25 March 2011

Nobody wants help

I've had a frustrating string of patients who, at the end of the day, called 911, but didn't really want our help. Especially where IVs are concerned. I mean, nobody really wants an IV, but I figure it's standard issue for most patients. One guy said he wasn't sure but I assured him that if I didn't give him I'd look like a slacker. In hindsight, it all sounds like I'm forcing these patients to take treatment they don't want. They want treatment, but they were all acting so aloof about recieving it from me.
One lady insisted on shouting "You won't find it, you won't find it!" while wriggling around like a fool when I went to start her IV. Well, I'm glad you believe in me, and I certainly won't if that's all the faith you have.
Another lady really just wanted a ride to the hospital I guess.
"I'd like to give you these chewable aspirin, is that okay?"
"Do you have any water?"
"No, but they're chewable."
"Well...no thanks."
...and later...
"I'm going to give you this spray of medicine under you tongue, hopefully it will help to relieve your pain."
"Really, can't you just wait until we get to the hospital?"
"If I did that, ma'am, my job would be obsolete."

Everyone is wanting to wait to get to the hospital.
"I'm going to start an IV in case you need any medicines or fluids."
"Do you have to? Can't we wait until we're at the hospital"
*exhasperated sigh*

24 March 2011

Abandonment

At long last, dear readers, I will not subject you (at this juncture) with a post of whinging about house buying, or inane travel, but finally write a post about EMS.
Back in EMT school they had the requisite lecture about the legality of what we do, or more importantly, what we don't do. What occasion, I thought to myself during those law related lectures, would I ever have to abandon my patient.
Well, strictly speaking I didn't abandon her.
We had a call to a hotel. The BLS crew beat me there and were already headed down the hall back to the ambulance when I arrived. The patient probably had too much caffiene and had an episode of tacycardia that had all but resolved itself by the time I saw her. One of the EMTs took my truck back to the hospital, and the other hopped into the drivers seat.
In the midst of starting this patients requisite IV, a second call went out to the same hotel for a cardiac arrest. I knew (or so I thought) that the next medic was at least 10 minutes away. I looked at my partner in the rear view mirror and we both mouthed 'what do we do?!' to eachother. Her partner had already left with my truck so after a minute of thought and a quick explaination to my patient I said I'd be right back, abandoned my IV attempt, took the monitor off of her, and headed back upstairs.
Unfortunately, unless I had arrived an hour or more in advance, I might have made a difference in this patient. He was wedged between the bed and the bedside table and getting him out of that position by myself was a bit of a challenge, but I like to see what hotel furniture is not nailed down. By the time I got him in a workable position, on the monitor, and coached the poor hotel employee who arrived in CPR, the next due medic got there. I gave him a quick report, took his equipment and headed back to my patient. She was totally cool, and really had nothing wrong with her by that time and we headed to the hospital, about 15 minutes later that scheduled.

21 March 2011

Shipping up to Boston

When I got home, a couple of friends invited us to join them in a road trip to Boston on St. Patty's day weekend to see the Dropkick Murphys. Great Irish American and former New Englander that I am, I had barely heard of them.
But we said to ourselves, ...a weekend, in Boston, Irish band, sam adams...why not? In preparation I rewatched the Departed and said 'oh yeah, that song!' and I was ready.
So nine of us piled into a huge van and headed north. We arrived in time for dinner and headed up early the next morning to take in beautiful and historic Boston. And by beautiful and historic Boston I mean the Samuel Adams Brewery. This is hands down the most generous free tour around. On the tour we got to stick our faces in a pile of hops just like in the commericials and see the huge faux-copper tanks of beer. What really mattered though was the free tasting glass, and the pint or two we managed to fill it with. A dangerously short amount of time passed in the tasting room, and we headed right to Doyles for two more and another free glass. I can be bought with free glassware.
By then we were all quite happy indeed and it was only 1:30 in the afternoon. We headed, rather bravely, to a seafood restaraunt. I continued to try the 'award winning' chowder in every resatraunt we went to. I love that every single chowder in the north east is award winning. It must be really bad if your chowder hasn't won an award. They're all good to me, so awards all around!
We had a nap in the afternoon in anticipation of a long evening. The concert itself was really good. The opener was acually enjoyable and the Murphys have a great energy. And wow, people really like them! There was some great people watching going on and I enjoyed waiting for the group in front of us to get into a beer fueled fist fight. The band really mixes a lot of things and it's age demographic reflects that. There were clearly non chapperone older people there as well as kids. Standard isssue seating as well as a mosh pit. I can't fault a band that brings out six bagpipers and then celebrates some hot licks on the tin whistle, banjo, and accordian. Oh, and throw in some Irish step dancers too.
It was altogether a good time and I was happy to have survived it. We spent Sunday morning in the city which was a nice relaxing time.
So, DKM, we'll probably see you next year.

