29 November 2004

Holes in the Floor of Heaven

30 November 2004

"Holes in the Floor of Heaven"

Dear Friends and Family,

Since March of this year, I have created a site that, for all intents and purposes, have grown from a place to vent about my job and the trials and tribulations that I have encountered as my job of being a paramedic.

Since then, I have grown very close to most of you sharing in your everyday lives and letting me become part of your family. With every entry I have written, you have responded with an absolution cheering me on or holding my hand. No matter what the case was, you have supported me and my decision to do whatever it takes to provide the utmost of care to the people that I serve.

You have inspired me, made me laugh, and most of all, have been my friend through these long months. For all of this, I must thank you.

December holds a lot for me other than the holiday season and the fact that my birthday falls on the beginning of the month. For me, December holds a gray day that will live with me for eternity.

On the 2nd of December, 1997, I lost my mother to her long battle with cancer.

For years, I have endured the pain and the agony she had gone through fighting the beast and coming out ahead of the game more often than not. The fight was long and hard and no matter what it took, my mother did it...and she did it with grace.

She never let her disease slow her down and never once referred to it as a handicap of any sorts. She created an inspiration as to everyone that she had met and, in some way, had touched their lives forever.

Even with a sickness, my mother had put herself last making sure that every one was taken care of and that no one went without before any of her needs were even remotely met.

Laying up in her bed, I remember a final conversation that we had staring at me with her beautiful brown eyes as she had made her peace with God telling me "not to worry. You will be taken care of forever. I have always had the utmost in faith in what you do and I am very proud that you are my son."

Later that night..my mother died.

I remember standing at the wake of her funeral greeting people as they approached to express their condolences hearing stories about my mother and how her presence in their lives will change them forever. People that my mom had never met, never corresponded with, came from all over the state to express their sorrow for her loss...heads hanging low..quivers in their voices. It was hard for them to be there, but they felt that they owed it to my mother.

As each person passed the coffin to view her and pay their final respects, a pink carnation was placed as a tribute to her and to honor her friendship in their lives.

In all there were over 400 pink carnations placed...and three white ones..representing my father, my brother, and myself.

Placing her into her final resting place, I remember the wind being blistering and piercing. People covered their faces, wrapped in scarfs and gloves as they watched her body being lowered into the ground. I stood and watched..oblivious to the cold that what ripping at my skin, unaware of the potential for frostbite...

Everyone else left to gather in her celebration...

I stood there for an hour...to say my good-bye.

A good-bye that I prayed would never come. A good-bye that changed my life forever.

I will be taking an absence from my site here as I need the time to get away and mourn my beloved best friend. Although it has been seven years that have passed, it was an eternity that had reached the heavens.

I know she is up there watching me...I can feel it everyday.

God Bless you, mom..and I love you.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

25 November 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

25 November 2004

"Happy Thanksgiving"

Looking outside my window, I see the first blowing snow of the season begin to take effect as rooftop and lawns are covered with a white blanket relative to this time of year. 

Kids dressed in bundles of clothing play in amazement as the frozen precipitation has not been seen in months.  Their little tounges hang out attempting ot catch their first snowflake and watch it dissolve on right before their eyes.

The smell of home cooked meals radiate throughout as families arrive to residence to give thanks on this special day.  Driveways are lined with cars, Football appears on the big screen, and greetings and salutations are met..with the greatest of loves.

Thumbing through an old photo album, I partake in pictures of my brother when he was 5 years of age. Looking at the backround, I remember the house, the toys, the clothes, that he once had and all the times that we would play together inside when it was too cold to go out.  Pictures of him playing in the back yard or in a tire swing enjoying the spring.  Memories that are captured forever...in a picture.

Mark, now 26. Lives far away from me..in Texas, where he is serving in the US Army as a medic stationed in a trauma facility not knowing his outcome as to when he will go overseas. 

According to my father, My brother is elated with my licensing of Paramedicine and the fact that I finally did it. He couldn't be more proud when I talk to him. The truth is...he is the one who is MY hero for all that he has accomplished.  I wish that I could have spent more time with him as a child, but I will never downplay the fact that he is my brother..and I am proud of him...and very thankful too.

