I hate being trite.

As trite and generally stupid I believe resolutions are, for some reason I feel compelled this year to write...something. Basically, resolutions set me and everyone else who makes them up for disappointment and failure, especially when they get reviewed next new years eve. I don’t want to find myself saying next year: “What?! I didn’t climb Mt. Everest?! I didn’t stamp out disease, didn’t write the great American novel, and didn’t contribute in a great and tangible way to the evolution of society?!” What the hell did I do?

This year was probably one of the highest and lowest of my life and I am mostly relieved to see it end. I can’t say that I have any regrets, but I made mistakes that I will not make again.
I will start this year as a great scrutinizer. A skeptic. I accept this fully, and I am fortunate to not have felt this way until now. I don’t believe it will stand in my way.

Caution: a trite, clich├ęd, hackneyed thought ahead. I need to prioritize my goals and set them in motion. I already feel that I have looked up and time has passed that I can’t account for. I don’t like to have that feeling when I have so much to do, learn and explore. There are many big, expensive, and lengthy ideas floating in my head. I should get them organized. More or less, the rest of this list is based on this.

quit my crappy job
get a better flashlight
restore passion in my life (not that kind! well…)
continue to make my own decisions and eliminate the influence of outside sources.
find exhilaration, as it is the best human emotion
do not dwell on crap of the past that cannot be changed.
find the kindness of strangers and do not rely on it
figure out why I take crap from people and stop the behavior immediately
find cold medicine that works
learn, learn, learn
find and exercise partner

Maybe this will happen, maybe it won’t. But I’ll work on it. That’s all I can do.


The following is some evidence that I have way to much time on my hands (or that I am working too much). Okay, picture this: a Christmas tree decorated with medical supplies. Just let that sink in for a second. Let the idea wrap around you like a warm blanket.
Oh yeah, it’s that awesome. Small children would love to bask in its glow on Christmas morn. IV tubing, oxygen tubing, gauze, and suction tubing as tinsel. Needles, scissors, empty medicine bottles, (yes, it’s a very dangerous tree) electrodes, and airways as ornaments. Complete with isolation gown tree skirt and PEEP valve topper. Glorious.

Happy Christmas!


I have been worried about my pent up anger lately. It has been raining and cold, so I haven't gotten much bike time in (which is my usual cure). My mental state in general has been pretty low lately. But, as Dory says, I'm going to just keep swimming. Even if it feels like my head is under the water.

But, here's an example to attest that I am not a complete rageaholic. We took a newborn the other day to long term care for detox. That in itself prompts the snake inside me to seethe. When we got there the baby was dead asleep from being drugged up. The mom was there claiming that she got in a methadone clinic once she found out she was pregnant to get clean. Right. And magically the baby tested positive for cocaine, benzos, and heroin. Yeah. That's what I call trying to get clean.

I know that addiction is a terrible plight and a near incurable disease. Regardless, this is your child! I come from the school that if I were pregnant I probably would give up even caffeine to ensure my babys health. Also, the mom was loud and talkative and I couldn't wait to get rid of her. The baby was beautiful and adorable and seemingly otherwise fine. The fact that the mom didn't end up with a swift kick in the face shows, well, shows that I don't exactly want to get fired. And, okay so I'm not a violent person. But with great strength I wasn't even rude to her.

It is not my God who gives a beautiful baby to a junkie and denies one to a loving couple.

My conscience hurts

We had a depressed guy which usually isn't funny but because paramedics have an inherently terrible sense of humor, became funny.

From the very start I could barely talk to him. For example,
"Hi, how are you?"
"It's not all that bad. It's a lovely day out and you'll get to enjoy it." I offer.
"I don't care. I hate this place and everything about it."

I continued to try making conversation so I asked where he was from.
Dramatically he answered: "I don't know where I'm from, but I know where I've been: Hell!"
Um...ok, I don't really know what to say to that.

When we got to the hospital, he looked at me very seriously and said
"Do you smell that?"
"Um...yeah" trying to be polite as I did indeed smell something that was emitting from him.
"Smells like death!"

Once this conversation was relayed to my partner, it became legend, and for the rest of the day everything smelled like death.
Also, I decided that the catch phrase for my action movie will be:
"He doesn't know where he's from, but he knows where he's been: Hell."
Which can be printed on the movie poster under a picture of a nameless action hero dramatically posed ready to kick some face.

Lord, my conscience hurts.

Search term of the week: ‘weirdest national registry paramedic questions’ Most definitely, although you didn’t hear this from me, were a series of questions pertaining to which part of a car to cut first when extricating a patient. Not kidding. The only people in my class who got this right (other than the good guessers) were those who were rescue techs and they didn’t exactly learn that in paramedic school.

gizoogle word of the day: “paramizzles”


I've had a few calls lately of people taking meds that weren't theirs, taking too much of their own, or being just plain neglectful with their meds.

We had a guy who couldn't sleep so he took one of his moms rx antidepressants. He slept for 5 hours and when he woke up around noon he felt dizzy and lightheaded. He was 30 years old. No excuse for taking drugs that weren't his and even admitted to me that he took one of his moms valiums last week, but nothing bad happened. Stop taking medicine that is not prescribed to you.

Later we had a kid who got into and took three of his grandmothers clonozipam pills. He was pretty drowsy when we got there even though it had only been about 20 minutes since he took them. He was 20 months old. No excuse for leaving drugs around accessable for children. IV fluids, EKG, oxygen and to the hospital he went.

A few days later I took a lady who "accidentially" took 30 5mg valiums. Oops. She even called the pharmacist afterwards because (as the story goes) she didn't think they were working and maybe there was something she was doing wrong. Yeah. Taking the whole bottle.
When we go there she wasn't told she was being transferred to a mental health facility so when I arrived it was a surprise, and not the good kind.
"Hi, I'm Ellie, we're here to take you to that place"
"You're taking me away?!"
"Yes. No, I mean, yes, but not like that" (not with the handcuffs and straight jackets and guys in white scrubs.)
At this she burst into tears. I hate when that happens. I calmed her down and explained to the best of my knowledge what was going on. I was pretty mad that the nurse hadn't told her all this.

What even happened to child proof prescription bottles? The ones that 20 month olds, suicidal people, and idiot 30 year olds can't get into?


My second job has become a good time to catch up on the blogs I read and the blog I write. Even though the weather has been bad pretty much every time I go there.

Last week the only call where I did anything was a diabetic who was in bed in the middle of the day with a blood sugar of 49. Okay, why are they always naked?! I mean seriously!

It was snowing last week and in the county there were about 600 motor vehicle crashes, and we didn't actually get on scene to one of them (canceled by BLS before we got there)
The roads were legitimately bad and even with the four wheel drive on our pimp chase truck I was having a hard time stopping. What a comfort that was.

We also got on scene for a kid who basically didn't want to go to school that day. His mom said that he was unresponsive so it had potential. When we arrived my partner went to the patient who appeared fine and I talked to his mom.
She started going on and on about how he is a good kid, and loves school, and she works a lot and he skipped school yesterday, and all this extraneous information when all I asked was if he had any medical problems. I hate to be rude to people in distress, but I had to be like, please cut to the medical issues. Of which he had none. We assessed him fully and found nothing wrong with him, other than being a teenager.
We released the patient to BLS and went on our way.