHING, only copious amounts of vomit! My medic partner takes a look and sinks a tube....WTH?!?!?

We get to the ED and of course the doc calls it within 2 min. Then they start examining the body and they find track marks that I would never have seen in a house lit by one 30 watt bulb lamp and they find ice, yes ice cubes, down this guys pants (I had heard of this but never experienced it for myself....) So who knows??

It really affected me that I was unable to get the airway on this pt. I have no idea what, if anything, I was doing improperly and would it have made a difference? Oh, and of course it didnt cross my mind to give narcan a shot....I have been a medic for 29 months now and I still feel so insecure at times....

familiar conversation....

I found this through a post from AD, and got so much enjoyment, I felt the need to pass this gem along....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

EMS safety...well said AD!

Surfing through my regular blogs this morning and Kelly Grayson, aka Ambulance Driver, or AD, hits the nail on the head in his latest article on Any EMS provider should not only read this but take it into serious consideration for the safety of ourselves and our partners.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Conversation in triage tonight

Conversation in triage tonight:
me: (lookint at todays paper) I cant believe Imissed the guys in kilts atthe parade this weekend, all because I slept in...(sarcastically)
Triage nurse: what? you think its sexy or something? men in skirts?
me: oh yea, very sexy...
TN: at least you know they dont have sweaty balls...
me: (sing-song) do your balls hang low do they wobble to and fro...(laughing)
TN: you know theirs do!
(both laughing, me crying from laughing...)

Guess you had to be there.... ;)

never gets easier

I have been a part of the EMS world for over 6 years now, and today I realized some things just never get easier. I currently work in a hospital based system, which means we get the opportunity rotate though triage for 4 hours every 12 hour shift. Today I am working a 16 and somehow wrangled 8 hours in triage. (It's really not too bad some days) Well, my fellow paramedic brought in a cardiac arrest who was a rather young pt, in their 30s. The call came in as a seizure but upon BLS arrival it was a cardiac arrest. The crews did their best but was unable to resuscitate. His buddy rode in on the ambulance with him, but family was completely unaware of what was going on. About 30 min after he was called in the ER family showed up, were shown to the consult room and the doctor went to talk to them, you could here the cries and screams of grief clear out in the waiting room. It never gets any easier at the point. I can handle a pt not making it, I have done it several times, but when the family can't handle it or handles it badly it is like daggars to my heart...

soldier's angel update

Ok, so a while ago I mentioned I had 2 military penpals, well the one I was emailing just stopped....the other one I failed. I was terrible at sending consistent letters and packages. I got discouraged because I never heard back from him. Well I just got an email that he is on mailstop now and is supposed to be returning home in December. I have decided to try a new "adoptee" and to be better with this one. I got his name and address tonight and have written my first letter to send in the mail tomorrow morning. The group I get these names from frowns on passing the address out to "strangers" but I am more than willing to accept and send anything anyone might want to send, just let me know! The more the merrier!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

more thanks

I am thankful today for good work relationships with my fellow makes for a much easier shift when you not only enjoy their company but know they have your back in any situations.

love notes from the nurses

If you can't read it, it says:
"Tiny insects brains can solve big problems"
then handwritten below says:
"See? Even the medics can accomplish something!"

This was a love note from one of my favorite RNs here at work that I came back to after a call tonight.

It's such a shame that she will soon be leaving the dark side of the ER for dayshift. I am definitly going to miss her love notes and her humor!! Thanks Sue!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

be careful what you wish for

When I was in high school I went through a phase where I decided I did not like original spelling of my name. I guess I wanted to feel unique. The proper spelling of my name, given to me at birth is Stephanie. In high school (around the age of 15 maybe) I decided to start spelling it Steffanie. My parents and family did not like the idea of this. I went through this phase for a long time. My mother eventuallynhumored me and somehow the whole family began spelling my name Steffanie. It was as if someone passed a memo around to the family. When I got to college I continued this phase, confusing many professors, teachers, officers at the firehouse, and other new people who thought someone else made a mistake, since all of my "official" paperwork had my name spelled Stephanie. Well, about a year ago, maybe even two, I realized how silly this "phase" was. I began to respect my birthright, I guess you would call it, and began using the spelling of my name given to me at birth. I am now 25. The odd thing is, the majority of my family is still spelling my name Steffanie, even though I have been using the proper spelling on all cards, gifts, and our family website for the last year or so. I guess it's true you should be careful what you wish for....

giving thanks

ok, so I am double counting on this post...this is my "thanks" post for yesterday (the 15th) and today (the 16th) so that I dont keep feeling like Im a day behind.

for the 15th: Im thankful that I had a warm place to sleep today and a for the hot shower I had before work.

16th: Today Im going to be thankful for meeting new people....I believe people are brought into our lives for one reason or another....its figuring out what that reason is thats sometimes the hard part.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I am not the kind of person who receives a lot of compliments, or if I do I don't realize it...but today I received what I feel was a major compliment, not just me as a person, but me as a paramedic.

I was working tonight, a shift I normally don't work, but switched shifts for a fellow medic, and we were sitting at the nurses' station, just chit chatting, when one of the nurses (well she is a nurse practitioner now) mentioned they were hiring a medical assistant at her office, I was getting the info for a friend that I thought would be interested. She mentioned the pay "isn't that great", when I asked how much she said it was $12.00/hr. I was astonished folks, thats almost as much as I make as a medic at the hospital. She couldn't believe me, and gave the compliment that we, as medics should be making much more than $14-15/hr.

For now, I'm just going to have sweet dreams about that and continue working my 2 lower paying jobs...

giving thanks....

With Thanksgiving just around the corner I have seen a lot of media online about being thankful...I am going to attempt to list at least one thing a day I am thankful from now until the big Turkey day.

Today (well, 11/14/2009....)

I am thankful that father lived to see another year in his life, and that he is the best dad I could have been blessed with.

I am thankful for my "girlmate", my best friend and roommate, Sara. While we are two completely different people, we make great roommates and even better friends, she is definitly one of those people I can not imagine what my life would be like without her being in it. She is intelligent, is beautiful both inside and out, unique, and eccentric in her own way. I think living together is a new learning experience everyday. Sara- thanks for being my friend!!

Thats all I'll write about today....stay tuned for more to come!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Any EMS providers...Help!

I have seen a few of my colleagues carrying the best thing..its a mini metal clip board, maybe 5 in x 4 in in size at the most. the top flip opens and is used to open the "clip" that holds the papers inside. Our protocols fit perfectly in this plus paper to jot down the essentials. I have looked everywhere online I can think of and can not find one. And no one seems to remember where they got them, all they know id they have had them "forever"....I had never seen them before working in Pennsylvania...if anyone else has seen these or knows where I can get one, please let me know!! Thanks!
Stay safe....

Monday, November 9, 2009

When do you know you have had too much to drink?

When your friends have to literally drag you home, your teacher from school sees this, calls 911, the fire department and paramedic shows up to carry your unconscious body down a flight of stairs to the ambulance, takes you to the hosiptal where you end up intubated....thats right, intubated because you didn't know when to stop.

And since you are only 17 they have called the helicopter to come get you to transfer you to a facility who can care for a "pediatric" pt on a vent....

This guy walkd into the ER today looking for his clothes from last week, he turned out alright....hopefully he learned his lesson!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Today I am angry.

Im not sure exactly why. I woke up before my alarm, not neccissarily a good thing.
I found my roommate gone when I woke up, found she had gone to her parents. I thought we were going to hang out and do laundry today...

I have a few insecurities and my personal safety is one of them, when I found that my roommate had left the garage door wide open when she left to go to her parents today I found myself extremely angry...I felt like my personal safety had been violated, I was left sleeping in a house that was completely unsecured. (I am one of those people who check the locks on the door at least 2 times before going to bed and have been known to lock my bedroom as well.) I sleep like a rock, I would have known no difference if someone had walked into our house until it was too late. Did I mention my car (which is only a year old) was sitting unlocked in the garage, my keys (and my purse) sitting on the kitchen counter just inside the door?

Then I had to go to the laundrymat....I hate crowds, I hate strangers walking up to me and making small talk....(I know, I have issues...)I take my laptop and occupy my time there playing online and blogging usually, and usually it works so strangers will leave alone....but of course not today....sone guy decides today would be a good day to try and small talk after changing the football game I was half paying attention to so that he can watch his NASCAR....and then feels the need to talk football with me....ugh....

ok, so Im in a "off" mood today....maybe a cup of coffee will help, hope I shake this pissiness off before work tonight....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

short rant

Working as a paramedic out of an ER has its pros and cons. Im not here to list them right now, just to rant about one con....