I am thankful for Beverly.  Her immense love and honor are well above the ranges of what is expected and what is deserved.  Everyday she is glad to see me as I am her, and everyday she tells me.  Beverly has become an immense addition to my life and has carried me on waves of hope and spirit when I had felt down and defeated.  Her being here just makes life a little less complicated...and a lot more secure.  Thank you Beverly.

I am thankful for my parents.  My father who gave up things that he wanted in order to make our lives better.  To this day, my father works very hard at what he does making sure that no one goes without...even if he doesn't know them.  He always wanted what was best for my brother and me, and he did a great job in molding us into who we are.

My mother who had been my inspiration since day one.  She always taught me not to give up and if I wanted something bad enough to fight for it until I was satisfied.  My best friend and mentor, my mother was my champion..where she always will be.  Even though she is no longer on this earth, my mother lives in my heart...for always.

I am thankful for my job. The immense gratification of changing ones lives for the better is unmatchable and will, by far, be the number one goal I have in this field. The encounters I have and the people I meet will help me grow as a paramedic and a person.  Touching their lives only enriches mine.

There is several other thanks that I could give out but there is only one more that I really want to mention.

A thanks to you...my readers.  If it were not for your visitation to my site, there would be no journal.  I have considered you in a higher standard of those who leave comments....but rather my friends and my family.  You have let me take part in your lives and become part of your family in your comments and your journals.  We have laughed and cried and have picked each other up when we needed it...You all have been supportive of what I do and how I do it and have never let me hit rock bottom..no matter how bad the call.  Some of you never leave a comment, which is fine. I appreciate that you are reading. But I wanted to say thank you to you also who comes by..just to visit.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is overshadowed with the beginning of the Christmas season and should be recognized no matter who you are.  So, today, tell me what you give thanks for, no matter how insignificant you may think it is. Leave a comment and let me know. Your thanks is never underappreciated...nor will it ever be.

And for those of you shopping tomorrow morning...try not to kill anyone.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Rounding Third and Heading Home-

M-

22 November 2004

Con...Sonar....The Conclusion

22 November 2004

"Con...Sonar...The Conclusion"

Okay class. Time to turn in your quizzes.

I hope you all put in a lot of thought as to the correct answer and I hope that you enjoyed reading this.

The correct answer to the quiz is....

.........

.........

........

.......

.......

.......

........

........

.......

Suspense is killing you, huh?

.......

......

......

......

......

......

......

None of the above are correct (I know that was not an option).

Nope, there was no accident.  There just wasn't anything to really wrote about.

The fog part was truth and so was going to Oberlin, but it was just to cover their area.  We slept for the rest of the night.

There will be more to come soon.with real entries.

Thanks for playing.

Dismissed.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

20 November 2004

Con...Sonar

19 November 2004

"Con...Sonar"

SONAR

Acronym for  sound navigation and ranging. A device that is used primarily for the detection and location of underwater objects by reflecting acoustic waves from them, or by the interception of acoustic waves from an underwater, surface, or above-surface acoustic source.  Note:  Sonar operates with acoustic waves in the same way that radar and radio direction-finding equipment operate with electromagnetic waves, including use of the Doppler effect, radial component of velocity measurement, and triangulation.

Have you ever seen those old Navy movies where they are inside a submarine and over the PA system you hear:

"Con...sonar. Unidentified vessel bearing 210 away at 15 knots."

Well, if you haven't,  then you need to start staying up later.

Anyways, the SONAR is a way of finding targets or objects in front of you when visibility is non existant.

Thursday night...I needed SONAR.....BAD!!!!

2300 Hours

Looking through the glass bay doors, the buildings were no longer visible with the heavy and sudden fog that had rolled in unexpectedly.  The fog was so thick that the light at the end of our short little driveway was no longer visible...and we are in the MIDDLE of the city. It was rather chilling to see this and it was only a matter of time....before it all started.

Fog + Ohio Drivers = Motor Vehicle Accidents.  This is not a relative...this is an absolution.

