Showing posts from August, 2009

Real, real, real

At work we had a ‘big old disaster drill’ at a local nursing home. It was actually a lot of fun (which was surprising to me). They had planned for an unreasonable amount of things to be going on at once, including but not limited to: a chlorine spill, an apartment fire, a terrorist threat, a tornado, an overturned canoe in a lake that no one is allowed to boat in, another fire, people lost in the woods, an earthquake, a bus accident full of children and elderly people, a hurricane, and a collapsed building.
We were summoned to the 4th floor of an assisted living facility to assess some fake patients. Firemen were all around, running patients up and down the stairs. The event coordinators had actually convinced a large number of jolly elderly people to participate in the drill as victims. Everyone I encountered seemed generally bemused about what was going on and were all fun to talk to. All of the victims had cards around their necks stating their demographics and injuries. One…

A vacation like normal people

Last week I was thrown up on, stung by a bee, and chased by a dog, but other than that, I had a very relaxing visit with some old friends.
My college roommate had a baby last month, so two my girlfriends and I went down to her house for a week, basically so we could all stand around and adore her baby.
It was just like college, only with a baby. We watched movies, played video games, cooked together, and made a lot of junk food; brownies, rice krispy treats, ice cream, cake, and topped it all off with deep fried pickles. My friends’ husband had been promising me these for two years, and they were very strange, but worth the wait. The mars bar is still the best deep fried thing I’ve ever had to eat, but the pickles are a strong second.

My first day there we were enjoying the southern weather when a bee randomly stung me, unprovoked. I mean, I wasn’t even making fun of it or anything; it just landed on my leg and stung me. I did get a little panicked as I’m not sure if I’d ever been…

Not the desired effect

My partner today was telling me a recent conversation she overheard at the hospital. A patient had a broken arm and they were going to "consciously sedate" her to set it. Conscious sedation involves giving one lovely drugs that make the fact that there is an extra joint in your arm a completely forgettable or hilarious situation. The nurse prepared to give the patient propofol, which is a brilliant drug for such things. (as an aside, the drug itself is white, so it is commonly referred to as "Milk of amnesia" Good stuff)

So the conversation was as follows:

Pt: (justifiably full of trepidation) "So, what are you going to give me?"
Nurse: "The same stuff they gave to Michael Jackson."
Pt: (not wanting to die of a broken arm) "Oh, my God, what?!"

Now she's nice and relaxed for the procedure.


In recent days I have found myself standing in my apartment staring at various items, quietely considering them. Do I need this item now, will I need it next year, will I need it in the future? These battles with myself can last for up to half an hour as I slowly fade into insanity while I consider whether or not to pack a shirt that I haven't worn in the last year and a half. The pile of stuff for goodwill grows by the minute. Don't worry, it's not filled with anything of monitary or sentimental value. Mostly it's things that I question why I've held onto them for this long. Things like a hat from the job that I hated that still has the tags on it.

I wonder if it's necessary to keep CDs of pictures that I already have one physical copy and two seperate sets of digital copies of. So I will muse: Well, the CDs are a form of back up. A form of back up that I don't even get for any of my newer pictures. They take up space, but I did pay for them. Probably two d…

BPA Free

Yesterday I traded in the last of my way too many Nalgene bottles for BPA free versions. Months ago, Nalgene stated that there was no evidence to believe that BPA was dangerous for humans, and then the next day announced that they were changing all of their bottles to BPA free. Guilty. Doing that is like denying that you committed a crime and skipping town the next day. Just admit it!
So after a few months of forgetting them every time I went to the store, I finally traded in the last three for some fancy new ones. I was holding out for a better color than the basic blue and yellow, and I'm really happy with these. Yeah, remember what I said about being a nerd in the last post.
Now I just have to break them in, and by break them in, I mean throw them down the driveway into oncoming traffic.

Can you spell Wenckebach?

We were called for a diabetic problem. We fixed him right up but my partner became concerned when his initial heart rate was 38. That could be a problem. We printed out about a mile of EKG strip to figure out that he was in a second degree atrioventricular heart block type 1, aka Mobitz 1, aka a Wenckebach. (my parents love when I throw down the big words) Turned out that this was completely normal for him, but I explained that we didn't see this everyday which might explain our excitement and fascination. In fact when I did a 12 lead I think I said it was only to satisfy my own curiosity, as his was after all, a diabetic problem. He didn't mind and he was happily asymptomatic, as are most of these patients, but it looks cool anyway. Well, to nerds.
Unsurprisingly, the LP 12 interpretation was wrong.

Proud Moments

My submission (thanks to my friend paul) was selected for a post on Cake Wrecks, one of the funniest blogs in blog world. ( Paul had the three mile island cake made. Why? I really don't know. Either way, it's a proud moment for me.


Some things we can't fix.

“Your patient died.” my partner announced as I entered the room.
“Yeah, she died.” it was strangely casual. It made me more sad.

As I looked back I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was. When we arrived an EMT was crammed into the back of the twisted car, the front of it barely recognizable. He was making his best efforts to protect the patients’ spine from further injury. But the patient was so altered that she was not even able to rationalize her actions, pulling off the collar and oxygen, and kicking her free leg. One look at the pale, sweaty, tachypnic patient and I said “This one goes first.” The fire department continued to carefully cut the mangled car away from the patient.

I didn’t even get a blood pressure before the receiving helicopter crew arrived. We intubated her on the street while the helicopter blades droned, waiting in the background. I watched as they took off, satisfied at the speed of the call, barely ten minutes had past since I arrived. Th…