Showing posts from 2012


It's been an odd year, I guess. If I say that every year, then what does a normal year consist of? I just read through my whole blogging year and although it didn't take me very long, due to a shameful lack of posts, I think it was pretty good. I did a little travel, a little car buying (get it? little?) and had some good times at work.
Having reviewed last years 'end of the year' post I have concluded that I should read that post sometime in June. That way I can remember my 'resolutions' and maybe be inspired to tackle one or two of them.
I did accomplish, finally, a throw back resolution and bought a super expensive fancy smallish flashlight for work. It is obnoxiously bright and I have already used it at work. Result! Also, I bought it at the Bean, so if it ever goes wrong, I'll get a new one for free.

The Bible, the Torah, the Quran, and for fun, let's say the book of Mormon are all still unread.

I went on only one first date and it was medioc…

I am still learning

It's good in this biz to get a patient with something you've never seen before. It keeps you on your toes, reminds you to be humble, and gets you to dust off those old textbooks. I had a guy who very late in the day had a few too many beers to drink. He stumbled backwards off of his porch (I'd guess a couple of feet, though I never saw the porch) and got a pain in his back. But, he managed to brush himself off, sit back down on the porch and crack open another cold one. Less than an hour later, though, he started to feel short of breath.
This is the part where I come in, finding him wandering through the back of his property nowhere near a house. (hence how I never even saw what he fell off of). He looked peculiar to say the least. Stumbling in the dark, he was caught by our headlights by chance. For a moment I thought I was in a zombie movie as we watched him grope for a hand hold that wasn't there while moaning between unintelligible words. We walked him to…


This is a picture of my father, mild mannered historical nerd, pipe smoking type, driving a real NASCAR car. Stock car.  Race car.  Whatever you call it.  You know I don't know. For his landmark birthday, my mother bought him this racing experience.  I got to come along as staff photographer.
It was really cool as we all got to hang out at the infield of the track and let our minds wrap around what it might feel like if all of those thousands of seats had fans in them.  Everyone doing the experience was very keen on nascar racing and my mother may have admitted too loudly that we had not actually ever seen a nascar race ever.  I, at least, have never watched more than a minutes worth of it.  I'm sorry, but I just don't get it.  I knew then, but even more so now, that there is more to stock car racing than turning left.  There's turning left and driving really fast in between.  And sitting in a really uncomfortable position for several hours.  I wonder now if profession…


I’ve been giving some thought to an aspect of my life recently that I really should appreciate more. As a single woman with many married friends, I feel like I get to borrow husbands. There may be no way to introduce this topic without looking needy and weird, but in all sincerity, I am blessed to have married friends and husbands I can borrow who will take care of me.
Without sounding like a polygamist, I have different (brother?) husbands who fix my car, chop wood, play video games, fix random stuff, and even a work husband who looks after me there. In a way it is sort of like borrowing other peoples’ kids and giving them back when they get cranky or smelly.
It is a luxury in my life to have these men who work as worthy place holders for my future possible husband. Of course, they are spoiling me in a way that will make it more impossible to find an actual husband, but oh well.
And of course, I can still kill my own spiders, change light bulbs, and trim trees, but it is nice whe…

What hole?

Okay so, I was fording a river on an Austrailian outback expedition and Half Pint and I took on a bit too much water.  We were being chased by angry dingos at the time, so there was a bit of a rush to get back on the road.  The engine was running fine, of course, but I had to use an outback technique and shoot a hole in my floorboard so that the water would quickly drain out and we could continue to make our daring getaway.  Luckily, we next went by a winery who sold novelty sized bottles of wine so I was able to negotiate an extra large cork from them to fill the bullet hole.  We had time to stop there, as dingos are famous for their dislike of wine.  We sought refuge in that winery for several months, in fact, and I have become a vintner and can speak perfect Austrailian.  I digress. 
I've been considering fixing the hole, but I'd really rather keep it as a reminder of our great adventure.  I still have the extra large cork anyway.