Sitting on the couch, Ken and I partook in "American Choppers" as we prepared to sleep for the night.  A rerun, we still watched as Paul Sr and crew created the Davis Love III bike as a gift for his birthday.  I felt my eyelids getting heavy. It was almost time to drift to sleep.

Through the door, I could hear 94 returning from a call that they had left about 40 minutes ago for.

The doors of the truck closed, footsteps grew closer...then the door opened.

It was Shawn, preparing to give us the bad news.

"91, you better get ready, Oberlin (Neighboring city) just went out on an MVA...they will be calling here soon for you to go and back them."

<insert sigh here>

Preparing to put my shoes on, I didn't make it farther than the sitting position when the phone rang. Ken answered it, then confirmed that, indeed, we were going to back them up.

Opening up the bedroom door, I woke Craig (Kim went homesick) and told him we had a run in Oberlin backing them on an MVA.  Still groggy, Craig got up and made it to the truck.

Seeing I was the one awake, I was the one who drove. Good thing  I am religious...I needed all the help I could get...just to get there.

Now, as a fireman and paramedic, I have been in fires, shot at, caught in blizzards, repelled off of bridges in excess of 100 feet with a nervousness about it that is commonplace with the situation at hand...

Driving in this fog was the worst I have ever felt as far as being scared.

Now, yes, I have driven in fog before and other inclimate weather, but when the headlight beams get lost in the fog and visibility is literally 10 feet, you would tend to relive the pucker factor.

Heading out of the city into a more rural setting, I noticed that the lights that illuminated the streets have become fewer and that the term "flying blind" became a harsh reality as to what was progressing.

Finding that the only guide was to follow the yellow paint of the road, I looked and noticed that my speed had reached only 36 MPH where the limit was 50.

At 36, I felt I was going too fast.

Slowly etching our way to the scene, the squad we were backing keyed up calling our dispatch...this is where I was praying they were going to send us home.

"525 dispatch...bring the other truck in...we have four patients. One critical. Also find out where fire is and you may want to call OSP (Ohio State Patrol) and find out an ETA."

My stomach turned sour.  Maybe this was a joke. Yeah...that's it....a joke..they were playing with us with the old "if we are up, YOU are up."  That HAS to be it.

"91, bump it up to code 3 please." Dispatch came and told us on the radio.

DAMN IT!!!!

Now......here is where it got worse...before we even got there.

Half our lights on our truck are strobes. Strobes are brighter in intensity and shine farther.  They also reflect off the fog with a greater intensity making things a little tougher to see as the crew recovers from retinal blindness as a result.

So now I had to find the correct pattern to use.  This ought to be fun.

I ended up eliminiating the corner strobes, the primary flashers (they were strobe), the wig wags (alternating high beam head lights), and was left with the side flashers and the primary light bar which is halogen lighting.

Then I bumped my speed up.....to 40 MPH.

The fog grew thicker and the accident, theoretically, wasn't too far off.  If I go faster, I would probably drive right over it hurting someone..and we can't have that.

It didn't take long to get to it and from the way debris was scattered (as I ran it over) it looked as if the fog didnt' bother someone as they drove at high speeds while a car at an intersection missed the stop sign due to the visibility. 

I followed the flares placed by the crew and grabbed a flashlight from the truck.  I could hear the diesel of the fire truck coming down the road. I just hope they saw us in time.

Following one of the crew over, he explained as to what was going on and what he needed from us.

We were out manned (again) and down resources.  The critical patient would have to go by ground seeing there was NO way anyone was going to fly in this weather.

I went to help with the critical patient.

I about passed out with what I saw.  This could only happen to me.

Here is where I am gonna let you guess what I saw and leave a comment as to what you think. Next entry will be the conclusion.

A)  Early 20's male sititng in the front seat of the car with the stop sign that was hit through the glass and impaled in his shoulder.

B)  An older couple who were "scantly dressed" and had very little on with the exception of the heavy odor of alcohol on their breath, complaining of "I can't feel my legs".

