Showing posts from October, 2006

Fasting? Try Money

Last night shift was pretty sweet. I slept in relatively uninterrupted comfort from about 0145 to 0630. We started the evening with a local student who, after playing a game of organized sports, collapsed on the sidelines. We arrived and he was pretty out there but responded to pain and us shouting his name. The coach informed us that the student is currently celebrating Ramadan, and hadn't eaten since about 5 o'clock that morning. It was about 6pm when we found him. So, we start a line and took a sugar, and it was only 44. Well, that's not normal, especially if you haven't eaten in 12 hours. So we gave him some glucose and thiamine and he perked right up. I love calls where it feels like we're actually helping people. It was my first experience with a call as a result of a religious holiday, and I was pretty fascinated. I learned a lot from the patient, that is, once he was conscious.

That was pretty much the highlight of the shift as far as I remember. …

Finally caught up

Today started out with a chest pain call. En route it was revealed that his chest hurt only because his internal defibrillator had gone off 3 times. This call had potential. It had potential until I walked in the door, found a well dressed, reasonably healthy, asymptomatic patient. Monitor, O2, IV, and we’re off.

Also, a possible broken leg, morphine for everyone!

We had our first flu patient of the flu season who made my OCD flare up, forcing me to decon the whole ambulance. Whew! I felt better after ensuring that all surfaces that I regularly touch were antibacterialized.

Other than that I became blissfully aware, I think I learned what being in love feels like, and decided KT Tunstall is completely right.

And, the rest of the calls

A cute kid who learned that grabbing a knife is not the greatest idea. Her new favorite pastime was yelling.

We've visited a few public places recently. A seizure in the mall, a back pain in a bank, and a fall at the dunkin’ dounuts. We resisted playing into our stereotypes and left without coffee or doughnuts.

A patient complaining of leg pain. Yes, I’d have leg pain too if my legs were as big around as my torso. I cannot even describe this patient to you; it causes me to lose my appetite. How people can treat their lives this way, I don’t know. I was thoroughly disturbed and skipped lunch.

A lovers spat that ended with assault with a bottle, belt, teeth, and HIV.

I did an overtime interfacility shift and we got posted to a local hospital and did nothing for several hours. I went out to the truck for a nap and I think that I got nap whiplash. I fell asleep and snapped my head back up so quickly it hurt. It didn’t stop me from more napping though.

I think our most intere…

Can I borrow that black cloud for awhile?

One Monday I did an overtime shift. I was pretty excited because no matter what I did, I knew I was getting paid reasonably well for it. My partner was a new medic (newer than me, believe it!) who started the evening by informing me that he has a black cloud following him. I figured together we’d make a nice gray cloud that would allow us to sleep. We had calls spaced out enough for me to be really tired Tuesday morning.
The highlights included a car accident with 6 patients and a sexist firefighter whom I may later thrash. Three women were on scene from my company, and this guy managed to leave them all seething. It’s a talent, I assume he’s been perfecting it for forty years or so. Note to self: next time I see him on scene, ignore completely.
Later we had a call that came out as unconscious. En route we were informed that CPR was in progress. My partner and I divvied up the skills, and the tube was mine, sweet. Just as we arrived on scene the engine company reported ‘p…

So, Last Week

My parents came up north for a little visit, and we did all kinds of local things. On Sunday we sent to the seacoast and enjoyed hanging at the beach when no one else is around.
On Monday we went to Salem, MA and burned some witches. Well, actually we didn’t because it turns out you need a permit to burn witches in Salem. But, you can put supposed witches on a large scale to see if they weigh as much as a duck.

On Tuesday, we went to a shaker village in Canterbury, NH. I learned that shakers are totally weird. Weird like a highly organized pacifist cult. It is fairly amazing that they lasted so long, and had thousands of followers when their membership was based on adopting orphans and recruitment. The shakers lived in completely self sufficient communities, made their own clothes, food, buildings, etc. Okay, I’ve even bored myself at this point, so I’ll stop.