I am a huge fan of "I Love Lucy.&quo…


Among the millions of things I've been meaning to do, I have been meaning to post about when my good friend came to visit from far away and we got to take a day trip starring the civil war and a classic mini cooper.  The mini is a perpetual scene stealer, though we learned that not everyone would like to have a picture of it (even when you accidentially/kind of knowingly drove in front of them while they're taking a picture)  We probably should have shouted 'You're welcome!' to the guy I made really mad, as his picture was probably much improved by having half pint in it.  The car brings sunshine and happiness where 'ere it goes (except for that one guy).  (Besides, everyone shoots in digital and he was taking a picture of a statue that wasn't going anwhere.  Okay, I'm finished feeling guilty.)

Anyway, we drove out to Antietam national battlefield mere days before the 150th anniversary celebration.  Well, celebration is not right.  I'll just leave …

Love Rollercoaster

I am a week behind in the blogging once a week plan, but no one noticed probably. Moving on! This has been an exciting and unprecedented (pun intended) week. Last Tuesday I voted for all winners. Initially I was quite disappointed that my Tuesday improv class was still a go on election night. Therefore, to have an election party I would have to sacrifice class. Needless to say, I didn't have an election party. Well, I guess I did have quite a small one, after I got home, by myself whooping at the TV for a minute before going to bed. Not quite as good as the George Bush piƱata from last time, but I'll take it for a good result.

That was certainly the highlight of my two weeks, even trumping making my first pumpkin pie entirely from scratch. That was an amazing experience that took almost the entire day and most of my sanity. The result though, was scrumptious, I must say.

So, I will tell you of my recent first foray into the world of roller coaster riding. My childhood…


There are a few things that stereotypically define adulthood. One of those, other than drinking soda whenever you want is owning a home. Here you become responsible for 30 years of debt as well as maintaining what is really a big space with tons of working parts that no single person could understand. From roof to basement, front yard to back, a house is needy. Mine is 93, so sometimes it needs a little extra love as well as help across the street.

Back in September, I had my first house guests of the year. Two separate parties coming within a week of each other. On the eve of the firsts arrival, I decided to double check on the guest room (which I hadn't seen in some time, keeping the door shut for temperature efficiency). I opened the door and found the most hellacious mess where part of the plaster ceiling had fallen in. In a most sitcomesque fashion, I shut the door immediately and sent up a little prayer. But, when I reopened the door, the mess was still there. Liter…

Ah Ha!

I bet that you thought I forgot to blog today. Well, I didn't.  I purposefully waited until 9pm so as to keep you guessing.  I have not neglected any social media today.  In fact, it is a momentous day as it is the day I added pics to facebook, wrote a blog post, and joined twitter.  I know, I know.  Don't give in to the man!  Twitter?  Isn't that yesterdays myspace?  Isn't that for aging actors to connect with the young folk?  Isn't that just another way for everyone to annoy all of their acquaintances with superfluous updates about their mundane lives?  Yes to all! 
Well, mostly all.  I was inspired by an improv peep to get on over and tweet like a bird of some sort.  I am going to reserve my 140 characters for charming and amusing insights into my every day life.  I know no one cares, but having amassed a whopping 5 followers in my first 24 hours, I am inspired.  I will be publishing a book of my clever tweets in T minus 4 years.  Yeah, take that, Steve Martin w…

This week

Good Lord, it is October 17th.  This is a date of no personal significance, but it is important to note that I am blogging, and the last time that happened was September 2nd.  And I call myself a blogger!  The shame. 

Anywho, to the things! 

I'll stick to this past week, vow to make up for the last five by blogging every week until I am caught up on all of my nonsense news.  Yes, let's make it Wednesdays.  Deadlines!  Expectations! Motivation! Plus, having a weekly thing sets me up for weekly reflection and maybe I'll stop forgetting things.  I'm afraid this post is already too random, but I will promise more cohesion in future.  And maybe even a point. 