C) An Elderly Gentleman who ended up in the back seat who seems to be having seizures every so often that last no longer than a few seconds each time. Obvious Tib/Fib fracture that was opened and bleeding profusely....with tons of birthday presents in his car.

D) A 15 Year old male and his 14 year old girlfriend entrapped under the dashboard because they were unrestraint and decided to take Mom's car seeing she needed a ride home and her Dad would not come to get her. Instead of making her walk, he decided to "slip" the car out and take her home. She was unresponsive.

Good Luck...

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

17 November 2004

To Go..or Not to Go..

16 November 2004

"To Go...or Not to Go..."

Everyone has choices in their lives. 

Some are as simple as "yes" or "no". Some are complex such as "green, blue, or red". Some choices have thoughtless meaning behind them such as choosing to get out of bed in the morning. A mundane task that is almost always automatic, yet, nevertheless, a choice.

Choices are made in how we lead our lives, what we do for a living, how we correlate with those around us.

Choices could have a double positive outcome or a double negative one.  You may pick a choice that is the lesser of two evils not caring for its specific outcome, but again, it is a choice.

As a paramedic, I make choices everyday. Not only pertaining to my own personal life, but to those who call me every day in their time of need. It may not always be the choice that they want, but it is the choice that will benifit their lives...and I do it in their best interest.

1941 Hours

"Uh huh...okay...I will tell them."  Ken hangs up the phone and looks at us.

"91...go on over to 6th Street and see the man who 'needs oxygen'". He informs us as I am already closing out the report I am working on.

The day had been moderate and steady and without any calls in the last two full hours, it was only a matter of time before the phone rang again...it just seems like I am the one that is always up and has to take the call.

Motioning for my partner to drive, I climbed into the passenger seat and confirmed the address with my pager. What I thought was going to be a typical call turned out to be anything but...and we hadn't even left the bay yet.

"Oh man, not him!!!  I just went to his house yesterday for the same thing..He wants some oxygen and that is it. He won't go with us." My partner, Angie told me.

"This is like the third time this week." She added with disgust.

Third time?

It was only Monday.

By now, I am in the mind set that this is one of those "I am sick, what can you do for me, but I don't want to go to the hospital because I can't afford the ambulance ride and the doctor bill." kinda calls.

I just need oxygen.

Well, time to school you a little more as to "Why to call the ambulance."

Donning on some gloves, I reached in and grabbed the jump bag and proceeded up the stairs to the top floor apartment (remember, it is ALWAYS the top floor).

Residence began to crowd the hallways in a glimpse to find out what was going on.  Rumors started and bets were made as to who it was and why we were there.

C'mon people, isn't reality TV enough for you to choke your brain cells on.

Walking inside, I set the bag down as my partner began a brief interview as to what was going on with this gentleman.

The apartment itself, was rather well kept without any cludder visible. On the stove appeared to be what was once a dinner plate with food that had been left out for about 2-3 days I estimated as the food began to harden in, what was once, a potato and a steak.

On the couch sat our patient. A gentleman in his early 50's with thinning gray hair, a bit underweight, and dressed in appropriate clothing for the climate.  Rocking back and forth in the chair, all that came from his mouth was "I need oxygen."

Angela continued the interview and I began to assess the patient physically. 

Pulling equipment from the bag, Angie pleaded with the man to go with us to the hospital doing everything she could to persuade him into taking a ride to the hospital with us.  The more she begged, the more he refused only demanding the oxygen that we carried.

Assessing him, It took me no more than a brief second to realize that there was more wrong with this individual than what he knew.  Lifting his shirt to listen to his lungs, I noticed the patient was using accessory muscles to breathe. (A VERY bad indicator that there is something wrong with his lungs.)  This is when the diaphram and the stomach muscles help by contracting to push air out of the body.

Placing the stethoscope onto his chest wall, I can hear the prodominant wheezes in his lungs...diminished...yet there.

His answers were to questions were short and broken.  He was getting really tired physically.  Just what I DIDN'T want to happen.

What does this mean to you the lay person?

Nothing.

What does it mean to us in the EMS field?

If I don't get move him soon, I am going to be in a world of hurt.

Angela begged harder. He refused harder.

