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Showing posts from 2007

I hate being trite.

As trite and generally stupid I believe resolutions are, for some reason I feel compelled this year to write...something. Basically, resolutions set me and everyone else who makes them up for disappointment and failure, especially when they get reviewed next new years eve. I don’t want to find myself saying next year: “What?! I didn’t climb Mt. Everest?! I didn’t stamp out disease, didn’t write the great American novel, and didn’t contribute in a great and tangible way to the evolution of society?!” What the hell did I do?

This year was probably one of the highest and lowest of my life and I am mostly relieved to see it end. I can’t say that I have any regrets, but I made mistakes that I will not make again.
I will start this year as a great scrutinizer. A skeptic. I accept this fully, and I am fortunate to not have felt this way until now. I don’t believe it will stand in my way.

Caution: a trite, clichéd, hackneyed thought ahead. I need to prioritize my goals and set the…

Holidayness

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The following is some evidence that I have way to much time on my hands (or that I am working too much). Okay, picture this: a Christmas tree decorated with medical supplies. Just let that sink in for a second. Let the idea wrap around you like a warm blanket.
Oh yeah, it’s that awesome. Small children would love to bask in its glow on Christmas morn. IV tubing, oxygen tubing, gauze, and suction tubing as tinsel. Needles, scissors, empty medicine bottles, (yes, it’s a very dangerous tree) electrodes, and airways as ornaments. Complete with isolation gown tree skirt and PEEP valve topper. Glorious.




Happy Christmas!

Anger

I have been worried about my pent up anger lately. It has been raining and cold, so I haven't gotten much bike time in (which is my usual cure). My mental state in general has been pretty low lately. But, as Dory says, I'm going to just keep swimming. Even if it feels like my head is under the water.

But, here's an example to attest that I am not a complete rageaholic. We took a newborn the other day to long term care for detox. That in itself prompts the snake inside me to seethe. When we got there the baby was dead asleep from being drugged up. The mom was there claiming that she got in a methadone clinic once she found out she was pregnant to get clean. Right. And magically the baby tested positive for cocaine, benzos, and heroin. Yeah. That's what I call trying to get clean.

I know that addiction is a terrible plight and a near incurable disease. Regardless, this is your child! I come from the school that if I were pregnant I probably would give up eve…

My conscience hurts

We had a depressed guy which usually isn't funny but because paramedics have an inherently terrible sense of humor, became funny.

From the very start I could barely talk to him. For example,
"Hi, how are you?"
"Terrible!"
"It's not all that bad. It's a lovely day out and you'll get to enjoy it." I offer.
"I don't care. I hate this place and everything about it."

I continued to try making conversation so I asked where he was from.
Dramatically he answered: "I don't know where I'm from, but I know where I've been: Hell!"
Um...ok, I don't really know what to say to that.

When we got to the hospital, he looked at me very seriously and said
"Do you smell that?"
"Um...yeah" trying to be polite as I did indeed smell something that was emitting from him.
"Smells like death!"

Once this conversation was relayed to my partner, it became legend, and for the rest of the day everything sm…

Rx

I've had a few calls lately of people taking meds that weren't theirs, taking too much of their own, or being just plain neglectful with their meds.

We had a guy who couldn't sleep so he took one of his moms rx antidepressants. He slept for 5 hours and when he woke up around noon he felt dizzy and lightheaded. He was 30 years old. No excuse for taking drugs that weren't his and even admitted to me that he took one of his moms valiums last week, but nothing bad happened. Stop taking medicine that is not prescribed to you.

Later we had a kid who got into and took three of his grandmothers clonozipam pills. He was pretty drowsy when we got there even though it had only been about 20 minutes since he took them. He was 20 months old. No excuse for leaving drugs around accessable for children. IV fluids, EKG, oxygen and to the hospital he went.

A few days later I took a lady who "accidentially" took 30 5mg valiums. Oops. She even called the pharmacist af…

Work?

My second job has become a good time to catch up on the blogs I read and the blog I write. Even though the weather has been bad pretty much every time I go there.

Last week the only call where I did anything was a diabetic who was in bed in the middle of the day with a blood sugar of 49. Okay, why are they always naked?! I mean seriously!

It was snowing last week and in the county there were about 600 motor vehicle crashes, and we didn't actually get on scene to one of them (canceled by BLS before we got there)
The roads were legitimately bad and even with the four wheel drive on our pimp chase truck I was having a hard time stopping. What a comfort that was.

