I'm feeling lucky

Thanks to this post, when you google "Ellie is super awesome" I am the first site you get! If anyone really uses other than me, that will be in the running for best search term ever.
Conversely, if you google "Ellie is annoying" I am now the #2 site.
Just thought you might be interested.

Time Machine

At the end of a long day we got called for a stroke. We arrived and the patient was already outside with a guy leading her toward the ambulance. She looked well enough. She sat on the cot as my partner went to get the story from the bystanders.
Me: "Hi, I'm Ellie, a paramedic here to help you out."
Pt. "Hi, I'm Mary Howe*, how are you?" She shook my hand. "I don't know why that guy called 911, I'm fine."
Me: "Well, he's worried about you, so we'll check you out."
We attached her to the usual equipment as I asked the usual questions.
Me: "So what's going on that led him to call 911 for you?"
Pt. "I don't really know, I don't even know that guy, and I don't know how I got here."
Me: "Here as in...?"
Pt. "This state, this house, with these people. I don't live here, I live in Georgia."
Me: "Oh, what's your address?"
Pt. (gives satisfactory answer without hesitation)
Me: "Do you know what day it is today?"
Pt. "Yeah, February 2, 2001"
Me: "Well, you're a little off there, it's actually April, 2008, a bit warm for February, don't you think?"
Pt. "Oh...yeah"
Me: "Are you married?"
Pt. "No"
Me: "Well, you're wearing a wedding ring."
Pt. "That man outside must have put it on me to make you believe that we were married."
Me thinking "Ooookaay."
My partner stepped in and explained to me that she was acting weird, so her husband called us. He had some prescriptions under the name of Jennifer Riley.** Nothing too out of the ordinary, was a diabetic, had migraines.
Vitals and EKG looked fine, she had no trouble speaking, no facial droop, equal grip strength, and her blood sugar was within normal limits. From here, we thought that if she were faking, maybe we could get her to slip up by asking plenty of questions.
She was wearing a uniform from a local burger shop.
Me: "Do you work there?" gesturing toward her shirt.
Pt. "Oh, no I am a millionaire. I own a car part store."
Me: "What kind of cars?"
Pt. "BMW."
Me: "What's the shop called?"
Pt. "Mary Howe Parts."
Me: "So what's the last thing you remember before you were here?"
Pt. "I was hanging out with friends after work."
My partner asked her what day it was and got the same answer I did.
Me: "Do you remember what day I told you it was?"
Pt. "Yeah, you said it was 2008. Do you think I traveled through time?"
Me: "That would be pretty cool. We're you working on a time machine in Georgia?" (It was a relatively serious question.)
Pt. "Um, No." She sounded a little disappointed that she hadn't time traveled.

Luckily, she was willing to go to the hospital. Off we went. I don't know what was wrong with her, or if she was faking or not. She was very good at answering questions but slipped up a little with her birthday. She said she was 43 and born in 1964, which if she was in 2008 would have made her 43, but she believed it to be 2001. In her mind she should have only been 37. Hmm... Her birthday from past medical records said that she was only 33.
I like to believe that she has fugue. That would be cool.

*not her real name
**also not her real name

The great outdoors

And there it was, the huge osprey that I had seen earlier exiting the water clutching a fish. I had been scanning the trees in the hopes of finding the bird and found it to be as awesome as I had imagined.
It has been a good day for wildlife. I stalked about eight wood ducks for half an hour, without real photographic success. I saw a couple of blue herons, a kingfisher, and a green heron which I had never seen before (and is actually not very green at all). I also spotted a female hooded merganser; a fish eating small duck with a fro.
Early morning kayak trips are paying off. The world is waking up and I am there to witness it.

The mountains are green again, and the weather is perfect. Every few minutes I get a waft of fresh blooms. All around me I hear different bird calls. I wish I could distinguish them. I'll have to work on that but I have now learned the noise that wood ducks make, a very distinctive low whistle. I'm also working on the pictures. I have to learn not to get too excited about these birds and make a quieter, more calculated approach to them.

