30 May 2005

The Zen Realist

30 May 2005

"The Zen Realist"

Happy Memorial Day all.  I thought I would give you a little more food for thought until I get back to work.

Enjoy.

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire

 

3. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbour's newspaper, that's the time to do it

 

5. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

6. No one is listening until you fart.

7. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else

8. Never test the depth of the water with both feet

 

9. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments

 

10. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them you're a mile away and you have their shoes

 

11. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

 

12. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

13. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it

 

14. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything

 

15. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

 

16. Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time

 

17. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment

 

18. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

 19. A closed mouth gathers no foot

20. Duct Tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together

 

21. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works

 

22. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving

23. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it

 

24. Never miss a good chance to shut up. 

25. We are born naked, wet and hungry, and get slapped on our butt. Then things get worse.

 26. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night

27. There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

28. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

29. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday...around age 11.

30. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them

 

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

24 May 2005

With this Ring...The Advanced Version

23 May 2005

"With this Ring...The Advanced Version"

For those of you who remember, Sometime in October of last year, I had posted a blog entry titled "With this Ring...".

The preface was on how I became engaged and the end conclusion with a date set.

October 22, 2005.  This was the date set.

Scratch that.....

Let's try...oh, I dunno.....

June 14th, 2005.

In an non-conventional move, Bev and I will be departing in a few short weeks to Niagara Falls to exchange vows and become tax deductions.

For those of you who are new to the site here, Bev and I first went to Niagara Falls while we were seeing each other and became a more exclusive as a couple.  It was only fitting that the splender and the magic of the falls is the place where become one as spirit and unify our love for each other.

So, finishing up my reservations, I thought I would drop a line and tell you as to my future travels and tell all of you how blessed I am to have you as my family here.

Below is a pic of Bev and Me in September at the air show in Cleveland just in case you are new to the site.

More fun stories will be following shortly (I only had 4 runs yesterday).

Take care all, and wear your seat belt.

Picture from Hometown

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

 

 

19 May 2005

The Grossest Call...Ever

19 May 2005

"The Grossest Call...Ever"

You know, there is really no prequel to this entry. There is really nothing to suit you up for the story I am about to write, so I will just get into it with a reminder and a warning.

I have been in this business for over thirteen years now and I have seen some of the worst stuff known to man.  There is things that I have witnessed that I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. With that, it has helped me to treat my patients a little better despite the poor conditions that might be around. 

Kasey (The Return of Kaseypalooza), Scott (Stories from my Ambulance), Donna (Behind the Headset), and even Jenn (An Officer's Day) have been in the field for sometime also and can tell you some very sick stuff and will vouch for what I am explaining.

But today, you all...I have you beat.

Note:  What is described in the proceeding will be very graphic and may upset you.  Viewer's Discresion is advised.

1608 Hours

Today was not my normal day to work, but a 12 o'clock call from Lori had me coming in for a few hours while her son went to play his final baseball game in his short high school career.

Needing to make up the hours because I went home sick the prior shift that I worked, I thought this would be ideal for catching up.

As I walked into our day room, I was immediately reassigned to go to the scene and relieve Lori who was at a call for a possible DOA.

Okay, this will be easy. Sit around, wait for the coroner, and not have to do much of anything.  Easy enough.

Rick, Lori's husband who was waiting for her at the station, drove me down to the scene for a little EMS swap.  This was fine seeing they weren't going to leave without me and the patient certainly wasn't going anywhere.

Getting out of the car, I was met by Lori, who was estatic to see me so that she could go. Transferring the radio to me and logging me into the truck, I was soon part of the scene.

Now....

Have you ever just been someplace where no one says anything but you know that there is more to it than just what you see? This was that time.

Approaching the porch, I noticed Steve, my partner for the time being, an officer, and a few neighbors who were milling around.  Looking at the house, I noticed how unkept it was and all the clutter that had built up on theporch.  Looking further, I had noticed that the front porch window had been broken and from thelack of glass on the porch, it seemed that it was broken inward.  Scanning the dwelling from the outside further, I had noticed that there was very little light coming from inside and that all the windows and curtains were closed.  It had the effect of either being abandoned or in extreme need of a reality makeover show.

Getting the scoop from Steve and the officer, it seemed as if foul play was not a factor.  Steve then wanted to show me and the other officer as to what was going on inside. 