10 March 2011

Not to mention

It may seem obvious, but buying a house is expensive.  I mean, don't even let me do the math and figure out that my lender is making 100% profit over 30 years off of me.  Outside of principle and compounding interest, it's the 'little things' that are getting me now.  $300 for an inspection, $450 for an appraisal, $250 for a settlement lawyer.  Things that I didn't even think of before now.  To be fair, the inspection did pay off, as the seller is now doing 2k worth or work to the place, but seriously.  It is scary to think about all the 'nickle and dimeing' that will be going on at settlement.  Only, it's not nickles and dimes.  It's hundreds of dollars for completely intangible things.  Deed surveys, fancy pens, outlandish property taxes, and don't even start me on mortgage insurance.  There's a pointless $1200 a year, to protect not me, but my lender. 
Just give me the keys!  I am still vacillating between excitement and nerves, but I am mostly excited now about getting my spring veggies in the ground.  It's been a long time since I had a garden.  The anticipation of the house combined with spring fever is really getting to me.  Good thing I'm working 72 hours this week.  It's a good distraction. And in a bit of an oversight, I am settling on the 31st, then working the next five days.  Silly me.  So, five days of cleaning the place when I can be home and camping in the living room until we can get my furniture in. 
So far the highlight of all that work has been a 3am diabetic.  It had been so long since I had a hypo, I was half way through the amp of D50 before I realized that it had been well over a year since I gave my 'now you have to eat some real food' lecture.  That and narcan are still my favorite drugs to give.  Even though I finally felt useful at work, I was even happier to get the refusal and go back to bed. 

07 March 2011

Paperwork

I think I may, may have found a bureaucratic process that is actually more complicated than applying for a UK student visa.  The major difference with getting a mortgage is there are other people around to help me through the process.  Thank God. 

With the visa, I was kind of flying solo, getting only a little guidance from the home office whom I felt, like me, were making it up as they went along.  The process of buying a house feels similar.  Changing regulations and policies make it so complicated, you need a realtors license to muddle though.  But, I have kind of enjoyed the process and jumping into homeownership with both feet.  It has seemed easy, mostly because I kind of bought a house by accident, little believing that I could afford one I would actually like. I kind of assumed that I wouldn't and believed the whole looking process was futile and wouldn't go any further than 'ooh, this is nice...and expensive.'
But, it wasn't futile, and before I knew it I was 'signing my life away' on an official offer.  That involved way more than I thought it would, including signing about 30 pages of contract. 
Then all was accepted and happy and I found myself an inspector and we hovered over him as he checked all of the major organ systems of the house.  Now I know 10% more about houses than I did before, which means I know 10% about houses.  I found the inspection pretty scary because it was that time when I realized just how much can go wrong in a house.  Renting is great, something breaks and someone else fixes it.  Oh, but owning.  When my 14 year old water heater kicks the bucket, it's all on me.  Then it was more signing, calling a contractor, and waiting to see if the sellers would adhere to our wild demands. 
In the midst of that I was shopping for interest rates and sorting out homeowners insurance, and getting overly excited about organizing my stuff and deciding what color I want to paint the living room.  Since then I've locked in my rate, signed about 60 more papers, and figured out that I can't at the moment afford solar panels, but I definitly want them. 
The mortgage application process is absolutely crazy, and after I submitted every possible piece of official paperwork I had, they asked for more.  Mostly, they wanted an explaination about my address and job situations which are both a bit complicated by school and that fractious 12 month gap in income.  They asked me about specific bank deposits which basically I couldn't remember.  So I had to call the bank and get a copy of the checks I deposited to justify a $200 deposit.  What silliness.  I guess I've discovered that thanks to banks loaning to people who didn't realize what mortgage payments meant, I have to account for every penny I have.  And it just irritated me, because I was under the impression that what I did with my money wasn't anyones business.  Oh well, now that's done I hope.   
Things are calmed down now and it's just a matter of waiting for my settlement date which sounds very serious.  Mostly because I need a lawyer.  And a pen.  I think the signing isn't finished, and I hope that these papers aren't compared for accuracy because I think that my signature varies quite a bit from page to page. 
I'm very grateful other people are telling me what to do in this process, I'd be lost otherwise.  And even thought this one entails quite a bit more money, the visa process made me way more nervous. 
Now back to shopping for veggie seedlings, rugs, and cleaning supplies.