Showing posts from 2015


I had a recent encounter with a family who had expectations for me that I didn't meet. They called for their unconscious family member.  Having met this patient before, I work very hard to not fall into 'The boy who cried wolf' mode.  I take every call seriously until otherwise informed. 
This person was unconscious.  Or were they?  It is my job to figure out why they're unconscious.  I see they are breathing sufficiently, I pry open their eyelids and look at their pupils. I feel their pulse on their wrist.  I pull out the glucometer to check their blood sugar.  This is when the yelling started.  "Why are you doing that?!"  When I fail to match their anger, they get angrier.  "I don't know why you're doing that.  [they] don't have a sugar problem!"  Again, my answer is too calm.  I continue my assessment, take their blood pressure, and wait for my partner to return with a device to get their limp body out to the ambulance.  More abuse c…

Take the time

The other day we went for a medical alert call.  The good ol' "I've fallen and I can't get up." call.  These are some of my favorites.  Sometimes they are over fast.  The patient is embarrassed, we pick them up, put them in a chair and they thank us but want us to leave before the neighbors see the ambulance outside.  Sometimes we get to break stuff.  If all the doors are locked and the patient can't get to them to open them, things get broken which is always good fun.
And, sometimes we get to stay a while.
In the last year I've picked people off the ground many times, but one lady about four times alone.  I don't mind going to her house because she is fiery, funny, and likes to talk.  Boy does she like to talk.  The last time we were there we picked her up, cleared away the mess she had inadvertently made, took trash out and whistled at her new pet bird. 
On this occasion, one of our volunteers who works in a big town was rushing things.  He cou…


Yeah, I haven't written since June.  Not here at least.  Yeah, I don't really know why.  Yeah, I've kind of waited to get over my crisis of hating the job before I wrote again.  Yeah, sometimes I hate the best job in the world.

It's kind of my biennial problem of getting a little burned out, working a little too much, and encountering a few too many people that just make me wonder where the world is heading.  Although, now I've feeling far more Zen about it  than I ever have.  Because, for the first time, I talked to people about my problem.  Not a professional (maybe next time) but I felt other people out about my misgivings and low and behold, it worked.  I found that I am certainly not alone in my feelings.  Also, if I need to benchmark myself against the best people, I have a few in mind.

It's easy to lose sight of hope in this business of EMS.  At least I think so.  We do see a lot of silly things.  Sad things, gross things, dumb things.  It's the dum…

3 June 15

My bricks came in.

2 June 15


1 June 15


31 May 15


30 May 15


29 May 15

James River birds.

24 May 15


22 May 15

Update on the patio. Getting closer, I guess.

21 May 15

Fancy pants new ambo. Maybe one day I'll get to ride it it.

19 May 15

Fixed the problem of the offending screw/metal bit/whatever cut me. Take that, air filter!

18 May 15

My first

17 May 15

View from the ambo. Parked, of course. I think.

16 May 15

Lunch of a champion.

15 May 15

The world knows when I am running late.

14 May 15

Lucky me!

11 May 15



Like a nerd, I had always wanted to re-take Anatomy and Physiology.  This is an incredible class.  I took it first in 2003 and to be a qualified PA applicant, this class must be within ten years.  So, I am getting my wish.  I felt like I remembered a lot from that class.  I remember it being fascinating and overwhelming.  An entire lexicon I had never heard before.  Amazing, amazing things going on inside my actual body at all times.  I distinctly remember that after hearing the lecture about muscle function I could barely move, now knowing how complex even the smallest motion was.  I guess what I remember most about A&P was that it was hard.
Now, a few weeks and several quizzes in, I am shocked by what I forgot.  I am horrified by what I never knew.  Or, maybe I did know it, but who knows?  Looking through my flash cards (which I did find and will prove useful) I must have known a lot of stuff.  But most of that's gone now.  I guess I don't often use the origin, insertio…

10 May 15

13 Today.

9 May 15

Cumulative final.

8 May 15


7 May 15


6 May 15

One day, you will be a patio again.

5 May 15


3 May 15

I am Root.  This baby was under my old patio and was quite difficult to remove.  Tree long dead.

2 May 15

It's not May without a picture of some flowers.