Taking two steps forward, Steve turned to me and stated "You might want to get some gloves." 

Not thinking twice about it, I donned on a pair after a short trip to the squad.  It was custom to not disturb a potential crime scene or not wanting to touch something that was part of the unknown. 

Walking around the back, I found out why I needed them.

Up the back porch and into the kitchen, there was almost no visible light still. Turning on a flashlight, I immediately was surcomed by the foulest of odors that would make the strongest stomach sick. It was the smell of rot.  And not just one kind of rot, this was a mixture. Wood rot, food, body fluids.  It was the worst possible smell imaginable.

Quickly turning to a mouth breather, I shined the light on the counter, or what was once the countertop.  There laid layers upon layers upon layers of rotted food. Some with maggots growing out.  The pile of refuge mounded so high that it covered the window in its entirety with its height. To my right on the floor were totally filled garbage bags that had been sitting so long that the plastic decomposed. I stopped counting after twelve bags.  The floor was covered with so much garbage and debris that not one millimeter of actual floor could be scene.  Feeling where I stepped, it was apparent that the wood bracings underneath the floor were rotted away if not completely gone. Remember, I am still in the doorway.

To my left is a window. The window is covered in years of soot and grease from cooking and looks like the only cleansing that it had was when it rained and the water beat on it from the outside.  The window was tinited with a heavy Yellow-brown. The wood frame was green sporing mold and flaking in different parts.  I attemped to try to open it but there was not even a hint of success.  Looking down, I noticed that the window was nailed shut.

Hmmm...

Moving on, I struggled to get through thte hallway due to the trash that was piled up.  The hallway, which would normally be about two feet in width was down to a mere two and a half inches.  Newspapers, garbage bags, clothes were piled up to knee level. Maneuvering was almost impossible and every step that you took, felt like it could be your last.  The walls were covered with mold that had grown beyond the peeling paint.  Electrical outlets had charred through the material that had blocked them.  The movement of roaches became apparent at this time also. 

Coming into the living room, I found myself in a living hell.  As I track movement running behind the furniture it seems that there is more lifeforms than the maggots and the roaches which infest this house. Now I have to deal with rats.  The garbage had now come up to waist level and blends in totally with what was once furniture.  A couch, to my right, was consistant of the frame and very little fabric.  Dog feces laid everywhere and according to the neighbor, the dog hasn't been seen in five years.  The ceiling was laced with what appeared to be black mold and a single 40 watt bulb illuminated the room.  Dust flew up with every touch or movement that was handled throughout the room. and had no wind pattern to carry it.  The TV was so old that it had dials on it still and looked to have roughly 4 inches of dust on top of it.  A blanket covered the a window that, too, was nailed shut not allowing the air from outside to come in that was broken by the fire department to gain entry.

I slowly worked my way to the stairs where Steve and the officer was when I tripped...over the dead body. (No, I didn't fall).

With all the trash and debris in the house, the body was camoflauged into the mess and if it weren't for the fact that he laid in the middle of our path of travel, probably would ahe never been found.

The body looked like it was in poor health to begin with and severly dehydrated.  A long, untrimmed beard  grew on his sunken face as he laid there in clothes that looked older than I in a fetal position on the ground.

Upstairs, I started to go. The rail gave way with touch and every creek of the boards under my feet became increasingly loud and unstable.  I wasn't sure what I was stepping on, but I prayed it wouldn't give way.  From around the corner, I heard coughing and dry heaving.  Moving my focus to what was in front of me, I was checked by the cop who was racing down the stairs and bee-lining to the point of entry.  Steve went down next. I had to find out why.

Walking up the stairs, I was immirsed with an odor that could not be mistaken with anything else on this planet.  I held my breath and turned the corner.

First room was the bathroom...this was the end of my tour.

Creeping the door open, I had noticed that, like all the other rooms, was in the poorest conditions with holes showing the floor braces through the rot.  The toilet was overfilled with feces and it was apparent that there was no running water into the house.

Looking to the left was the tub. And what was IN the tub was made the guys run.

The tub, a traditional cast iron tub was filled and overflowing......with human feces.

Apparently, once the toilet broke, the DOA started using the tub for a back up.  Yes, it was filled ALL THE WAY and overflowing over the edge.

Remember that black mold that I saw on the ceiling...Well, that wasn't mold...

It was the human waste staining through the floor into the ceiling.