And the season is just beginning.

For the record, this is my 300th post. For real this time.

Gold Stars

Emergency driving is one of my favorite activities. It's really a very strange state of mind to be in with the constant scan of what is happening around me, the study of who has the green light in the upcoming intersection and praying that a rogue pedestrian does not make the wrong split second decision.
I also think about how often and how long can I blow the air horn, and how often and how long I can drive on the wrong side of the road. Very important stuff. Also in my mind I have been developing a reward system for drivers I encounter on the road.
Oh so many people do the wrong thing when they encounter an emergency vehicle on the road. They panic, they don’t notice, they ignore. I think that the people who do the right thing ought to be rewarded. I am usually satisfied when people pull over and am overwhelmed with joy when, in a magnanimous gesture, they actually stop. It is pure bliss.
If you pull over and stop you receive five gold stars, a parade thrown in your honor, and a presidential commendation.
If you pull off the road completely you get three gold stars and a key to the city.
A pedestrian who takes the hands of their small children and an obvious step away from the curb is awarded two gold stars and has a local street named after them.

On the flip side, if you pull over slightly and continue to drive at the same speed you are awarded no stars, and no ice cream for a year.
If you firmly believe that all the cars in front of you are pulling over to let you pass, then you are an egomaniac and are awarded no gold stars and two days in the public stocks.
If you don’t bother to pull over or slow down you are awarded no stars and the loss of your side view mirror.
Also if you wait to pull over at the crest of the hill or the edge of a blind turn I will award you no gold stars and a flat tire. Also if you pull out in front of the ambulance, stop completely, and then look at it like a deer in the headlights you receive no gold stars and a cattle prod.

Also, you don’t need to put your flashers on and there is no need to jerk your wheel so hard that your top-heavy SUV threatens to overturn, but I'll give you one gold star for effort.

We have all been taken by surprise by emergency vehicles, even I have. But that doesn’t mean that rational thought should be suspended.

In case you were interested

Yes, dear readers, you are subject to my random thoughts. Here are some.

Why don’t all yogurt cups have a shape that allow one to scrape all the yogurt from the bottom?

Why is it more expensive to buy stuff made out of recycled products? I mean, I recycle, so don't I already technically own some of that bag made of recycled bottles? Why do hybrid cars still cost several thousand dollars more than regular cars? It really isn't easy being green.

I hate unsynchronized traffic lights, and lights that are on timers.
I hate when I have a loose shoe.
I don't like people who call 911 at 3am for a problem that existed at 5pm, but it just didn't occur to them to call then.
I don't like driving with the windows down on the highway.
I love squeezing fresh bread.
I am uncomfortable with people who are having a fit over something I consider to be minor.

I think I am allergic to stride gum
I enjoy toast.
My electric bill last month was $2.09. Thank God for that.

I have had lucky charms for dinner and I'm not ashamed of it.
I like the new Britney Spears single and I am ashamed of it.
I mean, "I'm a hit defrost on ya?" Good Lord.

This morning a bird ran into my windshield making a gruesome crunch. It's still laying on the hospital driveway.

One of my most recent search terms is "Ellie is annoying." I hope they weren't actually looking for me. And, I find it hard to imagine that any Ellie on earth could possibly be annoying. All the Ellies I know are super awesome. Why can't that be the search term? "Ellie is super awesome." That has a better ring to it.


To work it or not to work it, that is the question.

There are several things we can look for to confirm that someone is dead. The story, coldness, stiffness, blood pooling, etc. The guy we found the other day, sitting up on bed, still holding the magazine he was reading the night before, had most of these things. The room was about 80 degrees, so no surprise that he wasn't exactly cold.
The story was kind of weird, but added up. The night before, apparently, he had called his doctor because his chronic back pain was worse. The doctor allegedly said to "double up" on his meds. This unfortunately included putting on two fentanyl patches instead of the usual one.