They put us here to "help out" in between calls, but when you go into a room to help with a hyperventilating teenage girl and get glared at by the brand spanking new RN its a bit frustrating.She and I were helping another nurse who was trying to talk to the pt. She had just untangled the cords when I told her if she would hand me a gown I could help the pt change she snottily (yes i just made that up)looked at me and said "I will as soon as I am done" then gave me the "I am holier than thou lowly paramedic" look....I have never had a problem with this person until today....I guess we all have bad days, but don't take it out on the people who are trying to help you.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Friendly reminders

Don't forget to change your clocks and also the batteries in your smoke detectors and CO detectors, etc.

Oh and please enjoy your halloween, but be responsible, especially when consuming alcohol.........and please don't drink and drive!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

"Trauma" gets DNR

SAN FRANCISCO — NBC's "Trauma", the freshman paramedic drama that stirred up controversy in the EMS industry over its less-than-accurate representation of the profession, has been cancelled by the network. The show will complete its 13-episode run, but will cease production after that.

The show, which was reportedly one of NBC's priciest new series, failed to capture an audience — either with the mainstream public or the EMS community. Monday’s episode of "Trauma" drew just 5.8 million total viewers.

Unlike the beloved "Emergency!", the seminal EMS drama from the 1970's, many in the EMS community felt the show did a disservice to EMS professionals by highlighting lurid and sensational — as well as medically questionable — scenarios, including ambulance sex and drunk driving.

The depiction drew immediate criticism from EMS leadership, with both NAEMT and IAFC’s EMS Section firing off letters to the producers of the show protesting the creative direction.

In his letter, the IAFC's EMS Section chair Gary Ludwig called the show "an injustice to the many professionals who work in emergency medical services," before adding, "I would ask that either the show be cancelled or modified to accurately portray the sacrifice of those who perform emergency medical services to comfort and treat those who have suffered a serious trauma or illness."

The show will be replaced by "Chuck" in NBC’s Monday night lineup.

Single Ladies

Check out this remix of "Single Ladies" by Pomplamoose

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mom, I can understand that letting your child go away to school can be worrisome....but is it necessary to drive 2 hours to be with your daughter who is in the ER to get 3 stitches in her finger?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

back from vacation

Took a week and went to the beach with a few girlfriends and had a blast. Didnt do much of anything...mostly read, lounged around, managed to squeeze in a manicure and pedicure and even a haircut...
These are the dogs that got to vacation with us, Harley on the left and Mox on the right. They are great dogs!!

Here is a view from our back upper deck. We stayed in ahouse on Topsail Island, NC. The weather was nice for a few days but we had a few rainy ones too. We could see dolphins from our back door.
But all good things must come to an end and here I am back at work, covered yesterday for a fellow medic who is sick and today am working a 24. Im looking forward to the nice weather that is predicted for today.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Island time

I arrived to Topsail Island, NC safe and sound after a rainy 460 mile drive....Im here for the week with 7 other girls....looking forward to doing absolutely NOTHING all week!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


watching Trauma finally for the first time....let's see what all the talk is about.....

S.A.L.T. (the newest addition to our intubation kit)

Where I work fulltime I have the priledge of having a boss who is willing to give any of the new products a once over at least. We have had the opportunity to "play" with quite a few different items that he got a free sample of or that one of my fellow medics picked up at the last conference they went to. If something is introduced and it seems to catch more than only a few eyes, particulary those of our older medics, then we usually end up purchasing, if budget allows. (The only exception is out Zoll monitors....most of the medics I work with here aren't huge fans, yet we have 6 Zoll monitors....)

Anywho, these new SALT airway devices were introduced to us a few months ago and I guess there was enough interest piqued that we now officially have these in our airway kits and in stock. They are pretty nifty...we used them on "fred" in several positions....laying, seated, taped to the bottom of a table....and the results were amazing, even our medical director suggested we purchase these after he got his hands on one. We now keep them as a "backup" airway. So anyways, here is just one link to look at, trust me its worth the few minutes it may take!

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

just another night at the looney bin...

Its been a while since I have written and for that I apologize. I have not been seeing a lot of calls thanks due to night shift, but most of what I do get are legit ALS calls, car wrecks with drunks and people not bothering the 2 seconds and minor inconvience of a seatbelt and now with the weather turning getting some more respiratory pt. I did have an interesting call last night.

Dispatched priority one for a female c/o neck pain and slurred speech, possible ETOH on board, PD being dispatched.

I arrive right behind the BLS ambulance. EMT1 (a new medic student) and his partner EMT2 get out and #1 starts walking towards the apartment complex empty bag, no stretcher, nada but #2 and I decided to at least take the cot in...I look at #1 with a quizzical look, he says, "Its Joan*, trust me just leave your bag in your truck, she is staying here now instead of xyz street" (I have never had an encounter with Joan, but I later learned Im one of the few fortunate) We stand outside in the cold ringing the buzzer for the apt she is staying in with no answer. After a few minutes we radio dispatch who call back to the apt and we finally get buzzed in. We walk up to the apartment and Joan answers the door, looks at #1 and says, "I didnt ask for no damn stretcher, I just wanted to someone to check out my neck, I'm glad its you at least" and has this look in her eye.... Long story short, Joan was burnt a long time ago and has a scar on her neck and it had gotten dry from the dry air and it had started cracking and bleeding a little. She had no desire to go to the hospital, especially after asking who the doctor was, and when told who it was her response was "then HELL NO I definitly dont want to go"....meanwhile PD finally showed up and #2 and I had to hold our girly giggles as Joan crooned over #1 and then the young policeman who showed up. Did I mention this was all at 4AM???

I swear I love my job!!

*name changed for obvious reasons....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

bday trip

travelled to my folks place this weekend. yes, even with back pain, I couldnt resist making the trip because my mom, the wonderful mother she is, was baking me and my roommate a birthday cake (my bday is the 14th and my roomie's is the 23rd) and making favorite dish for dinner. So I popped a few of the pain killers the doc gave me, reclined the passenger seat of my own car (something I have rarely sat in) and let me roommate do all the driving for 250 miles while I was in and out of a conscious state, my roommate tells me I am rather hilarious when I am on drugs. The great roommate that she is did the same thing for me on the way home, although I managed more conscious time on the way back since I wasn't as "high", as she puts it. It was a great visit, just wish I could have seen the niece and nephew who were there last weekend...

pain in the...

Night shift seems to be working well for me again so far. Last week I managed to tweek my back stepping out of the back of an ambulance only an hour into my 12 hour shift and spent the last 11 hours in pain, not even able to stand up straight, thank goodness we have "triage" time, I managed to get onr of the other guys to have his time so that I spent the last 8 hours of my shift trying to find the least painful way to sit in a chair. I sucked u p my pride and had the ER doc check me out after my shift and after some x rays was told it appears to be a pulled muscle and sciatica. I figured I didnt have to work again for 5 days, should be better by then. I was wrong. Its been 5 days and I am back at work, sitting my whole 12 hours in triage because I still can not stand up straight. I spent my days off taking pain pills and laying flat on my back on a heating pad sleeping on and off. I dont know what to do next....

Monday, August 31, 2009


I had an interesting call the other day involving a pediatric.

Was dispatched for a 4 1/2 month old with breathing difficulty. The call was in the northern part of the county and I knew it would take me close to 15 or 20 minutes to get there but that the ambulance would get there much sooner. As dispatch kept updating me, it seemed the pt was getting worse. I pre-alrted and engaged a medevac prior to reaching the pt. Once arriving on scene I found a very sick, 9lb, 4 1/2 month old baby boy who had seen better days (I had hoped anywyas...). He had experienced quite a few problems in his short life span, to include some trachea and esophagus defects as well as some heart defects. (I learned a few new ten-dollar-words that day) Today he was having trouble simply breathing. Mom told me he had stopped breathing and she had to give him a few breaths to get him started again prior to calling 911. I can not even tell you the worries and thoughts racing through my mind. After assesing the baby I knew I had made the right decision calling for the medevac. It seemed like an eternity waiting for them about a mile from the pt house, although it was only about 12 minutes. While waiting the only thing I could do for this little guy was give him some oxygen and a couple breathing treatments to help him out a bit. I set out my infant BVM and intubation kit to ward of the evil spirits, which, thank goodness, worked.

Looking back I just had this feeling that maybe there was something more I could have or should have done, or that I should have donemore, faster. Im confident now I did all I could for him. The most disturbing thoughts are 1) This family lived so far away from the hospital with such a sick baby, and 2) I called to check on him the next day and they had not been able to figure out what caused him to stop breathing, all the tests had come back normal so far....

back to the bat cave...

ok so its not exactly the bat cave...