We also got on scene for a kid who basically didn't want to go to school that day. His mom said that he was unresponsive so it had potential. When we arrived my partner went to the patient who appeared fine and I talked to his mom.
She started going on and on about how he is a good kid, and loves school, and she wor…

The Job

I’ve finally put a post together about the new job. Unfortunately, it does not yet replace my current job at “The Crappiest Ambulance Company on Earth” but now in my time off, I am a part time hospital based 911 chase car.

I cannot express how happy I am to have a 911 job again, even if it is part time. I don’t care. When I step up into the ambulance I can hear “Back in the Saddle Again” playing in a loop. I love it.

There are a lot of weird things about being hospital based. Firstly: nowhere to nap. We hang out in the ER when we’re not on a call, we basically surf the net and talk. One problem with hanging in the ER is that there is always food in the break room. Out of nowhere a cake, tray of cookies, bag of candy or other random delicious temptation will crop up. Evil, evil ER nurses providing a veritable buffet all the time.
I’m not quite over the fact that a lot of times, the ER is busy and we are not, therefore, I feel lazy when I'm sitting at the computer up…

Why I don’t watch Scary Movies

When I tell people that I don’t watch horror movies, I most often get looks like I am a freak of nature. Who doesn’t watch horror movies?!

Firstly, I am single and my only protection at home is a cat and a dead bolt lock. Every random noise I hear at home is blamed on the cat, even if she is asleep on my lap.

Also, I take scary movies way to seriously. The Blair Witch Project for example. Everyone said ‘That movie was so dumb!’ while I was the one sitting up all night with my back to the wall, my room lit up like a landing strip and a shotgun across my lap. Even if the movie is completely ridiculous, unlikely, and stupidly funny, I’ll laugh my way through it, and still be nervous when I go to bed.

Why don’t I want to watch Hostel? Because I like hostels.
“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?” The answer is in the question.
“The Hills Have Eyes?” No they don’t.
“The Ring?” I don’t want to be anymore afraid of a ring than I already am.
“The Grudge?” It’s scary enough to have one, I don…

The world is my Oyster

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It was deceivingly cold as we headed into open water on one of the few remaining skipjacks in the Chesapeake. So cold, in fact, I was questioning my decision to leave my long underwear behind. But, we soon arrived at our dredging plateau. The motor of the dredge winch rumbled to life and all ambient noise (or lack thereof) was drowned out. Within minutes, the real oystermen aboard had pulled up the first dredge full of oysters, shells, mud and mussels, and dumped it onto the deck. The rest of us watched in frank fascination and soon found ourselves strangely enthusiastic about sifting through the pot with our gloved hands, kneeling in mud and sorting out the oysters of acceptable size. We happily ripped mussels off of the oyster shells and threw them overboard. Even as amateurs, we developed a real system quickly. Like a not so well oiled machine we would deploy the dredge, pull it up, dump it out, sort out the oysters, and send the dredge back down. While we waited, we’d clean and me…

Big Stick

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Random thought of the day:
When I was in London, I heard them say ‘sharp scratch’ before they stuck someone with a needle. I thought to myself, that doesn’t make any sense. I mean, if getting an IV felt at all like being scratched by a cat, maybe it would make sense. If getting an IV involved merely scraping the needle against a persons skin, rather than sticking it in, I could justify using the phrase.

Then, I thought about what I say before starting an IV which is usually “big stick.” Upon further evaluation, I have decided that this doesn’t make any sense either. If it was like, ‘look out, there is a big stick about to fall on your head!’ then maybe it would make sense. If IV catheters were anywhere close to being the size of a big stick, rather than barely the diameter of a small twig, I could justify using the phrase.
I think a more appropriate use would be shouting “Big Stick!” right before whacking you on the head with my cudgel.
Thanks to wikipedia, I have learned that T…

One Armed...

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I haven’t exactly been a neglectful blogger as of late, but more of a busy one. In the last week every time it came down to choosing between sleep or any other activity, sleep won (except when the bike won). This was mostly because I worked 76 hours last week. Only eight of that was overtime, the rest was the start of my second job. As they say, I’ve been ‘busier than a one armed paper hanger’ but thankfully not actually hanging wallpaper.

