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Showing posts from March, 2008

IV woes

You are mad, you need an IV, and unfortunately you are 9 months old. The nurse asked me to take a look. A tight tourniquet around your arm, and my fingers become my eyes. I feel a tiny vessel in your AC. I can't see it, but I know it's there. Three of us are holding you down. You are angry and crying, and squirming. I take a literal stab at it and amazingly, a flash! You have surprising strength and are wriggling like crazy. It is so crucial that you stay still at this second. You give a few sharp pulls as I attempt to stabilize the catheter. My partner attaches the lock as I hold your arm as firmly and gently as I can. Wriggle, wriggle, wriggle. I push the plunger on the flush and the vein is blown. Damn! The most honest damn I have ever uttered.
Back to square one and you are still mad.
One look in your sad face and my anger is gone.

The Chicken or the Egg

Oh, what a strange career I've chosen when a 'good day' includes people dying. I will reiterate that it is not that I want people to become sick or injured, but if they are to get sick or injured, I am happy when it happens on my shift.

Our call came out as a fall, which could mean absolutely anything. Further information was they it was down 5 steps, but they weren't sure he was breathing. Hmm, that's certainly when the call took an interesting turn.
We got on scene and a guy ran up to me, shouted, "You've got to hurry!" and ran back into the house. I followed him to the head of the basement stairs. At the bottom of them, was a guy on his back in a pool of blood that was more or less pouring out of his nose, as his wife was doing CPR. Initial thought: "Oh, shit." I head down with my partner right behind me. The wife stood up, said 'Thank God' and ran up the stairs never to be seen again. So we didn't really know the story…

Nice doggie.

I was pedaling along, minding my own business of course. I was thinking about whatever it is I think about when I'm alone on the road. Suddenly, I heard shouting to my right and look over to see a dog running full on toward me. I'm not a dog expert by any means but I can say without trying to be dramatic that this dog was a pit bull. All conscious thought was gone and my instincts told my legs to pedal like crazy. The dog was next to me within seconds, pushing me into the oncoming lane. It was so close that I could have kicked it easily (not a good idea). I believe that it either would have run me off the road completely or run into the bike causing me to crash.
It was keeping up with me, which concerned my instincts so I just started yelling. I think I yelled "GET OUT!!!" and wondered to myself why I said that given that it made little sense. Either way, that, and an aggressive turn toward the dog made it stop. I continued to pedal, increasing the safe distance betwe…

A post.

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Having spent two candy and crap food filled holidays without actually consuming any candy or crap this lent, I was particularly excited to end my candy and crap fast. But I discovered, increasingly with every Easter, that I'd rather just eat normal food. I can't have just Peeps for breakfast anymore. And, now within a week, I have pretty much completely returned to my pre Easter diet.
Easter was a non holiday holiday for me, as I was at work the entire day. It was pretty easy money as we only transported two patients out of six calls. I got to split from my partner and venture out on my own in the truck which was equal parts frightening and exhilarating. I was only afraid of getting lost, but miraculously, I knew where the call was! It turned out to be a refusal.

Last week at part time work, I got to experience some advantages to working in the ER when we gave adenosine twice in a row. One guy came in with a heartrate of 170 and was fixed with 6mg of adenosine. And about hal…

On the Bike

My hands are cold.
My shoulder is cramped.
My cheeks are red and hot with windburn.
My lungs work fast to take in gulps of air.
My heart is beating faster than ever.
My ponytail is in a windswept tangle.
My quads are tired and begging to stop.

I have never felt better.

Ellie's Guide to Online Dating

Okay, I'm just going to throw it out there, because I am not ashamed to admit that I am lonely. I am now a card carrying, real money paying, t-shirt wearing, annoying commercial making member of everyone's favorite online dating service: eharmony.com. Okay, I am a little shamed. It's mostly the paying money to meet strangers that bothers me. But, I figure that no matter how I meet people, it will cost me money. Online dating costs less than taking a class, going to bars, getting arrested for selling myself on the street, and those shady mail order husbands. Plus, all of the embarrassing rejection takes place in my house and is witnessed only by my cat.

So I am doing a trial run. The basic facts are these. If you don't find anyone at school, work, or through your friends, you won't find anyone. Well, that's my theory anyway. I don't have the time or money right now to begin higher educational pursuits, and everyone at work is older, creepy, or married. The th…

Screaming like a girl

We had an ATV accident where a kid, guy, whatever, it's up for debate, launched himself off of his four-wheeler and face planted into something (well, the ground, but something put a nice cut on his face too.) Aside from the cut and scratches all up ons, he was basically fine, (we know now) Although at the time he was acting mental, resisting help, screaming like a girl, carrying on and such, so that we couldn't rule out a real head injury.

Possibly the best part about this call, aside from the amazing amount of amusement I got from his screaming like a girl, and the presence of a helicopter which is always fun, was that he was off the road on a farm lane that was an absolute mess. The lane climbed the side of a hill and not only had potholes big enough to knock your teeth out, it had these large humps. I can only believe these were made to guide floodwaters somewhere else so that the lane didn't become a river, but they were so big that I think that if I had driven over on…

Breathing Treatments

Last week I got to use CPAP for the first time which was fun.
If you looked up emphysema in the dictionary, there would be a picture of our patient.

emphysema:
1. a chronic, irreversible disease of the lungs characterized by abnormal enlargement of air spaces in the lungs accompanied by destruction of the tissue lining the walls of the air spaces. (dictionary.com)

2. Ellie's patient the other day.

He was on 4 liters of oxygen at home all the time and neb treatments every 4 hours around the clock. He was just finishing up a treatment when we arrived and it wasn't doing anything for him. Well, before he took his neb treatment, he just finished the other kind of breathing treatment: a cigarette. (I'm about to give up on understanding people) We got him in the truck, did a duoneb and an albuterol. After those he was wheezing more, which was actually a good thing. He was still struggling quite a bit, so, with about 10 minutes to the hospital we put him on the CPAP, which was aw…

Spring

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Last week I went with my friend to the Philadelphia Flower show. We went back in high school and decided to go back. It's also a lot of fun, in the nerdiest of nerdy ways. On our bus it was the two of us and about 40 other retired old people which amused me greatly.
I actually bought plants this year, and had my first Philly cheese steak ever. It was good!
Here are some pictures of Flowers

A few weeks ago I got to test drive a Smart car. It is not a car that thinks for itself but a 71 hp, 40 mpg minicar with just 2 seats and about a foot of storage space. It is awesome! Needless to say I need (an absentminded typo that I'm keeping) want one. But alas, not cost effective while I still owe on my truck. Oh well. But think of the gas savings! It would be significant. Think of how hilarious a 16 foot kayak would look on an 8 foot car! That's probably not legal. Think of the turning radius! Head in parking in a parallel spot is also probably not legal. Think of a highway speed acc…

Updates and other stuff

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So, apparently it is possible to be shot through the head and survive. I have heard that my patient is still intubated, but is following commands, which lead them to believe that he will eventually not have a terrible neurological deficiency. And by terrible neurological deficiency, I mean be dead. So, yay! Another life saved, almost for real this time.

(Full time) work has been work like, with basically almost no patients that stand out in my mind. The white cloud has officially caught up with me.

We had a two week old with nothing wrong with it, but an overly worried mother, whom I can't blame at all for being worried. Another patient had nothing wrong with him, except that he woke up with a sore throat that had since resolved itself. 911 is no longer an emergency number apparently.

In the interesting call category, today we had a guy with major sepsis, so much that his temperature was 105 and he was literally red hot. Ew.

Yesterday at (part time) work, I had a lady who was having p…