I'm just going to guess that this decreased his respiratory drive until he stopped breathing altogether.

The whole thing got sticky when my partner called the ER doc (We have to get permission not to start care on patients like this. Don't even get me started.) but the doc who had supposedly advised the "doubling up" on his medications also works in our ER. In an effort, I guess to help his colleague, the med command doc ordered us to give him narcan. Thankfully I wasn't writing the call, so I didn't have to be in this conversation. I am sure that the long pause on the phone I would have given after hearing this would have been huge. "Uh.........what?!"

When my partner told me, I said "Did you mention the bit about us not starting CPR or anything? Did you mention the part about him last being seen alive more than 8 hours ago?" He had, of course, but apparently the doc didn't mind/notice/care that when we mainlined some narcan in him, and didn't do CPR, there was no way for it to circulate, which didn't matter anyway due to the fact that this guy was dead and nothing we did would change that, especially futilely poking needles into a patient that wouldn't bleed.
It was ridiculous to say the least. I was frustrated to say the least.

My partner called the doctor back to report that narcan had not magically made asystole anything but asystole, and the patient had not magically started breathing on his own.

We called the coroner, and left. How freaking stupid was that.

Who's Counting?

Okay, so a little glitch with blogger is that they count draft posts as real posts, so in fact, the original "300" post was actually only 295! So, I've been working on finishing the drafts I started more than a week ago, and corrected the title of the last post. Once I discovered it, I knew it would bother me forever, so I had to sort it out. Even though no one would have noticed unless they sat down and counted them like a crazy stalker. (Um, hopefully nobody did this.)


300 or, uh, 295

Yesterday I learned we are getting etomidate, IO drills, and autovents with CPAP at full time work. Sweet!

Today, I slept in for the first time in, well, far too many days. It was awesome.

Today I didn't ride the bike, but finally got some cleaning done and ate way too much cereal. (No, it wasn't Hypothetic-O's.)

Today, I'm sitting at work, waiting for a call as usual. In between, I do my best to waste time.
Books, Internet, and television help. Invariably, if I don't bring a book, there will be no calls. If the blogs I read haven't been updated, there will be no calls. If I've seen that episode of "Top Chef" three times already, there will be no calls.
Eventually, the boredom will always seep through these activities.

Wait for calls; take a walk, take a nap, have a snack. (These pretzels are really good.)

I prefer the busy days. But today, it seems, will not be busy. But maybe only until "Lost" comes on or when my head hits the pillow.

Outside, my truck waits with the kayak on top. Everything is ready for a few hours out on the water tomorrow morning.

Today, I'm sitting at work waiting for a call and writing my 295th blog post.
Sorry it's not more interesting.

And there go the tones.

Blank Spaces

We arrived to find a man who wasn't well. He suddenly went unresponsive at home and he was now barely responsive, had a fixed right gaze, his blood pressure at best was 203/110, and he was in a-fib and had ST elevation pretty much everywhere. It was the first time that I had a real issue with a DNR, or lack thereof. The patients wife was yelling about how he didn't want anything done. That he wanted to die, he had seen Jesus, he had a DNR. All this made me feel horrible and yet want to inquire that if he wanted to die at home why the hell did you call 911? (I'm pretty passionate about people getting what they want at the end of their lives, and it usually doesn't include EMS.) But, people panic for very good reason, and therefore, put us in a tight spot.

And it wasn't even that she couldn't find his DNR paperwork, oh no, it was there. All filled out with the date, witness signatures, and addresses, but was missing one thing. The most important thing. His signature. Two opportunities to sign; circled, underlined, and blank.

I wanted to say to her "I'm going to turn around, and when I turn back, that line will magically have a signature on it." I was so frustrated. So we took him, and initially his heartrate went down into the 50s and made me nervous so I put the pacer pads on him. He was maintaining his airway and breathing adequately, for now. I just prayed that he would survive until we got to the hospital. He did, and thankfully it became someone else's moral problem.