My first few days have been typical really. I was lost, confused, and nervous. With this job it is more important that I know the ins and outs very well as when I am cleared, I will be cleared as a single provider. Which means that most times I’ll be acting as the only ALS provider on any given scene. This is enough to make me nervous as I will not have anyone else’s opinion to fall back on. Let alone the fact that I am very unfamiliar with the area, and don’t know any of the ambulance crews yet.
Overall, I am very excited about it. All o…

Oh, I don't know

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Firstly, some new pictures. Pictures that will more quickly describe what I have been up to in recent weeks than my slow updates will. Camping in PA, visiting Fallingwater, attending world championship horse pulling, mediating at Walden pond, visiting Maine, biking, kayaking, and butterfly stalking.

I have been busy lately and I start my new part time job this Tuesday (and there is much rejoicing.) I'm back on the 911 side of things in a hospital based chase car. And by chase 'car' I mean an F250 Super Duty extended cab that is totally pimp. Hopefully, as my available hours become more numerous, I can eventually leave my current job completely.

Speaking of the current job, I received one of the best greetings in the history of private ambulance transports: “We’ve cleaned up most of the blood.” Ooh, thought I, this has to be good. The patient was actually bleeding from their trach site. (the place where a permanent breathing tube is inserted into the neck) This is…

Minor Details

Now, I love nurses as much as the next EMS provider (and I mean that), but sometimes they have their moments (as do I). We went for an OB call where the patient had apparently broken her water. She was only 17 weeks, so altogether a sad story. We arrived and the nurse was blatantly relieved. She was rushing me out in a faux polite manner, and her report consisted of the following. “XX year old female, 17 weeks, PROM, fetal heartrate confirmed on ultrasound, vitals are...(gestures to monitor), no contractions, estimated due date is in the paperwork. Any questions? Great.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa, lady. I asked a litany of questions and got hasty answers. The best of which came from when I asked if she was dilated. “Well, I didn’t do the exam so I don't know, but it doesn’t matter if she’s dilated, as she’s going to be induced anyway. So...(gives a look of how this question can be of any importance whatsoever and why am I still there asking pointless questions)”
“Right, but she’s …

The Best Medicine

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It has been a rough last few months for me. A string of unfortunate and sad things have been the theme of the summer, beginning with the ending of my engagement in June.
From the start, everyone asked me what they could do to help. The answer was almost always nothing, as merely their asking was a comfort. When my minister asked what the church could do for me I told him: “Tell me that God is sad too.”

I have experienced a whole mess of realizations recently and I am going to pawn them off on you, dear reader. I don’t want to be preachy, and I know that this entry has no particular order, but I just want to get my thoughts down and maybe help others in the process.

I have been constantly wondering ‘When can I be over this? Is there a prescribed length of time?’ Unfortunately, there is no magic balm, nothing to make you go to bed sad and wake up feeling normal. There is no elixir to take the hurt away. Everyone says that the best remedy is time, but I have learned that it cann…

90 day review

On time 5
Cooperation 2
Appearance 3
Professionalism 3
Productivity 1
Patient care 5

Yes, that is my 90 day review. (5 being the best) No, it is not accurate. The “crappiest ambulance company on earth” uses a computer to formulate your review. ‘Computer’ as in some random software that the company bought on the street for five cents.
I inspected said computer for eyes, a mirror, or hidden camera and found none. Even so, I scored a 3 for appearance.

The bottom of the review said that by signing, it meant that I have read and understand the review. I asked, “Can I refuse to sign this? Or would that further lower my cooperation score?”

I took it to the guy above my supervisor and inquired into this idiocy. He said that I looked better than half of the employees there and I had been on for 26 hours and was going home, so I probably deserved more than a 3. I pointed out that I am an obsessive professional, (although I didn’t mention that it was really hard when you hate the job). He…

Work and Such

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Nothing makes me happier at work than seeing a stack of fresh sheets and having a full jar of cavicide wipes. In fact, aside from my partners, these are the only things that make me happy at work. I’m feeling a rant post coming up about my disdain for my job. Also, there will be more on its replacement. Something is finally in the works in terms of a better job. I have about 2 more weeks of paper shuffling before it is official, but I am, predictably, dead excited about a professional change.