This was the end of my time inside and I quickly vacated the premises.

Running out to catch my breath, I tried to recall a time where I went to a place where it was as worse or worst.

I couldn't think of one.

I have to stop here because the sheer picture in my head is making me nauseated and I feel that I will need my nice clean, working, bathroom really soon if I don't.

I will talk to you all a little later,

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

18 May 2005

And the Winner is...

18 may 2005

"And the Winner is..."

Well, all the votes are in. For those of you who left a comment, I want to thank you for helping us make a decision.  It was kinda tough seeing that we bothed liked each song for different reasons.

But, because of your votes, a decision has been made.

And the winner is...................

"You and Me" by Lifehouse.

Below is a link to watch the winning video and I have added the words in case you wanted to follow along.

Thanks for all your help.

Click Here to Watch the Video

"You and Me" by Lifehouse

What day is it
And in what month
This clock never seemed so alive
I can’t keep up and I can’t back down
I’ve been losing so much time

Cuz it’s you and me
And all other people with nothing to do
Nothing to lose
And it’s you and me
And all other people
And I don’t know why
I can’t keep my eyes off of you

What are the things That I want to say
Just aren’t coming out right
And tripping on words
You got my head spinning
I don’t know where to go from here

Cuz it’s you and me
And all other people with nothing to do
Nothing to prove
And it’s you and me
And all other people
And I don’t know why
I can’t keep my eyes off of you

Something about you now
That I can’t quite figure out
Everything she does is beautiful
Everything she does is right

Cuz it’s you and me and all of the people with nothing to do
Nothing to lose
And it’s you and me and all of the people
And I don’t know why
I can’t keep my eyes off of you and me
And all other people with nothing to do
Nothing to prove
And it’s you and me and all other people
And I don’t know why
I can’t keep my eyes off of you

What day is it
And in what month
This clock never seemed so alive

Lyrics are from leoslyrics.com

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

15 May 2005

You Decide

15 May 2005

"You Decide"

Okay, folks. I need your help.

Next month I am getting married (yes, I know. I pushed up the time table) and I am torn between two songs for our wedding.

Below I have put links to the entire songs so that you can listen and tell me what you think.

Now, for all of you who read and never say anything, this is the time I need to hear from you too.

So, without further a due, listen and tell me what you think.

Thank you, all.

"You and Me" By Lifehouse

"100 Years" by Five for Fighting

Due to possible TOS violation and copyright infringment, the links that were to these songs have been take off.  I had not been notified personally from AOL but I do have an inside source that had alerted me of this.  Thanks for your participation.

 

 

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

12 May 2005

Top Ten Things to Make EMS More Fun

12 May 2005

"Top Ten Things to Make EMS More Fun."

Yes, folks. It's that time again. Time for another one of M's top ten list.  I don't need to explain the topic today so let's get right to it.

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere We Go!!!!!!

10. The more "realistic" siren.  Wail, Yelp, an Phaser (my personal favorite) are the three tones that are synonimous with emergency vehicles worldwide.  Now, how are you supposed to have ANY individuality if your ambulance does the same as everyone elses?

So, my suggestion is change it up a bit.  Make it more interesting, yet suitable to your needs.

Here are a few suggestions:

Instead of Wail, you have Tone 1                                              

Instead of Yelp, you have Tone 2

Instead of Phaser, you have Tone 3

Hmm...could be on to something.

9. One Epi, One Shock, One Beer.   This will be the new ACLS protocol.  After every code marker, you must hail a shot and say a toast to your patient. 

"Here lies William, Pulseless and dead. There is no heartbeat as he lies here in bed. We hope he's revived with shock number two, 'cause we're out of money and the next rounds on you."

8. EMS sponsored by Nextel.  For all you fans out there, I find it rather amazing that you can get four tires, oil, a full tank of gas,a nd your windows cleaned..in under 20 seconds.  Where it takes up to 20 minutes to get a bed when you get to the emergency room.  Why is that?

So, my solution is this. Imagine pulling into the ambulance bay where you are met by a team of 8 people. Two takes out the cot with the patient on it and wheels it into the ER, while two more put a fresh cot in your rig. One more person restocks your truck while, up front, you have one person gathering the info to register that person. The final two are taking patient report and backing up anyone else that needs it in the crew. Total time of drop off to in service...19.85 seconds...Gonna have to work harder next time.

