It's been an odd year, I guess. If I say that every year, then what does a normal year consist of? I just read through my whole blogging year and although it didn't take me very long, due to a shameful lack of posts, I think it was pretty good. I did a little travel, a little car buying (get it? little?) and had some good times at work.
Having reviewed last years 'end of the year' post I have concluded that I should read that post sometime in June. That way I can remember my 'resolutions' and maybe be inspired to tackle one or two of them.
I did accomplish, finally, a throw back resolution and bought a super expensive fancy smallish flashlight for work. It is obnoxiously bright and I have already used it at work. Result! Also, I bought it at the Bean, so if it ever goes wrong, I'll get a new one for free.

The Bible, the Torah, the Quran, and for fun, let's say the book of Mormon are all still unread.

I went on only one first date and it was mediocre. It was pretty good on the day, but I am still waiting for him to call me for a second date.

Really, should I stop resolving to write more? The desire to waxes and wanes and that's just it. Without a real direction and with almost no discipline there is little hope for a finished novel this year. But, maybe inspiration will strike hard and last a long time.

I love and hate the new year.  I am annually annoyed by my renewed efforts to find a boyfriend and to get in shape.  After a few months I remember that I've already resigned to being a spinster and have adopted the firm belief that I was not made to be skinny.  This is all bullshit of course, but it is the cycle of my new year.

But, perhaps even temporary inspiration would be good.  Especially as I look in the mirror, say 'I should really get back to the gym.' and then carry on as usual.

Resolutions are hard, mostly because I have no resolve.  I can think of all these wonderful changes I can make to my charachter, then I kind of forget half way through.  So. I'll set a reminder in June to look back and see that I wanted to be more nice, patient, and understanding.  That I wanted to be more outgoing, fit, and social.  Then, maybe I'll feel bad, as I should, and start fresh.  

Anyway, happy new year.  And I mean it this time as I've concluded that there's nothing wrong with planting a little hope for change in the middle of winter.

I am still learning

It's good in this biz to get a patient with something you've never seen before. It keeps you on your toes, reminds you to be humble, and gets you to dust off those old textbooks. I had a guy who very late in the day had a few too many beers to drink. He stumbled backwards off of his porch (I'd guess a couple of feet, though I never saw the porch) and got a pain in his back. But, he managed to brush himself off, sit back down on the porch and crack open another cold one. Less than an hour later, though, he started to feel short of breath.
This is the part where I come in, finding him wandering through the back of his property nowhere near a house. (hence how I never even saw what he fell off of). He looked peculiar to say the least. Stumbling in the dark, he was caught by our headlights by chance. For a moment I thought I was in a zombie movie as we watched him grope for a hand hold that wasn't there while moaning between unintelligible words. We walked him to the ambulance and tried to get his story straight.
In a well lit setting he looked like he had been stung by bees. His face was swollen beyond recognition, red and angry. His eyes were all but swollen shut. He managed to tell us about his beers and his fall of the porch, but that didn't add up for me. He hadn't eaten anything else for hours and it seemed unlikely that he would have stirred up bees at that wee hour.
With mild wheezing (but moving air) and all other normal vital signs, he got a neb and a transport. Though I can assure you my worried brow was furrowed the entire transport. He didn't appear to be getting worse, but certainly wasn't getting better. Now, the astute medical practitioners may already know the moral of this story, but I, for the life of me, was vexed and worried.
In the ER, we did attract attention. People that look like they're face might explode tend to do that. He was put in a gown when it appeared the swelling had made it down to his chest. How odd, thought I, as I instinctively reached out to touch him. His skin was like weak popping paper and my diagnosing lighbulb finally got a little power.
 'He has sub-q air.' said the nurse, and then they were off. The patient was not well by a long shot, but still not horrible in the sense that his vitals were normal and he wasn't struggling terribly to breathe. But now he had earned the trauma treatment, and I will try to explain why.
When he fell of his porch, his back hurt because he broke a rib. Said rib poked through into his lung. He kept breathing, of course, and air that should have stayed in the lung, moved into the space between the lung and this outside. (under the skin) This air traveled through this space and because of gravity ended up in his face and head. As he continued to breathe, the air continued to fill in the wrong spaces, traveling south as the space filled up. This is called subcutaneous emphysema. Eventually, this leaking air screwed up the pressure system that makes breathing possible and collapsed a small part of his lung. Therefore, he was full of air and won himself a chest tube. I really, really hope that I've explained this correctly and in an understandable way. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

So, there's that. Something I hadn't seen in real life. This is not a common occurrence and my colleagues could only think of one other time they'd seen it. (the medic then had treated the patient for an allergic reaction). Don't drink alone and fall of your porch in the middle of the night. Do assess your whole patient and try to piece it together as best you can. Do fulfill the function of taking patients to the hospital. Do be happy you didn't freak out and treat him for anaphylaxis which would have been so, so wrong. Do be totally grossed out about how sub-q air feels like popping paper. Gross.


This is a picture of my father, mild mannered historical nerd, pipe smoking type, driving a real NASCAR car. Stock car.  Race car.  Whatever you call it.  You know I don't know. For his landmark birthday, my mother bought him this racing experience.  I got to come along as staff photographer.
It was really cool as we all got to hang out at the infield of the track and let our minds wrap around what it might feel like if all of those thousands of seats had fans in them.  Everyone doing the experience was very keen on nascar racing and my mother may have admitted too loudly that we had not actually ever seen a nascar race ever.  I, at least, have never watched more than a minutes worth of it.  I'm sorry, but I just don't get it.  I knew then, but even more so now, that there is more to stock car racing than turning left.  There's turning left and driving really fast in between.  And sitting in a really uncomfortable position for several hours.  I wonder now if professional drivers have weirdly shaped arm muscles from constantly fighting with the cars to go straight.  (They're engineered to turn left, so keeping them straight is more of a challenge).  I digress. Shocking.
But, for being surprised, Dad took it really well- donning his fireproof overalls and giant helmet and climbing through the window of the car.  The experience is really awesome.  And he loved it.  He even had the doors of his regular car welded shut and always goes through the window.  Doors that open are so common!
He didn't go as fast as a race car driver could, but he did have a thrill.  We all still don't 'get' nascar racing, but respect it that much more after this experience.
I wonder if there's a formula 1 experience somewhere out there.  Now that's racing.