Last week at work we got to go to prison. The prison. We picked up our patient who had pulled out his chest tube. “Didn’t that hurt?” I asked, “It was stitched in.” “No” he replied. On our way out, the officer we were with discovered a nerf football on the ground between the main wall and the actual jail. I guess that 30 feet of grass around the jail and a huge wall serve as additional deterrents from escape. I looked back at him and he was ripping the ball apart and inside it wa…

Lessons in mountain biking

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Recently, I finally hit some real mountain biking trails. I feel that I have been missing out on something truly great. I completely get it. Already I have accomplished things on the bike that I never thought possible. It seems that whatever appears on the trail in front of me, I will get past it. Every log, every rock, every root I (for lack of a better technical term) boofed, I laughed out loud. For every root or rock, I (for lack of a better technical term) ‘foobed’, I had a great smile on my face. I am loving it. In just a few trips, I have learned a lot.

Clearance is only as high as your lowest pedal (which can be quite low).

Wheels have more than one master: you and the terrain.

You can go too slow.

You can go too fast (well, that's what I hear, but I haven't really tested it yet)

Biking can be a full body workout.

It is an amazing feeling to have your every fiber totally focused on not dying.

Adrenaline is not having a car whiz by you on a hill with a blind curve, it…

Spandex

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It has been widely believed for the last 24 years that the likelihood of Ellie wearing spandex was equal or less than that of a staunch vegan wearing leather.

But, after 14 miles or so on those tiny standard issue bike seats, it was clear that something must be done. So, I dug out that gel seat cover from a few years ago. This gave a marginal amount of relief. Still, it was becoming apparent that real bike shorts were in order.
That’s right, bike shorts, the ones made of spandex with that huge padded crotch, shorts that couldn't show any more unless they were painted on, the garment which is generally not acceptable to be worn in public. But, oh how times have changed. They now make what are called ‘baggy bike shorts.’ This is an absolute brilliant concept of taking the standard bike short, and then covering them up with regular shorts. When worn properly, no one knows that the spandex is there! They're even suitable for public viewing. Small children will not be scarre…

Silly Catface!

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My brother moved to NYC last week and I acquired about 20 paintings, 5 boxes of books, some tools, and a cat. Yes, I am a sucker and yes, loving your family can get you into trouble.

I am a cat person, but I did not go right out and get one when I moved. I think that I fear permanence. No matter, a free cat with all related accessories is a welcome addition to my, well, kind of lonely apartment. For the first day or so she was completely horrible, hissing and swatting at me whenever we were in the same room. I gave her a pretty sweet set up in my bathroom and bedroom. I bought her treats and toys. I really wanted to win her over. Turns out all she needed was time. Just last night she emerged from her fortress in the bathroom and slept on the bed. I was quite happy.

My brother cannot be trusted to name pets. To my knowledge he has named three cats. “Little Cat” who was, consequently, little, “Fatty McBlack” who, surprisingly, was fat and black, but not Scottish. And, now…

Shopping

I don’t normally drown my sorrows in a sea of retail, but I have been doing a lot of shopping lately. More than ever, especially after getting my own apartment and realizing that I had pretty much nothing in the way of furniture or anything generally useful.

I love and hate shopping. Everyone loves getting new stuff; clothes, chips, yogurt flavors, the accessory that you didn't know you needed until you saw it in the store. I especially like online shopping, but I think that’s mostly because I love getting things in the mail.
Shopping also makes me go insane. For example: super Wal-mart. This is a store with just too much stuff in it. It is both convenient and overwhelming to me that I can get groceries, plants, windshield wiper fluid, socks, and a DVD player in the same place. Here, and in any number of stores, I can find myself agonizing over the most ridiculous minutiae. For me, there are just too many choices. I can stand for long minutes in the paper aisle and debate with mysel…

Overdue biking post

I have been biking quite a lot lately. I’ve been on the road (as opposed to the trail) to build up my endurance. Road biking is pretty cool. It’s not nearly as tedious as I envisioned. I can map out different routes depending on how I feel, or how long I have, and see something different every day. I try to stick to the less traveled roads for safety’s sake.
Aside from the occasional nice view, road biking is basically ups and downs. In the area around my house it seems that I am either coasting down a hill or struggling up one. This I love and hate.
It is an amazing feeling to be pedaling furiously up a steep hill, clicking into a lower gear, while the bike is only advancing inches, head down, all muscles united in a common goal; to crest that hill. I will note tiny landmarks, “just make it to that mailbox, that rock, that driveway.” I question constantly if I will actually make it without stopping. I promise myself that I’ll drink water and rest at the top. I decide to …

Oh, Death

It is inevitable and yet still manages to sneak up on you. Sometimes, death appears so quickly that even it is surprised to be there. Although, it can also linger in the background, waiting and waiting for the opportune moment.

