Thursday, December 2, 2010

RIP WCO David Grove, LODD 11/11/10

Recently a young, thriving Wildlife Conservation Officer was killed in the line of duty, just doing his job, all because someone was breaking the law, again, and didn't want to pay the consequences. Well Officer Grove, I hope justice is served for your death and I sincerely hope that peace will come to you friends, family, and all of those affected by this. I unfortunately did not have the honor of meeting you, but I have not heard anything negative about you.

here are just a few links with some details about the incident fro any of you who are interested:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

IKDG Chapter 1 review

Ok, So like I mentioned earlier I plan on writing some thoughts about I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris as I read it. I finished the first chapter along with the study guide this week.

The first chapter teaches about "smart love". It refers to Phillipians 1:9-10 which states "God not only wants me to act differently, He wants me to think differently- to view love, purity, and singleness from His perspective, to have a new lifestyle and attitude." In smart love we must use our heads as well as our hearts.  Mr Harris says "By avoiding romance before God tells me I'm ready for it, I can better serve girls as a friend, and I can remain free to keep my focus on the Lord. [...] God wants us to seek guidance from scriptural truth, not feeling. Smart love looks beyond personal desires and the gratification of the moment. It looks at the big picture: serving others and glorifying God." Mr. Harris also uses two other scriptures in this chapter: Matthew 10:29 and Luke 12:2.

I am using the study guide designed by Joshua Harris as I read this book, reading and answering the questions in a notebook as I go. I am not going to write and answer the questions on here as they get lengthy and somewhat personal, but I will however include bits and pieces. As I mentioned in a previous post the first time I read this book as a 15 year old freshman in high school, I was very innocent and naive at that time. I think that reading this book 11 years later will most definitely give me a different perspective.  Ten years ago I had difficulty just getting past the title, who would want to kiss dating goodbye? Certainly not me, I hadn't even begun dating yet! Today is a little different, I have had relationships, some serious, some not so serious, some that last for several years, others only hours long. I currently am not dating, but sometimes I feel as if I am missing out on something, so I am re-reading this book in hopes of renewing my faith and personal relationship with Christ, making it better than it was in high school. In the last several years my focus has not been in the right place. My focus has been on myself, my roommate, work, family, everything but God. I have forgotten who it is I should be trying to please, not myself, not others, but God and only God and in return I will be blessed by Him.  This chapter, and the Philippians verse (1:9-10) challenges.encourages me to learn what and how to "love appropriately" so that I can love intelligently, love much, and love well, to avoid "sentimental gush".

Joshua states on last statement in the study guide that I feel pertinent to remember "Obedience to God looks boring- pursuing the world and its pleasures appears tantalizing." We have to remember while it may appear tantalizing now, the effects of being obedient to God will have much bigger and better results in the end.

Thanks for reading, and if anyone would like to discuss this book, I'd love to, feel free to contact me!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I have decided to re-read a book I read in high school with a group of girls called I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. It is a book that gives a very interesting look at Dating, or not dating and courting instead, all based in a Christian setting. I remember bits and pieces of this book, but it has been 10 years since I have read it and have a lot of life changing experiences since last reading it. I plan on blogging about the book, my opinions and anything I may learn as I read. I already know that I may not agree with everything Mr Harris may have to say but I am interested in how different my opinions are now opposed to when I was 15 years old and reading this book for the first time. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The next music star in my family...

This is a video of me niece, shot by my sister-in-law

Ben, Laura, Ted & Sophie: take me home, country roads: "Sophie has learned a new song. Again, not out of us directly teaching her. Just out of pure exposure. The other day at Giant Eagle, Country ..."

You can't treat what you don't see

I have noticed recently a disturbing trend with the BLS crews I that I work with regularly, they aren't doing full assessments. They aren't getting the full story. They are too worried with response times, on scene times, and turn around times, or they just seem like they don't care. This can make my job as an ALS provider difficult, especially if they are rendezvousing with me between the scene and the hospital, there's no family to tell me the story and the patient is unable to or is a poor historian, which in turn makes me look like the imbecile upon arriving at the hospital and telling the nurse nothing more than a generic chief complaint with no pt history, meds, or even allergies sometimes, just what I found in my assessment and what I did to treat my patient.
This doesn't apply only to medical patients, I have had run ins on trauma calls as well. (These are not every call events, but I am hoping its not a new trend either) Crews not getting a full story and by time I meet the BLS crew the helicopter is already 5-10 min out, I know my pt has some sort of traumatic injury, and the pt is still dressed.  I have 5-10 min to assess the injuries (including exposing the patient so I can properly assess injuries), try to gather a story if any family is present, or hopefully peek at the vehicle (if I meet crew on scene), and start treatment.
I am sure I am not the only person to struggle with this. I am not trying to whine or complain here, just want to  figure out a way I can reach out to these folks and express the importance of a full, proper assessment, no matter how minor the "emergency" may seem, no matter how close to the hospital you are, or how hard the adrenaline has your heart pumping. Our care needs to be more patient focused and less focused on turn around times or the fact that a patient is a frequent flyer.
Each patient deserves our very best, each and every time.