Im back to working night shift. Im 7 hours into a 12 hour shift. We have only been dispatched to one call for a car into a utility pole, sounded pretty promising, sadly I was stuck sitting at the triage desk watching both my partners head out for the call. (someone has to hold things down back here I suppose)

I am grateful to be back on nights, or I think so for now. I am going to miss some of the daytime nurses that I seemed to have formed a relationship with. I initially thought I would absolutely hate day shift, but loking back, I actually enjoyed it. I got to run more calls, and have some learning experiences. I got to work with some nurses, doctors and paramedics I had not worked with before. I actually had enough time and energy after a shift to get things done at home, like mowing the lawn, or simply having dinner with my roommate and friends. On night shift I usually go straight home and crash, to get up and do it again, at least fr the 3 nights I usually work in a row. Guess we will have to see how things go. I have only had 3 cups of coffee thus far tonight and am doing better at 0200 than I thought I would be. I was pretty sure by time midnight rolled around I'd be dragging my feet.

On a personal note, I have been ill lately, not really sure whats going on, lots of interesting symptoms the strangest to me is that over the last 8-10 months I have noticed my body temp being low, around 96.4-96.8 on a regular basis. The doc initially thought it was my thyroid, everything came back normal (as it always has, even though I have had several docs think I have a thyroid problem). Guess we will just wait and see what the next step is.

Anywyas, you all stay safe out there, I'll keep you updated on how night shift is treating me

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

back to school?

So I know its been awhile....went on vacation and have been back to work for a week now.

I have been doing a ton of thinking lately and I think Id like to go back to school and get a bachelors degree....I have a major in mind, something that was formerly foriegn to me, but that now spikes my interest. Im looking into an online program so that it wont interfere with work. I dont think I can do an in-class program, maybe blended....

we shall see, but I dont see me starting this fall (little late for that) Maybe winter or spring, but I definitly want to start by next fall

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

road trip

Still nothing blog-worthy to write. Heading to Clanton, Alabama in the morning with my younger sister to go visit our older sister....maybe have some pictures to post next week.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

update...sorry for taking so long

I feel like its been a while since I last posted, but I really have not had anything to blog about. Days at work have been on the slow side, no really interesting calls, just working a lot of OT. There has been a lot of hospital/ER traffic just not ambulance/911 calls.

Speaking of working a lot, I am starting my new PT job at MVFD this week. I have always wanted to work out of a fire department without having to do the firefighter stuff. (I have the VERY basic training and do not consider myself a fire fighter at all)

I am starting the new PT job because the old one isnt paying well. Actually it's not paying me at all. Hence, I need a job that will pay me, on a regular basis. I am being forced to go above my supervisors head to his boss to resolve this issue since my supervisor keeps dodging my phone calls and when I confronted him in person just kept making up excuses. This is the same supervisor who can't figure out why I tell him I cant work everytime he calls me and asks me to. (duh!)

I dont know what else to do....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pay pal is anti-gun

Please check out this story from a fellow blogger who a huge supporter of our military and a proud supporter of pro-gun. (Te original post can be found here.)

Now here is the story copied and pasted:

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

OK, I'm livid.
As most of you know, the fourth annual Gun Blogger's Rendezvous is fast approaching (43 days away as I write this), and this year I planned to make a special contribution to support Project Valour-IT - a gun giveaway that would be for even those unable to attend. But I'm not a 501(c)(3) organization, or any other kind of tax-free charity, so I couldn't actually run a charity raffle. Besides, I'm not really set up for it and wouldn't know how. So, with the aid of Rendezvous organizer Mr. Completely, arrangements were made with Soldiers' Angels to provide on-line ticket sales. Tickets went on sale Friday, July 17. We were ON!Soldiers' Angels uses PayPal for their on-line donations. PayPal even has a "Case Study" of Soldiers' Angels' success (PDF) using PayPal, bragging:
Today Soldiers' Angels' biggest online contributions go through PayPal. "It's trustworthy to people and so they donate," says (Founder Patti) Patton-Bader. "There's a confidence that donors feel – that it's a safe way to make a donation. There are not many companies that inspire that kind of trust."Trust.Coincident with the Gun Blogger Rendezvous Raffle, Soldiers' Angels had also started a fund drive for other projects that same weekend. PayPal put a stop to that. Here's Patti Patton-Bader's official statement:
Online donations through PayPal are a huge part of our fundraising. They shut down our entire account-not just the raffle button—for twelve hours right in the middle of an email fundraising push. Looking at the Terms of Use, we couldn’t understand where we’d gone wrong, but we had to immediately remove the raffle so we could get back online ASAP. This just breaks our hearts because we were so excited about the tremendous fundraising impact the Gun Blogger Rendezvous raffle was already having.(My emphasis). The "tremendous fundraising impact"? In the short time (3.5 days) the PayPal button was live, they had 42 participants and 109 tickets sold.As noted above, we're still 43 days out from the Rendezvous. I just found out about this Wednesday. (Post is updated to keep it at the top of the blog for the moment.)And not only did the contributions for the raffle stop coming in, ALL contributions to Soldier's Angels via PayPal were cut off for twelve hours.Because PayPal is anti-gun.So where does that leave us? Well, you can call Soldiers' Angels and do a transaction over the phone. During normal business hours (PST) you can call (626) 529-5114, or you can call their voicemail service any time at (615) 676-0239, leave them a callback number and they'll get back to you - probably the less expensive option, timewise. It's not as convenient as a mouse click, but it beats snail-mailing a check.You can also contact PayPal. Their Customer Service phone number is (402) 935-2050.I've never asked this before, but I would appreciate it if every gun- and mil-blogger on the web and every gun board picked this up and spread it far and wide. I'm tired of gun-bigots. PayPal needs to hear from US - the law-abiding gun owners of this country - that we're no longer willing to just roll over when we're abused by the companies we "trust" just because we believe in and practice the rights guaranteed to us under the Second Amendment.This post will remain at the top of the blog for the next couple of days.

Id like to have this posted a few times if possible. Thanks guys!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

5 year olds...

I honestly believe that 5 year old girls do not need to be wearing make-up....but what do I know? Im not parent, just an observer....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

blonde moment

Yesterday was a short day at work for me, an 8 hour shift, half of which was spent in 'the box'. I ran no calls, I didn't even start any IV lines for the RNs. Needless to say I was ready to go home by 1430. I was very excited that my relief was on time. I pulled in the drive and walked around the house to the back door and unlocked it to be welcomed by a cool blast of air, thank goodness for that 3rd A/C (thanks shiela!) I had exactly 45 min until I had to take my car to get inspected so that I could make it 100% legal here in PA. I changed my clothes, slipped on a comfy T-shirt and capris and freed my toes in a pair of flip-flops. I even had time to fix my hair. I grabbed my wallet and my phone and headed out the door, remembering to lock it on my way out. As soon as I closed the door I realized, "Sh*t!! My keys are on the hook next to the door inside!"
Then it dawned on me just how warm it was outside. I text my roommate, who normally gets home aorund 5 or 6, and well, of course she was going to be late. I called and cancelled my appointment for my inspection then got the bright idea of calling Roadside Assistance to come unlock my car since my spare car key was in my glove box...yea I know....what kind of genius locks their spare car key in the car? A blonde one...but glad it was there and not in the house.... RA showed up, took them 15 min to pop the lock (free of charge thanks to my car warranty) and I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning out and vacuuming my car while waiting for the roomie to get home and laugh at me.....

Monday, July 20, 2009

big milestone

ok, I feel like I have diarrhea of the keyboard today....

But, I wanted to share what I feel like is a big milestone in my paramedic adventures.

This past weekend while putting in some time at my volunteer station in WV I was officailly "blessed" as a Paramedic Preceptor. I have officially been a paramedic long enough and put in enough time to guide and observe new paramedics, whether they are fresh out of school or just new to our station. It's weird. I still feel like I just finished precepting myself. At work, there is no program or determing who can or can not precept the paramedic students, so I have had one or two there, but tend to encourage them to ride shotgun with my more experienced counterparts.

My first preceptee at my vollie station was a guy who is new to our department but who has been a paramedic for as long as I have been alive...again, weird.

Triple OD

I made my way down to WV for a couple days last week to work and volunteer at my old station. I was reminded just how much I love volunteering, I haven't been able to go back down there nearly as much as I would like, but it feels great to finally be paying off some bills with the extra money from all my part time jobs....

I was on my way from work around 8pm to my station where I would be spending the night. I happen to have my pager on and heard the familiar tones for my home station for a possible OD, two pts, ages 8 and 5. WTF? I picked up my speed a bit as the call was maybe 3 miles from where I was and I knew Id pass the house before the ambulance got there. I parked my car across the street from the multiple police cruisers and the chase car paramedic vehicle. Inside there is a woman in her late twenties and two kids sitting in the living room. The kids look scared with all of these strangers walking into the house and mom is crying hysterically.

