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Showing posts from 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

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Last week, I got to go to the EMS World conference in Nashville, TN.  More on Tennessee later.  But, like every time I have been to an EMS conference, I was left wishing I had my own ambulance service as well as absolutely unlimited funds.  I liked a lot of the things.  I wanted almost all of the things...except those that were totally absurd.  I am sure that my employer will hate that I went because I will only make safety oriented and expensive suggestions at budget time.  Some ideas I saw there filled me with a sense of urgency and the desire to completely change every ambulance I encounter.  I'll give you the top 5, not including the fake blood that actually clots.

1.  Lifts
This thing may look really silly.  But, I believe that it fills a huge void in our care.  We've all been on those calls when an old or overweight or frail person has fallen out of or off of or just fell and can't get up.  Classic, right?  Here's my usual situation.  This patient has fallen, usu…

Step 2 of 1 Million

Last week I stayed up until midnight, on a day when I really didn't want to, in order to register for spring classes.  I have a vague memory of the first time I went to community college of waiting in line and hoping that the class you wanted and fit perfectly into your schedule would be open.  Now, I just have to remember a password (or let google remember it for me) and register in the comfort of my living room.  I am probably wearing the same outfit.

I've been taking medical terminology online.  This is my first and hopefully last foray into online class-taking.  From the beginning I felt very old.  It took me way too long to figure out how to get to the class, find assignments, and just figure out what the hell was going on.  Oh, my I felt old.  I did figure it out and I am just going to assume that every student in an online class is cheating.  Basically, especially in a class based on memorization, everything is open book.

Once I figured everything out, I learned why …

New Wild-Ass Plan

The trouble with this plan is that it has so many fail points that I am afraid to advertise it.  It is also a very long-game type of plan (at least four years to completion).  I also don't want to build it up too much because I think I did for my parents whom almost deemed it not wild-ass enough.  Though I'm sure left to come up with one, had me feeding penguins in the Antarctic, or taking a trip to the international space station.

Basically this plan has me going back to school.  Shocking, I know.  Firstly, going back to my good old community college to take (and retake) prerequisites.  Retake because my Anatomy and Physiology classes were over 10 years ago.  How did that happen?  And we've arrived already to the first of many fail points.  I need to take five prerequisites and maintain basically straight A's.  This includes microbiology and organic/biochemistry.  I barely made it through basic chemistry, so I am justifiably worried about trying again.  B average is …

So, I'm afraid of bats.

I just finished brushing my teeth when I heard a weird noise down the hall in my bedroom.  Noises themselves are not unusual, bedtime is a typical period for the cats to decide to run amock around the house.  But there was something about this noise.  Ready to yell at the cats, I peeked in my room to see a bat, alive and well, on the floor surrounded by two curious cats.  "Oh, **** there's a bat in here." was all I had to say as I did an immediate aboutface and went dowstairs. 
Now, I am no stranger to domestic crises, but this was different.  Realizing that this bat was now between myself and my phone, and on the floor, I grabbed a sheet and bravely headed back upstairs.  But the bat, being a winged creature, afterall, had regained altitude and was now clinging to the wall somewhere where my cats could see it, but I could not.  They were beside themselves, presented with a moving, alive toy, I could barely get their attention.  Before I made my attempt to 'get' …

Presentation

There's been some of discussion lately around work about wearing shorts on scenes in the summer.  Some providers argue that 'if they are truly sick, patients won't care what I look like when I show up.'  But let's be honest, how many patients are truly sick?  Sick enough to not look at you with even a slightly critical eye.  Let's not forget that our patients are rarely alone, accompanied by friends, family members, or staff of a medical facility.  They can see us to. Our immediate appearance must build trust with them as well. 

When you walk into the home of someone whom called for your help, everything matters.  They are the ones about to put their lives ino the hands of strangers.  Appearing professional can come down to having your boots tied and your shirt tucked in.  No, these things do not directly affect patient care.  But, they do affect how your patients respond to you.  Trust must be built from the first moment you walk in the door, mostly because th…

Dream Job

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a paramedic.  Almost every year in my school books I said I wanted to be a firefighter, EMT, or paramedic. The evolution was easy.  Once I realized that I was afraid of things that were on fire, paramedic was it. 