Last week, some of the fam and I went to see Wicked to celebrate a couple of birthdays.  It is an awesome show.  I am not a fan of frou-frou musicals, but this one is great.  I've seen it three times now and it is magic.  Unfortunately, the songs have been stuck in my head for almost a week.
My 10 year old niece j…

Faith in Humanity

This job can sometimes wear on a person. The heart the soul, and the sleep schedule are all at risk. This is a job where I often find myself in a situation where I can be helpful, make a bit of a difference in someones day, and then get paid to nap: ideal. But sometimes, after a string of drunk, silly, completely healthy, poor decision making patients I can be sick of it all. When I feel this building up, it is usually disipated with a great call where I felt very useful and all of those doubtful feelings go away.

Recently, feeling my job tolerance running low, we were flagged down by two boys. The concern and worry in their faces made my skepticism fly out the window. I hopped out and they both started relaying their experiences simulaneously.
Kid 1: "There are these bunnies running around and we can't find their mom and we don't know how to catch them and they're going to be hit by a car or something and how will they eat and they're under the cars! Can…

Unwelcome Complication

His wife managed to pull the car to a stop in the nearest yard. He had insisted on driving, though he wasn't feeling well. She let him, as it was her last bargaining chip to go to the hospital in the first place. But now that he was slumped over the wheel, it was up to her to get help.
She called 911, and after trying to get him out of the car, she reluctantly took the dispatchers advice to leave him and run to a neighbor. She climbed the short hill to the house, shouting for help, when she was surprised by a little dog, unfriendly and defensive. It clamped down on her leg and refused to let go. Her cries for help were compounded now and her only comfort came in the distant whine of sirens.
Relieved but still attempting to kick the dog off, she made her way back to her husband. The dog gave up, leaving blood running into her sock from an angry wound. Two EMT's grabbed her husband and layed him onto a stretcher. They started CPR and she couldn't watch. She was g…

All of those things

I've been on an accidental hiatus.  From blogging, from biking, from caring, from life.  I don't know why.  That's the problem with these things. They sneak up on me and then suddenly I find myself on the couch for the 30th day in a row (I exaggerate, but only a bit).  This type of thing usually only happens in winter, the old SAD, but, for me, not even perfect summer days could lift my spirits.
But, then things got better.  That's the solution with these things, happiness sneaks back in and plants itself right back into my little brain.  And now, every day, I feel like I am waking up from a long sickness.  I guess that's a good thing.  

Sometimes I can't help but take on the problems of the world.  I can't help but find my job unfufilling, my life lonely, and television depressingly bad.  Then, I realize that I am trying so hard to find my inspiration, direction, and purpose that I am forgetting to live.  I know that sounds painfully trite, but I think i…

Hero Car

Top Gear advise never to meet your hero car.  Of course, they're talking about the Ferrari California, Butatti Veyrons and Pugani Zondas.  Despite their warning, I bought my hero car without even seeing it in person.  Here is my Top Gear style review.
Just because it needed tons of bulbs, a new spare tire, lug nuts, new shocks, brake cylinders, ball joints, a front headlight, a radiator, and rear brakes, and just because it had a wobbly steering wheel, wing mirror, and muffler, and just because it has no air conditioning, radio, or automatic windows, and just because it has a few bumps and scratches, and a couple of rust spots doesn't mean that it isn't the most awesome car I've ever seen. Oh, and the interior light is falling out, and in a slight 40 year design flaw, the ignition coil is in the very front of the car, exposed to rain and susceptable to shorting.
It is beautiful in its simplicity.  When a car is 10x5x4 it can't be complicated.   It has just a speed…