Monday, November 1, 2010

spiritual growth

I have recently decided to renew my relationship with God. I used to be very close to Him and over the last 8 years I have strayed away and even defied Him in so many ways. While trying to figure out how to this I have encountered several websites, blogs, and have even had the opportunity to meet new people and have have very insightful conversations with old friends. One blog in particular that I have found is a blog by a woman named Erin Taylor. I found her blog through
In one of her blog entries Erin states "If I were to lean into my Prince would He not guide me in the waltz we call life? Would it not be the most beautiful dance ever choreographed?" Those two sentences hit me like a ton of bricks. It is so true.  Erin also says "Today I rest in that I am valuable simply because I am His. He chose me. He loves me and I am whole. When life spirals I white knuckle those truths and step one foot in front of the other in the race He has called me, just me, to run." This reminds me that I need to let go so much more. Most days I feel like I am letting God run the show when in reality I am trying to do all the directing. I have been holding on to MY life and living it MY way, to benefit ME and to do things on MY time. It took Erin's blog entry and a recent conversation with a new friend for me to recognize this.  I should be spending more time listening to God and living a life for Him than for myself. My thoughts before my actions shouldn't be "how will this affect me?" or "what do I want out of this"  but instead just leaving the "how", "what" and most importantly "why" up to God. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

a friend and a prayer

It amazes me how you can find a friend in someone you never thought you would. Tonight I was chatting with a friend who works as an emt at a local fd that I run mutual aid with as a medic and we had what was a very emotional conversation for me and I don’t think they even knew it. We got on the topic of how I have wanted to lose weight for some time now but I feel like it doesn’t matter what I do it either doesn’t work or only for a little bit. I was not expecting to get nearly as emotional as I did. I found myself not just shedding a tear or two at how kind he was being and how encouraging he was trying to be but I found myself sobbing, sitting in the medic office at work crying like a damn blubbering fool.  This is a person who until tonight I considered only an acquaintance of work. It was great joy to learn they could be a source of encouragement and motivation.  I have had so much going on in my personal life that I feel like I am losing control, slowly but surely. I feel like I was spun in circles and let loose in a dark room with a lot of random objects to run into and stumble over. I have tried deep breathing, I have tried reading, I tried throwing myself into my Bible, but I feel like either its not working or Im not doing it right. This is the second time I have ended up crying today…earlier was in public while at the doctor office and I have no idea what provoked it.  

Please help me! Guide me closer to you, if I can give all my burdens to you and live for you then everything else won’t matter! I need to shed myself of the things that are standing between you and me, the things that I have let into my life and run it instead of listening to your plan.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I am looking at having to board my dog for the first time. I am almost in tears, this is ridiculous! There is a schedule problem with my roommate and I. I will basically be working a 24 and she gets off at 6am but has plans to go visit her sick grandmother, but shes not 100% sure. So I would rather play it safe and have him boarded than her not be here and me not be here, thats just cruel! I called my boss from work for a recommendation and the place he recommended is an animal hospital, but they are full, so I asked them for a recommendation and am checking them out now....i just want the best for my little guy....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

filling a void

So recently I have been doing a lot of self research. By self research I mean trying to figure out what I want in life, where I wanna see myself in the future, what I can get out of my life. The more research I did the more I realized there was something missing, and that maybe I was searching in the wrong direction for the wrong things. When I was in high school I had what felt like a tight-knit relationship with Christ. I was very involved in various church activities and also with a Christian organization known as Young Life. When I went off to college my relationship with Christ slowly dissipated, I didnt have strong support of friends and family I had and I apparently was not strong enough in my faith to stay close to God. I did my own thing and experienced the world. It has only been in the last year or so, even more in the last few months that I realized I want that relationship back, I want to renew my faith. So I have recently begun the task of "church shopping" trying to find I church where I feel welcomed and comfortable, one that can help me grow in a relationship with Christ, one where I dont feel like just another face, one that has a good young adult ministry to help me, because I honestly feel like I  have been spun around until I am dizzy and then let loose in a pitch black cave to find my way out.

I have attended the United Methodist church here in town a few times, I was raised Methodist so I knew the service would be familiar, and it was....I even got invited to the young adult ministry group, which consisted of 3 others. A new group without a real plan for the class. And they were as nice as can be, they made me feel welcome, and included me on the planning for the next year of possibilities for the group, but the church in whole I dont feel is what I am really interested in, they didnt have the strong base for a young adult group like I am interested in, and only offer one contemporary service a month.

Today I tried a new church, one that sounded great online, it was supposed to be a community church, non-denominational. Well I found the building, double checked the address, but the name of the church was not the same as I had seen online, but decided to go anyways. I sat through an hour of the service and was completely taken aback by some of the things I heard. While they had the contemporary music, the rest of the leadership lacked a lot, there was no real theme for the service, they quoted multiple scriptures on tithe and offerings before asking the congregation to walk up and place offerings and then just continued to quote random scripture and have random people come up and give testimonials, anyone who felt like talking they gave a mic to....and then started talking about things in heaven I had never heard before. I didnt want to get up and leave and be rude, but I also was very uncomfortable staying. When an hour into the service they had a stand up and greet people time, I quietly slipped out the back and left.

I will do some more searching this week, and hopefully try a new one next week, meanwhile I am going to try and do more reading in my Bible and pray for direction and then Im going to sit and listen, and hope I hear what God has to say.....

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New drug: K2?

I recently learned of a new substance for our fellow druggies to favor. Apparently there is a new drug called K2. It is a synthetic cannabinoid. And the word I hear is it gives a much better high than good ol' MJ. It apparently was originally created for incense but people have discovered its other capabilities and it looks pretty close to MJ and is smoked in the same fashion. I have heard that it can not be traced in a UDS (urine drug screen) like MJ can I am not claiming all of this to be fact, just word of mouth. Have any of you encountered any pts on this drug or have any better info? I know some states have begun to ban it. Here's a little info courtesy if Wikipedia.

I'd love to hear back from any of you folks on this....

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Newfound hobby??