By the time we got to the hospital his wife was calmer and apologized for yelling, even though I begged her not to. She had every right to. I explained again that I trusted she wouldn't sue us, but we have to err on the side of life. She was a sweet, understanding lady in a horribly difficult situation. She thanked us for our help even though I begged her not to. She owed us nothing.

When you need it most

My best, worst, and only picture of a boo boo bunny. Clearly I am not an artist.


I have three things to admit to today.

1. I was afraid of being cleared as a single provider at part time work for many reasons. (There we run alone without a partner. I think this adds several layers of vulnerability to the job, both in terms of physical safety and provider responsibility.)
2. I milked my orientation at part time work this winter to make more money. (I get paid more there as a PRN employee, and as an orientee, I could go in as often as I wanted)
3. I was terrified today on the way to my first call alone at part time work.

Now, in a lot of ways, I am very excited about this single provider thing. Yes, it does put more responsibility on me, but I like that, and it also gives me a lot of freedom. I have to make decisions and stick to them, which is pretty cool. It is just nerve wracking to know that (I can say with no ego) I arrive on scene and the BLS crew often looks to me to sort out the situation.

Terror aside, my mom reminded me of this: How many times have I gone on scene with my partner in the background and successfully managed to bring calm to the situation, help the patient, and do the right thing without freaking out? Tons of times.

So, my first call 'alone' was indeed both terrifying and exhilarating. Of course, I didn't know where I was going and was very dependent on the GPS unit. The secondary dispatch information included the words "CPR in progress" but thankfully were followed by "...but the patient is apparently breathing. I told the bystanders not to do CPR if he was awake." Let's hope they listened. As it turned out, they didn't and were still doing CPR on a conscious patient when BLS arrived.
The whole time I was driving there, praying that I had entered the address correctly in the GPS, I could only think "This is insane!" I really hadn't felt so nervous on a call in years. But, it is a basic function of an EMS provider to be able to be freaking out on the inside and looking normal on the outside.

So I arrived to find a very disoriented guy on the sidewalk who had apparently fallen after having a few beers. (It was before noon.) He was a diabetic and his medical alert tag said "Heart Problems." This was about as useful as having nothing on it at all. We got him in the ambo with much trouble as he was completely uncooperative, grabby, and about 350lbs. At that point I was pretty happy, thinking it was a diabetic issue. But, after checking his blood sugar twice and getting normal readings, I was a little more worried about his condition. So I did all the other usual things and yeah, he did have heart problems with wide complex abbarently conducted a-fib. We got to the hospital and CT revealed a head bleed.
I hung around out of curiosity as he became increasingly agitated and angry. I think at one point there were three medics, two nurses and a doctor trying to hold him down. A helicopter was called to transfer him and he was sufficiently "snowed" and intubated.

So, it is typical, I'm told, that the first few weeks after every provider gets cleared include a string of ridiculous and challenging calls. I'm glad to be on my way to upholding the tradition.


We had guy who chose a strange way to commit suicide by cutting his ankles with razor blades. "I wanted to stand in the shower and bleed out." he said, and yet somehow, we found him fully clothed sitting in his living room. This was after bleeding all over the bathroom, seemingly walking circles in the kitchen, laying in bed (leaving a puddle of blood on the mattress) and then bleeding on the carpeted living room floor.

It was something that I'd never seen before, and I continue to marvel in my lack of understanding of suicide and depression. I can't understand how an attempt at suicide is a "call for help" and why suicidal people can't just literally call for help. How do people get to the point of "wanting to end it all." Especially people who seem to have it pretty good. Manchmedics recent post reiterates my confusion and frustration on this topic. And most importantly, why do people feel the need to take out not only themselves but their children and spouses too. This truly exceeds my ability to understand.

Not to make a bad joke, but he probably lost his security deposit on top of it all.