In the end, I think that we all want generally the same thing; to go quietly, without a fuss, to feel satisfied, complete, that our work is done, and especially to have our loved ones feel comfortable. These things are, of course, very difficult to measure, and I would guess that only a small percentage of people actually get the death they envision. Or maybe I’m wrong.

I have been directly and indirectly involved in deaths of all types; murder, negligence, trauma, respiratory arrest, suicide, miscarriage, cardiac arrest. I have taken people from their homes to hospice, caressed the foot of a dying baby, withheld intervention, performed pointless CPR, told people their mother was dead. Unfortunately, none of this has made death any easier. I wish that these exper…

Do you have a receipt for that?

On Saturday, for some reason (what I lovingly refer to as) the 'Crappiest ambulance company on Earth' was really busy. I hate when that happens. Well, I don't usually mind, but weekends are usually slow. Calls were apparently stacked up from here to kingdom come and everyone was freaking out. Everyone, except for me. They make their own bed, so I won't lose sleep over them scheduling 5 calls when they only have 3 trucks available. But, ironically, I did lose actual sleep over it. Oh well.

My regular partner was shipped over to our sister company because they were understaffed as well. So, my partner for the evening was a CRT (I) who is a nice guy, but is partially deaf, and also a mumbler. Basically I couldn't understand a damn thing he was saying, and he couldn't understand a damn thing I was saying. I hated asking him to repeat himself, because I didn't want him to think I was making fun of him, so there were a lot of hanging questions, random p…

An unexpected post.

Caution: theology ahead.

I was finally kayaking again. With the truck back, and the weather cooperating, I was back on the water, and it felt great. I went to a lake that is relatively new to me. It’s pretty big, with plenty to explore, and tons of great flora and fauna. My trip took an oddly philosophical turn.

I was in the middle of the lake, paddling along, and I was suddenly struck with emotion. I felt so full of sorrow, and unexpectedly, I found myself asking God for help. Help for everything; to be unafraid, to move on, to be the person I want to be, to trust again.
I poured out my fears to Him. I asked for forgiveness for the first time in my life. Forgiveness for being such a fool, forgiveness for all the mistakes I’ve made, for not fulfilling my potential. I was paddling, and crying, and praying. Frankly, activities I rarely combine. Even though most of what I was feeling was remorse and sadness, there was hope too. I could feel it.

What is odd, is that I don…

Refusal

We had a call to take a patient from a nursing home to the ER for "abdominal issues." We went through the typical motions; go upstairs, get the story from the nurse, ensure that paperwork is in order, ensure that the nurse called the ER, and go to get the patient. We were sharply interrupted from this routine when we entered the patients room and she began to shout "I'm not going! I'm not going! I'm not going!"
The story was that she had a colostomy recently, and when the wound was checked that day, it appeared that it was opening, and about to become an abdominal evisceration. (basically when your insides get on the outside...which, obvious to normal humans; is not good)

We greeted her politely, and I asked her where she was, what day it was, etc. And to me, she was of sound mind. I told the nurse that if she continued to refuse, we could not take her. The nurse said "OH, she'll go!" At one point, there were at least six staffers in her roo…

Fixed! (reprise)

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Today the truck returned to me and was given a clean bill of health. Well, except that the tires are dry rotted, and there is still that damn ding in the windshield. To celebrate, we went out and got new tires. The ding, I’ll have to address tomorrow.
This whole stupid accident only took 22 days and 48+ hours of labor to resolve. I’m here to issue a public apology to the truck for causing it to have such a long hospital stay. I am shamed.