I have been playing with the idea of purchasing a handgun to learn how to shoot as a new hobby. I finally got the opportunity to get some hands on experience this week.Yesterday I had the opportunity to join a fellow paramedic friend of mine along with a gentleman who is well versed not only in the workings of the fire department for multiple decades but also in firearms. We drove out across the mountain to an outdoor range where I had the opportunity to try several different firearms. I tried both a 22 and 45 revolver, the 45 was much larger and heavier than the 22 and also packed a heck of a kick but it did have a scope on it which was pretty interesting. I also tried multiple semi-automatics to include a 22, a 40, a 45, and a 9mil. While these were all pretty similar in size, the 40 really held a punch as it was a stub-nose. (PS I learned a lot of these terms yesterday and what they mean) I found that the 22 and 9mil seemed to be the best fit comfort wise for me in handling and shooting. I now feel a little more comfortable in terms of purchasing a gun, now that I know Im comfortable shooting one and have an idea what the difference is. Still deciding what I might purchase, but I now know how to use the safety on guns and how to load both a revolver and semi-automatic, not to mention learned just how fun and stress relieving it is to empty a magazine! :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

So for those of you who actually follow me you will notice I took a break, sorry for no notice. I have been having a rough time in the personal life. I bailed on the diet, even though it was working, I just didnt feel like I had the energy to keep up with it. I am going to try again, maybe not as strictly, but with a health mindset and use the diet as a guide. I think I will also join Curves. I dont feel comfortable at a gym, I always feel like Im being judged. So again,, I ask for any support and motivation you can send my way. Please!

Thanks, and I'll try to be a bit more avid about posting....

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One day...

One day you’re gonna want that girl. that girl that knew she wasn’t perfect, but tried to be perfect for you. the girl that believed the scraps of you she was given were worth it, because something was better than nothing. that girl who wanted nothing more than to be there for you, and loving you was the only way she could. the girl who sees your flaws, but values them as much as your strengths. that girl who still can’t bring herself to hate you, even though sometimes you probably deserve it. that girl who saw past your pretty eyes and treasured parts of you that no one else has ever appreciated. the girl who realizes she may never have your heart, but will carry the image of you in hers forever. the girl that sees this and still loves you.

what would you do? interesting case...

Had an interesting call this shift. Got dispatch Class 1 for an ill person (gotta love those!) Pt wife states pt was sitting in the recliner after dinner and was fine she went outside for a little bit and came back in and found him "sleeping" in the chair and then she tried to wake him and was unable to do so, so she called 911, stating he was unconscious for 5-10 min before we got there. Upon our arrival pt was awake and sitting in chair, pt appeared to be aware of what was going on but was unable to talk. Pt had a pituitary tumor 5 yrs ago and recently the doctors found another mass this time to his left frontal lobe, took a biopsy last week, pt still has sutures in from biopsy procedure, suture site looks healthy. Pt VS are all WNL and I worked out communications with pt by asking yes/no questions and having him squeeze my hand once for yes and twice for no and again he seemed like he was aware of what was going on but just couldnt talk! Blood sugar was 143, no facial droop or arm drift, pt could stand and pivot to stairchair and then again to stretcher with a steady gait. So I took the pt 50 miles (telling my driver I wanted an easy ride, but not to fiddle faddle around either, to use lights and sirens if needed) to the hospital where his biopsy was done instead of the local hospital.
I dont know if I didnt sound sure of myself or what but the triage nurse seemed to focus on the fact that he couldnt speak and the onset time of that and immediately jumped to stroke, and she completely ignored the fact that they had drilled into this mans brain a week she called a stroke team member in who performed the same tests I had done in the field (looking for facial droop, arm drift, or weakness in extremities and checked his pupils/gaze) and stated "this is not a brain attack". Seriously? If I had compelling evidence this was a CVA I would have flown him instead of taking him an hour by ground considering he was almost an hour and half into the episode. Maybe Im in the wrong here, maybe I was being egotistical, but I did comeplete my assessment, several times, in the field and assumed this was an issue with the mass/tumor they had found recently.  Upon arrival of the hospital the pt could answer "yeah" and "no" to questions but was still unable to even state his name.

What would you all have done? Taken him an hour by ground or flew him?

Monday, June 28, 2010

weigh in #4

Weighing in at 294 this week....Im starting to slack....a lot....and to top it off Im not having a good "mental health" week either....
I was having a conversation with a long time friend of mine that I met in the very beginning of my EMS career and I have to say I got very defensive for the first time in a while. I started in EMS in a very rural, small town. My hometown consists of a town of maybe 6000 folks in the city and thousands more in BFE. The average time for a call can be anywhere from 20 min (in town) up to hours long in the country. The nearest trauma center is an hour and half from town by ground on a winding back road or 2 hours on the straighter main road (depending on where in the county you are) while the local ER has a grand total of 6 beds, the next closes hospital has a 3 bed get the picture. From there I joined the local FD where I went to college, and while the pace was a littler faster it still wasn't much, we averaged 700-800 EMS calls a year and the local hospital had up to 12 beds and the local trauma center was only 45 min by ground. Now I work for a hospital based medic truck that averages about 3000 calls a year and well, I have to say I have tested the waters with city EMS, I did practicals in school in big cities, and did some ride time with my part time job in the city and it's just not me. I enjoy having the longer transport times and spending a little extra time with my patients.

Anyways, I was on the phone with this friend and he put down the fact I worked in rural EMS. This is not the first time he has done this, he has several times and it finally got to me. I have gotten this attitude from several "big city" EMS folks, like they are better because they run 20+ calls in a 24 hour shift and I might run 5 calls or I might not turn a wheel. Just who do they think they are? It really irritated me. It does not make me any less of a medic because I work in a rural area or because I like  it.

That is all...thanks for the steam blowing!