Friends with Kids

To my friends with kids (and that's just about all of you now):
I miss you.  I'm inexplicably proud of you and excited for all the positive changes in your lives. I haven't been there for you like I thought I would.  But life, in many forms, gets in the way.  I know we're on different planes of life now and it's selfish to ask; but don't forget me.  It scares me when I see us getting so far apart.  I know you often don't know what to do with me, and that's okay.  I don't know what to do with me either.  I don't want to lose touch for the next 18 years and then catch up when they leave for college.  I want to know your kids.  I want to be in their lives.  It's been an honor to see you all become parents and I want to be there to see you all become great ones.  Maybe one day, you can pass your wisdom on to me. 
I want to see if they get your sense of humor, or your beauty, or your creativity, and I don't want to see it on facebook.  Most …

One Second

This afternoon on the way to work, I was tailgaited on the highway.  The kind where he was so close I couldn't even tell if he was flicking his lights at me, though I am sure he was.  I was already going 10mph over (which is plenty) and I was passing someone.  But, the more I could see him getting angry, and the closer he got to me, the longer I lingered in the fast lane.  Yes, this is dangerous, and playing into his hands, and lowering myself to his level, but if he thought for one second that tailgaiting me would get me to go faster, he was wrong, and I wanted him to know.
I did eventually move, gave him the two finger salute, and was left in his dust, pondering how silly the whole thing was.
It is people like that whom I would love to have a little chat with.  A chat about how one second can change your life, or, I'll say at the risk of being dramatic, take it.
One second of inattentiveness, anger, aggression, and, yes, passive aggression can make all the difference. On top…

British Dentistry (reprise)

Back in August 2010, I had my most recently dental emergency, outlined in this post.  It turned out to be no big deal, and for about 75 bucks they cleaned, xray, and fixed my broken tooth.  They also filled another one. 
It took less than two years for that filling to break and I had a similar panic when I realized it.  Feeling the hole in my tooth was shocking and concerning (and gross as it meant that I swallowed the filling).  I, of course, as a responsible adult, have put off finding a new dentist for almost two years.  After carrying my insurance card for six months in order to find a dentist, yesterday I couldn't find it. 
So, I had to call work to get the name of the insurance company.  Then call the insurance company, get my numbers, then find a dentist.  This sounds easy, but when faced with a list of faceless dentists, how does one choose?  Luckily, my sisters dentist was on the list and I am now left to wait with my holy tooth until Monday.


There are two situations in which you can see me acting a fool.  1.  improv class  2.  in the presence of insects.

I went up to my attic this evening, I forget the reason now, as when I got there, I discovered a small but growing bees nest in the corner of the old skylight.  Cue my first panic dance.  I took stock.  The window opens, reluctantly, when you push on the end in which they are currently habitating.  My attic has dressses, luggage, skis and a bow and arrows.

It wasn't until I was attempting to push the window open with a ski pole and shoo the bees out with an arrow that I remembered that I had some bee spray in the kitchen.  Forget about it!  This will totally work!  I reiterated to myself.  I got the window open and attempt to push the hive out of it when it broke off and just fell on the floor.  Cue the panic dance and run away shouting.  I abandoned my weapons and ran downstairs to retrieve the spray (as I should have in the first place).

I crept back up the stairs …

Mini WAP

Back in October I eluded to a 'new' 'commuter car' that never came to fruition.  Some of you may know that I have lusted after a classic mini cooper for some time now.  I have spent years trolling ebay and looking for one in a reasonable radius at a reasonable price.  I stumbled upon one very near to my house and almost bought it.  That was, until it was hit by a state snow plow.
So, the search continued.  A passive hobby, every once in a while scanning the sites until one popped up in Rhode Island.  That's not too far, and after my years of research, I know what the going rate is, and this one was cheap.  So, sight unseen (save some bad pictures) I decided to buy it.
Last week I drove up there, and before I knew it I was sitting in the most adorable car ever produced by man.  I was very happy to see that it did in fact exist, was drivable, and that the seller was really selling it and not planning to murder me at all.  Every wild ass plan comes with …

POTD 2012

I know that all three of you will be relieved to see that I've all but sorted out the picture of the day project for this year.  What a relief!  But the most astute of you will see that I still owe you a day for the 30th of May.  All I did that day was drive, have a meltdown with the mini, and go to sleep.  Trust me, it wasn't that interesting.  Though, I did see a number of Amish in horse carts, ate some chocolate, and traveled down the first concrete mile in New Jersey (exciting, I know!).  But, I'm back and sorted, and the whole mini wild ass plan will soon be detailed.