But we are now reunited…cut to flashback of Ellie running across the parking lot. Cut to the truck sitting in its parking space. Cut to Ellie running across the parking lot, arms wide. Cut to the truck sitting in its parking space. Cut to Ellie running across the parking lot, eyes welling with tears. Cut to the truck sitting in its parking space. Cut to Ellie lovingly embracing the hood of the truck. Cut to the truck sitting in its parking space while Ellie hugs it. (the embrace becomes uncomfortably long) Cut to Ellie slowly realizing th…

An eventful day

Last shift, amazingly I had an interesting day at work. We started the day out with a NICU transport. This wasn’t really a big deal, as the baby was being transferred to a hospital closer to its parents because it was getting better. Wait. This was actually a happy story! We got the baby there and all was well, but on the way back, we broke down. The truck started to idle like a Harley and was pouring out black exhaust. It was decided for us to stop and get towed. After a series of ridiculous events, including the always morale boosting sight of our ambulance on a tow truck, we found ourselves stranded briefly in a parking lot. This would have been fine if it hadn’t been 95 degrees out and we didn’t have a cot full of several thousands of dollars worth of equipment on it. What I liked the most about being broken down was that this particular truck was on its first day back after about 5k worth of work to the engine and a month of being out of service. We were rescued and go…

Fixed!

The prodigal bike has returned! I brought it into the bike shop yesterday, and after a little assessment the bike guy said: "You want to know how many times I've seen this? Never."
I'm not sure if that makes me feel better or worse. Turns out that the broken part was not exactly what he thought it would be. A rear derailleur can break, if abused, and usually at this one particular spot. It's usually pretty detrimental to the bike as it can bend into the wheel and cause damage to the rim as well. And it's about a $40 part. As my derailleur broke at the bolt, it was very strange, apparently, and we decided it was a factory defect.

So, he replaced the whole thing, and expanded my knowledge of bike maintenance by about 500%. That afternoon I took it for a nice long ride, and everything was working great.

Also, I started a part time job, made headway into finding a new full time job, ran into an old friend, and made and old cat happy.

Blogged too soon

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Mere hours after my last post, I went to take the bike out, planning to visit my brother. I hopped off of one curb. A standard sized curb, nothing out of the ordinary, it didn’t have spikes, or sharp edges, or, um, anything that could be thought to be detrimental to the common human powered bicycle. The back tire came off the curb, and immediately something was wrong. The chain was hanging languidly from the gears. Damn! I thought, the chain fell off, I’ll never get it back on!
Closer inspection revealed that something was far more amiss than the chain falling off. What I now know to be the rear derailleur, had broken completely off. Literally, the bolt holding it to the frame, snapped. I looked around, and found pieces of the bike that had fallen off and were strewn in the road.

Clearly beyond my skills to heal, I went back upstairs and called the bike shop. This is where I learned that I don’t have much of a bike vocabulary at all. “The, um, thing connected to the gears, …

Let's go ride bikes!

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For my birthday, I bought myself a new bike. I remember clearly my last birthday bike. It was white and pink, I was dead excited, and I rode the hell out of that thing. I think that I was eight.
My last bike was a no frills bike and it served me well, but it was time for something new. So, I went down to a local bike shop and they gave me the hook ups with an ’08 Specialized Myka. (pictured above, although, I can tell you, it looks a lot better with mud caked on it.)
I don’t really know much about bike brands, but it has front RockShox, and most of the other components are made by Shimano. I didn’t get disc brakes, because, well, they add almost $200 to the price. Maybe one day I’ll upgrade and get them installed.
Since my birthday, I’ve taken it out everyday that I haven’t worked. We've had a lot of bonding time as I only work once every four days. I’ve found lots of fun things to do with it around my house, some nice steep climbs and a little creek that is great fun t…

Old Pictures

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I'm a little behind in posting pictures, to say the least. Considering that the last time I added, it was February, and that most of the new NH pictures are wintry scenes. But, there are pictures of me be being totally BA and bustin' a cap w/my 9. Fo sho! I love that you can see the shell casing flying in this pic, sweet!

Also, I added some pics of kayak spots. Mostly pictures of Great Falls, VA. Okay, so calling this a 'kayak spot' is stretching it, but people do kayak it. Just not me. There are pictures of wild ponies on Assateague island taken from the Chincoteague bay. You can call them all Misty.

New Hampshire Winter

Kayak Spots

Birthday Lessons

Things I’ve learned

Providing your children with everything they need is not always the best course.
Times of crisis help the important things show through.
To feel loved and cared for is truly all I need to survive.
Facing what you fear the most makes you a stronger person. I mean, it has to.
An inherent need for independence is essential.
Bitter people amuse me.
False people make me angry.
Sometimes you can give someone everything and it is still not enough. These people should not haunt you.
I am tired of crying.
Unconditional love is hard to come by; it should not be squandered.
It is easier to be angry than to be sad.
Kayaking is still the greatest activity known to man.
Fishing gear can be replaced.
Life is hard.
I love my family immensely. There are not proper words to tell it.
My insurance deductible is $250.
J.K. Rowling is a genius.
Getting flowers always feels nice.
Life is good.
It’s okay to feel confident and to feel afraid.
I can make dinner.
I am ready.