Friday, June 18, 2010

weigh in #3

Weighed in last night at 292lbs....but I also cheated a bit this week... :/   Im gonna do better this week...heck I even walked to work 3 of my 5 days this week!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

weigh in #2

Finished week 3 of the new meal plan and an happy to announce I am weighing in at 293 today! This makes a grand total of 23 pounds since Christmas and 7 lbs in the last 3 weeks.  Now if I could only motivate myself to start doing some physical exercise I know I could lose more weight and maybe even build up some strength and stamina...

Monday, May 31, 2010

weigh in #1

Ok, its been 2 weeks since I started this new healthy lifestyle eating plan. I am weiging in today at 295. Thats a 5 pound loss. Not too shabby if I do say so myself..... I have been doing pretty good on this plan, only had one or two occasions where my will power lost, but I didn't go crazy with it. Now if I can just motivate myself to get more exercise in this new lifestyle...I need an exercise buddy that will call me out and make me accountable, Id be happy with just a walking buddy 3 days a week....I simply need to get off my lazy butt.....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Sorry its been so long.
My roommate/best friend has been sick for the last 5-6 weeks, something to do with her GI system, they are thinking gastroparesis. Meanwhile since she has been sick she has been unable to work. We have been dealing but its getting to the point that Im not sure what we are going to do. She has not worked in a month. She knew that no working=no income. She is working on getting a temporary disability which will include rent assistance and such. I talked to her tonight and asked what our landlord said when she talked to them. Guess what...she hasnt yet! Rent is due in 4 days. I knew she had been waiting to hear from the assistance office, but our landlord is expecting rent, paid in full on the 1st. I am not mad that she is sick and can not work. I am mad that she hasnt taken the initiative to straighten things like this out. It leaves a lot of pressure on me. I have been working a lot of hours in hopes of putting some funds away in savings for emergencies and for vacation. She is my best friend, she is like a sister to me. I know she is frustrated, but this doesnt affect only her. I am trying to be as supportive as I can, trying to keep her from getting depressed, but I cant do it anymore. Im too tired. Physically tired, emotionally drained....I dont know what to do...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

no regrets

"Eat that damn chocolate cake, get your hair wet, love someone, dance in those muddy puddles, tell someone off, draw a picture with crayons like you’re still 6 years old and then give it to someone who is very important to you. Take a nap, go on vacation, do a cartwheel, make your own recipe, dance like no one sees you, paint each nail a different color, take a bubble bath, laugh at a corny joke. Get on that table and dance, pick strawberries, take a jog, plant a garden, make an ugly shirt and wear it all day, learn a new language, write a song, date someone you wouldn’t usually go for, make a scrap book, go on a picnic, relax in the sun, make your own home video, kiss the un-kissed, hug the un-hugged, love the unloved, and live your life to the fullest. So when you’re standing in front of heaven’s gate that chosen day, you’ll have no regrets, no sorrows, no disappointments."

THIS (found this at "and it's love" tumblr)

Monday, May 17, 2010

oxygen, harmful or not?

Im pretty sure oxygen is a good thing, in the majority of cases anyways. In the last 24 hours I have had 2 encounters where I thought a bit more O2 would definitely be a good thing, but was contradicted by providers with more schooling than me.

event #1:  severe asthmatic comes in to the ER and we take them straight to a bed, I pull out a duoneb treatment (cause it takes respiratory a few min to get downstairs after someone calls them) and give the pt a neb via mask on oxygen when the RN tells me "no, use the medical air"...what?? When she sees my confused look she says they normally use medical air, and I inform her we (the medics) use oxygen, pt got the neb via oxygen in the end....

event #2: 20 something y/o male, intoxicated, took a swan dive head first 6-7 feet into a cement trench. Pt unconscious and unresponsive, lac to right temporal, no active bleeding, pupils round, equal, but non reactive to light, pt breathing 12 times a min but shallow with snoring resps, lung sounds clear and equal, O2 sats at 02%, pt resps assisted via BVM, when OPA was attempted pt clenched down. 2 large bore IVs established,  24 min from on scene time to completing extrication of pt from the trench via stokes basket. Upon arrival of flight crew I asked if they wanted to RSI and they replied "no, he's breathing on his own".

I dont know if they were concerned with increasing the ICP, but found it interesting they opted not to intubate. Follow up of the pt was pt had an open fx to right temporal area, several closed fx, an epidural bleed to right temporal lobe and a parenchymal hemorrhage.  Pt was intubated at trauma center upon arrival. Pt was extubated approx 8-10 hrs later and is now alert and oriented but still in ICU at trauma center.

What do you all think?

Monday, May 10, 2010

new life plan

So I know I haven't written in a while, things have gotten a bit stressful in my life with working my fulltime job and fulltime hours at my part time job and a very ill roommate I have been trying to take care of. The theme of my posts are going to be changing a bit, while I am going to keep up my blogs about work and EMS, I am going to start writing about the healthier lifestyle I am struggling to obtain in attempt to not struggle so much. Your thoughts and advice are welcome, but please refrain from any nagging or negative comments on weight loss, etc., I have enough of those running in my head already....

Last week I found and ordered what I hope to be the start of a new, healthier lifestyle for me. I did some research and found Rob Nevins' Skinny Switch Secret.  It has a lot of things I like, it has 24/7 community help via chat rooms, it gives you an easy to follow meal plan, personalized for even the pickiest eater (like me). It also gives you workout tips. It sounds like a simple but effective healthy lifestyle plan, having one "load up" day focusing on some extra carb intake followed by 2 "lean" days and the cyle repeats itself. On your "load up" days it even allows you to treat yourself for one meal or snack to include any takeout favorite or sweetening snack. I guess it works so that your body doesnt get used to one thing. I am going to refer to this not as a diet, but as my new lifestyle change.