31 May

That's just silly.

29 May

Vera Bradley hell.

28 May


27 May

Andy's gradution cake. Happy med school graduation!

26 May

Some old tree.

25 May

I wasn't sure that todays picture was up to snuff (below), so I included a better one from yesterday too.

24 May

Avalanche falls at The Flume in the White mountains

The mini enjoyed the Kangamangus highway immensely.

23 May

Yeah, I know, another flower. You'd rather see the mini, right?

22 May

Today was take your Ellie to work day, so I found myself running calls with Andy in Maine. T'was good times. Sadly, I didn't get to ride in this 1940's Jeep.

21 May

The first two of many, may more to come of my new ride.

20 May

Happiest sheep ever.

19 May

Two pictures today to make up for yesterday.

Helpful Honking

I didn't post a picture yesterday, but I was too busy stalling my mother's car 10 times in a row in the middle of a four lane road to take a picture. It wouldn't have been an pretty one anyway. Mostly it would have looked like us trying really hard not to shout at eachother, me cursing loudly, and strangers honking at us and while trying not to kill us all.

Why is it that when your car becomes disabled either through user error or poorly timed mechanical failure, that people feel the need to honk at you? Do they think that I didn't notice that I was blocking two lanes of traffic and being a general pain in everyone's ass? "Oh, thank you for honking. I didn't notice that I was in the middle of the street. This is inconvenient? People want to get by? Thank you for letting me know."

In reality, there was nothing I wanted more than to move the car 20 feet. Every fiber of my being was willing that car to go, but I still managed to stall over and o…

17 May

Work is cool when I come home smelling like aircraft fuel.

Plant Update

Thanks to reader, Anne for helping me to figure out the mystery plant from the 15th.  She wins $100,000 and an RV!!

The plant is nighshade.  So I guess that I should stop eating it.

(ps. Anne was close with a shooting star.  Though the bloom is similar, mine is a vine, so I googled 'shooting star vine' and a pictue of the plant came up!)

16 May

Night shots.  I really need to remember when I've put the manual focus on.  So that I turn it back to auto.

Self Checkout

Something that boggles me, though I use anyway, is the self checkout at the grocery store.  Firstly, why am I doing more work while someone is standing ten feet away who will do it for me?  I'm not getting paid by the store to check myself out.  I'm not even getting a discount.
I've used the self check out even when regular check outs are available.  Why?  Probably because my reclusive tendencies are increasing and it's one less human I have to interact with.  But, at the same time, I hate that check out robot.  Hate her.
All of the things I hate about her make me look crazy. Probably because recently I have have found myself talking back to her.
"Thank you for using self check out.  Please scan your member card."  She starts already.
"Why are you shouting at me.  Can't you see I'm digging my card out of my wallet?  And don't thank me.  Pay me instead."
Just as I fish the card out, she repeats "Please scan your member card."

15 May

Cash and prizes if anyone can name this tiny flower from my yard.

14 May

A tree.  If you weren't sure.

13 May


12 May

Dilapidated barn.

11 May

Everybody loves a little SVT.

10 May

My neice and nephew turn 10 today.

9 May

Thank you, nail, for causing me to jump off the bike in the middle of the intersection like an idiot.  For causing me to look like a fool, cursing on the side of the road.  For causing me to walk it (thankfully) three blocks to the bike shop, and then have to pay them to use pliers to get you out.
Thank you, nail,  for punching all inch and a half of yourself into my brand new tire and tube.
Thank you, nail, for being in the street.  Don't you have some boards to hold together or something?