Time to change tactics....my turn.

"Sir, here is the bottom line, you don't go with me right now, you WILL die.  In four hours I will be back busting your door down because you called 911 just before your heart stopped."  I took a firmer line than my partner.

He looked up with confusion on his face. My words began to sink in. His reality was skewed as to what he thought was right, and what truly WAS right.

"I have to get my car in the morning so I can't go." He tried a last-ditch effort with us.

"Well, chose then..your car or your life. I can tell you this...you car isn't much good to you if you are dead." I retorted.

That was the nail in the coffin.

Agreeing to go,we began to pick up our tools and prepared to move him to the squad.  The clock was ticking...I needed to move fast.

Standing up to walk (hey, this is what he wanted to do), a pale look came over the face of the patient and just as fast as he got up, the patient began to fall back down.

Catching him in mid air, we decided that is was best to just carry him to the squad.  Good thing he was light.

Placing him on the cot, his breathing quality decreased dramatically.

Now, the patient was tired. There was almost no visible communication from him.  The wheezes grew more prominent. His end was coming closer.

Strapping a mask on him, I administered an Albuterol treatment to help alieveate some of those wheezes and to open up those lungs of his a bit more.

Angela asked what I needed. I stared at the intubation kit.

"Pull it out and set it up. I am hoping not to need it." I instructed her.

Doing as I asked, I started my ALS procedures and told Angie to start for the hospital.  It was only 6 blocks....the longest six blocks of my life.

The total time to the hospital was under three minutes. In that time, the patient had become less responsive and is breathing had become less frequent. I grabbed a bag valve mask (picture below)

                     HUDSON RCI MANUAL RESUSCITATORS

and began to hook it up to the oxygen.  It looks like I will have to breathe for him.

Before I could get it out, Angie had the doors to the truck open.  Talk about the light at the end of the tunnel.

Wheeling him in, I told the nurse of the severity of the patient and his immediate need for help.

Ironically, the one they sent to help was the respiratory therapist who is staffed in the ER during peak hours.

I moved him over to the bed and gave report to them.  My job was done.  It was later that I found out as to my actions.

Going back in for a separate call. I saw the therapist and asked him how he was doing. This is what he told me.

"His internal CO2 (carbon dioxie) levels were 92. (Normal is 40-60) He had so much CO2 in his brain that he was suffocating himself and didn't know it.  He almost DID buy the tube here.  He is going to the unit in a bit (Intensive Care) and is doing better on a BPAP (special breathing machine)." He told us.

"So, had we left him at home..." I began to ask.

"He would have died within an hour...no doubt in my mind." The respiratory therapist assured me.

I took a sigh. I made the right choice.

Choices. We all have them, we all use them. We may not like them, but they are there..and they always will be.  Sometimes the choices we make are detrimental to our lives, sometimes they cause pain.

Sometimes, we make those choices for you.

Irregardless, these choices mold us into who we are and what we do, whether good...or bad.

I make these choices for you...so that you can stay longer..and make more choices of your own.

Rounding Third and heading home,

M-

13 November 2004

Sick

13 November 2004

"SICK"

"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay,
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash, and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb,I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is---Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

~Shel Silverstein~

Okay, so I am a baby. I have the Flu..grrr...I took a day off of work. Bev is sick too.  Hope to have something for you soon.

 

Rounding Third and heading Home,

M-

11 November 2004

The Pucker Factor

12 November 2004

"The Pucker Factor"

Have you ever played "telephone" when you were younger?

You know…you tell the kid next to you something in their ear, and in turn, they tell that sentence or phrase in the next person's ear and so on…and so on…and so on…and so on.

When you get to the end, the last person stands up and tells what they have heard. Nine times out of ten, there is either some altercation of the phrase or a complete deletion of information that had somewhere along the line gotten lost.

It is a game that tests children's short-term memory and also evaluates their attention to detail.

Adults play this game too, but with a lot more equipment. The results are the same though. There is one person that screws up the final message.

We call them dispatchers.