Things I have yet to learn

Searching for silver linings

This weekend I should have packed it in, stayed in bed, and eaten ice cream like I wanted to. I worked on Saturday, and most of it was overtime which was nice. My only complaint is an odd one; I was bored most of the day. Okay, all of the day, except when I was sleeping.

I generally avoided thinking about what the day could have been. I marked it in increments of time, and it passed. Hours good and bad will always pass. I left work and headed home.
On the highway, I got a ding in my windshield. Rock versus glass made that painful little ‘crack!’ and I knew it had left a mark. To illustrate how I have been more myself lately, I only emitted one curse word, and decided to call someone to fix it on Monday. I surprised myself with my calmness and I took heart in it. The incident with the bug must have calmed my angered nerves.

Later, I went to have lunch with some NH friends who were in town for, well, nothing. It was very nice as six of us ended up hanging out for most of t…

A crisis

I am no stranger to crisis. I am a stranger, however, to personal crisis. But, when I have a call that bothers me, for example, I recite the mantra that I am having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation and I deal with it. (yay for CISM, lol)
I have been dealing with what I believe I can safely call a big personal crisis over the last few weeks. This, unfortunately magnifies anything else smaller going on in my life. Tonight, something very physically small indeed.

I went to get a coke to get me through my marathon reading of Harry Potter, and discovered what I believed to be the largest roach I had ever seen. Even in my Baltimore City days, I saw roaches more in large volumes, but never one this size. I, of course, scared it and watched in horror as it ran under the refrigerator.
I was immediately in crisis mode. First, I ran to the bedroom to get the sturdiest shoes I could find, and rolled up my pant legs. Then I fished my Maglight out of my camping gear. Whether I …

An update, really.

I feel compelled to write a little update. I love to write, and I love to have something to write about. Amazingly, my interfacility job gave me two interesting calls to write about. I haven't written those down yet, so this update is literally that; an update.

I feel like things are a little better for me. I have moved into my own apartment, and I've turned a big, empty room into a living space that I really enjoy being in.

I actually did some calls at work that made me feel worthwhile. I didn't expect that, and I hope it continues.

I know that I am not alone. Love and hope and wisdom are all around me. I love to find them. I love to find them in unexpected places.

Recently, I've felt hungry. I guess it's a good thing as I hadn't felt hungry for about a month. I've also cooked things and I hope to continue to expand my culinary skills outside the realm of hot pockets and peanut butter burritos.

I feel like I am having fewer bad days. Or, the…

Questionable Progress

It's been nearly a month since my last update now.
Things in my life aren't going they way I hoped they would, to say the least. It's amazing how quickly ones life can change. I knew exactly where my life was going. I was nearing the best thing so far; the thing I believed would bring me unparalleled happiness.
But, in seemingly an instant, I now find myself with no direction.
I am lost.

So, my work in progress, I feel has stalled. I do have a new job, unfortunately it has, well, not been that awesome. In the next couple weeks I'll have a new apartment, and from there I hope I can sort out my new life. Although, it's not what I expected.

I'm not going to stop the blog, I will try to write more.

I bought a couch. And a kitchen table.

It was hard to do it alone.

Lots of things are hard.

I'd like hope or closure, as I have neither.

I've gotten lots of advice lately, some of it has helped.

All of it has been given out of love, all of it is appreciat…

Running Amuck

It was about 4am when we had returned from a call and I had just snuggled back into my sleeping bag, happy to be last up. Another medic came in and woke up his partner.
“We have to go,” he said. “Someone is smashing into peoples’ cars outside.”
Suddenly, I was awake, but awake as I was I couldn’t remember where I had parked my car. I hastily put my boots back on and followed the rest of my curious colleagues outside.

