Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone had a wonderful day!
I'm staying inside today, all day. There's too many idiots out there and the last thing I want is to have to kill someone over something stupid (like a TMX elmo).

The countdown to Christmas has now officially begun!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Sad

All sorts of things have happened to me in the last week, hence the title of this entry. Without going into too much detail (as if I could help myself), here's the jist of things.

Within the last 30 days, I bought not just any new car, but my first brand new car. Everything went fairly painlessly, considering how much money I now owe the bank. A few days ago I recieved a letter from the loan company saying they were not going to approve my loan for the full amount, leaving about $1,400. Thankfully, I have a signed contract from the day I spent at the dealership and the dealership is dealing with them on my behalf.

Yesterday I get a phone call from my bank. Long story short, someone got my debit card number and has been racking up the charges. I now have an investigator assigned from the bank and I'm waiting to see what he/she says about getting a police report and further investigating the SOB. I want whoever did this to rot in jail!

Ok, I'm done ranting about personal stuff. On to the calls!!!!

A couple shifts ago I was working with one of my good friends on the ambulance. Around 4am we get a call for a patient with leg pain. As soon as we pull up to the scene, I immediately groan and my partner starts laughing when he sees why. Our "leg pain" patient, normally walks with a crutch. After talking to him for a moment, we get the story out of him.

His leg pain is a constant thing, never goes away or gets any better/worse. He took a tylenol PM about 5 minutes before leaving his house and walking all the way to the gas station, where he called 911. He was extremely uncooperative, stating at one point "you gonna take me to XXX (hospital name withheld ;) ) and I ain't payin a damn thing!"

Yeah, ok, whatever....Just get in the truck.

Knowing my temper and how irritated I already was at this guy, I told my partner to ride in the back and get his info, I'd do the paperwork.

At the hospital, we had to tell the patient repeatedly to get out of the truck. Don't think I'm insensitive, the guy was a jerk and did not need to be on the stretcher. At one point, he accused us of stealing his medicine...Medicine that he would not tell us the name of, let alone show us the bottle. Finally out of the truck, he had his next run-in with hospital security at the entrance. He didn't want to walk through the metal detectors. I became aggravated and went to the triage nurses to give them my report. They said to put him in the waiting room, exactly like I had hoped they would.

At the desk, the patient didn't want to sign himself in. Again he proclaimed "you gonna treat me and I ain't payin nothin." Their response? "This is XXX, we expect that here."

Thought I was gonna die laughing. XXX is our largest area hospital and is having some money issues due to people not paying their medical bills.

Lastly for this entry, a call from this morning.

We picked up an early call for the offgoing shift. It was a cardiac arrest and the patient was 2 months old. Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do for her. She passed some time during the night, rigor mortis had already set in. When we left, PD had the room with the child secured and was waiting for both the medical examiner and major felony detective to arrive. Both are required to respond due to the child's age.

Mom was just standing there, crying. Dad was hysterical, literally banging his head into the wall at one point. Pray for them tonight, pray for their loss, pray for their mental wellbeing, but mostly, pray they find peace.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Truck Day

For lack of an interesting way to paraphrase it, yesterday was boring. In my department, Friday is traditionally truck day. After checking the truck off as I normally would, I broke out the cleaning supplies and got busy. The next couple hours were spent scrubbing and organizing almost everything in, on, and around the truck. We're under a watering ban so I couldn't wash the truck or backflush the pump (I was on the firetruck if you're a bit lost). I did wipe down the dirt that accumulates around the exhaust pipe so the truck wouldn't have a big sooty smudge on it.

Other than that, there weren't any notable calls. We only ran 3 or 4 calls during the day, and I got to sleep all night for the first time in a long time. It was eerily quiet for a Friday, especially considering where I work.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Start your day with a DOA

Not many calls were interesting yesterday, in fact, most were downright boring. Thankfully a couple were legit. One was a run-of-the-mill CHF call. The monkey-wrench was that the patient was on dialysis, so lasix was out of the question.

We had just gone available from another call when we heard an engine and ambulance dispatched to our local CPR training center for a elderly female who had a witnessed syncopal episode. Knowing the history of how many calls are actually cardiac arrests at the location and our proximity to it, we went en route also. Of course we were the first to arrive. I grabbed both jump bags and the cardiac monitor from my side of the squad while my partner unlocked and grabbed the drug box. We eventually made it down the corridors and elevator to the room.

Drumroll please....

Well whadaya know....she's in full arrest, good thing we brought everything with us. I unloaded the intubation kit while my partner hooked up the pads for the monitor. The Doc and nurses were actually in the room for once and were doing CPR, if you want to call it that. Last time I checked, CPR was more than 15 compressions per minute and is centered over the sternum, not the xyphoid process. While my partner shifts to intubate, I start looking for an IV. I thought I saw a shadow near her hand and went fishing but came up empty. Once she was intubated, we got the IV in her EJ (neck for you non-EMS folks) just as the rest of the cavalry arrived.

Everything sped up at this point. The drug box was unlocked, Epi and Atropine popped and pushed. Still not in a workable rhythm on the monitor. More Epi and Atropine, and a BiCarb. Sugar checked out ok, so we didn't push D50%. Since she didn't have a do not resuscitate order (DNR), we called the local hospital to request orders to terminate CPR.
Airway, IV, 2 rounds of drugs, and still asystolic. We had met protocol so termination orders were granted.
We notified dispatch, disconnected the monitor, stopped the IV, picked up our trash, pulled a sheet over the body, and left.

I know it sounds cold and sometimes it really feels that way, but sometimes there's just nothing more you can do. As a public safety worker, if I were to dwell on every bad call I ran, I wouldn't be able to get anything done. I'm not proud of the amount of death I've seen in my young life, but if I don't do this job, who will?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Babies and butcher knives

Last night was bound to be interesting. Not only because it was a Saturday and I was on the ambulance, but also because we were slated to work through daylight savings, a 25 hour shift. We weren't disapointed.

Two calls come to memory, the first, I almost laughed in the patient's face.
The young lady was at work, and just happens to be 7 months pregnant. She has had the unfortunate pleasure of morning sickness throughout her entire pregnancy. We were called because her "water broke." Once in the back of the rig, she admitted that she'd vomitted, and wasn't sure if it was her water breaking, or if she'd simply urinated all over herself.

I don't remember how the other call was dispatched, I've been sick and was working with Rescue Randy. Thanks to him for getting the call info I missed and listening to my giddy-sick babble. Regardless, we arrive onscene with PD and our guy is laying on the grass near the street with his head propped up on a brick planter. After a quick run-down from PD, we learn that our drunken patient claims his brother stabbed him in the head.
"Yeah, da mutha-f**** stabbed me with a butcher knife"
"A butcher knife?"
"Yeah. He had 4 or 5 knives he stabbed me with."
**note** He only had the 1 wound, although he had a good bleed.
We looked to the PD officers, who rolled their eyes. I'm sure they were happy that we would be taking this guy off their hands in a few short moments.

Each time the patient said something about what happened, the story was altered. By the time we arrived at the triage desk in the hospital, he said 4-5 knives and an axe were used.

I also swore that our dispatch center had sensors in my bed. Not 1, not 2, but 3 times in a row the bell rang moments after I settled into bed and stopped moving. It must have been payback for not running our first call until almost 8 hours into the shift.

A new start to an old idea

Welcome, welcome. Pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable. Oh, wait, not that comfortable.

While this is certainly not my first attempt at blogging, it will be my first attempt to put something down on a regular basis. So please bear with me as I figure out how blogger works, and also how to deal with the stresses of being a Firefighter and EMT in a large department.