2230 Hours.

Kicking off my boots (but strategically placing them somewhere else…no on should have to smell those) I propped my feet up on the desk in our living quarters. Kim snuggled under her blanket on the couch securing warmth on what was destined to be a very cold night, I watched as she flipped through the menu screen of the satellite system, looking for something to watch.

How come, even with 800 plus channels, there is STILL nothing to watch???

Settling for a comedy that both of us have seen more than our share of times, we acquired our munchies and began to partake in "So, I Married an Axe Murderer" on Starz.

Then the phone rang…as it always does when you attempt to watch a movie.

"91, EMH L&D to Fairview Hospital. Pt is on Mag Sulfate. No other precautions." The voice on the other end told us.

Sigh…Of course. I mean, why not!!! No one EVER goes into labor during daylight hours. (Sorry Ladies).

Well, this shouldn't be too bad. First of all, traffic is light this time of night. And, anyway, Kim is in the back for this trip. (Insert evil laugh here).

Getting into the L&D (Labor and Delivery) we stepped out into a hallway filled with warm pastels and iridescent lights that lightly produced a glow upon the ceiling. Comforting to the patients that stay here giving a very homey feeling to it.

Also in the hall, was a sound that was unmistakable, bone chilling, and most of all…deafening.

Apparently, someone was in active labor (yeah, I know…"wow…on a maternity floor?!?!" so I am not the brightest crayon in the box) somewhere down the hall. Boy, I am glad I am not in there.

Looking for the room number, I saw that we were too low and had to proceeded our ascension down the hallway.

300…301…the numbers got bigger as we looked for the goal of room 305.

As the numbers got bigger, the sounds got louder. I felt the sweat starting to bead on my forehead.

302…303…304.

The echo grew louder. My heart pounded feverishly. The room approached like a slow motion take in a movie. There we were at the room. Inside was our patient…and the source of all the noise.

"Honey, its okay, the Critical Care Team is here." A frantic husband told his wife/

Critical Care???

Kim and I exchanged glances. I felt my stomach go to the bottom of my body.

There on the bed laid our patient, A young mother in obvious pain and moderate distress. An IV of Mag Sulfate actively going inside her body from the pump.

(Magnesium Sulfate is used in females who are pregnant and in active labor, to slow or even stop the contractions lead to the delivery of the baby.)

Not good…Time to find the nurse.

Kim began talking with our patient; I went hunting for her caregiver.

The floor we were on is relatively new and full of corridors making it easy to get lost. For me…it is almost a given.

The following is an actual call…on November 9th, 2004.

"Thank you for calling Onstar. This is Gina, how can I help you."

"Help me…I need to find the nurses station." My voice quivered with fear.

"Okay sir, I can help you with that. I see you are in the 300 hall, is this correct?" The voice replies with the sound of the keyboard typing in the back round.

"Yes, that is right…help me." I asked for help.

"Okay sir…go up to the second water fountain and make a left. Three doors down is a changing room, make a right at the door after that. I see the station is right there."

"Oh thank you…thank you..Thank you…there is someone there to help me."

"Is there anything else we can do for you, sir?" the pleasant voice repeats.

"No, I found the nurse. Thank you again."

"No problem…and thank you for using OnStar."

(Okay…so I didn't really call them.)

Finding the nurse, I was met with a "Wow, you are here, they were going to call us back when they acquired a crew." The nurse stated.

A Crew? A Crew!

At this juncture, I am wondering if prison would be better to go to now after I journey over to our communications center and kill our dispatcher.

The nurse went back into the room with us and gave Kim the details. Oh yeah…Kim was rather pissed at this time due to lack of information. C'mon…do you blame her.

"Okay, this 28 year old female is G-5, P-2 with history of two spontaneous abortions at 31 weeks. She has been having contractions every 2-3 minutes and the Mag Sulfate isn't doing much for her. We don't have the resources here to care for her. There is a really good chance she could bleed out if not transferred."

G = "gravida" which is Latin for "with child". P = "para" another Latin term meaning "to give"

So, for example, this female has had 5 pregnancies and have 2 LIVE children. Also, the more kids you have, the shorter the duration of your labor (I know ladies, but this is what we were told). A first birth may have a labor duration of 24 hours. The third Child may come in a matter of minutes. (Again, I know ladies…don't kill the messenger).