The last seven are part of theme week that should be implemented every one of their respected day of the week.

7. No treat Sunday.  God wanted  you to rest on the day of the Sun, so why should you take patients to the hospital?  Every call that you go on, you will only need one piece of equipment...your clipboard.  Who cares if they got hit in the head with a softball or wrecked their car around the light post.  All they need from you is some reassurance that they are okay and your ink pen to sign the sheet.  Tell them to call back tomorrow. 

6. Manic/Depressive Monday. This is also known as good cop/bad cop Monday.  Here is where you and your partner place alter egos when interviewing the patient. One portrays the sweet and sympathetic paramedic, while the other is a hardened EMT who just wants you to stop faking it and get in the truck so they can get on with their own miserable lives.  It is recommended that you switch personalities after every call.

5. BLS Tuesday.  This is one of the most fun days and easiest for whoever is in the back. Why? Because all you use is basic life support equipment.  So what if you are having chest pain? Who cares if your arm is amputated?  I have oxygen and band-aids, and I will even put them on for you.

4. Wacky Wednesday.  This is like a pot luck day for you. Here is where you chose as to what you want to do that day in the squad. Some examples are seeing if you can get the patient into the squad and on your way to the hospital in under 3 minutes.  Another is talking in some made up foriegn language to your partner and telling the patient that you both speak Vietaimese.  Or, you  may want to play "repeater" where your partner repeats all the questions you just asked the patient. (This one is fun with drunks and drug users.)

3. IV Thursday. Everyone gets an IV.  Cut Finger...IV. Nose Bleed...IV.  Passenger up front...IV.  Hey, gotta keep your skills up.

2. Innovation Friday.  The medical field is filled with new innovations and technology that the lay person doesn't know about. So educate them.  Tell them the patches you are putting on their chest are brand new from NASA and are testing the molecular structure of their heart to see if the protien enzymes are working in a counterclockwise state breaking down the monosotoglucomanganiese (you have to make up a word like that) preventing further damage to the heart.  They will be so blown away that they will think you have an 8 year degree...in paramedicine.

1. Radio description Saturday. For those that are not affiliated with a fire deaprtment, this could be one of your favorite days.  Try this..call your dispatcher when you get on scene and say something like.."93 is on scene for chest pains. 93 has a two story, wood frame, nothing showing...we will be out investigating."  By the time they figure it out, you will have the patient at the hospital and half your lunch eaten.

Well, that is all for now folks....Hope to see you all soon.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

10 May 2005

The Other Side of the Coin

10 May 2005

"The Other Side of the Coin"

Everyday in every city of the United States, emergency service workers, whether they are poilce, fire, or EMS, respond to a request for help at a moment's notice and without thinking twice about it.

Everyday, these people interact with complete strangers facilitating to their needs.  It may be someone that they get to know on a regular basis, or it could be someone that they may never see again. Nevertheless, it goes beyond the call of duty to try and comfort these indivduals in their time of need. Race, creed, or poverty level doesn't factor in when a call for help arrives.  As civil servants, we strive to support and alievate any needs that occur and remedy the situation to the best of our abilities.

But, what if it was someone you know?

What if the person that you are responding for is a spouse, a friend, a child?

How does your critical thinking work then?

Ask yourself this....

Could you do it?

1312 Hours

As the sun shined through the moon roof, I felt a natural high overcome me as I had been waiting for days like this for what seemed like an eternity.

The skies were blue and there was not a cloud in it making the temperature a comfortable 72 degrees. It just doesn't get much better than this.

Today I was in Unit 80. (See Below)

This is 80 in the backround there. Pictured also is Herb, the VP of the company and Andy the Ambulance which is used for show and tells, community functions, and safety towns.

80 is used as a command center in the event of mass casulty incident, assisting the squads as a first responder if needed, and an Advanced Life Support intercept when called.

Basically, I drive around town and wait for something that needs my attention.

Sitting in a parking lot, I chatted with my father who was going to see my brother in Texas in just a couple of days.  Mark, is 5 years my junior, and is a Sergent in the US Army. He is stationed in San Antonio, Texas where he has been for a few years now.  It is good that my father gets a chance to get away. He works hard and needs the break.

Trying to finish up the conversation (I say trying because he can be a little long winded sometimes) I heard the phone beep signalling that I had another call incoming.