8 May

Fire trucks are complicated.

7 May

Lola.  Now starring in the other obligatory cat picture.

6 May

Crafting today, ftw!  Tough luck placed in front of a dumpster.

5 May

Roses, clearly.

4 May

Scout.  Now starring in the obligatory cat picture.

3 May

An Iris in my Grandmother's garden.

2 May

The grievance board.  My favorite place in the newly renovated ER.

1 May

A weird start this year at the Laboring Sons Memorial Ground in my hometown.  This was an African American cemetery way back in 1837.  In a very silly move after it fell into disrepair, it was made a whites only playground.  Obviously, this didn't last, but it wasn't properly memorialized until 2003, after much lobbying.

It's that time of year again

I'm off to the usual roaring start to the (5th annual!) picture a day project. I took a picture today, but had a busy evening and now I'm in bed so it will have to be posted tomorrow. If you happen to be a new reader of the blog, every May I attempt to post a picture of the day for the whole month, with mild success. So, here's hoping that this May will be full of interesting subjects and moving images. Time will tell.
Check out past May photo projects in the archives. 2010 was a good year.


Clean Undies

One of the myths of EMS is that clean underwear is required before calling. 'Be sure to put on clean underwear in case you're in an accident!' your mother may advise. But, to be fair, I am not the least bit interested in the contents or quality of your underwear. That said, we do appreciate the presence of underwear, as opposed to none at all. And yeah, I've seen plenty of underwear, and most of it is extremely forgettable.

But, I did hear a good story lately.

They were called to a motorcycle accident. The patient had stopped short and layed the bike over. Annoyingly, the weight of the bike had snapped his leg. They arrived to find him sprawled on the ground cursing between clenched teeth, clearly trying to master his pain with careful breathing.
After assessing the patient and getting the backboard ready, it was time to cut his pants off to get a good look at the leg and likely set it with a traction splint. The crew were met with loud objections from the pati…

House Guest

In this job we come into people lives when they least expect it, and trust me, no one bothers to tidy up before we get there. It is a fascinating privilege to be invited into patients' houses. We are seeing them not only at their most vulnerable and sick, but we are seeing them in their own private spaces. I've picked people out of every room in a house, including and quite often, the bathroom.

What prompted my thoughts on this subject was a recent call, of course. I hate to be fooled, especially by a house. I went to a call in a pretty nice neighborhood and as I was finding the house, I remarked to myself how glad I was to be in this particular area. How nice it will be to go into one of these houses. Undoubtedly it will be clean and bright and well kept. But one might think I would have learned by now that every time I think this, I'm wrong. I should probably stop counting my unsmelly and well-lit eggs before they hatch.

The last time I assumed tidiness, I was m…


Sometimes in this work, things are timed perfectly. Too often people wait too long to call. I can't blame them, no one really wants to see us. Also too often, people call too early.  I mean, they probably shouldn't call at all, but that's a different post.

Recently I had a perfectly timed call. I arrived after the ambulance and peeked in the door, I was advised to set up in the truck while they got the patient out of the house. Sweet. As I was pulling cords out of the monitor and opening an IV start kit, I saw someone running out of the corner of my eye. The back doors were suddenly flung open and they pushed the now unconscious patient right in front of me.
"He just went unconscious when we got outside." the EMT hurriedly told me. Well, shit. But how convenient to go unconscious just as you are being loaded into an ambulance where a paramedic is standing with EKG cables in her hand. So, I threw him on the monitor and he was v-fib (a lethal but treata…

Rules of the Road

When I ride my bike on the road, I wear a high-vis vest, I have a blinking tailight, and I chose roads very carefully based on speed limit, shoulder width, and of course, hilliness. I ride in the road as that is what I am supposed to do. I obey traffic laws and signal my intent at intersections.