Can someone pick up my jaw off the floor, please?

"Why aren't you flying her then?" I asked.

"We tried to. She refuses to go by air."

OOOHHHH…so now, us, who have about 2 hours total training in emergency neonate care are gonna take her. Enter the pucker factor here.

Then…Kim asked the million dollar question.

"How far along IS she?"

"She is 31 weeks." The nurse told us.

That's it…I am done…

So, folks, let's review here.

We have a 28 year old female in ACTIVE labor with contractions of roughly 2 minutes apart who CANNOT have the child yet seeing she is high risk and needs to go to a more suitable facility for delivery and has some sort of flying fear so has to go by ground…25 miles away.

Sure…no problem.

Can someone pick up my bottle of Vodka for me?

Moving on, we loaded her up in the truck and began to transport her.

Flipping on the lights, time was more than "of the essence" here. It was problematic.

Up front with me, sat the husband who, with anymore nervous energy, could power a small country…for about a year. I think he need the alcohol more than any of us.

"Don't worry honey." He yelled in the back which I thought was sweet.

"When he gets to the highway, he is gonna let it all go and get us there."

Okay, I retract my last statement and now want to smack him.

This is an ambulance,

 not an Apache Helicopter

(see the difference)

I will get you there, but it won't be as fast as you think.

Traffic was light and I repeatedly looked in the back to see Kim looking up almost praying that we were pulling into the parking lot. I can see the anxiety in her eyes.

Popping her head up, she whispered to me, "Her contractions are about a minute now."

I squeezed the pedal a little harder.

The husband was about ready to pass out from being over anxious.

The pucker factor grew tighter.

The faster we went, the longer the drive seemed to get. My palms were sweaty, my vision was tunneled, my heart needed valium. I need Miller Time.

We arrived where we needed to go and took the patient up to the proper floor. Where the Meg Sulfate ran out…and she felt ready to give birth. Whether she did or not, I don't know. We didn't stick around to find out.

Riding back, we kept the windows down to cool off our bodies as we both probably aged 20 years. I know that I have more gray hair than I started with.

See, even in the adult world, information can be miscued and pertinent info can become lost or just plain forgotten about. It is not a science to master, but is prevelent more often than not.

Excuse me…I think I am gonna go and pass out now.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

07 November 2004

With This Ring...

07 November 2004

"With This Ring..."

There are certain things in one's lives that alter a course of action as to where their respective lives will take them and also, how it affects their time here on this Earth.

There are also certain people that you and I may encounter that will ultimately make us who we are and what we will eventually become. Whether it is for the good or for the worse, human interaction plays a vital role in our lives.

With chance meetings, there is fate. With Fate, there is destiny. With destiny, there is love.

What seems like a simple plan is everything but. However, you meet that one person in your life that changes everything for you and fits into your plans. The one person in whom you think about first when you wake up and last when you go to bed at night. These are the ones where after months and months and even years of dating and courting, you still get nervous everytime you see them. They are the ones that were with you when you were at your very best cheering you on, and they are the ones that hold you without saying a word when you are at your low and crying doesn't seem to help.

No matter what the odds, they love you for you and they always will.

2350 Hours

Walking out of the theatre, the night was rather warm for the time of night it was and the stars hazed out atop of the autumn evening clouds that had eneveloped the night horizion.

Walking to the car, my palms sweat and I reflected the emotional retraction from the movie.

Ladder 49.

A very powerful movie with very method and powerful actors.

The backdrop is a rescue gone bad in the Baltimore Fire Department in which a character gets trapped in an inferno and has no way out. As the department formulates a plan of rescue, the trapped firefighter's life is sequenced in events throughout the film.

I won't give anymore, but for those of us in the field, it is a grim reality as to what could happen..at any given call.

Walking out to the car, Bev asked me if that could really happen and the intensity of its realism.  Taking a deep sigh, I told her the truth as to how it was a very realistic possibilty however, safety is a main concern. 

