Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hours of boredom; Minutes of terror.

"Shut up! you don't really work! you played borderlands for eight hours!" He spat.  I had complained I was never home.  I wanted him to get off his ass and stop playing games and help me clean up after I had worked 48 hours in three days.

I had to bite my tongue.  He wouldn't get it.  He was right in a sense.  I had spent a whole 8 hours playing borderlands.  Once.  The last 24 hours hadn't been like that.  Had not been like that at all.  The area I cover is fairly quiet most days, most days being a key component in that statement.  My favorite saying at work, to the point I would call it a mantra is "No rest for the wicked".  Assuming I'm a wicked person, it's about as true as they come. Like some dispatcher somewhere was watching me, as soon as I kicked my boots off the tones dropped for another call.  I was running on fumes by the time I got home.

I wanted to tell him to go pound sand. I had worked for the last 24 hours. I had slept a full hour. That was it.  That's my job though. I personally love it, but that doesn't mean I don't get tired.  That definitely doesn't mean I spend hours on hours a day playing games at work, It can happen.  I wish I could get paid for playing games every day.

EMS is known to some as "Earn Money Sleeping." I will happily admit that I have actually earned money while sleeping at work. At some time and in some places that is normal. However, At my work it isn't. One that is normal to me is something I was told to expect in my EMT-Basic school.

Hours of Boredom; Minutes of terror.

No one really plans on having an emergency. No one jumps in a car debating how best to roll it or where to hit a pedestrian. That's my job. I sit and wait for the tones to drop. I train and read about the most current treatments of trauma, CVA/strokes, cardiac, and all other medical complaints. I could wait and read for hours. When the tones drop I have to be out that door in a minute or less. The hardest calls for me are the ones we can't do anything for but treat them with diesel. I can stop blood from getting out, but I can't do anything when it's dumping into your stomach but drive faster. We don't have the tools to see if you're having a hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke. A CT scanner doesn't fit well in the back of our truck(Some do). We can recognize a true heart attack or STEMI in the field but we don't carry the clot busting medications to hopefully stop or at least slow the damage to the heart.

So we're stuck. Watching the clock, waiting. Planning for the worst and hoping for the best. Living through hours of boredom for the sick twisted thrill of minutes of terror. EMS is a beautifully terrible place.

“Oh, you can't help that,' said the cat. 'We're all mad here.” ― Lewis Caroll,  Alice in Wonderland

Friday, August 8, 2014

Critical incidents: it's not heartless, at least I hope not.

Terrible things happen to good and/or undeserving people.  The drunk driver walks away from heaps of scrapped metal.  Parents do the exact opposite of take care of their children. One persons stupidity leads to another persons demise.  Sometimes people just die because of unintended side effects.

I had the misfortune to help with one of these cases the other day.  A young female, no medical history.  Only medication was oral contraceptives (Now I'm hoping as I write this that it doesn't turn into the catholic churches next stand against contraceptives).  Started complaining of not feeling well a few days ago and had fainted earlier on the day I met her.  When I met her she was already intubated and waiting to go to a major hospitals.  She had coded a half dozen times already. 

In EMS we have this silly notion of an "EMS code save" which means very little for people we treat.  It just means that we got them to the hospital with a chemically induced pulse.  Their heart was beating when we got to the hospital so we're now heroes in our own mind.  This is unsurprisingly a fantasy we design to make ourselves feel better about why we're here.  It doesn't matter that our patient may be nothing more then a organ donor; if that.

So this young girl had coded, and coded, and coded.  Epi, two minutes of CPR and we would be back with a pulse.  So in my foolish EMS head she was good!  Epi plus CPR equals an alive person!  we just have to get to major hospital and we'll give her the fighting chance she deserves.  We gave her the chance.  We got her where she needed to be.  In a perfect world we would call it a day and pat ourselves on the back.  I wish I could get away with being that ignorant!  Sadly she wasn't in the perfect shape the EMS brain told me she was in.

On the way back my partner got a call.  The service that brought her in wanted to know if we were going to join the CISD they were hosting.  I had my first critical incident over a month ago.  To me this felt nothing like that.  I still did CPR on a girl with her parents crying and cheering her on next to me but it worked. She came back, at that time I didn't know for how long, but she did come back.  We both politely declined our invitation. 

"Maybe I'm heartless, but we got her there. It's just another call at that point." 

I couldn't help but agree to a certain point. I'm still not sure if it's heartless or not.  I think I'm just a little more callused now.  If we everyone broke down or quit every time someone bad happened then our professional wouldn't last long.  I enjoy EMS and Emergency medicine as a whole.  I just have come to accept it takes a special kind of twisted person to do well in it.

I wish the girls family all the best.  Parents aren't meant to bury their children.  I commend them on their strength during a terrible time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing: Rule 1, It's confidential, respect the other attendees.