This morning, while riding along, minding my own business, I was honked at. Confused, I looked over and saw a woman in a van nobly gesturing to me and then forcefully pointing at the parallel sidewalk.  Her implication was clear that she wanted me to be on the sidewalk despite my shoulder riding and despite the fact that she had the width of two lanes in which to get around me.  I immediately went crazy, at least by my standards, and shouted at her.  I remember repeating "no" quite a bit, and then pointed to myself and shouting "I am a vehicle!"  I didn't even curse, which was surprising to me, and I didn't do any rude gestures in her direction.
Despite my anger,…

Behind every great paramedic... an even better EMT. This, is largely true, and my thoughts on the subject have been brought on by some opinions shared with me by an EMT. He works for another jurisdiction with a very different delivery of EMS. His is a more traditional fire-based system with ambulances staffed with an EMT and a paramedic, while I am typically a chase care medic.
Tonight he suddenly began to rant that with a good EMT, a paramedic is pretty much obsolete. After all, in his system, he sets up IVs, breathing treatments, EKGs, etc and he supposes that paramedics are only good for starting IVs and intubating people. Wait. Hold the phone. I know that in class we joked that monkeys could do intubations. But intubations alone do not a paramedic make.

Obviously, I believe in the worth of paramedics. I also believe in the worth of EMTs. And if an EMT believes that paramedics are only good for starting IVs and intubating, then I am sorry for him, and question the quality of the paramedics he works…

The Calm

In recent days I've had calls that tested my patience.  And not because of the patients, but because of their family.  It is important for a paramedic to be empathetic and patient, but I think that overly excited families forget that a paramedic is also an investigator and problem-solver.
I've had a rash of kids who had febrile seizures.  In these cases, the patients are largely fine. It's not an ideal situation, but, it happens.  I work hard as a non-mom to put myself in their positions of these parents.  I can see how it would be terrifying to see your kid have a seizure, but once someone arrived to help, I might think some of your stresses would be relieved.  But one mom I had to deal with recently I seriously wanted to vulcan death-grip her, just to knock her out and let her reset.  She was absolutely inconsolable, despite the fact that the baby in her arms was clearly fine by that time and left seriously wondering what it's mother was doing shouting like a crazy p…

Chew, then swallow.

I am a big fan of 'I Love Lucy' it is simply...great. In one episode, in an attempt to buy time, Lucy advises her three besties to chew their food 25 times before swallowing. Her time wasting was futile, of course, but the advice wasn't half bad.

We were called to a guy who was throwing up blood. We arrived, and he was right in the front room. He looked up from a small trash can and said, "I'm throwing up blood." and before I could inquire further, he proved it by spraying bright red blood all over the interior of the can. "Well, yes you are. Can you walk outside with us?"
He followed us to the ambulance where the plot thickened. He had been eating steak when suddenly he got a sharp pain in his chest and began throwing up bright red blood. Without any other associated symptoms or history, (allegedly not a drinker) I was puzzled.
So, we did what we do best and took him to the hospital.

I got a rare follow up on this patient. In the OR, th…


I went recently on a call in the snow. The snow started around 10 pm. We got a trouble breathing call around 1130.
There was just enough snow by then to make things slippery and annoying. We parked at the end of a short but steep driveway.
I still haven’t figured out what is best in these situations: leave the cot, and fetch the patient, or take the cot and risk killing everyone on the way to the ambulance. Or, just give up completely. Either way, these calls are fraught with risk.

