28 February 2006

This and That

It’s been a while, and I’ve been trying to think of what I did over the last 10 days. I learned that 14 hours at work is about 14 too many. It’s a little scary, because now that I think of it, I can’t remember anything I did during my shift last week.

I had a clinical. It started out pretty well with an asthmatic 12 year old whose wheezing I could hear from a cross the room, and an IV on the fly. From there it went to a car v. pole and eventually faded into absolutely nothing.

At work recently, I transported 9 day old in withdraw, which was kind of scary. Other than that I had I had some good conversations. One with a spry Greek lady looking forward to Mardi gras, and a minister who had actually interned at my church back in the 70’s.

Today I scheduled 183 hours of clinical time between now and the end of April, got the dates for the national registry exam (gasp, shock, horror!), and really made progress on this whole real life thing (don’t look now, but I may have made a decision).

Happy Shrove Tuesday! Enjoy your kinklings and pancakes.

17 February 2006

99 bottles of beer on the wall…

Today marks 99 days until graduation. To celebrate, I went kayaking in 35ish degree water and high winds. Note to self: water shoes and snowy trails = seriously cold toes. Somehow, putting my feet into a piece of plastic floating in freezing water helped. Other than that it was a nice little paddle. A good reminder for me to invest in nice neoprene gloves and boots, of course.
Now we’re off to happy hour (I am happily DDing) to properly celebrate 99 days.

15 February 2006

Blogiversary!

A Work in Progress, 1 year on.

It’s hard to imagine it’s been a year since I jumped on the blogger bandwagon. But, reading through the 89 posts and seeing 3800+ hits, it becomes hard to imagine it’s only been a year.

Here’s a reminder of a work in progress’ beginnings and, by the way, the offer to rent my diary still stands.
As always, if you keep reading, I’ll keep blogging, or is it if I keep blogging, you’ll keep reading? Vicious cycle. Either way, the next chapters of my life will no doubt be preserved in cyberspace, and I can’t wait.

Happy Anniversary, blog!

14 February 2006

I survived it, so I can tell you about my weekend

On Friday, I had a clinical, it was boring. Seriously, nothing exciting happened.

On Saturday it snowed, finally. We all went out to dinner and I volunteered to drive, as I’ve been waiting for a chance to test my 4x4. Have I mentioned lately that I love my truck? Let me say now that 4-wheel drive is the greatest advancement in winter travel since the ski. I’m blown away by the fact that I can accelerate and brake in snow, and brake! Awesome.
The testing of the 4-wheel drive of also consisted of ahem uh, doing donuts in the school parking lots. cough! You haven’t lived until you’ve driven sideways, on purpose.

On Sunday we did all kinds of snowy activities. Ewing, CJ, and I went hiking in a nearby state park, down to a broken dam on one of my favorite rivers. The snow was pretty deep in places, and made for an absolutely beautiful trek through the trees. Between the light snow and the flowing, yet tumultuous waters, I found my Zen spot; but was knocked out of it abruptly by a snowball.
When we got home, we dried off and had requisite cups of cocoa with scores of marshmallows.
Then I tried out a sport that I’m sorry to say I didn’t invent, but happily endorse: snowyaking, as I like to call it, or sledaking, or kayedding. I’m not sure of its official name as of yet, but it’s of no consequence. It is the greatest advancement in winter travel since 4x4. The speed, steering with the paddle, and absolutely no fear of drowning (until I hopped over that little creek). I’m calling the winter Olympic committee, asap. You haven’t lived until you’ve caught air in a kayak, on land.