The first thing I have to say about a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing(CISD) is that they are like civil fight clubs. They have a very sensitive, confidential nature about them, so like fight club it has 2 rules.

  1. You don't talk about the CISD. 
  2. You DO NOT talk about the CISD. Jk...

Friday, June 6, 2014

My journey into Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, mining...

...It all started one day on Reddit...

 ...with a long forgotten Bitcoin post on Reddit that sparked my curiosity.  I remembered hearing about Bitcoin years ago and thinking it was a small fad.  How do people ('Merica) really think they can just make their own money that's worth anything?  It isn't even physical money!

But, when people offer you free money, even monopoly money, you take it.

Monday, April 21, 2014

THAT unknown medical.

     You're called to residence for an unknown medical.  Short response time to scene.

     Once you arrive you gain access by unlocked door and find patient slumped to the right in a kitchen chair and moaning "oh my head, it hurts" over and over.  Patient responds to speech by only continued moans.  Patients medications suggest significant cardiac history.  Patient rapidly moved to stair chair and moved to ambulance.  While moving patient from the house he stops moaning and is no longer responding to voice, only painful stimulus.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 1 of V-logging... going swimmingly...

I said I was going to start V-logging and Blogging more. I'm trying, by George. I started just doing my morning. I get up, throw on clothes and go to the gym first thing. Then I'll come home and shower and have breakfast before heading to work. The only functional camera I have right now is my phone, a galaxy S3. So I don't have the best video quality by any means. I enjoyed making it though. I don't know If I'm going to try and get ahead a day? is that what People try and do mostly? I'll make my videos the day before and have them scheduled to post. I'll learn what works for me. With 135 days till Tough Mudder I'll have plenty of time to figure it out. I'll hopefully learn something and maybe even teach people some new tricks! I'm using Lightworks  for my video editing. It does have a bit of a learning curve. Once I figure it out I hope it will become a lot easier and have better looking product then what I was getting with something like you YouTube editor or movie maker.

That being said I'm going to start logging my daily stats for my 5K and weight! I'm rounding my time right now. My goal is a 5k in 21:00. I know the marines have a 3 miles in 21 minute benchmark. I don't wanna join the Marines, I just wanna keep up with one if I need to.

So stats!
Weight: 204.2
5K 29:30

I think I'm going to keep to one post a day unless I see something cool. So I'll be back tomorrow! If you like reading or watching me please, like, subscribe, or help me run my races this summer by donating! Here or on the button to the left!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Charity Runs for 2014!

Round is a shape right?
When I got married in the fall of 2012 I weighted a whopping 255 pounds (or 116Kg if you live anywhere but 'Merica). Unsurprisingly I don't have many pictures of myself except for my wedding pictures. I hated the way I looked. I felt gross. I couldn't be as active as I wanted. Between grumbling of being overweight I would eat whole boxes of Oreos. By myself. In one sitting. When I wasn't laying around at home I saw sitting at work waiting for a call or driving a truck. I sat. I ate. I played on the computer. I was sick and knew I needed to change.

Today I can happily say I have lost solid 50Lbs (23Kg). It wasn't instant. After getting serious about getting healthy it took a solid 6 months with a couple months of half assed efforts before that. It's a process. It's not easy and it takes time. In the end it is worth it.
This summer I am going to run 3 different charity runs. 
  1. The Color Run: for the Barbara Bush Children Hospital
  2. Color Me Rad: for the YMCA
  3. The Tough Mudder: for the Wounded Warrior Project

I'm just about as likely to say no to my wife...
Two color 5ks and a tough mudder. I want to do this mostly for myself but also to show that everyone can do it. Being healthy is just as much a choice as being unhealthy! I know, I've done both! So until my tough mudder in August I am going to start V-logging and writing about the journey of becoming healthier. I promise to be honest. It's unrealistic to expect someone from New England to go without ice cream. I mean really. Ben & Jerry's. So that's my plan! I'm hoping to get a GoPro by then and actually film the runs! We'll see! The only thing I can do is ask for your support! I would love to see comments, people running with me, people getting in shape together! If you can't run or don't want to then you can help me achieve my goals, help me run the races, and help great causes like Barbra Bush how has a huge impact in my hometown and the wounded warrior project who is just a great group; helping people who have earned that and SOOO much more. I've added a donation button below. This is going to go to Registration fee for the runs and anything above that will get donated to the respective charity!

I would love to be able to make a real donation to these folks! Anything beyond registration WILL get to them. Barbara Bush is just down the street so I could just run over! (get it? Punny!) Anyways! Thank you for reading my blog! Please share this and remember to check back with me!  and if you're thinking of helping I appreciate it! I'll see you soon!