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Showing posts from April, 2009

Visa Process Update

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I am living in the hope that by early next week, my completed and fully documented visa application will be making it's way to the visa expediting service. None of the finite goals for this project have come together "on time." I've said, "...and then I'll have it in the mail by Tuesday!" at least three times, referring to three different weeks. Every step is actually hiding an extra step under its coat. The closer I get, the more things I have to do, and now I have to amend my post about the UK student visa process.
The UK apparently changed some of their rules on required documents last month. As a result, I have also had to collect my pay stubs from the last three months and yesterday I had HR at work write me a letter that stated that I did, in fact, work there.
I also had to find my old passport, and an old UMBC transcript that states that I did, in fact, attend that university and did, in fact, graduate. No, UK, I am not taking my 14x12 inch f…

That photo a day thing 5.09

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I've decided, given the beautiful weather and varied activities in store for May, I would make my "photo a day project" an annual blog event. Last May I posted a photo a day for the whole month, and, though I'm not sure if any of my four readers enjoyed it, I did. Hopefully this year I will make it to the end of the month without cheating as much. Actually, now that I've looked back on it, I never even posted a picture for May 31st last year.
Well, this year, to illustrate that I am confident I can get 31 unique, interesting pictures, I will give a preview picture for today.
This is a page I received about a call while at work. It was 3 am and it says: "...now has extreme pain in female organs..." I don't know why, but that's funny.

Outside Time

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The outdoor season is now in full swing. C and I have been kayaking and biking and are having a contest to see who can kill who first with our favorite hobbies. I think he's winning as on our last bike trip I had my first proper, slow-mo, nearly over the handlebars crash. I survived with bruises, but was thrilled to wreck, as I feel it's a rite of passage to real mountain biking.
We've gone kayaking a few times as well, and yesterday I found a few bottles floating in the lake, and then a recycle bin to put them in! Here are some more pics.


A long 24

0515 Woke up and got dressed. Gave kitty some treats and out the door by,
0535 Listened to the latest podcasts about how Joan of Arc worked and how to launder money on the way to work.
0635 Arrived at work, threw my jacket in the truck, got the keys and pager from off going medic.
0645 call for 2 y/o with shortness of breath.
0713 Kid with specialty problems, and almost had to transport to very far away specialty hospital. Parents were thankfully happy with a little extra oxygen and refused.
0730 -0930 breakfasted and napped.
0930 call for patient with exacerbation of chronic bronchitis. I took the same patient for the same reason last shift. She looked worse and was moving no air. Thank God the nursing home had her on 4lpm via nasal cannula.
0945 Headed to kind of far away hospital per patients request. Forced a neb into her and then straight on the CPAP.
1015 Arrived at hospital with the patient feeling good and a pulse ox of 97%
1020 Caught up with an old friend who works at kind of …

A look into the UK student visa process

So, the final hurdle. The deciding factor that can say whether I study in England or not. How to get a UK student visa. I had no idea how complicated it is to get one.
To help the three people who read this blog to get one someday, I have compiled a list of things to do. It's pretty inclusive as far as I know. Well, inclusive of the things I know for sure, and the things I know in theory.

1. find a school you want to go to with an appropriate major.
2. figure out how much it will cost to go and stay in the UK.
2a. get the money.
3. apply to the school.
3a. collect transcripts, recommendations, and personal statements.
4. wait to be accepted.
5. upon acceptance, send international wire of first tuition payment.
6. wait forever.
6a. in the mean time, get or renew passport.
6b. for that you'll need new passport photos, 75-100 dollars, and the application.
6c. in the mean time put all necessary money (after initial payment) into checking account in your name.
7. once the school gets the p…

RIP TP

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rain fall softly upon your fields. And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


A former coworker of mine died last weekend. I hope he found what he was looking for.

Gator Xing

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1st paddle of the season!

Happy Easter

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A belated happy Easter!

Mini Cov Update 3

Yesterday, figuring "holidays over and it's time for action," I sent a carefully worded e-mail to everyone I had ever been in contact with at Coventry. My problem is that I sent my payment on March 5th and have received no word from them. I don't take kindly to half my savings floating around in some sort of limbo of uncertainty (I was assured by my bank that they would not tie it to the back of a dolphin and hope for the best). Beside that, I still need to apply for a visa and get more official balls rolling.
So, I sent my carefully worded e-mail, (not the first I'd sent inquiring about my payment) yesterday. This morning, I magically had three responses! All confirming my payment and assuring me that my official letter would be on it's way to me more or less immediately.

So, there's that done. I can now shake myself out of my growing "seriously getting doubtful mode" and get nervous again. Oh, and send them more money.