Anyway, we pushed the cot to the door, and even carried it into the house. There we found an incredibly sick guy, struggling for oxygen and looking within inches of death. “Oh, good god” I said aloud.
I threw a neb treatment on the guy and had already made the decision to get the hell out of there. “Sir, stand up.” I said firmly to him. He was so starved of oxygen, but he obeyed and we buckled him in.
There was cop on scene, thank God, and he and my partner took the cot and eased it out of the hous…


For the past few weeks, I've been taking an improv class.  I took it because, well, I like to subscribe to the adage of 'do something that scares you...every once in a while'.  It goes something like that.  Thanks to this class, I have done something that scares me at least once a week.  I have no background in 'the stage' nor have I recently undertaken any public speaking challenges or anything of that sort.  Further, I am not that funny.  So, taking an improv course seemed like a great idea!
It's a small class of nine, I think, and they are all wicked smart.  And quick.  The two characteristics that are the basis of impov.  Smart and quick.
But I'm not too bad.  I think probably because we have an audience of one.  We are supposed to do a 'show' at the end of the sememster for friends and family.  I worry that with an audience of any number greater than one, I will be as good as Michael Scott.
Outside of that future terror, this is the most fun I…

Job Description

In the old days, EMS personnel were expected to drive the ambulance and then plan the funeral.  Life was seemingly simple.
But now, a paramedic's job description is never long enough.  It is far beyond showing up and bringing the hearse.  I joke that I am paid for 'readiness' as my excuse to earn money sleeping.  But readiness is a big part of the job.  In the station, I am chef, maid, and janitor.  I track supplies, check medications and restock.  On calls, a paramedic is driver, interviewer, negotiator, the calm of the storm.  A paramedic is the medicine giver, the airway guru, the IV ninja.  A paramedic is the authority, the decision-maker, the therapist, listener, and giver of advice.  We take care of every type of patient and yet have no specialty.

I'm not sure why I'm compelled to point this out.  I think that it is easy to forget how dynamic this job really is.  It is very easy to forget the expectations of this job.  One must be all of these things and do t…

White Rose

There's no way to write about the anniversary of the deaths of Sophie and Hans Scholl, and Christoph Probst without going on an inane tangent.  This subject is clearly far from the usual blog fare, though I think I've pointed it out before.
It'se easiest just to point you to this link for a pretty good run down of the story.  I am rarely moved by, well, anything, but when I heard this story in Munich I found it to be extrodinary.   It deserves recounting, it certainly deserves remembering.  To me, it is a reminder to stand for what is right, and to remember the burdon of hate this world carries.
Temper your suffering with those who suffer most.


I've learned a few things from my patients in recent weeks.
Firstly, dreams can be intense.  At 4 in the morning, my patient had a dream that he was under attack.  His attackers had left for some reason, but were headed back at any time. The logical conclusion was for him to exit the building.  Through the window.  This was probably a great plan except that he was on the second floor.  No one told his dream self this and by the time he realized it, it was too late.  Wide awake, broken, and on the freezing sidewalk below, he had to crawl to a neighbors house, up the porch and knock on the door until they woke up.  So, the lesson here is any of the following: Tie yourself to your bed, sleep on the first floor, lock the windows, or carry a cell phone in your pajamas.

Secondly, and this one is a little more obvious, trees are tall.  Yes, and sometimes if you climb them, especially using big nails driven into the trunk as a ladder, you cal fall out of them.  Worse when you fall out of …


Tonight I went out to dinner.  Well, this afternoon I took the bike to the park for the first ride of the year.  It was marginally successful.  I need to work harder at the gym.  Anyway.  I got home later than I thought, ate some leftovers in a rush and went to a meeting.  It was some pretty good human interaction!  And could give me plenty of things to do in the future.  Anyway.  Afterwards, we went out to dinner.  I was still a little hungry from abbreviated dinner, so off I went.  'Why get something small, when I can get something to have now and take home for tomorrow?'  I said to myself.  It was a nice dinner with plenty left for another meal.  They kindly gave me a box, and a bag too.  I carefully scraped my plate into the box and put it in the bag and placed it right in front of me so I wouldn't forget to take it home.
Well, by now, we all know the end of this story.  It should be no surprise to any human that I don't have anything for lunch tomorrow.
How is it …