Finisihing up with my dad, I clicked over to greet Bev on the other line. Now Bev calls me frequently throughout the day and I was expecting her to call as I was to meet her at her dad's house for an early dinner that was going to be grilled outside.  My mouth began to water as I looked for the button to click over.

It was Bev on the other line, but it wasn't her normal voice that I heard.

"Hey" She said with a shaking in her voice.

"What's wrong?!" I asked her.

"Some idiot just hit me. I don't know what to do, I have the ambulance coming." She replied.

Hearing this, all sound became mute and the road that was in front of me seemed to expand for miles beyond what it actually was. I could feel the pulse of my heart at toe level as my body started to sweat with the anxiety and the fear potential.

Getting the location as to where she was, I reassured her that I would be right there and not to move or panic. After all, I was doing enough panicing for both of us.

Looking at my phone to call my dispatch and inform them of my intentions, I stared at the phone not being able to recall the number that I frequently called. My memory became a distortion and my surroundings enveloped in as blocker of me getting to my destination.

Calling in, finally, I notified the dispatch for the squad and started my journey.

Seconds became minutes which grew longer and longer as I travelled.  My pusle grew rapid, my hands sweated immensly.  I became impatient with the motorist in front of me impeding my journey to get to the crash site.

Then I had a moment of clarity.

I was in an emergency vehicle.

Duh!!!!!!

Turning on the lights and activating the siren, I began to cut into traffic parting the cars like Moses did to the Red Sea.  As my speeds increased, so did the traffic making things a little more risky for travel.

I backed off the gas, and floored my anger.  How hard is it???

GO TO THE RIGHT.

Focusing on the road ahead, it only took a couple of turns of the wheel and I was there.

I have to give this to Bev. She couldn't have picked a busier intersection to get plowed in.

Pulling up on the sidewalk, I saw Bev standing on the side of her car talking to a firefighter who had arrived wiht his company on scene before I got there.

Walking in the middle of traffic, I was oblivious to its movement as I continued to make my way over.

Placing my hands on her shoulders, I asked if she was alright and and what happened.

Shaken, but unhurt, she nodded that she was fine and began to tell me what had happened.

Waiting for the light to change, a young punk (yes, he WAS a punk, and not because he hit her) raced down the far left lane at about 40 (speed limit was 25 and this was witnessed by others) while talking on his cell phone and decided that he wanted to change lanes....without looking first.

This is what Bev's car looked like before it got hit.

Now, imaging the whole driver's side front quarter panel...gone...destroyed. The undercarriage pinned up against the front tire of the vehice making it undriveable. The headlight was shattered into a million pieces (no, I didn't count them all) and the tie rod that holds the wheel on snapped like a wet twig.

Surveying the damage, I could not begin to tell you what shade of pissed I really was.  Looking over at the kid, he continued to talk on his cell phone looking as if we were at fault. Then I overheard some of his conversation.

"Yeah, she pulled right out at me...damaged my truck and all.  People don't know how to drive..." he said to someone.

I waived all my patience at this point.

Walking over to him, I was fueled with my rage and kept repeating in my mind that if I killed him, then I would have to work him. It wasn't worth it.

"Hey" I yelled over to him.

He looked at me and lokked away.

"HEY, I'M TALKING TO YOU" I yelled at him.

"Hey, can't you see I am on the phone here" He had the audacisty to say to me as if I was bothering him.

Feeling the steam coming from my ears, I grabbed the cell phone out of his hand and closed it finishing his call.

"Looks like you are done now." I told him as I towered over his scawny body.

"Do you need an ambulance?" I asked. I was on duty after all.

"Does it look like it?" His smart ass replied to me.

"Talk to me like that again, and you will." I said tossing the phone back.

One of the officers on scene called me over as he heard the conversation.

"Hey, he ain't worth it. You know and I know it wasn't her fault, and this ticket I am gonna write him will show him that." He grinned.

After all, if running a stop sign in the city is $154 dollars, I can't even imagine what this will run him.

Grabbing my composure, I quickly finished up what paperwork that I needed to do and put Bev in the truck to take her to her dad's house.

Bev was okay and not hurt, other than her pride. I sat fuming at Mario Andretti who crashed her car, and myself for losing my grip.

All this only did one thing for me...

Made me more hungry.