The story from mom went a little like this: She got her Xanax script filled 2 days. She was having a rough day and needed a nap so around 2p she took 12 (yes twelve) Xanaxk and procedded to take her nap. At 7:30pmish her live-in boyfriend woke her saying that her children had gotten into her Xanax, so she called 911 for the kids. The older child admitted she and the younger one took one of mommy's pills. When asked if she took it on her own to see what it was like or if Mommy gave it to her she stated she took it while Mommy was sleeping and then coerced her little brother into taking one too. The pill numbers just weren't adding up though. The original prexcription was for one pill every 8 hours PRN, with a total of 90 pills in the bottle, there were only 28 pills in the bottle that was filled 2 days ago. Then mom states she gave 20 to her aunt who couldnt get her prescription filled til the end of the about hinky.

The kids were walked out to one Medic unit to be transported to the local hospital while Mom tried to refuse treatment. It took 2 police officers and 3 medics to get her to understand according to our protocols she didn't have the choice to refuse. We felt that she had put both herself and the children in danger by admitting to excessive drug intake even though she continually denied being suicidal. She finally gave in willingly and walked out to the 2nd Medic unit to be transported to the hospital. Meanwhile the police sarched the house and found a 2nd bottle (empty) of Xanax filled 2 days prior to the 1st bottle we found (which means only 4 days ago) and they also found cocaine in the bedroom, and a huge bong behind the couch, and there were several beer and liquor containers strewn throughout the house. Oh yea, there was a .22 and .45 in the bedroom as well. Glad I was POV, I was off the hook for that call since both units were staffed with Medics.

need a smile?

Need a smile? This did it for me this morning. Borrowed this from Corey, whose blog I accidently stumbled upon this morning and it made me laugh out loud before my first cup of coffee...Thanks Corey!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

anger and defeat

I was working my PT transport job last week when I got to experience my first "vent pt" at the job.

We will call her Carrie (of course its not her real name) She is 24, only a few months younger than myself. She was involved in a terrible car accident a couple years ago, maybe even just a year ago. It caused several problems for her including brain damage, paralysis, contractures, and respiratory failure. She is on a vent normally 8 hours a day, at night through her trach. She is very alert and oriented, and tries to communicate by talking, but more effectively communicates using a board with letters andpointing them to spell things out.

She was scheduled to go for an eye exam to determine if she needs glasses. She had had a previous appointment with this doctor a few weeks prior but never got examined due to another crew from my PT job getting lost on the way their and being late so the doctor refused to see her.

Upon walking into Carrie's room to introduce myself, you can imagine my surprise to find her on her vent in the middle of the day. She stated she was not feeling well today. When asked if she still wanted to go to her appointment she was very adament that she needed to go since the fiasco with her last appointment.

I went searching for my partner (who also happens to be the boss man) to let him know she was on a vent. I found him outside with a bettery charger hooked up under the hood of our ambulance...I began telling him what was going on and he just gave me the FML look. He then proceeds to tell me that we were on the BLS truck today, with no meds and no vent, that the other crew (who was an ALS crew as well) has the ALS truck because they had a vent pt today as well. After some scrambling he found the back up vent and got some extra oxygen from the facility and get the truck running. I checked that we would indeed have enough oxygen to get there, stay there and return and that my portable suction was in working order and well as the onboard, all was well.

I then got a crash course on the vent. (Two things should be noted here: 1) This was my 3rd shift here and I had yet to be introduced to our regular vent and 2) this was not our regular vent but a new vent we were thinking about switching to, so even my boss didnt know all the operations of it.) Thank goodness for RTs. She so kindly helped me set the appropriate setting for the pt and helped in my crash course of vent operation. By this point we were going to be about 15 min late for the pt appointment and she was getting upset because she didnt want to make the trip and not get seen again. I personally saw to it that the doctors office be called and the situation be explained about not knowing she was on a vent and agreed that as long as were were not going to be more than 30 min late he would still evaluate her. I reassured the pt and we were ready to go.

The transport to the doctor's office itself was pretty uneventful. Carrie was in a good spirit even though she wasn't feeling the greatest, even demanding to know why her husband wasn't wearing his wedding band, which he doesn't wear at work where he came straight from to go to her appointment with her. All of her VS were great. Her husband rode in the ambulance with us. I had everything set up and running smoothly. We got the doctor's office, unloaded the pt and went inside. We were standing in the waiting room when I heard the familiar gurgle of a trach needing suctioned. Carrie agreed that she would like to be suctioned. I walked to the head of the cot where my portable was set up and ready to go, I hooked up her inline suction and turned the power switch to on and nothing suction, no lights on portable, absolutely nothing. I asked the receptionist if we had a few minutes to go out to the truck to suction Carrie's trach and the doctor came out and said that would be absolutely fine, so back outside we went and back into the truck. I set up and hooked up the onboard suction, turned it on and began suctioning the trach using the inline catheter. I got one good sweep done, and went to a second to make sure we got it all, it still sounded kinda crappy and when I went for the second sweep I noticed it didnt seem to be suctioning. so I thought it was clogged, switched to a hard tip catheter, tried it on my glove, there was absolutely no suction. It then dawned on me there was no air coming out of the vents in the pt compartment either. When I questiopned my boss it dawned on both of us that the prior battery issues may be causeing a problem now.

While I began explinging to Carrie and her husband the predictament, my Bossman Partner went inside to talk to the doc. The doc was very unerstanding, and said he would try to get the appropriate approvals to do an exam at the facility Carrie was staying in.

Carrie was a whole other story. I explained the problem with the pt compartment not working and that the doctor was going to reschedule. She was downright angry. I can understand her anger, I would be angry too. All she kept talking about though was the fact that we had a dvd player in the back of our unit and a GPS unit to tell us how to get places yet we can't keep our trucks in working condition. That is all I heard from her the entire trip back to her facility. Meanwhile I was more concerned with her well-being, which remained very stable.

I was kind of at a loss for what else to say to her, so I just let her be angry and rant. I took as much of the blame as she would let me. And then she looks at me and says "Just let me die." And the only thing I could say to her was "Not today Carrie, not today." And her husband is still sitting right there beside her with this look of tiredness and defeat....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

there is a bright side...

m father informed me that he got my title yesterday and took it to the WV DMV to get it changed to my name only, where they proceeded to advise him I needed to sign it before they could that. He called me to tell me and I was about to cry when he whispered into the phone "dont worry i forged your name" I LOVE MY DAD!!
So within the next week I should have the new title, in my name only, in my hand to finish up this god-forsaken process, and I will have the new PA insurance tomorrow afternoon!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

light at the end of the tunnel??

So my PA car insurance will go into effect on Friday, without having my car registered or titled in PA.

My dad, the great guy he is, went to the bank and they told him they would give him the title to get changed to my name only (without having to re-finance) and that he could fed-ex it to me to show to the title/registration people here and then I could fed-ex it back to the bank!

So hopefully by this time next week, I will be back to being legal.....I feel like such a bad ass running aorund all illegal in my car....hehehehe

Thanks for letting me rant (for 4 posts now...)

Penn DOT update #1

Ok, so I finally got a hold of a human at PennDOT and explained my situation was given a well rehearsed reply of "if the service you are using will accept proof of ID over fax or via mail then its ok" and when I asked to speak to someone above her she told me there was no one above her for me to speak to. I called back to the insurance/service center I had visited and told them PennDOTs response and was told the PennDOT woman I spoke to must not know the answer to questions and she advised I call back to PennDOT and talk to a different operator and see if I get the same answer because there was nothing the insurance company could do for me at this point other than the quote they gave me.

A second call made to PennDOT connected me to a different operator who was a bit more helpful. He told me that if both names were on the title then both parties must be present and licensed in PA. His definitive answer was that I would need to get the title in my name only, and if that meant refinancing my car then he guessed thats what Id have to do unless the bank would approve changing the title to just me.

I called my good ol' dad and he said he would run out the bank and talk with them and see if we could get just my name on the title without re-financing...

What a nightmare!!

PennDOT saga continues...

So I rushed out of work on Monday evening to get to the car insurance/car title and registration place before they closed. I made it with about 10 min to spare. I had all of my paperwork readily available for them, I was prepared for anything....or so I thought. As I handed over the current (expired) registration for my vehicle the woman got this look on her face, you know that one where she is about to tell me my puppy died....and tells me that I will have a problem. The problem is that both my name and my father's name appear on my title and registration with the word "or". The problem is 1) in PA it has to say "and" not "or" and 2) if the car title has two names linked with "and" both people must have PA drivers licenses and be present to handle the paperwork. My father lives approx 400 miles away, in WV.
See my problem yet?
So the insurance lady took enough information to give me a quote for insurance but advised I hold off on anything else and gave me the 1-800 number to PennDOT. As I type this I am on hold with PennDot, listening to some pretty crappy, repetitive music and announcement that advise all representatives are busy and reminding me to stay on the case I forget.