Most of the parking for work was on the street, and there were a few spots behind our building. By the time we were led outside I remembered that I was parked on the street and vulnerable to this mysterious car smashing. Luckily, we headed in the opposite direction of my car, to where two cars were parallel parked on the street. It appeared that someone (in their vehicle) had rear ended the car parked on the end. That car was pushed into the one in front of it. The first car was pretty much destroyed. The frame was bent, the front and rear bumpers...well, the rea…

Battery Access

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We got a call for a fall. It came out as an ‘alpha’ response which means that the call was categorized as non-emergency and we go sans lights and sirens. The call was in a local apartment building. We got into the building easily as it was the middle of the day and there were lots of people milling around the lobby. We got upstairs and to the apartment and heard a tiny voice coming from the other side of the locked door.
“I’ve fallen and I can’t get to the door!”
Crap. We both tried the knob again in vain, just to make sure. I went back downstairs, certainly someone there could get us a key of some sort.
“Um...do any of you know where I can find the leasing or maintenance office? I need a key.”
“Sure. Are you a relative?”
I look down at my uniform and radio just to be sure they were still there. “No, someone called 911 and we need to get into the apartment.”
“Oh, well whose apartment is it?
“Um...I don’t no.” I said slowly as I glanced at the ambulance outside.
“Oh right, well …

Kayaking 101

My last weekend in New Hampshire was a rainy one. Not quite as much rain as last spring in southern NH, but enough rain to destroy roads, flood houses, and generally make a mess. I drove around on the second day of rain trying to get pictures of a nearby river, but all the roads around it were closed due to its flooding. The next day, I went to work and probably had the coolest call ever. Wait, time for a little more set up. There is a river in our town that is considered “running” at 6,000cfs (cubic feet per second) and “very high” at 11,000cfs. While I was at work that day, it was running about 25-30,000cfs. Needless to say, that’s ridiculously high and fast.

We were still at the hospital after a call when our next one came in for a river rescue. Not only a river rescue, but one involving three kayakers. I must admit I was pretty excited. So excited, I drove to the staging area in about 3 minutes. The details were limited, but apparently some kind citizen had seen two ov…

Apologies and Excuses

Oh, what a neglectful blogger I have been. I somehow became one of those bloggers who update only once a month. And that update is merely full of apologies and excuses for not blogging. Apologies I have. (Sorry to you few faithful readers!) Excuses, I don't. I haven't died, fallen off the face of the earth or quit blogging. I have simply been lazy.

Updates to follow! More and more updates! More updates than you'll know what to do with! So many updates you can bottle them up and save them for a rainy day, you could eat them for breakfast, wax your car with them. Enough updates to...to...well, at the very least there will be updates, more than one every three weeks.

In the mean time, some google search terms:

"new hampshire colloquial sayings" Um, I can't really think of any. Maybe my NH peeps can help me out. I can only think of paking the ka an tha' laan. But that's not really a colloquial saying.

"free pictures of thoracotomies&…

A comedy (?) of errors

Ah, the move. I picked up Ewing after work and the next morning we went to Maine. We stopped at Old Orchard beach and then went to LL Bean. Amazingly, we didn’t buy anything unexpected. We also got some good clam chowdah in Freeport. We drove back home and went out to dinner with my roommates.
The next morning we went to pick up the moving truck and when we went to leave, it wouldn’t start. The guy realized that he had left the lights on the night before and the battery was dead. He charged it for a few minutes and we were on our way. The truck wasn’t that bad; a/c that worked, and an am/fm radio. It was basically an ambulance, so I didn’t mind driving it at all.

We packed it in a few hours with a lot of room to spare. We had Pisgah on the top of my truck and Kopapa in the moving truck. We left a little late in the day and headed into town so I could retrieve my pots from pottery class. We got to class and I found my teacher who told me that after last weeks class the kil…

Okay, so about this call.

I was working 911 with my roommate and we were leaving a hospital when a call went out for a stabbing. It wasn’t our call and we almost squirreled it as it was close to our location, but we didn’t. Well, it turned out we didn’t have to. A second call went out to the same location also for a stabbing. So, off we went.
We arrived pretty much seconds behind the first ambulance. We were all kinds of confused that they send two ambulances. The fire engine was already on scene and sounded a little harried when they called for the second bus.
So, now the four of us trudged into the apartment building and upstairs. This kind of call is always on the top floor, and there is never an elevator. We let the first crew go in first as it was technically their call. A firefighter looking like a deer in the headlights pointed out one guy stabbed in the abdomen lying on the couch, very much alive. The first crew went to him. The firefighter then turned to me and my partner and said “You can …