Showing posts from August, 2011

Years of academy training, wasted!

Yesterday I was able to cross something new off of my list of things to do: survive an earthquake. Of course, I thought I might be somewhere more exotic than the Mid-Atlantic to fulfil this one, but I'll take it.
To be fair, it is only amusing and exciting in hindsight. In real time, I felt, and I don't admit this often, but, scared. I hated the feelings the experience gave me. And I've come up with several reasons why. But I guess I should begin with the story.
Several things happened at once. I was in our local mall for the first time in literal years, so I entered it like a foreigner, interested to see what had changed. Secondly, I was surprised, with no offense to her, (because I certainly didn't know where we were going) that my mom immediatly escorted us to the exact place we meant to be without any fuss. Marveling at the mall and our swift arrival with the neice and nephews in tow, the third strange thing happened, in that the floor began to shake.


Among the millions of mnemonics one learns in paramedic class, one I still remember is "C3,4,5, keep the diaphragm alive". This refers to three of the vertebrae in the neck which if intact, keep the phrenic nerve working and telling the diaphragm to move so that breathing occurs (among other complicated things that keep you breathing). But on a physically tangible level, it is the most simple. This tidbit of information is not an extremely useful thing to know as we don't have x-ray machines and if your not breathing we'll help you out regardless.
But sometimes, it just cool to know. And it allows me to say things like "Well it wasn't C3, 4, or 5, because he was still breathing." Unfortunately, our patient wasn't able to do much other than that. It was a real lesson for me in spinal shock. This patient had well, one way or another, broken a window with his head which (I now know) broke some of his cervical vertebra and because there is no l…

MI (s)

I was at my part time gig where we hang out in triage and help out in the ER (crazy, I know!). But sometimes we get to play, bandaging and starting IVs and stuff before they get to the department. The other day, a guy came in, said he had a little chest pain and thought he should be checked out. It was kind of busy so one of my colleagues took him to a spare area next to triage and hooked him up to the three lead. There it was, ST elevation in II, III and aVF. So we got him straight back, did a 12 lead, talked to the doc, sunk some IVs and he was flown to an interventional cath lab within 20 minutes. I must say, it was kind of awesome.
We got settled back in after that and about 10 minutes later another guy came in saying he just didn't feel right and thought he should be checked. The triage nurse and I put him in the monitor and low and behold: a STEMI! II, III and aVF again. It was deja-vu as I wheeled him back, we did a 12 lead, talked to the doc, sunk some IVs and he…

Throat Holes

That title sounds dirty, but for some reason I like saying it. I mean throat hole literally, as in a hole in the throat. And not one that comes standard.
I went on a trouble breathing call, arrived to find a guy leaned over sitting on a bed struggling for breath. As he looked up at me, I noticed blood running down his shirt coming from his neck.
It turns out that he had a trach (a throat hole, if you will) placed a few months ago. He was attempting to change the inner catheter when he began to think that he couldn't breathe properly. He promptly panicked as any normal person would, and then pulled his entire trach out as any normal person would? Either way, it left him, not feeling much better. To add to his distress, as he leaned over, he was occluding the hole.
At a loss of what else to do, I took a regular endotracheal tube and shoved it into the hole, inflated the cuff, and he kind of felt better. By then, he needed a breathing treatment which I was happy to give …

Sorry, Blog

You've been neglected.  I've been focused on gluing photo mats together and making futile attempts at assembling an ez-up tent in my woefully too small back yard.  I've been working out a wild-ass plan with almost no mention here.  I've been going to work and going to calls, and yet, not one word to you.  I've been riding bikes.  I've even been writing, with surprising regularity, but not here.  How sad this is.  How can I stray so far from my roots?

I've stuck ET tubes in peoples throat holes (literally) treated two MI's in 10 minutes, and used a KED board, and do you know about it?  No!  How terrible.  If you were a person you'd be pale and emaciated, searching for nutrition and sustenance. 

But, fear not, blog.  You are loved.  Please do not be sad that your sister blog has been getting more attention as of late.  Hers is a specialty topic, and I'll run out of material soon enough.  Like the prodigal kayak, blog, I will get you out of the ya…

Under the Same Sun

Here's a little plug, for the now, (somewhat) official photography selling biz.  I have put some wheels in motion and spent some money and am almost ready to start selling photographs at craft fairs and the like.  I am particularly excited about my business cards which will be particularly awesome and officiall looking.
There's not much to see on the site at the moment, but it's a start.  Please check back often to my sister blog and come on down to a show if you can.  (If I ever get into one!)


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