More to come when (if) I get through this phone call before I have to register another patient or go on another call.....

Friday, July 3, 2009

PennDOT saga

So I noticed two semi-important car details this week that needed to be taken care of sooner than later.
The first was that my WV inspection was dead as of midnight June 30, 2009. I had not realized just how soon this was approaching. The law in PA is that within 60 days of moving into the state you are supposed to switch your license, tags and registration to PA. I took this law as "as long as my WV stuff is current no one will even notice..." Well, I realized on June 30th that my inspection would be dying. I could not renew it in WV due to me not living there.
The second was that my WV license plates would be expiring soon (I thought July 31st....turns out while inspections die at midnight on the last day of the month license plates expire on the FIRST).

So I got off work around 1430 the other day and thought Id swing by the PA DMV and get everything switched over, no harm no foul. Turns out the system here is MUCH different than WV where you can do everything at once. The first place I had to go was the PennDOT drivers license center with all of my neccessary paperwork (original birth certificate, social sec. card, my old license, and 2 proofs of residency that consisted of things such as utility bills or lease agreements, mind you I have only the trash in my name everything else is in my roommates name and I havent signed my new lease yet....) But I was granted a 15 day temporary PA license while they assure themselves I do not already have a PA drivers license....
In order to get my tags, title, and registration in PA I have to have a PA drivers license, proof of PA car insurance, and proof of ownership (like the title to the vehicle). (I guess the fact that I possess one out of three is not all that great) I recived notice that since I now reside in PA, my old car insurance company can not cover me because they are notlicensed in PA, only in WV. (besides my policy with them expires July 13th).
Due to the holiday weekend I can not speak directly to any PA insurance companies until Monday.
I was told it will take $12.00 and 7-14 business days to request and recieve my title from the bank that I am paying my car payments through. and then another $111.00 to get my new registration and tags.

So for the time being I am driving a car that is titled, registered, and inspected in WV, all of which are now officially expired and have a temporary PA drivers license to boot.

Heres the real dilemma....I still work part time in WV and am scheduled for an 8-10 hour shift tomorrow. (rememebr its an easy, high paying job and its holiday pay) So I am going to chance the drive and pray that I either 1) dont get pulled over or 2) if I get pulled over I know the officer and can explain my predicament to them and get by with a warning..... ugh!!

more virginal moments

I am in the middle of a 10 day stretch of working my multiple jobs without a day off. Im not complaining....I have been getting to sharpen my skills and even had a couple virgin shattering moments this week.

Yesterday, from a medic point of view, was a satisfying day. I started my morning off out in triage ( which was uneventful) and shortly after that I went on a chest discomfort call.
A dialysis pt was waiting for his ride and began feeling his chest pounding and called 911. Pt was found in BLS care and to be in SVT at 160-180 bpm. Yes folks, the still-somewhat-new-paramedic had never had an SVT call on her own. His vitals were stable so I started a line and headed to the hospital on an easy class 2 (here thats lights and sirens as needed) and I got to give Adenosine for the first time. I gave 6 and then 12. Both doses worked, but the pt rebounded right back up to a rate in the 160s-170s. The underlying rythym was a sinus rythym. I still am not quite sure what could have been the underlying cause, but Im sure it had something to do with dialysis....I will be researching it.

Later, I was chatting with the other medics working and my partner was up in the rotation when a SOB call came in, he still needed to write a report from a cardiac arrest earlier in the morning so I took the call for him. It was dispatched as an 80 yof c/o SOB, called in by Life-alert. The BLS ambulance and I arrived on scene within 6 min of dispatch and found the pt in arrest....PEA, started CPR, got a line, pushed meds, got in the ambulance, got my 2nd field intubation ever, and worked her, gave 4 epi and 3 atropine, she remained in a PEA at 30-40 bpm. At the ER she went into V-tach (kinda looked like torsades) 2 times and they shocked her, but ended up calling it within 15 min.

And then I had one of the easiest ALS calls I have ever had but was an interesting educationally challenging call. A lady had an iron deficiency and had been at an out patient clinic for IV iron replacement. They sent her home after the treatment with no problems. 2 hours later she began feeling very ill and returned to the clinic, unable to get out of the car due to weakness. She was VERY pale. Turns out her BP was 60/30 and puls in low 50s. Apparently this is a side effect or adverse reaction to the Iron replacement. So I established my very first 16G IV (I know, so simple yet still another virginal moment for me!) and gave her approx 450cc by time we reached the hospital about 5 min later on a class 2.

So while none of these are BIG moments, the fact that had one on every call I was on made for a "big girl paramedic" day for me. I will admit I was a little down after my arrest. I know I followed my protocol, but could help feeling a bit in the dumps. I did get a compliment from a co-worker, especially after he found out it was my first "real" code on my own, my other was just sad.

As I have stated before, the more viriginal shattering calls I have the more and more I feel like a "real" paramedic.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Murphy's morning...

This morning has been what I would like to refer to as a Murphy's morning. If it can go wrong, it will:

1) I started out the morning feeling nauseated and having abd pain (which has been off and on for 2 1/2 wks and my doc wont listen to me)

2) Im going into work on my day off to cover for a fellow co-worker on bereavement.

3) I start my morning out in the triage medic spot, not so bad until the triage nurse computer starts acting up and pt are getting backed up and start to get cranky with me, since Im the only they can get to.

4) Then the baby scale in triage stops working, continuing the delay until someone can come in and simply change the batteries in it.

5) Then, I start feel better and think a nice hot cup of coffee would be really nice, I walk in the back since we finally got the pts checked in and even in beds and knock the whole damn cup over in the ER breakroom, spilling scalding hot coffee down the fron of my shirt and pants and all over the floor. I think I may have a slight burn on my stomach, a sore red area anyways, but I'll live.

6) Both of my partners are out on calls in the two trucks we have in service (our first due truck has been in the shop for almost a month) when my boss calls and says since the altenator is acting up in the 2nd due truck (again...its on its 5th or 6th one) to drop it off at the shop this morning and double up in the 3rd due truck while they replace the altenator.

I guess I really can understand about when it rains it pours.

Now I am nauseated again, and still caffiene deprived....this is going to be a long 8 hour shift......

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Staff Sergeant John Beale

SSgt John Beale.

He was 39, from Georgia, was a member of the Georgia National Guard’s 48th Infantry Brigade, and he married his wife right out of high school. He was also a Father of an 8 and a 12 year old.

He loved being in the military. He was deployed to Afghanistan a month ago, his second tour there and he died a few days ago thanks to an IED, alongside two of his fellow soldiers, 21-year-old Specialist Jeffrey Jordan, and 37-year-old Major Kevin Jenrette.

Until today I had never heard of or met this man or his family. I did learn today to what extent people care about and respect him and other members who are in the military fighting for our freedom and our country.

The following video proves just this.

Welcome Home SSgt John Beale, and thank you for your sacrifice for my freedom. May God bless you and your family and may you rest in peace.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

decent days

Day shift isnt so bad...

So I had pretty decent days at work yesterday and today. Got to run a variety of calls, and it made the days fly by. Yesterday I only went on one call, but it was interesting. Long story short, a woman suffered a cardiac arrest while talking on the phone to her friend in CA while sleeping on air matress in a duplex she was just moving into. The friend called the police in town, and PD, the FD, and I were dispatched. It took about 15 minutes before we were sure we were at the correct address before attempting to forcibly enter the locked building. One of the EMTs ended up going out the 2nd floor window of the duplex neighbor and across the roof to get into a window with an air conditioner it to find that our lady had been gone long enough to be incompatible with life. This was my first call like this at my new job with new procedures, I simply turned it over to PD and was released! Im used to having to sit around and wait for a coroner and then transport the body to the morgue.

Today I had a good variety of calls. I had an abd pain, a possible OD, and a MVC. The abd pain came in as a SOB, but it wasnt, obviously, but it was in BFE! I got to see a part of the county I will rarely see on a call according to my partners. The OD had actually happened the night before, but the guys wife was still worried, so it took one medic, 2 EMTs, and about 8 PD to convince him to go to the hospital without a fight. And it took the cops again to make him stay at the hospital as an involuntary commital. The MVC was a single car rollover, pt was not entrapped, but had a nice hematoma and lac to the head and pain in the shoulder blades, and the EMTs asked me to ride along. Pt was A&O the entire time, x-rays and CT showed a sub-dural bleed...go figure, she was sent off to the trauma center.