It started out as a normal day. He didn't realize that it would not end as a normal day until he bent down to tie his shoes. He learned to tie them in kindergarten, and today, 40 years later he couldn't make his hands perform this simple task. He stumbled outside for some air. Anything, he figured, to stop this strange feeling. The phone rang, but he couldn't answer it. He had to let it ring. He tried again to tie his shoes, and yet still his hands wouldn't cooperate. The phone rang again and it seemed miles away.

Long minutes passed, and he was now almost completely immobile. Not only would his right hand not tie his shoes, now his right leg wouldn't bend to bring his foot to his hands. His cell phone futilely vibrated on the counter.

Sirens penetrated his foggy mind. Paramedics arrived and recognized the symptoms of a stroke. Stroke. That word alone reverberated in his mind. They asked many questions, and he was slow to answer. He couldn't organize his words, and they were hard to understand. He was on a stretcher. An IV, an EKG, a call to the hospital and they were off. They gave him all the facts. The siren was on.

Blood was drawn, tests ordered, he was whisked to CAT scan. Soon after, the doctor explained about a medicine. tPA, it was called. It might help, or it may not, and it could kill him. The potential side effects were scary. But he was in a precious window, they must act quickly. He agreed; anything to stop this feeling, whatever the risk.

They wanted to take him to another hospital. A bigger one that might help, or might not. Wanted to take him in a helicopter. It was feeling very serious and his growing terror further clouded his thinking. He agreed, he would agree to anything.

The flight team came looking ready for anything. In a flash he found himself outside being wheeled toward the aircraft, wearing a large headset. The paramedic was explaining takeoff, rattling off instructions. Soon, he was high above, wishing it was a normal day.
Suddenly, he felt himself gripping the side of the stretcher. The medic noticed, and he squeezed his hands. "Equal grip strength." was said into his headset. He held up his arms, he wiggled his toes, he took a deep breath of free air.

He will never again fail to appreciate the simple task of tying his shoes.

Like a band-aid

We arrived to find a lady looking well chatting with the BLS crew. We were both fairly certain that they were going to cancel us. Then the EMT turned to me and asked if I'd ride along. Sure, it gives me something to do. So I set up for an IV and threw her on the monitor. My partner said 'You okay?' and I said 'yep', and he shut the doors and left. As I turned away from him I was distracted by this annoying beeping coming from the monitor. Oh, that's the patients' heartrate. Oh, that's the patients' heartrate at about 170. Oops. So I got cracking on the IV and made sure of her complaints. She said she felt fine except for a little tightness in her chest, and some shortness of breath. Yes, fine. She was in a-fib with RVR (or atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response, for all those who like it when I use big words)
So I tried to get her to vagal out of it, and she was giving it a good try, but without success. I called medical command in the hopes that we could skip adenosine and go straight for the throat with cardizem. I got my orders and excitedly pushed the drug (as it was the first time I'd given it.) And....nothing. Oh well. We pushed on to the hospital and after a few minutes of her being there, they untaped my IV bag so that they could get her shirt off. In the process they invented a new vagal maneuver: ripping tape off of a hairy arm! As you can see in the following scans, she was taching along, had a strange period of asystole and converted into a sinus rhythm!

You can shock that

Yesterday we had an arrest at a local nursing home. It was witnessed and she got CPR pretty much immediately. BLS gave a shock before we got there too. We arrived and I got the tube (woot!) while my partner started the IV and checked out her rhythm. It was like her heart couldn't decide what to do. First it was asystole, then v-fib, then v-tach, then IVR, then asystole. It didn't stay in any one rhythm long enough to get very far down an algorhythm. We ended up giving her epi and atropine, and on the way to the hospital we shocked her.
In the hospital it was very strange because the doc, first spent way too much time convincing himself that the tube was in. a. there is no reason to believe it wasn't. b. if we had been bagging the stomach for 20 minutes, I like to think we would have noticed by then.
Then he gave orders for D50, calcium, and bicarb, some more epi, and then left. From there basically a nurse and I ran the arrest with the doctor coming in every few minutes to check in.
The patient kept going into shockable rhythms so we shocked her probably five more times. All we did from there was relieve people doing CPR, gave more meds, and I kept saying 'You can shock that." I wondered how long this could go on, and figured that eventually we would shock her into the most stable rhythm of all: asystole. But then, suddenly, the nurse thought she found a pulse. It was funny as we all stopped and there was a hand on every available artery. We got a doppler and indeed had a pulse!
I left the room feeling excited even though I knew it was all futile. It was still cool to get a return of spontaneous circulation, a clinical save. The patient was admitted, and about three hours later a code blue was called to her room. I guess we can take comfort that maybe we gave her family a chance to say goodbye.