I am really hoping that I can motivate myself to start this and stick to it (especially since I paid for I am going to try and keep a weekly online recollection of this (Im going to pick a day and try to do a weigh in and update every week), but I will be keeping a more intimate, detailed handwritten journal as to not bore anyone on here. I am starting this weighing in at 300 lbs as of today (thats 18 pounds lighter than I was this past Christmas...). My first weight loss goal is to get to 275 by September 14th, my 26th birthday and long term I'd like to get under 200 pounds.  As I have stated before I have always had problems with motivation to start or continue any plan I have tried before. So if any of you are up for it, I would love to have someone challenge me or at least check in on me weekly to try and help me stay in line with this.

Originally my roommate had intended on trying this with me, but she has been pretty ill the last few weeks with no diagnosis at this time, so while she is simply trying to find foods she can keep in her stomach, I am going to start this full fledge on Friday May 14th. (That's pay day and there are a lot of grceries that need to be bought for this lifestyle change). I not only need to do this, but I want to do this, for me, for my health and to help me in all aspects of my life, physical and emotional. While I have seen the negative impact my lifestyle choices have had on my body for a while now, I have recently been experiencing more and more negative emotional impact, and I definitly do not like it. I frequently find that I don't feel like I have a very good support system (maybe I just choose not to tap into the people who could give me a lot of support due to fear of failure and disappointment), and so I am looking to the few people who graze through here from time to time...Thanks ahead of time and wish me the best of luck!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Skills Day

This week we had our yearly skills day. The highlight of skills day is airway familiarization, for me anyways. Our boss arranges to have multiple sets of pig lungs for us to practice on. We have the typical "fred the head" for run of the mill intubation practice and for King airway and for S.A.L.T. practice, but its hard to practice the surgical airway on Fred. Our medical director was present and dove right in with us. We practiced a needle crichothyrotomy and then surgical crichothyrotomy. We then ventilated the lungs. We were even fortunate enough for one pair of lungs to still have a large heart intact. Our medical director gently removed it and we passed it around, you could look right down the aorta and see and touch the aortic valve, we then disected th eheart, we could see and touch the chordae tendineae, and the bicuspid and trucuspid valves. It was an amazing experience and great refresher.  I will post some pictures of skills day soon...

Monday, April 12, 2010

new hopes, new aspirations

So I have begun to realize that this blog is a mess of sorts. I don't stick to any certain topics, and I honestly am ok with that. The idea of my blog was just a place where I could write stuff out to get it out of my head and off my chest. I have been selective in my personal life who has access to this blog but dont seem to care that any other bloggers might find it and read it. Today I reached a long time awaited goal of mine. I have been a "big" girl for a while. I reached my heaviest weight in the winter of 2008 at 318lbs. I had always promised myself I would never let myself reach 300, and I didnt stick to that. I have struggled with my weight sine I was approx 10 years old. In high school I began to get it under control by playing volleyball my freshman year. My sophomore year I didnt make the team, (major defeat #1)but I was still trying by running a mile a day, until I was chased down and tripped on purpose by a kid on roller blades with a hockey stick. That was major defeat #2 After that I quit trying. I used to sneak snacks and sodas at home, I'd go to fast food drive thrus between school and dinner time, Id go out with friends for food after dinner in the evenings. My parents tried several things to help me. They tried telling me the reason I didnt have many friends was because of my weight, they tried bribing me with a car if I lost weight. They tried to verbally remind me at meal times what I should be eating or drinking and how much and about not eating second helpings, all those things did was make me angry, angry at them, andgy at myself, and angry at the world. When it came time college I chose one far from home, to get away and have an excuse to not be there. I was suddenly in complete control of my actions. I ate and drank whatever I chose whenever I chose. I stayed on a plataeu for a while. 5 yrs of college came and went and I had slowly gained weight, throughout the next 3 years, during college I had made some friends and lost some friends. I joined the fire department early on in college and got involved in EMS. I tried several things to help control my weight and health and failed miserably on my own due to lack of motivation, lack of self respect, and lack of self discipline. I tried working out with some of the boys at the fire department but knew everytime I tried something and couldnt keep up or had difficulties they were making fun of me behind my back and that feeling of defeat washed over me again, just like back in high school. Then I met someone, someone who I would have done anything for, who I wanted to do everything for. He made me more happy than I ever could have imagined. We spent all ofour spare time together and became very close. We had several discussions about us and where we saw our relationship going and he expressed his concern for my health in several conversations. It felt like it became a game of "if you change, if you lose weight, then we can be together" I know he was conerned but he had poor ways of showing it. We constantly ate fast food instead of cooking in, instead of encouraging us to go  on a walk we stayed in, sitting in silence or watching a movie or studying. I am not blaming him for my problem but I place blame on him for leaving when I had not changed. I became depressed. I was alone, I was overweight, and I was putting on an act that I didnt care about either. The more I tried to hide it the worse my depression became. I began to notice myself becoming even less active, eating more junk, and taking worse care of myself physically. I was still capable of getting out of bed and showering and getting myself to work and school, but outside of that I holed myself up in my bedroom with whatever snack food I was craving and had gotten a hold of with my TV shows or my computer and I quit answering the phone, I would answer text messages but was in  no mood or condition to socialize with anyone.