I finally caught up on all my paperwork and am now waiting the next 20 min for my relief so that I can go home and enjoy my day off tomorrow by sleeping in a bit, going to the doc, and packing up stuff at my old place to move into the new place next weekend!

Monday, June 15, 2009

squashed the little birdie

So my boss was my relief at work yesterday and he and I had a little talk. My boss says to not believe a thing my birdie tells me....
It was such a relief to get that burden off my shoulders. I for the life of me could not figure out what I had done to make any nurses or other medics upset. My boss confirmed he had heard nothing negative about me and that he asked me to switch to days temporarily just so I could get a little more experience, nothing more, nothing less. A simple confidence booster with being a newer medic and all. And truth be know I adapted to day shift pretty well. I only hope I can re-adapt to nights when I go back. Im not sure if day shift is a one month or an all summer thing, but I know its not longer than for the summer.
Im kind of looking forward to the summer here, lots of things going on in this historical town, war reanactments, bike rallies, and the one thing Im still getting used to is the people who walk around ALL DAY in Civil War garb....anyways, all is good on the work front.
I picked up another part time job, one or two days a week for a specialty transport company who specializes in ventilator pt transports, I start there tomorrow and will be down in WV at the racetrack this weekend, not sure if its motorcycles or cars, but no new war stories to tell yet.
Hope everyone has a good week, keep safe.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


well as I was sitting here at work I saw something that struck a happy memory chord...
I was sitting in triage at work today and in walked a couple guys in USAF blues. My father was in the USAF for 17yrs. The first 8 or so years of my life I was a USAF brat. One of my fondest memories as a kid was sitting on the floor at my fathers feet while he shined his boots every morning. Everytime I see a person in military uniform, especially the older camoflouge or USAF blues I flashback to the days of my early childhood. Oddly enough, the sight and/or smell of Kiwi brand shoe polish does it too. I always smile when I flashback to those days, and for that I am grateful, as it was not always cake in those days, as those were the years my parents worked their way through a divorce, which I don't really rememebr much of.

It is nice to be able to have some happy thoughts, especially on a rainy day that seems to make the whole world seem dreary.

little birdie....

It has been an interesting week folks. I started day shift this week on a temporary basis at work. I have a few concerns, one mainly. I was under the impression I was asked if I wanted to do days because someone else wanted to go to nights. Well, on my 2nd day shift a little birdy mentioned otherwise to me. Apparently the buzz around the other medics and nurses is that I have been making poor decisions on calls and was sent to days to get whipped back into shape since our call volume at night is so low. I know I dont have as much experience as other medics who have been doing this the same amount of time I have, but its not for my lack of trying, and my boss knew that when I got hired here, this is my first full time 911 job....and I absolutely love it, I dont want to lose it....
Honestly, Im not sure what bad decisions are being made, I know of one call, and I talked it over with both the doc and my boss, and everything was cool, or so I thought. I just think that if there is a problem my boss would have mentioned something to me, not a co-worker. And I have only a couple of people here at work I consider "friends" all the others are co-workers, and the few I consider friends say they havent heard anything, so I dont know. I guess I should just ask my boss to sit down with me and clear things up instead of letting this eat away at me....

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Next time I volunteer to stay over at work I hope I rememebr how I feel right at this very moment....I am tired, cranky, and VERY nauseated....All I want to do is go home and go to bed (like I should have done 4 hours ago!) Hopefully my relief gets here on time, it is not safe for me to be driving any large or even small vehicles around right now.....

Family time

Hey everyone. I know it's been a while.... I just got back from almost a whole week off work (I made it 6 days away from the full time job but managed to squeeze in 36 hrs at the hometown aquad while visiting my parents.) But I am only gonna talk about my visit with family in this post.

I spent about 6 days in my hometown this past week. It was really nice to spend some quality time with my Dad and Mom. They are the only two I saw for the most part. I did manage a few hours with Mimi, Pap and Cameron listening to the final high school softball game on the radio while eating some home made stew. I also managed a trip with my parents down to the capital of the state to visit my brother and his wife and kids for my neice's 1st birthday and boy was that fun!

Here she is sitting on Pap's lap after her morning nap before lunch and the festivities. She has such a great smile. My folks treated all of us to a nice lunch at Logans Steakhouse. I got the joy of riding next to my nephew in the back of my parent's car because he wanted to ride with Doh (my mom) and Pap (my dad).

He is so photogenic. He loves having his picture taking. He was showing off his new Spiderman shades here. After lunch we headed back to the house for cake and ice cream!

Here is a picture of the cake my talented mother baked for the occasion. For those of you not familiar it is the catipillar from Baby Einstein. and below you will see the end result of the cake eating, and just how much fun Sophie had.

Needless to say by 2:30pm she was ready for her afternoon nap. Overall it was a great visit and I was so excited to share such a happy occasion with my family. I tend to miss out on these things living so far away and not being able to visit often nearly enough, especially when it comes to my niece and nephew. I love you Cricket and Bucky!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I wish the best for you

I had a very emotional discussion this week with a very dear friend of mine. We discussed several things about life and love. It has really made me change my chain of thoughts this week. There are so many things in life that have changed recently for me, my family has changed forever, my thoughts on life, on friendship, my thoughts of myself are even different. I see things from a different point of view. I am not sure I like it. Its not as if I was looking through rose colored lenses, but I definitly wasnt seeing clearly, but only because I didnt want to, and I still dont, but I am seeing some things. But I guess we will only see and believe the things we want to. We are all guilty of that...

As I have mentioned before, sometimes I come across a song that puts my exact thoughts or mood into words. The song that wins that award right now is I wish the best for you by Emerson Hart.

The lyrics to this paticular song hit home for me with this paticular friend, in my opinion anyways, they might not think so, but I do.

I Wish the Best for You

How long can we wait here
To say goodbye?
The words once they're spoken
Are words that we can't take
Back to where we were, before
Things got in the way
Life gets so confusing
When you know what you're losing

Why can't we see that there's
More to love than we'll ever know
Sometimes you're closer when you're
Letting goI wish the best for you
I wish the best for you

We'll both regret the hurting
That we will do
You'll learn to forget me
And I'll tryI'll try to forget...

Why can't we see that there's
More to love than we'll ever know
Sometimes you're closer when you're
Letting go
I wish the best for you, I wish the best

If you ever need a place that you can run to
I'll be here, I'll be here

Why can't we see that there's
More to love than we'll ever know
Sometimes you're closer when you're
Letting go
I wish the best for you, I wish the best for you

Songwriters: Bronleewe, Matthew; Hart, Emerson

Saturday, May 16, 2009

granddad update

Well, I got to my hometown Tuesday afternoon to find my granddad in much worse shape than I had imagined. He left this world to be with the Lord Tuesday night. He no longer is suffering. It has been a long week. Although the reason for my homecoming along with a lot of family was sad, it was really nice to have everyone home for the first time in a year and half. I even got to meet some distant relatives. The viewing was on Friday at the church, and it was much better than I thought it owuld be. It was not a gloomy sad event, instead it was bright flowers, Glen Miller playing on the loudspeaker, and the sanctuary was filled with sunshine as God smiled down on the family of his newest son in heaven. It kind of reminded me of the welcoming home of the prodigal son story.... The funeral was wonderful today. Again it was kept upbeat for the most part and the sun shone bright all through the service and even through the graveside service, as we were getting back into our vehicles the cloudes open up as if theyhad been holding in the rain for months and it rained and rained for the last 8 hours, at some points almost monsoon like. This was a wake up call to me that even the things we think impossible are not. My grand dad was seen as indestructible by most, especially his family. Thanks to anyone who kept him and our family in your prayers. He is much better off now. Thanks again!

Tomorrow I will attend church with my family and then head back to PA for a few days then back home to have some much needed family time, especially with my father....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ill grandad

So I am heading to my parents house as soon as I get off work to go see my very ill grand father. From what my mom says he is not doing well AT ALL. So far I am ok, but Im not sure how I will be after I see for myself just how sick he is. My mom assures me he is not in any pain but he has been hallucinating for the last 2 or 3 days. He took a small spill down the steps a few weeks ago and ended up in the hospital then and then acquired a staph infection that is pretty I am still praying for him so that he doesnt suffer, and if that means it is his time to die, then so be it. Thanks again for any prayers.

And I know this is basically a repeat but I guess that just means I am worried....

first febrile seizure....