On Monday I had work. I could say it was almost too entertaining. The best thing about the day is that we didn’t do any BLS calls. The worst part of the day was a patient on 3 drip medications, had an intra-aortic balloon pump, needed arterial-line BP monitoring, EKG monitoring, difficult pulse oximetry, and to top it all off was on bi-pap requiring a vent. The call would have been fine, except no one told us he needed a vent, and we quickly discovered that he needed the type of vent that wasn’t on our unit. So we had to wait almost an hour for another unit to bring the right vent. In this time, we got the patient all packaged and ready; on our monitor, the drips switched over and all that good stuff. When the vent finally got there, our nurse couldn’t figure out how to make it do what we needed it to do. A respiratory therapist came in to help, and he couldn’t figure it out. In the mean time, the vent was sucking our oxygen tanks faster than we could replace them, the patient was getting really tired of lying flat (which is an absolute requirement for bilateral femoral artery lines), and the low battery signal started blinking on our monitor. Long story short, we delivered the patient safely to the cath lab, and then got another call about 30 seconds later. Ahh!

Other than that I posted pics of my new favorite hang out, the kids in the snow, and got the giggles.

So, as always, staying out of trouble and studying hard on my time off.

08 February 2006

Random

Last week I reported a fire, was disappointed by the real world, learned a little rain goes a long way, had the best time kayaking ever, decided to find and then pull the reins of time, and learned something in class.
I guess some of that deserves an explanation.

We went kayaking last week, this time over a little stretch of the patapsco river. Just as we pulled up to our usual launch spot, Ewing noticed an abandoned semi trailer near the river was on fire. About an hour later we were in the water after calling 911, escorting the engine to our remote location, watching them put out the fire, and giving our names to the police. The kayaking was certainly worth the wait. It had rained the night before raising the water level at least 7 inches. Awesomeness ensued. We didn’t hit any rocks, played in some fun whitewater, and finished a usually 2 hour trip in about an hour and 15 minutes. The only downfall was that it was, well, February, and when the water splashed up to my chin, it was brisk to say the least. As Ewing put it: “Kayaking in cold water is fun, but cold.” How profound.

A few hours before this adventure, I called the training officer for the agency where I would like to work as a paramedic. The call was immensely gloomy, as it made it clear that they would prefer local people. It would be hard to make clear here the absurdity of getting hired by them, so I’ll spare the details. But in a sense, they would own me. No holidays off, I’d work whatever shifts they told me to, regardless of what I’d like, and I have to tell them the exact dates of any vacations I want to take for the rest of my life. So, I’m feeling discouraged, and sad, and very much back at square one with this whole job thing.

All that aside, I learned that when you get a 4.0 here at UMBC you get a postcard in the mail congratulating you. That’s nice, although, I was expecting the key to the city of Baltimore, a mayoral commendation, or a parade in my honor, but a postcard will suffice.

03 February 2006

School is so much better than work

This week has been more of a break than most of my break was. Ewing and I went kayaking on Monday. ‘Kayaking?!’ you might say, ‘In January?!’ Well, it’s far less impressive when you learn that on Monday it was 65 degrees out. Highly irregular. I think we’ll just keep the kayaks handy for when those polar ice caps melt and flood us out.
It was a lovely trip, we saw some swans, and met a local do-gooder. The do-gooder kindly informed us that we couldn’t paddle the particular area we were in because their decoy ducks were tethered with weighted wire. I do fancy myself a skilled enough kayaker to navigate through 2 plastic ducks on strings. But, thank you neighborhood watch lady, duly noted, it’s safe to go back in your house now. Those rogue kayakers will be out of your way shortly. And if that’s not fast enough, feel free to enter the 40 degree water and give us a little push. Wow, that came out far more bitterly than intended. Other than that, winter kayaking is cool. As soon as your hands go numb, you should get out. Unlike in summer, when, as soon as you can fry and egg on the boat deck, you should get out.

On Tuesday, school officially started. I’m taking just two ‘real’ classes, a gym, and clinicals. My gym class is bowling. All we have to do to get the essential “P” is show up, bowl four games a week for 6 weeks, and well, that’s basically it. You don’t have to be good, you can score a 0 for all they care. There isn’t even any instruction. Just throw a ball in the general direction of the pins, and you’re all set, sweet! (unfortunately, there’s no drinking during class time, oh well.)

Search term of the week: “taking naps at work” Oh yes, throw that phrase into your google search bar, hit ‘I’m feeling lucky’ and well, if you’re reading this, you’re already there.