As she asked, in reference to some of tools used in the film, I told her that I would take her to the fire station afterwards and let her see the tools first hand seeing that no one would be at the station at that time.  It was easier to show her than to explain I felt.

The drive didn't take long and I could feel a cold sweat coming off my brow. My heart pounded in intensement from the movie already heightening my adrenailin level.

Walking into the apparatus room, I showed her some of the tools we used and let her try them out.  Her deep interest in to their use and how to work with them showed in her bright blue eyes.  A combination look of risk and excitement filled her face as the explanation was given to her.  I think she started to get a realization as to what we, as firefighters, do.

I asked contently to her if she wanted to try the gear on and feel what it is like to be strapped with all the gear on..including the SCBA airpacks we used.

A look of hesitation elected to show in her face, but a reluctant acceptance as to the task came about and she followed me into the gear room.

Trying on my bunker pants, it was apparent as to why we wear suspenders with those...Poor Bev swam in them.

Next was the Helmet..

Putting it on to her, I had to adjust the chin strap as to fit her head. Her smaller size dwarfed her as she began to put on the fire coat.

Moment of truth time here...(I know you are asking why....just keep reading.)

Telling her that she needed to put on everything in the pockets as those were the tools we used, she reached in and took out the left glove, then the right, then......

The Ring.

Inside my fire coat, I had placed an engagement ring, knowing as to the moviewe had chosen, I had schemed as to a romantic, yet different way to propose...this is what I had thought of.

What did she say?

.....

.....

.....

.....

.....

....

....

October 22, 2005....

This is the Day we set aside.

She never made it to the air pack...

Below is a recent pic of us in September at the Airshow...

You all wanted to see what she looks like...well....there she is...My love....

Picture from Hometown

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

 

 

 

 

 

01 November 2004

Choice 2004

01 November 2004

"Choice 2004"

Okay...

So..this has nothing to do with EMS or work that I have been at. But I thought seeing I use this post as a venting point, I will admit my two cents worth as to the cause.

My Topic....

The Election.

Who is better as a canidate??

Bush...or Kerry.

Kerry...or Bush.

Both have very valid points as to certain political issues.

Both have very bad fabrications that each have been challenged against.

One says one thing and the other points mistruth to that claim.

Parading around the country trying to win you over, these two men have spent countless hours and money in order to sway your vote to them.

Here is my response to the political race.

WHO CARES?!?!?!

I mean, who cares if they person you chose does or doesn't win.

You are STILL going to be an American. You are STILL going to pay taxes. You are STILL going to have a better personal freedom than almost ANY country that is on the face of the Earth.

As Americans, we have the right to chose as to whom we think and want to be our leaders, which is great...but you can't please everyone.

THAT is part of the beauty of where we live. The diversity of the choice.

I love the fall...the leaves, the colors, the coolness...but when it is littered with signs representing a campaign trail, I tend to grow eerie of it and actually become sick to my stomach.

"Vote for Kerry" signs posted every 50 feet in a field that has beauty and landscape deturing from its ability to hold someone who partakes in its splender.

"Vote for Bush" signs overtaking gorgeous manicured lawns to some of the most beautiful homes in a historic district of a city that has been blessed with beauty.

Folks..here it is..I could care less as to WHO wins.  I am still going to be here, my life is still going to continue, and I will stand by the leader of this counrty no matter who it may be,

I, however, DO believe the importance of voting. But folks...vote in something that YOU believe in..Not what CNN tells you is the best to do.

Vote for your school levies so that children can have new computers to learn and research.  Some children live in poor areas and cannot afford a computer, so school is where they go to help learn the technology to keep up with society. Help keep extra-cirricular activites in place so that your children have somewhere to go..and something to do..that is benificial to them.

Vote for your Civil Services (i.e. Police, Fire, and EMS). Yes, there is the chance that you may never need them, but what about that one time that you do. Wouldn't you have piece of mind knowing that they are there for you...24/7. No matter what.

Vote America. Don't do it for influence, don't do it because you feel you HAVE to. Do it because you WANT to...

Your voice will be heard...no matter what or who you chose.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-