New Searches

Recently, the blog has had some interesting and amusing search terms. Sleuthing these is always a highlight of my time spent wasted on the internet.

"hearing aid hilarity" What? Maybe when you are changing that tiny battery and you drop it and it rolls under the table and then you crawl down to get it and get your finger caught in a mouse trap, and then bang your head on the table. Potentially humorous, but not hilarious by any stretch. But I guess on occasion...

"combivent van Tupperware" Wow, that's pretty random. I'm not quite sure how that got the searcher here, or what they were actually looking for. A van made of tupperware? An inhaler made of tupperware? Breathing treatments in a van? Burping vans? The correlation between van driving, the use of tupperware and asthma? Who knows?

"Anglophile paramedic" Ah, you've come to the right place as that would be me, me, me, and me.

"it was very obvious we both had a great time on first date" Well that's good for you! Any advice?

"People who get shot in the head" ...usually die. But sometimes don't.

"alcohol preps" Are underrated in EMS. They calm the OCD and clean the IV site.

If you were looking for pictures, here are some new ones. Hiking near work, and some stuff I saw on the bike.

Kid tricks

The other day when I helped one of my colleagues start an IV on a two year old in the ER, I got to employ the "boo boo bunny" trick when I make a bunny face out of a band aid and a 2x2. In anticipation of crying children I had earlier stuck some lollipops in my pocket too. Once the needles were gone I pulled them out like an old west gun slinger. "Who wants to stop crying?!" Bunnies and candy equal happy kids.
It's nice to be the nice one.


I'll start this out with a quote from my trip sheet: "Pt. very vague when describing symptoms and is slow to commit to having any." I think that is my favorite sentence ever.
The patient called when she had chest pains, or was lightheaded, or nauseas, or was short of breath. Who knew, as even she didn't. By the time we got there she really wasn't sure, and I could tell she regretted even admitting that she felt sick. I would have let her stay home except that her heartrate was 180.
We got her into the ambulance after practically having to push her onto the cot and stop her from counting her pills, going through her purse, or making her bed. She didn't understand that there were slightly more pressing matters than her now abandoned bridge game. Vagal maneuvering, 6mg, and 12mg of adenosine later her heartrate was still 180. She still couldn't decide really how she felt. Although, when we got to the hospital she broke my number one rule. I had gone through my usual gamut of questioning, and she denied everything. Of course, as soon as the doctor asked the same questions, she suddenly remembered that yes, she did have diarrhea, and well, now that she really thought of it, maybe she did have chest pain. Thank you oh so much for making me look like an idiot.
They fixed her in the ER with some cardizem.

Subtle Changes

While making the most of my sick day today I've been fooling around with the new layout editor from blogger. I wish the program had more customization options, but I think the blog looks a little cleaner now. Will keep tweaking as needed. I don't want to get too crazy.

A horse, of course?

In my first 24 of this week I had 6 cancellations (three MVAs, one shortness of breath, seizures, and a diabetic) 2 chest pains, 1 dead horse, and kind of caused an accident.

I wasn't feeling well at all that day. And it turned out that within about 44 hours I ate only a bagel and a cadbury cream egg. I'm not sure what it was, my tummy was saying "don't eat" and I trust my tummy implicitly. I'm only now (a day later,) feeling a little better. There have been no, what we can call "incidents" although it got close while I was starting an IV en route to the hospital on a curvy country road.