Work last night was not too terrible....I have 35 minutes to my relief gets here and I am ready for them. I started the night off in triage, and lets just say anytime between 0700 and 2300 is a bad time to be in triage, especially on a busy day when you have the same one or two patients constantly wondering why people are going before them, and how much longer they are going to have to wait to be seen for their stubbed toes or tooth aches....I took my triage rotation from 1830-2300 last night. The night was pretty quiet until we got called for a 15 month old baby girl having seizures and I was up in the rotation. When I got on scene the baby had stopped seizing but was HOT! Surprisingly mom didnt have her swaddled up thank goodness. As I was waiting for the BLS ambulance to show up I stripped baby down to diaper and beofre I could do anything else the ambulance crew showed up and grabbed all the equipment I had lugged up the stairs (my oxygen tank bag, my 80lb drug back and my hefty monitor...) while I carried baby down to the ambulance where I did the normal seizure stuff, blood glucose and temperature which was 101.7 rectal for me and then transported the baby to the hospital ( took it lights and sirens as needed...) I didnt bother with an IV as the baby was acting normal for her age. I turned over pt care at the hospital, the rectal temp they got was 104!
Needless to say my first pediatric seizure/febrile seizure went pretty well I thought.

Every time I have another "first" I feel more and more like a "real" least a more experienced one....guess thats really the only way to learn right??

adopted soldiers

So Last week I sent my first 2 packages to my newly "adopted soldiers". I know I briefly mentioned them before....One of them is Fredreick, I believe he is in the Army and the other is Tim, he is in the USMC. I have yet to hear back from Frederick, but I trust he is appreciative of the letters and the first package. Tim I know is...he is good with emailing on an almost daily basis. He emailed me the morning he recived my package (and it only took a week to get there!) and he told me it was perfect! I was excited to have gotten something right! I am just so excited to be able to brighten the day of 2 amercian soldiers, even if it is only momentary. So if anyone reading this has any ideas on what to send in my next package or would like to include anything, just send me a note and let me know!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Im back at work for another week of fun. Nothing exciting to report at the moment, although my partner went on an MVC of donorcycle vs car, and PA does not have a helpmet law FYI....needless to say the car won and the donor got flown to the truama center with some serious injuries....but seriously, how low on brain cells do have to be to drink and then go speeding on motorcycle?? Heres your sign! (at least thats job security.....)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Without you

Every now and then I find songs that describe exactly what I amthinking or what I wish I was thinking.....this song is one of those songs....

Without You by Hinder

I just wanna be alone tonight
I just wanna take a little breather
Cause lately all we do is fight
And every time it cuts me deeper

Cause something’s changed
You’ve been acting so strange
And its taking its toll on me
Its safe to say that I’m ready to let you leave

Without you, I live it up a little more everyday
Without you, I’m seein myself so differently
I didn’t wanna believe it then
But it all worked out in the end
When I watched you walk away
Well I never thought id say
I’m fine
Without you

Called you up cause’ it’s been long enough
And you said that you were so much better
We have done a lot of growing up
We were never meant to be together

Cause something changed, you were acting so strange
And it’s taken its toll on me
It’s safe to say that I’m ready to let you leave

Without you, I live it up a little more everyday
Without you, I’m seein myself so differently
I didn’t wanna believe it then
But it all worked out in the end
When I watched you walk away
Well I never thought id say
I’m fine
Without you

Cause something changed, you were acting so strange
And it’s taken its toll on me
It’s safe to say that I’m ready to let you leave

Without you, I live it up a little more everyday
Without you, I’m seein myself so differently
I didn’t wanna believe it then
But it all worked out in the end
When I watched you walk away
Well I never thought id say
I’m fine,
Without you
Without you
Without you
Without you
I just wanna be alone tonight,
I just wanna take a little breather.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

busy night, adopted soldier

Here I am finally getting to sit down tonight. Tonights been a pretty busy night for us here in Gburg. I finally caught up on my reports, finally got all 3 trucks checked off and fueled, and even got to eat dinner. Golly I love this job!

I recently adopted a soldier in Iraq through and I am pretty excited about it. They ask you to write a letter a week and send one package a month. While I was researching the legitimacy of the program I came in contact with a second soldier who I have been emailing for a few weeks. I feel honored to write these guys and send them packages in hopes that it will brighten their day, even if only for a few minutes while they put their lives on the line for me. Thats how I look at it anyways. But I am not mentioning this because I want to be told I am good person or anything like that, but so that if anyone is interested in writing them a note of gratitude or thanks Id be thrilled to add it in a goody box or a letter I am writing to them. Its one of the policies that I not give out their personal info, but please email me or message me on here and we can work together on sending something to them if you are interested!

catching up

So I didnt get to post about a few interesting things I have experienced in the last few weeks. I have always readily admitted to being a "green" medic, and at times have felt very unprepared or inadequate, but after the last few weeks I am finally starting to get a little bit comfortable with all the knowledge I have somehow managed to retain. As I have mentioned, I work full time as a medic in PA and vollie in WV. Well, for the last 4 weeks I have been managing 48-72 hours at a time in WV at my vollie station (yea I hate living in PA b/c I have no friends, so I keep running down to WV on my days off, thus not making new friends in PA..its a vicious cycle). I have been given a new nick name by my EMS chief....Dr. Death. I have managed to be toned out to at least one code a week for the past month, totaling around 5 only 2 I have been cancelled on. I have also had a few pts who are CTD when I show up. Last week my fire chief updated me on a stroke pt he and I had taken in...the guy lasted about a week in the hospital before having a second stroke and dying. Lats week I did a medic assist with a transport company, and although I have not heard, Im sure she has died too. I did get a neat experience out of that last one though. I had never done an IO before, and lucky for me we just got EZ IO drills not too long ago, It was crazy cool to get to do one. I am sure I mentioned some of this before, but felt like updating right there ya go...sorry for the droning...

Monday, May 4, 2009


so for the last 3 weeks or so I have been joining the crazed teen fans of Twilight. I watched the movie when it first came out and put off reading the books. 3 weeks ago my best friend challenged me to just read the first few pages and if I didnt like it, no harm, no foul....well needless to say I just finished the 3rd book out of 4 and my hands and mind are itching for the next one. I am trying to pace myself because I think I'll be sad when I am finished.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

life thoughts

Well, I am back up in PA after another weekend trip to WV. I honestly am not sure what to do. I love working in Gettysburg and working in a 911 system instead of the transport system I was working in before, but I am very unhappy with my living situation. Its a great apartment with a great landlord and all at a decent price, but I get so lonely and depressed on my days off work. I have no friends up here except my best friend who lives 25 miles from my apartment who works a shift opposite mine so I rarely see her, so for the last month I have been driving back to WV and crashing in the bunkroom of my home fire department, and I can honestly say I feel happier. I have been told on more than one occasion now that my friends can tell a difference in my voice and demeanor when they talk to me depending on if I am at home in my aparment or hanging out in WV. I really dont want to pack up and move again, but maybe its worth it? I honestly dont know. I do know I like living alone....the freedom to coem and go without having to worry about bothering a roomate, only having to clean up afetr myself, no drama besides whats going on inside my head, I dont have to worry about being accused of breaking or stealing or misplacing anything. I really miss being in WV though. I think I have always been a WV girl at heart, its my home. I am sure that eventually I will relocate back there, I guess when the time is right, and I absolutely love the eastern panhandle, especially my Shepherdstown.

Well, like I mentioned I am back up in PA for a few days to work, and am supposed to go to Baltimore this coming friday with some people from work....we shall see....

Friday, May 1, 2009

first hand gun lesson/target practice

So although I didnt get the pictures up last night due to me trying to get some much needed sleep, I did promise they would be here... We had an impromptu target ( a pizza box with a red dot spray painted on it near the center) I had 8 rounds...all 8 hit the cardboard 5 in the red, one on the edge and 2 outside red dot. The boys I was shooting with didnt do as, Josh, managed to get the cardboard 4 times (none in the red zone) and Kyle (the gun owner) only hit the cardboard once. Needless to say I was told I was quick learner. Now I understand this was by no means an official lesson, but I had a GREAT time and can not wait to try out different hand guns til I find THE one....then its just perfecting the shot from there!
Heres the makeshift target after my turn, I didnt get a picture after all three of us shot.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

preamble to handgun lesson...

I am back in WV for a few days again this week. I am heading out to a friend's house in a little while for my very first hand gun experience and I am SO excited!! I have been trying to get a few of my friends to let me try theirs out and this is the first time I have made definite plans!! I'll see if I cant get a few pics and put them on here later tonight and let you know how it went.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

swine flu

So we are wearing these everytime someone steps foot in the waiting room at work. And if they show just 2 of the folowing signs:
Nasal congestion or runny nose
Sore throat
Fever of 100 or greater
Then you win a mask for yourself and for anyone who came in with you. Today began fit testing for N-95 masks as well, and I failed!! Not sure what that means except that I get a different mask and different test for that mask, but Im not the only one....I know its for my safety, but its a pain!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

1st code

So I just got back from the hospital after running my first code as the lead medic....and the only medic for a little bit. The code was a sad one, what felt like a wasted effort from the beginning. I mean, the pt was an end stage lung CA pt but the pt or their family decided NOT to make him a DNR. According to the nursing staff the downtime prior to CPR was <10 style="font-style: italic;"> sealed drug bag!! Thank god they always dispatch two stations on a code, when our friendly neighbors showed up I borrowed theirs...I tried to get our Med command pronounce this poor guy before we transported but apparently there is an unwritten rule...since I had put my pt on my cot and in my unit while my Med Command had me on hold...yes I said on hold....they would not pronounce the pt because we had technically left the facility. WTF? So I was told to continue my ACLS protocol and transport...10 miles to the closest I had my FF boys pumping, my fellow EMT bagging and me pushing the drugs on a pt that was not going to come back....Sometimes I just dont understand. The pt ended up down for almost an hour by time we rolled into the ER and there he was pronounced by the doctor. now he can RIP hopefully.