1 May 15

You thought I forgot.  The whole blogging world has been wringing it's hands worried that I forgot to post a photo a day for May of 2015. Well, I'm back, baby!  I took these pictures in time, I just didn't post them in time.  What I did forget was to bring my real camera to work for two days, so excuse the cell phone crappyness.  Off to a fine start at the firehouse.

Not My Emergency

I have been working for the past few months on a genuine ambulance, as opposed to being the ALS chase car.  I had not realized how much nonsense I'd been shielded from over the last eight years.  So many silly calls that I was canceled on before I even got there.  But now all of those calls are mine.  The good and the bad and everything in between.  So, I must thank all of those BLS crews for keeping my standards high, prolonging my faith in humanity, and staving off my own insanity.

The general public would really not believe what people call 911 for.  Growing up, my career goals were fed by Rescue 911 and ER. Fed by the genuine, 'I'm stuck in a laundry chute', or 'I am inches from death' type emergencies.
I still remember learning how to call 911 in kindergarten (or somewhere around there) and from then until I became an EMT, I believed that, like me, people only called 911 in an actual (universally agreed upon) emergency.  When I started really riding ambu…

Blogiversary 10

Like all previous blogiversaries, number 10, the one that deserved a party the most, has gone by without mention.  In fact, much to my shock and yours, blogiversary 9 was completely overlooked. But this year, I did remember and I did start this post on time, but then, predictably, I got distracted. At least these days I am getting distracted by actual things like education.  Who am I kidding.  Video games were the culprit, I'm sure. That or Top Gear.  Either way,  here we are.  Ten years on.  The modern gift is diamond jewelry.  Well, thanks blog for not getting me diamond earrings.  Oh, I didn't get you diamonds either?  Well, I gave you a fresh layout.  That should count for something!  Okay, let's not fight.  Love you too.

I know, the blog is not what it used to be.  If it ever had glory, it is certainly former. But...I have hope.  I have so much musing/whining about going back to college that surely that will fill a couple of posts.  Also in the next year I need to c…

Back to School

In preparation for potentially, maybe, hopefully applying for and going to PA school, this year I'm going to be taking (and re-taking) some prerequisites.  I figure that that this is a necessary step,  a review for what I will actually need to retain now, and serve to ease me back into academic life.
I had my first class today.  I've been joking that I can't wait to be the older adult student who screws up the curve for everyone.  Today, though, I realized that I (at 31) just might be the oldest person in the class.  I sought refuge by sitting next to who is probably the second oldest person in the class who just so happens to be working on getting into PA school.  So, I'll have to kill her.
I am excited to take A&P again, after 10 years of secretly wanting to retake it because the material is so amazing, but so abundant that I definitely lost (or never had) much of it.
The class was fine and basically nothing happened.  I remember loving the first day of class, …

Calls Round-Up

Looking back in the blog, I see that I used to at least mention calls I'd been on that week/day/month.  Over time, I realized that all of this documentation could have gotten me in trouble. That, plus the novelty does wear off, even in a business like EMS. So, the call logs tapered off.  But, I also realize how many calls I've forgotten in recent years.  In fact, I've even forgotten the calls I've written about!

So, here are a few that I remember.  Closed broken ankle- single step won.  Open broken ankle, driveway won (but it was for a a good cause).  Great old crack on the head that looked like a murder scene...he was fine! (More or less).  A guy had a seizure and fell onto something that busted a huge gash in his face.  Insult to injury (or the other way around).  A lady with restless leg syndrome.  Yes, this is totally a medical emergency (did you get the sarcasm?)  A guy who 'bumped' his head and felt like going to the hospital.  I love it when people answ…

College is for Everyone

Yes, I'm one of those assholes.  The one that says "Well, I know college isn't for everyone." while secretly thinking, "Except for my kids.  Only idiots don't go to college."
But the truth is, college isn't for everyone.  Countless non-idiots have made it their whole lives without going to college.  In fact, most people I know didn't go to college and they're doing just fine.  It's only weirdos like me who can't seem to get enough.

And the thing is, college is no longer a golden ticket to a 'successful' life.  I recently ran into an old friend I knew in high school.  She went to college and majored in (what I would usually phrase as) something useless like...drama.

I made that face.  That face that every asshole makes when someone tells me they majored in drama, or art, or dance.  That face that says "way to waste all of your money and four years of your life."  That face that says "How's working as a w…