In January of 2009 I turned a new leaf. I had discovered I had exceeded my 300lb maximum. I had started a new job in the Paramedic field in September of 2008, in October 2008 I fell and completely tore a ligament in my ankle and fx it as well. It was during my time in physical therapy I began to think about what this injury could mean for my career and if it would have been less severe if I was not as obese. My physical therapy proved to be a challenge many times due to my ankle instability and my size. I realized during PT just how much I hate seeing myself in a mirror when I forced to practice some PT in front of one and in front of other pts. It was then that I decided I wanted to better, I needed to better myself, this time for me. Not for my parents, not for my best friend, but for me. So I started paying attention to what I was eating, when I was eating, and how much I was eating. It amazing how just doing that little bit can make a difference. After making a few residential moves I now live close enough to work that I can walk to work in 7-8 min. I have been trying to better myself and to not allow myself to make up any excuses, because God know I am way too good at that. In the last 6 months I have somehow slimmed down to 299 lbs, a number i had been waiting to see for a while now. Just last week I decided it was time to step up the game plan. I have decided to oust soft has been tough, I need my caffeine that I am oh so addicted to. I am also trying to get into a routine of walking appprox 30 min hopefully 3 times a week. I would like to get down to 275 lbs by my next birthday, September 14th.  I am not sure I can do this, but I want to..... So here's to life, here's to living, and trying to right so many bad habits...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's not my emergency!

Have you ever thought this? I have used that phrase myself, several times (and with more than one meaning at times). Steve Whitehead put it into a great post right here and I suggest you go check it out!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

does (apparatus) color matter?

We are all taught from the beginning of our experiences that safety is number one in our professions. Personal safety, crew safety, patient safety, scene safety…you know it.
I was sitting at work the other day and it came up in discussion that one of the local fire departments was ordering a new fire engine and had decided to go with black as the main color. Yup BLACK. The first thing that came to my mind was how is anyone going to see them on a scene at night? While I understand that light reflecting tape is used on emergency units along with multiple lights for safety, I still didn’t think that black was a safe choice of color for a piece of equipment like a fire engine. This conversation got the mouse wheel in my mind going, and I couldn’t stop myself from doing a little online research on the subject. I found plenty of information to include a slideshow presentation and eventually stumbled upon this very detailed and informing document from FEMA.
The reading is a little dry but I learned a few things about the different kinds of reflective striping and how each works individually plus I learned about NFPA standards/recommendations.
The conclusion of my research is although a black engine may look sweet it definitely is not safe, no matter how much scotchlite or how many lights you put on it. The best bet is to stick to the red, orange, slime/ yellow, or even white for the best visibility and conspicuity on scene.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

little work rant followed w/ needing your EMS advice...

I have always been a believer of "God doesn't give you anything you can't handle", "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger", and "everything happens for a reason".  For whatever reason I have continued to carry these beliefs through all phases in my life, from growing up to college, to my professional life.  I know there are going to be times when I don't have a clue as to what I am supposed to do about a pt, but I am sure that most of the time I will fall back on my basic instincts. Tonight I had another one of those "oh sh*t" calls that when I look back on and talk with my co-workers (medics and doctors) that I know I did what I could with what I had in the amount of time I had. I just get really frustrated when I meet up with a BLS unit and they have nothing done for a critical pt, no history, no oxygen, no vitals. Oh wait, they had a grocery bag full of pill bottles for me. They were so concerned with this pts condition that they walked hin to the ambulance start towards the hospital that is opposit the direction I am coming from then realize Im 5 blocks behind them and cant catch up, so they stop and wait and then have none of the above mentioned done. But when you are called for a SOB and your pt is cyanotic from the nipples to the top of his head, i think any oxygen will help and walking him to the unit won't. Just saying...

I try not to get frustrated on these kind of calls. I try to use calls as teachings for these kind of EMTs who are new or just don't know what to do. During the critical calls I direct and after I try and teach, by explaining why I did or didnt do something or explaining why I did a 12-lead or why I didnt/did run lights and sirens to the hospital,, etc. I also take the time to answer any questions the EMTs may have which usually include "Did I do what i could/should have?" "or is there anything else I could/should have done?" and I answer them truthfully but without sounding like an egotistical jerk. I find that the next time I run a call with those EMTs they tend to be a little more comfortable with me and they have the things we talked about done, they have the pt on O2, they have a BP for me, or pt history for me.

I am sure Im not the only provider who runs into this. Any tips on how I can better this where I run? It happens with a lot of EMTs. Maybe some kind of "asisting the medic" class or something?

Monday, March 15, 2010


I am jonesing for family time. I dont know how else to put it. I talked to my Mom and Dad on the phone last night and daily text my sisters. I follow the lives of my brother and his wife and kids on their blog, thanks to my SIL for keeping that up! I don't really keep tabs on the other brother, read his wife's FB every now and then.  I promised myself I would have more family time this year, but I havent been home since Christmas. I am making time next month to drive home and spend 2 days there.
I miss my baby sister, I miss my dad, my neice, nephew, everyone! Just a few more weeks and hopefully I will get to see all of them for my Mom's birthday....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


thats the only word I could come up with when I read about this...

Talk about an interesting call....

Ask me anything

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thank you for involving me

I am so new to this blogging thing. Or at least I feel so new. I have been reading the numerous posts that resulted from the biggest fire/ems blogger meet up ever and it just makes me feel like a very small part of such a huge thing. While I was like the teeny bopper meeting a rockstar or a movie star, every single person I met was so nice. I got hugs from people who I have been follwing online for ages. I know they had no idea who I was and I am sure they will be quick to forget that they even met me, they have forever made an impression on me. And while I feel I made several new network contacts, I know I made one new friend. April (known as Epi_junky) made the experience for me, and she probably has no idea. I simply offered her a semi-warm house to crash in, on a comfy sofa, and offered some cookies that well, I was pretty proud of (it was the first time I had ever baked cookies from scratch). I followed her around like a little lost but star struck puppy all day in Baltimore. If it had not been for her, I probably would never have even actually gone to Baltimore. The minute she arrived at my house and we said our hellos it was like she was a friend I had had for many years. She was kind enough to make sure I got introduced to all the "big names" we ran into. And again, while they knew who she was right away, I was not greeted with any less enthusiasm. And by golly I may only have 2 blog followers, but I felt like I was on top of the world several times on Friday. For the first time ever I felt like I was actually involved in something that was changing the EMS world that I have chosen to be a part of.