So as far as my very first code as the lead medic, it went ok, I didnt even break a sweat...(which I do quite often even when I dont feel pressured...) I am finally starting to feel like a paramedic...only 2 years into it, guess I'll stick it out for a while longer.

true friends

well folks, Im back in wv roots for a few days, yes again. I really enjoy coming down here. I love Shepherdstown and the atmosphere here and the familiarity of my home fire dept.

I got to experience a wonderful time with an old college girlfriend of mine tonight...we spent the evening talking and laughing as we went to an old favorite diner of ours and then skinny dipping in the hot tub (a first for me...) and we spent time catching up on each others lives and remebering our past, both good and bad and talking about who we have become because of those experiences. It was the most fun I have had in a long time. Its a true reminder of how we all need people, we all need friends...people we can rely on and open up to who wont judge us because we have different ideas and opinions. Thank you to all of my true friends....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

was a pretty slow night here in Gburg. I think we had a total of 3 ALS for each us.

My relief is supposed to come in an hour early because he needs off an hour early tonight so he asked if I would relieve him an hour early tonight, ought to be fun since today is Skills day for my job...ALL DAY! Good thing my bossman is so understanding, he says us night owls can show up for as long as we can and duck out when needed and we sill still get paid for and receive 7 hours CE credits...sweetness!

I still have 25 min left on my shift...nothing new really going on, finally got convinced to start the Twilight book series and I'll be damned if Im not hooked....havent even finished the 1st book, have been reading it all night, cant seem to pry my fingers from it long enough except to run a call or do a favor for one of the RNs or doctors....speaking of which, my fingers are itching for the next page already...gtg!

Monday, April 20, 2009

abortion survivor

Gianna Jessen, Abortion Survivor Part 1 and Part 2

This woman has touched my heart with this speech. And reading the comments from other viewers makes you think too. I can't help but believe that she is serving the purpose for which she was intended, that God spared her life to share his message and spread his love.

Miss USA

I personally dont watch the Miss USA pagents but a few headlines caught my attention the question about gay marriage specifically. No matter what the woman would have answered there were bound to be people who agreed and disagreed. Now people are bashing her. At least she was honest, thats all anyone could have asked her for. It was a lose/lose situation. Why would the writers of that purposefully cause such a stir? There arent enough problems in today's economy?\

Ok, Im off my soapbox now....

Friday, April 17, 2009

code blue

Well I have been at my volunteer station for the last couple days and it has been a quiet visit, only 2 calls so far- one was a 19 yof w/ chest pain that ended with a refusal and last night we ran a code blue with a mutual aid company. It surprises me every time we run a code how it seems life a major CF...EVERYTIME!! There are always things that you think could have gone better and sometimes things that SHOULD have gone why would you not check for lung sounds after tubing someone? oh yea I forgot "I saw condensation in the tube" is a guarantee.....and that was from 2 medics already there...i guess the saying too many cooks spoil the soup can fit in here....and then instead of doing continuous compressions they want to mess aorund with the auto pulse not just once or twice but several times!! I will never understand!!! And then the looks you get from an EMT who just isnt pushing quite hard enough....especially when he's a fire chief.... But over all it went ok, hell I even learned something new about LifePaks....turns out if you are going to try and pace someone you have to have the limb leads attatched to see if its capturing...thats one to note in the memory bank....

Thursday, April 16, 2009


While i love both my sisters indefinitely, it amazes me how different yet how similar we are. For as long as I can remember my older sister and I have always had a rough relationship while my younger sister and I have always been best friends and the two of them usually leave me as the odd man out. When it comes to family matters the three of us are usually good at keeping each other informed as to whats happening with each other, our significant others and of course our parents. Thats where the problems usually derive from, in particular our mother. While she is the woman who gave birth to me and gave me the beginnings of my roots (for 8 or 9 years) she has always been a better friend than a mother to me. My sisters and I all have different view points and experiences with her. While my little sister and I have not lived with her for damn near fifteen years, my older sister has only been living without her for less than a year. It has been a long road with my sisters and my mother, especially of late. I seem to be the only one even willing to communicate with her these days due to some recent life choices she has made. While I am concerned about her choices I feel that she is an adult and may choose to live her life as she see fits, while my sisters would rather dissaprove and let her know they disapprove and not communicate with her until she sees the error of her ways. Lately I have been concerned for her well being from the reports my older sister gives me since they live in Alabama while the younger sister lives in WV and I am now residing in PA. The latest report from my older sister was that my mother was last seen with a blck eye and broken glasses, claiming "fall in the yard" to one relative and just simply "a fall" to my sister. My older sibling tells me they man my mother has been cohabitating with has a history of drugs and possibly violence...and that my older sibling doesnt really give a damn and thinks my mother must reap what she sowed. I on the other hand feel my mother may have gotten herself into something she either feels 1) she cant get out of or 2) that its her only choice, that she has no where else to go and that she might in fact deserve whatever might be happening. I am at a complete loss as to what to do. I have always tried to stay nuetral when it comes to disagreements or arguments between my older sister and mother, as they are frequent and usually sound petty to me, but I refuse to choose between my mother and my sister and maybe thats why it has always been so rough between my older sister and I. I guess I will just as the Big Guy upstairs to keep an eye on her for me and help her find her way home, wherever that home is....

Pizza anyone??

I hear Dominoes is running a special.... I'll take two of those!!

Hard and Fast

Found this video on Rougue Medics posting today...he had 2 great posts today....check it out!

maybe saved one?

Well folks, the more time I spend in the blog worl the more I enjoy it. I find that I love reading others blogs and they indpire me to write more in mine. Although I do not feel I have the tongue for writing. But who cares? This blog is for my benefit only.

I had the biggest feeling of accomplishment this morning when ZI left work. It was a pretty slow night at work, only one call all night but it was one where someone actually needed help. Around 8pm we got dispatched for a teenage boy on a school trip having an allergic reaction. Turns out the boy had unkjnowingly ingested some kind of food that had peanuts in it, and well he is allergic to peanuts. He had apparently had a bad reaction before but for some reason his doctor did not see fit to prescribe him with an Epi Pen, but instead told him to just take benadryl. Well 30 min after ingesting this food this boys face and lips swelled, his chaperone gave him some benedryl which helped, about 5 hours later the reaction which had been downplayed with the benedryl was still going on and hives were beginning to show and grow. Although the boy was not in any respiratory distress 911 was called when a second dose of benedryl didnt seem to be working.
Initially I thought the boy was doing just fine, his breathing was great his vital signs were text book perfect, but I as the ALS provider dutifully took the call, hooked the boy up with the run of the mill ALS equipment: monitor and IV. I was getting my infor and taking vitals and called my report in and we were taking the ride nice and easy to the hospital. After taking my 3rd set of vitals I noticed my pt was getting sleepy and his vitals were trending downward and pretty fast, in a matter of 10 min. Although his breathing still seemed to be ok, I took the initiative to give him a little boost with my friend Epinephrine and opened his IV fluids and turned the lights and sirens on. Pt was treated at the ED and was released in under 3 hours with a brand new script for an Epi-Pen...
Now keep in mind, as I have noted before, I have been a medic for about 2 years but there are so many things I have yet to experience, a severe allergic reaction being one of them. I am still learning the new protocols at work and I knew I had followed them on this call, it states if the pt has respiratory distress or hypovolemia (low BP) that is <90 then go ahead with the Epi. I found myself pondering if I had indeed made the right choice. I hate to become a "cookbook" medic, doing things only because thats what protocol says, but I felt I may have in this case. I have spoken with a few peer medics since the call and for the most part get the same answer, "well the epi wasnt going to hurt him, you did what you thought was best for the pt".

Truth be known I was scared half to death, but knew as long as I stuck to the protocol Id at least be safe in court....

Its times like these I wish Id had the opportunity to get more experience when I was still in school or precepting. But it's not as if I didnt try, I really did...damn white cloud....