2 minutes after writ…

Lost Dog

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After a series of unexciting cancellations, we went for a call for a lady who had gone unresponsive while on the phone with 911. Like so many other calls, this had potential. We arrived on the heels of the ambulance expecting the need to bust down a door or two. (any excuse will do) Luckily (for the door) it was unlocked and we easily gained access. We were greeted by the melodious yap of a smallish dog. The dog was more annoying and friendly than a safety concern for me. I am not a fan of dogs on scene, controlled or otherwise.
Our patient laying in bed and was not unconscious (in the medically problematic sense of the word) but rather asleep. "Hello! What's going on!" I greeted her warmly as my partner pressed his knuckles into her sternum.
"OH, hi!" I said, pleased with her groggy response. The dog stood on her and yapped. She explained that she had a migraine, and now was very tired. I became confused. This prompted a 911 call? "Does this…

Happens to me all the time.

Today I had a patient who shared my name. She was just a little older (60+ years) than I am, and a tad more forgetful.

On scene:

Pt. "Where are my glasses?"

Me "They're on your face, dear."

On the way to the hospital:

Pt. "Oh! Did we bring my glasses?"

Me "Yep, you're wearing them."

At the hospital:

Pt. "I hope I have my glasses."

Me "You do, there on your face. That's how you can see me so well."

Pt. "Oh, right." she said looking around as if she had just put the glasses on.

New Oven

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I got a new oven yesterday. It works, it heats things up, it tells time, it beeps, it is awesome.

1st epic ride

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Sunday was the most glorious day! Perfect weather, perfect company, perfect list of things to do. C and I went to a christening and there I met a German paramedic. Talking to her was absolutely fascinating. I hope the feeling was mutual. Apparently in Germany, they cannot do anything to the patient without a doctor physically there. There are no such things as standing orders, or on line medical direction. Anything they do before the doctor gets there is their own liability. She said medics there get sued a lot, mostly because not all paramedic programs are accredited and there's no national standard curriculum. Imagine, an EMS system that is weirder than America! Imagine, a more litigious society than America!
They all (the good ones that is) get a year of training and a year of practical training under and experienced medic. They can do most all of our skills, but mostly assist the doctor, or directly carry out their orders. They do not intubate, but learn how to. Sh…

Head Bleed 2

Last week at part time work we had a patient come in who had apparently fallen and then began having some neurological symptoms that were worrisome. I didn't really notice what was up until she came back from getting a CT and I heard her breathing strangely. Fast, unconscious breathing through clenched teeth. We had a medic student with us that day and we gravitated toward the room because I knew this patient was about to "buy a tube" and it was a good opportunity for the stu to get some experience.
In the room the nurse was getting a couple of IVs started and bloods drawn. The patient was wriggling all over the place and we helped hold her down. After what seemed like ages the doc came in and we all got on the same page that this patient needed an airway. He ordered drugs to RSI the patient (sedate and paralyze a patient to facilitate intubation). The nurse got the drugs together and then my partner for the day got wind of what was going on. He grabbed the intub…

Brain Bleed

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Last week at part time work we had a 20 year old student come in. He had been lifting weights and suddenly fell down and had a seizure. His friends called 911 and our local CAD (computer aided dispatch) system made it a low level call. BLS got there, saw that he was actually still pretty bad off and just came to the hospital, as calling the chase paramedic would have wasted more time than it would have been worth. I walked out to the ambulance bay to meet them when they pulled up. Opening their back doors and found the patient to be vomiting everywhere and completely flaccid on his right side. My partner of the day and I took him straight to CT to figure out what was going on with him. In the hallway we started an IV and put him on the monitor. The CT showed a huge brain bleed which caused his seizure and subsequent symptoms.
The doctor supposed that he had a weak vessel in his brain and the strain of lifting made it burst. The patient was taking this news well, and although h…

Clothing Removal

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Last week I had a patient who fell from her horse while jumping at a show. When I got there the BLS crew had immobilized her and, well, that was about it. She was complaining of neck pain and at that moment couldn't remember what had happened. I used my horsey knowledge to build up a healthy rapport with a scared patient. In general, not a lot was wrong with her. My biggest problem was that she was on the backboard and still had on all of her fancy English riding clothes. I made my best efforts to get off her button up shirt with high collar and black outer riding jacket, but it caused her pain, and then I made it worse. Worse than falling off your horse, worse than the public embarrasment of having an ambulance called for you, worse than defenitly losing your show class, was the stupid paramedic who cut off your expensive riding clothes.
I, too, had never felt worse for cutting someones clothes off. She cried and shrieked and you would have thought I was punching her in the gut. I…