So thank you to all of the folks who include, but are not limited to (sorry if I forgot anyone), the following: Epi_junky (April Aaling), UKmedic999 (Mark Glensourse), thehappymedic(Justin Schorr), Tony Oliverio, Jared Scott, geekymedic, setla (Thaddeus Setla), Ambulance Driver (Kelly Grayson), ckempt (Chris Kaiser), natemt_b (Nate) and so many others. Thank you again fro making me feel part of such a large thing!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

ponderings on my career...

The news tonight of a paramedic killed simply because he was doing his job has really hit me hard. I can't imagine, trying to help a suicidal pt, trying to convince them that life is worth living, to have them attack you and ultimately kill you.

I have been in EMS for about 7 years. I have not seen many gruesome things, I have not run many "bad" calls. I consider myself blessed for this. It keeps me loving this job, being the "sparky medic". I am far from burnout at this point thanks to this. The down side is when I do get one of those career or life alterating calls how will I do? Will I be prepared? Will I know what to do? Will I make the right decisions? I guess I truly won't know until it happens.

For now I do what I feel needs done for my patient. I am thankful for the docs here who are very cool with us smudging that medical command line. I do however find myself reviewing my protocols after many calls, especially if I find myself second guessing if I should have given that drug I was hesitant to or if I should have done more or less. I always try to err on the patient safety side. This has kept me out of court and still with a job this long. I am still hungry for more knowledge, for more experience. Knowledge is easy to find, even more so now that I have expanded into the blogger world and made some amazing contacts at EMS Today this year in Baltimore. The experience side still leaves me hungry for more. I want to experience more, heck I'd even settle for observing more. Anyone interested in having a medic ride along?? Hit me up and let me know!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

education oppotunity

This week i am attending the ESCAPe conference in Pipestem, WV. It involves taking several short EMS related classes during the day and socializing in the evenings, and so far I'm having a blast. I've taken some good classes so far and some good ones to come I hope. I've been running into old friends and making new ones. God I miss WV!! Today I took 4 classes: therapuetic electrocution, a new look on pacing (and was warned that the ACLS police may arrest us if we try what we learned), a refresher on diabetic patients, a refresher on spinal motion restriction, and an indepth look at pediatric fevers. Classes run 9-5, socializing starts around 7 or 8....hotel is 20 min from conference center and it's been snowing all day....there is a winter weather watch in effect til Sunday and they are calling for up to 24 inches of snow....ugh!!! I REALLY hate snow....

Monday, February 22, 2010

personal rant...

I have been living with my roommate who is also my best friend for about 7 months now. I had always heard that living with your best friend never works out, and while I had tried living with friends beofre and never lasted an extended period of time, this time felt different. I guess the "honeymoon period" is coming to a quick close. In the last month I have noticed that either 1) she is doing more things that annoy me than beofre or 2) Im finally noticing things that she does that annoy the piss out of me.

The biggest beef I have lately is that I have begun to notice just how self absorbed she can be. While if I needed money, a ride, a fresh uniform at work, or dinner brought to me she would do it, but when it comes to other things that are not so materialistic she thinks only of herself. And when I point out to her the effects of her action or decisions had on me or anyone else I get one of 2 responses: 1) "I didnt think about that" or 2):well, theres nothing I can do about it now, Im sorry" or something along those lines.

The latest decisions affect not only me but a few other people. While I tend to hang with an older crowd I am used to having male and female friends who are married, and with that comes an almost special set of rules, especially when it comes to married male friends. I have learned the hard way that some men will be dogs, married or not and you can get yourself into a sticky situation very quickly without even knowing it until you are waist high in it. She recently has become close to a paticular married guy friend. This paticular guy is a newly wed, married a mere 6 months. His wife is also a friend of mine, and she has had her share of bad relationships and now is self-conscious about her significant other. My roommate has been doing a lot of texting and talking to this guy, enough that his wife has noticed the amount and has become concerned. She mentioned her concern to husband and when did not get a satisfactory response she expressed her concern to me in hopes that I would mention it to my friend and things could get fixed then, with no hurt feelings or awkward experiences.
Well, it didnt work. My RM decided to not listen to anything I had to say. After several conversations being the go between I decided to remove myself from the situation and told all parties involved I wished to be nuetral, and not part of any future parts. This has not worked either. Just tonight I received a msg from the wife about finding her husband at our house sitting on our couch in a pair of pants and no shirt, his shirt and shoes were in her bedroom....I am just at my wits end....this is only part of a complicated week. There are quite a few things that go into play here, but Im too exhausted just thinking about it. I blame myself for part of it. I just want to rewind about 2 weeks and start over from there and maybe things would be different if I had made a different decision. If I had paid more attention to a few details. While I am not perfect and don't claim to be, for I have definitly made enough bad decisions of my own in the past and sure to make more in the future, I dont want my best friend to make any decisions that she will regret later, but I can only do so much......

my worst EMS nightmare

I mentioned a few posts back that my worst EMS nightmare to date had happened, but at the time I was unable to talk about it. At this point everyone in the local EMS community knows about it, so I suppose it's ok now.