There is little I am more passionate about than a good education.  "Think education is expensive? Try ignorance."  As those elitist say.

I went to college, followed the path I was 'supposed to', and no one ever talked about money.  How much money will you make in your career of choice?  Everyone knows the careers that would technically make a lot of money, and it's all but guaranteed that without a college education you will have no hope (so the guidance counselors would have you believe).  Equally passionate about education, my parents saved and scrimped to send me to college.  Other paramedic students have long term loans, crippling debt, or second mortgages.  No matter how they arrived at being a medic, it was …

Not an Alien

It was a necklace.  A necklace of tiny plastic purple beads. Yes, those are definitely tiny plastic purple beads, or maybe not.  Is that a sex toy?  No, that is more ridiculous than a necklace.  Well, then I guess it's an alien.  I've entered the twilight zone and I am about to witness an alien birth.  I'm not sure. I mean it's late and my first time but there was definitely something weird there, something weird coming out of this woman's vagina.

I composed my 3 am brain, willing out to figure out just what was happening.  She was in labor, at her due date, and assured me that everything was normal.  This may have been my first time, but it was not hers.  They just waited a little too long, that was all. And I was stoked, so excited to get a classic delivery.  A delivery that should go fast and smooth.  I am one of the few paramedics who want to deliver a baby.  We're 15 minutes out and she's ready to push.  This is going to happen, and I enter the mode of…

1000th Post!

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This lovely orchid plant was my grandmothers, who kept the finicky plant alive for several years. It is now under my care...I give it a week.

This, more importantly, as the title implies, is my 1000th post here on the old blog. Wow! This is also the 248th photo of the day, counting from May of 2008 plus a bonus month of October 2009

I don't have much to say on this occasion, it seems crazy that I've made so many posts.  Granted, a certain percentage of them are complete nonesense, but they still count.

It's funny to read those really old posts.  Some of them make me wonder just who was writing.  It's amazing to have a record of personal and professional changes one can go through in nine years.  My life in 1000 posts.  I do realize there are fewer and fewer posts about EMS.  Certainly there were a lot back in 2006-7.  But that was when it was new.  When I wanted to share every tiny thing I went on.  And I'm not saying I'm jaded now, just that my tastes an…

30 May 14

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30 Pearls

I started this post back in last summer. I finally dreamed up the last couple while cleaning out my drafts. I'm cleaning out my draft posts because I am nearing a blogger milestone, so I want to be perfectly clear how many posts I have. Yes, I acknowledge that at least 30 per year for the last 6 years were basically cheating (the photo a day project) But...they count as posts. Anyway. Apparently I was feeling pumped about life and wondering what I might have told my 15 year old self. Here are a few things I've learned in 30 years...at least the things that look good on paper.

As I turn 30, I must say I'm feeling pretty good.  29 had a much more palpable and depressive effect on me.  But this year, I've had such an action packed birthday week, that I haven't had time to contemplate too deeply turning 30.  I've wanted to be an adult my whole life, so I don't really mind.  That and I get to say things like "I've seen Toy Story way too many times…

29 May 14

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Remember micro machines?

28 May 14

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27 May 14

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26 May 14

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25 May 14

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the all important gloucometer checks.

24 May 14

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Okay, a lot of water fowl these last few days.

23 May 14

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I'm not sure what's going on here, but these geese were escorting over 30 goslings!

22 May 14

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In an effort to not get caught up in the internet and waste a lot of time, I've been keeping the lappy closed.  Turns out, I just waste my time in different ways, and fall behind the picture a day project.  So, maybe these adorable sleeping ducks make up for some of the lateness.  SO CUTE!

21 May 14

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180 bpm...little fast.

20 May 14

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Work, or something.

19 May 14

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18 May 14

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17 May 14

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So many triangles.

16 May 14

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Black crowned night heron.

15 May 14

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14 May 14

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Happy place.

13 May 14

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12 May 14

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Grouting prep.