Finally, on Wednesday we went to visit the LL Bean flagship store in Maine. I got a new hiking day bag, which will…


The procession of police officers from around the state and around the country march proudly and solemnly through the streets downtown. The main roads are blocked off and I curse as I realize there’s nowhere to park and I’ll now be late for work. Then a wave of terrible guilt forces me to retract my curse. At the station, purple and black bunting has been hung carefully, the trucks are pulled outside, the crews standing in front of them as the procession passes by. A gesture of our sadness, our wish we could have done more, performed a miracle, saved his life. I miss the funeral on television as I am driving to the gravesite; we're there to represent the company, to show we care. As we wait at the cemetery, the fire department arrives and hangs an American flag from their tower truck. Marines prepare for the 21 gun salute and bugle taps. The procession arrives, and I hold my breath as the hearse and limos pass. The procession continues with what looks like the entire poli…


I tried to take a picture of the highly reflective and ridiculously large paramedic patch, but it was just too reflective!!

edit 10.22.06 11:13pm: Okay, so it's not actually a picture of the vest, merely what I thought would be an amusing picture to illustrate how large and reflective the patch is. I couldn't really find the picture that I was envisioning in my mind.

And, yes, a super sleuth found me out at work.
Super Sleuth: "Are you 'A work in Progress?'"
Ellie: "Uhhhhh...."

I was a little surprised, to say the least. I guess I'll just have to stop badmouthing every one at work. And to think, I was just about to post my list of people to kill in order to get a better full time schedule, oh well.

edit 10.22.06 11:16pm: I wasn't discouraged by you finding me out, I just haven't had the time to write! More to follow soon...I hope

Didn't get much sleep

Lack of updates to be made up for immediately.
Last night started out with a diabetic problem at our local arena. Sounds simple enough, right? Well firstly, the circus is in town. We got to go in before anyone else and see them cleaning up and what not, it was cool. Also, since the arena is across the street from the station, we have had regular zebra and camel sightings.
So anyway, this guy was acting pretty normal and his sugar was 67. We kicked it old school and had him force down a delicious tube of sugary gel. Well, he hated that but we figured that if his sugar went up, he could be on his way like he wanted. After finishing that, we checked again, and his sugar actually went down. Dammit! His mental status was deteriorating as well, so we went to start an IV to give him a quick solution. Four attempts later, we still don’t have a line. Dammit! So, I go out through the gathering crowd and grab the glucagon. What an annoying drug. Draw the saline up, inject it into …

Eye Candy

Monday I drove about 250 miles in search of foliage and crafts. Random, yes. I drove north to go to a craft show. It turned out that the craft show was sub par, but discovering this was well worth the drive. I went up to Franconia notch state park, and enjoyed ogling at the white mountains. I hadn’t been in this part of the state for probably more than ten years, when I came here on vacation with the fam. That’s when I got to see the old man in the mountain, God rest his soul. I drove for miles in the White Mountains National Forest, lost the other tourists and found Zen.

I decided to get home without using the highways, so I picked my way carefully through many towns, and beautiful autumn scenes. I found lots of hikes that I’d like to do whenever I’m not alone, and eventually stumbled upon Lake Winnipesaukee. At 72 square miles, and with a shoreline of about 288 miles, it is one of the largest lakes in the country. I managed to find one of the public boat launches (thank y…

Ow, my eyes!

I’ve forgotten to mention that I finally got my squirrel vest at work. Really it’s just a fleece vest to keep warm in the frigid northland, but it has my name on it and stuff, and the absolute highlight is a large and reflective patch on the back that says “Paramedic.” It is awesome. I think it could be larger and more reflective, but then it might blind people if they shine a flashlight at my back.

I’ve been kayaking a lot. I went four times last week. On Monday it was wicked windy, about 10-15 mph. It was making the water really choppy and wavy. It was so much fun. I got all wet, but it was good fun. On Friday, it was really cold. I had to wear a jacket for the first time in the season, and I wished that I had invested in kayaking gloves already. But, I am working on a great callus on my right thumb which is pretty hardcore.

Work wise, I have had four relatively uneventful shifts. On Wednesday we had an abdo pain who I gave phenergan so as to prevent her breaking my #1…

Night and Day

After all the excitement of my day shift, I was all hyped up for my night shift. But it turned out that they were, well, like night and day. We only had 3 calls in 14 hours!

Also, my weekend shifts were pretty boring as well. I got very far into my book, watched more football than I have in my entire life, and did my favorite work pastime, got paid to sleep.

This was also the weekend of the fair here. I did EMS standby for a while Thursday and Friday. I must admit, this fair is pretty cool. I watched a woodsman contest on Thursday. Here, people rolled large logs, threw axes, sawed blocks of wood, and my personal favorite, used an ax to chop a piece of wood that they were standing on. It was pretty cool, and nobody chopped their leg off by accident.
I also enjoyed fried dough, apple crisp, hot cider, and a sample of maple syrup cotton candy. That’s right, maple syrup, poured into a cotton candy machine, and made into delicious clouds of diabetic ketoacidosis. It tasted awe…