I often do ALS tranports out of the emergency room that I work in. We typically either call one of our own medics in or one of the 3 of us on shift will go, but only for the ALS transports out of our own ER. This was the case the night of "the incident". I took a very stable trauma pt with a head bleed to a trauma center about an hour away. The local BLS transport company sent 2 people on their ambulance. They and I loaded my gear on their truck and we got the patient situated and off we went. The call went without any complications. Upon leaving the trauma center, one of BLS employees offered me to ride shotgun, and I happily accepted. We had an uneventful trip back, put my gear back and finished the rest of my shift, no problems yet again. I got home the next morning and got ready for bed. I had no sooner got situated in my PJs in my comfy bed when my cell rings and I looked at caller ID to see the bossman calling me (this is a rarity, especially using his own phone). He began questioning me about the transport I took, which gear set I used and any procedures or tratments I may have performed during said transport. I explained I only monitored the pt on the cardiac monitor and vital signs, no other treatment or procedures were needed. I was then advised that there were narcotics missing from the gear I had used, and thatthey had been accounted for at the begining of my shift but when day shift was doing their rig check it was discovered that 3 vials of narcs were missing. I immediately got out of bed, got dressed and headed back into work. I eded up spending about 4 hours with my boss, police and simply just waiting. I gave a written statement to my boss, one to police and was interviewed by local police, video tapes were reviewed of both facilities to ensure the theft didnt happen while the ambulance was unattended.

The end line of the story is that while suspicion was high, it couldnt be proven. I was never considered the culprit, and my boss had my back 100%.
Since then the way we store, count, and track our narcs has changed and I have become even more anal retentive about my narcotics.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'll admit it, I'm a cardiac chicken...

McDreamy Partner goes out for a chest pain in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a blizzard, you guessed it, guy was having an inferior MI. McDP brings pt to the local hospital due to road conditions, we can at least stabalize and get thrombolytics on board, pt found to be having an inferior as well as a RVI...the docs originally decide to admit to CCU here until they can get him transferred to Big City Hospital for a cath. Third Partner says he has connections and can arrange for state DOT plow trucks to lead the way all the way to Big City for the ambulance, so everything gets arranged and the question is asked, which of us wants to go with the local FD ambulance with this guy. There are 3 of us, we all have the same education, 2 of us with less experience, I admit, I was chicken, I didnt want to take this unstable pt in a major snowstorm, partner 2 says the last AMI he had in the last snow storm coded on him in the town square and he is still shell shocked (I DID transport that one in the midst of the last snowstorm) and so we talked partner 3 into going, after all, he has more experience....

I would have taken it if no other choice....but I guess my thought was it was in the patient's best interest for the most experienced medic to go, right??

I still tend to get a little gun shy with cardiac patients, even after 2 1/2 years of being a doesn't seem to matter how many ACLS or 12-lead classes I sit through....Any helpful advice is welcome.....

Monday, January 25, 2010

have you had your eyes checked lately?

Heres what could happen if you dont get your eyes checked regularly.

want to pull my hair out!

well, last week I had my "worst EMS nightmare" happen to me. I can't really say anymore than that right now, but I can say it resulted in us having a few policy changes and hopefully some bigger, better changes for us, the hospital I work for and for our patients. I am also happy to say that I am glad to have the boss that I do. He probably doesnt realize just how much he is respected. Heck, I look up to him as not only a boss, but a great paramedic. And I am very appreciative for the co-workers who, although can give a hard time, helped me through the last week.


pants on the ground....

Finally got to see what all the hype was about "pants on the ground"

well, I have to say I was crying I was laughing so hard....God bless that man!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Soldier penpal updates

I have been doing really well on sending packages to my penpal and my friend overseas. Nolan is my adoptee and Chas is a friend from back home. I have had so much fun preparing packages for them over the last few months. I was so excited about my Christmas boxes. I decorated the inside of the boxes with wrapping paper and filled them with holiday treats like sugar cookies, gingerbread men, candy canes, those little chocolate coins, M&Ms, tinsel, and about a dozen hand-made Christmas cards. My roommate and I spent hours hand making Christmas cards that we decided to send to a few soildiers who may not get anything for the holidays to remind them that they are being though of and are GREATLY appreciated for their sacrifice for our freedom.
I still have not heard back from Nolan, but I know they can be busy. Chas on the other hand has been fantastic about shooting me a quick message a Myspace everytime he receives a letter or package from me to let me know it got there. :) Chas made it home last week for a 2 week leave. He mentioned he may make it in my general direction to visit family and might try to swing a visit to me in. I would be DELIGHTED!!

Again, anyone who wants to help support out troops one soldier at a time, let me know and Id be glad to help out!!

I am looking forward to my "january" box, I have gotten into the trend of decorating the boxes for the next holiday, so January's box theme will be Valentines day, can you say lots of red and pink hearts and those little candy hearts? LOL Im told chocolate doesnt fair real well over there due to the heat.

Friday, January 15, 2010

college is back in...

Well, you can tell that the college kids are back in town, and partying hard....class officially started back up on's thursday night and we have already gone out to pick up 2 at the dorms and one came in to the ER pov, puking all over the waiting room and her ER room....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

upper respiratory funk stinks!

I am so tired of this upper respiratory "funk" I have had this nagging crap since December 13th! I have had antibiotics, albuterol, prednisone, cough syrup with codeine, and tons of Vitamin C cough drops, chloraseptic cough drops, and Thera flu cold and flu medicine....ugh!

Monday, January 4, 2010

you know it's bad when....

wow, my 100th post!

You know its bad when you come to work and your boss suggests that you go hide in the backroom and give yourself an albuterol treatment....

Im ready to feel better any day now!