11 May 14

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New table is finally ready to be grouted.

10 May 14

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My neice and nephew turned 12 today.  Apparently at 12, it's legal to smoke birthday candles.

9 May 14

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My neighbors wisteria.

8 May 14

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Clayhenge.

7 May 14

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The cup order is here.

6 May 14

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My town's pretty cool.

5 May 14

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First time having Ikea meatballs and lingon juice.  No assembly required.

4 May 14

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Giant dog hand.

3 May 14

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When you forget stuff at work...you never know what will happen to it.

2 May 14

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The benefits of two days of rain.

1 May 14

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It's that magical time of year again and I'm getting the oblicatory cat picture out of the way early.  I give you, a scout in her happy place.

Sunkissed Christmas

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When I was a kid, I always wanted Christmas to be exactly the same.  Eat at the same restaurant for Christmas eve, have the same Christmas
morning routine, go to the same church service.  I guess I found comfort in it.  I would be very upset at the very idea of deviation from the plan.  Luckily, people can evolve and this year I had the most unusual Christmas ever. 
To the first timer, every day in India can seem like the most unusual day of the year, but add a few familiar Christmastime items and things will be pushed into the realm of weird.  For Christmas, my companions and I traveled to the India state of Goa and to Palolem Beach (google and swear loudly). 
We flew there on Christmas eve where I got to experience throwing up in an airport.  Good fun, let me tell you.  But all that unpleasantness subsided and I had a lovely dinner of a coke.  We arrived and were picked up and drove about two hours through the jungly (that's a word!) country side to the small town of Palolem.  By…

The Tourist

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As I mentioned before (about two months ago), India is a difficult place for me to blend in. I must note now, that in Jaipur, I was never happier to be a tourist.  As you do in India, we had our own car and tour guides for each day here.  This feels like a fancy way to get around for sure.
At Amer fort, I did what felt like the most touristy thing ever:  rode an elephant to the palace gates.  It was uniquely Indian and cheesy and weird and I loved it.  I have a lifelong love affair with Elephants and had certainly never rode one for such a distance.  Lolling from side to side, elephant transport may be fit for kings, but is hard on the back.  These elephants were brightly decorated, well trained, and seemed happy from what (extremely little) I know about elephant behavior.

Built in 1592, this expansive palace was home to many rulers and spans four km.  Each layer yielded interesting Hindu architecture, amazingly detailed paintings, and finally an area decorated with tiny inlaid mirrors…

The Taj

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Back in 1632ish, the third and most beloved wife of then Emperor, Shah Jahan died due to complications of childbirth.  This most profound and grief worthy death prompted the construction of her tomb, which is now one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal.  Construction lasted 22 years and called for experts in marble work, inlay, architecture, landscaping, construction, and others I'm sure are beyond my skills to see.

Entering the taj campus is quite a process in itself.  Only animal drawn or electric vehicles are allowed within a certain radius of the building.  This is because white marble gets dirty. (the Taj is closed every Friday for cleaning as it is). Then, the tourist has to stand in line (or not much of one as luck would have it) for a pat down and a look in all of your bags.  From there, it's a bit of a walk to one of three towering gates.  A 90 degree turn frames the center dome so perfectly in the gate that it takes your breath away.  Every step takes yo…

Caves of Wonder

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When I preface this entry with 'we spent a long weekend looking at caves' you may think that sounds ridiculous.  When I explain that they are ancient man made caves carved between the 400BC and the 10th century, you may think that sounds boring, but to me this was incredible.

Ajanta and Ellora caves are a little off of the beaten tourist track in India, a couple of hour drive day trips from the city of Aurangabad. Ellora caves were carved out of the mountain from the top down. A feat so incredible that some believe that they caves were made by extraterrestrials. How could man be so coordinated, so organized, so artistic over what must have been decades? Well, I think we underestimate ourselves and also underestimate just how much spare time we'd have if we didn't have technology to fill it up.
The crown jewel of Ellora caves is The Kailashnatha, cave 16. Construction began around 756 CE and continued for nearly a century. It served as a temple and meeting place a…