It was slow, until overnight when we had more than half of our calls. Obviously, the most interesting of which sadly involved the horse. What I can imagine happened was that an unsuspecting motorist was cruising along at 4am, probably at about 45-50 mph when he crested a hill and was suddenly was met with an unsuspecting equine who had wandered out of its pasture and had only recently discovered that there was nothing to eat in the middle of the road. Unfortunately, the two collided, the car struck the horse, ran into an embankment, and then rolled onto its side. The horse, having been struck the car, was parted from its leg, and sustained other injuries incompatible with life.
When we arrived, the BLS crew had already had the patient extricated and in the ambulance. We were there long enough to take in this most bizarre scene before BLS cancelled us. So at least the driver of the car wasn't injured too much.

Lastly, when our lights and sirens were announcing our presence at a red light, the kindly people coming the other way stopped on their green. Unfortunately, no one told the guy behind them who unsuccessfully avoided a rear end collision. Oops. Little damage, no injuries, and I felt guilty even though I wasn't driving.

So, now, 24 hours later, I find myself again, at work. What joy. But more on that later, maybe.

An ounce of prevention

Ah, so there you see I have installed a can of pepper spray onto the bike. I have taken the last few rides to practice reaching it. It turns out that carrying around some raw steaks was not as practical as I thought, because in fact, it was attracting more dogs than it was deterring. Plus, the mini fridge was throwing my balance way off.

I haven't had to use the spray yet, thankfully. And, as they say, "An ounce of prevention..." um, well I forget the rest of that adage. Either way, I've decided is better to simply avoid the house of the bad dog, which has actually been nice, as it adds about a mile to my usual loop. The loop has recently been expanded anyway, and is now just about perfect. Around my house, it is difficult to go farther without climbing a mountain or crossing a highway. I have achieved my goal distance, and it has felt awesome! I'm very happy to be going further now than I ever have and the season it just starting! "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of...something." It'll come to me.
Instead of a dog, I have actually recently encountered a loose goat. It didn't chase me though. I just threw a cardboard box at it and watched as the goat moseyed over and started eating it. I've also started carrying a flake of hay in case a horse or cow starts chasing me. Bit itchy though.

The spray certainly doesn't lull me into a false sense of security. I am still afraid of dogs, and people, and bears for that matter. But, I do feel it's my best defense. I love to have a contingency plan, and that's worth a pound of cure. Yeah, that's it, a pound of cure.

The Perfect Motivation

We had a guy trying to win a Darwin Award the other day. He was standing in a tree, holding a chain saw, trimming branches when he lost his balance and fell about 25 feet down. Luckily, he managed to throw the chainsaw before it sawed his head off. He also managed to delay hitting the ground by meeting a few branches on the way.

We got there with the ambulance put him on a backboard and all that. He probably broke his hip, and started getting hostile when we suggested not going to our cute community hospital and instead going to a trauma center where they could properly treat his injuries. He wasn't hearing it. He immediatly went into a tirade about how much he didn't want to go to the trauma center, and while I managed to resist yelling over him, my partner gave him a sterm talking to and he, well, at least was quiet for a minute. Basically, you're the one who fell out of a tree, we're just trying to help you. He was mitigated when we agreed to take him to our cute community hospital. Whatever, it's his choice anyway, we were just trying to save him a hassle. By then I didn't really care anymore.

Me: "Let me borrow you arm for a second, I'm going to start and IV in case we need to give you fluids or medicine."
Him: "If you're going to do an IV, we have a problem."
Me: (abruptly stops, and attempts to prevent an eye roll) "What do you mean?"
Him: "Every time I go to the hospital they can't get an IV, they have to use a butterfly needle, and always end up calling anesthesia."
Me: "Okay, well, how about you give me one try and then we'll go."
Him: (really gives it thought) "Okay, one try."

One try was all I needed.
Now chill out and be quiet.