Answering a call from a loved one for help is the most helpless feeling that you could ever have in your life.  Regardless if you can get to them or not, a feeling of defeat overwhelms you as you sit and register that moment in your head figuring out what you are going to do. 

In an instant, your world can change.

In a heartbeat, you can change too....forever.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

 

06 May 2005

What the Dealer Didn't Tell You

06 May 2005

"What the Dealer Didn't Tell You"

Caveat Emptor.

Latin for "Buyer Beware".

I am sure that everyone has heard of this somewhere in their lives. If not, consider yourself educated.

Today, we are gonna focus on one item in paticular.  More so, one brand of product.

Today's victim....

The Kia Rio.

A simple little car that is, not only economical, it is also very practical for a smaller car.  For some people that are on a tight budget, this vehicle can accomodate both practicality and versitility while staying well within one's budget.

Here is the small print that the dealer doesn't tell you...

Operation of this motor vehicle in a manner other than specified in said description can result in serious injury and/or death. i.e. if you hit a pot  hole the right way, airbag deployment may occur causing serious injury to all occupants within passenger compartment. Always wear your seat belt.

Yes...you read that right....

1836 Hours

Does anyone out there know what the Ohio state flower is?

If you said The Scarlett Carnation....

 Then you are wrong (right, but wrong...)

You want to try again?

Well, I am gonna tell you.

Ladies and Gentlemen...introducing....

The Orange Construction Barrell. (The unofficial State Flower).

Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

First of all, they always grow in bunches, and they usually only come up in the spring with the melting of the snow. 

Like many other state protected items, they may be fun to look at, but deadly and illegal if removed.

Usually, where there are these "flowers" there is a road (or lack of one) that is under construction. 

Where I work, we call this patch of flowers, Lake Ave....the main artery into the city.

Coming in and out of town for calls, Ken and I try to avoid this as much as possible as the ride is very rough and the road is grated to almost nothing.  The sewer and man hole covers become elevated with the absence of the road and can sometimes stick up to a distance of 8 inches off the roads surfaces.

Any good driver can avoid these trecherous obstacles as they stick out like sore thumbs and maneuver with minimal to no complications.

Any bad driver usually needs the squad. This is where I come in.

Coming back from the grocery store, my only goal was to grill dinner in the back foyer.  The ambient smell of fresh burgers filling the air, the juicy taste repelling your senses into another dimension.  Just the thought of it made my stomach sing a loud song.  I even inched up in my seat to make me arrive to the station that split second faster (like that had any bearring on the situation.)

Now, for you who frequent my journal here, you know that something is gonna prevent me from eating. I mean, I am sure that you saw that from a mile away.  If not, or you are new, I just gave away the plot builder of the story.

Now is that time.

<tones drop>

"676 (the numbers in our FCC call sign) to 93, I need you to respond to Lake and Chestnut for a vehicle with airbag deployment. Injuries reported."

Well, that was kinda vague.

I mean, was it a multiple car incident? Did it hit something that normally doesn't move (like a tree or a pole, because I hate it when the phone poles jump out in front of you. They are quick little things).

You ever hear the cliche "Less is more"???

Not in this case.

No paramedic wants to roll up on something that they know absolutely nothing about.  More often than not, a cut finger turns into an amputation once you get on scene. Or another is a female with abdominal pain...then you get there and she is in labor.

I don't like suprises.

So, off we went. Off into the evening sun to see what we were dealing with.  If the airbags had deployed, then there was a good chance of some serious injuries.  I guess with a turn of the wheel, we were going to find out.

Within about two minutes, we arrived on scene to what looked like a stalled car in the middle of the road.  From where we sat, there was no visible damage to the car at any side of it.  The widshield was starred from where the airbags, indeed, did deploy.

There was no other vehicles, no immovible objects, nothing that could be seen as a "trigger device".......initially.

On the curb sat a female with a towel covered in blood up against her face in sheer hysteria.  Removing the towel, I had noticed that her lips swelled to roughly the size of Rhode Island. The blood on her face had already dried and her tears only created more water for the continent that formed without natural selection to her mouth.

Okay, folks. Listen.  Normally, I won't make any kind of comments as to a persons race, religion, or beliefs. But, to better serve you for this story, I have to make a  notation so that you know EXACTLY what I am dealing with.

The patient that had the towel to her face was the poster child for the "You might be a redneck if..." line of jokes.  There is no nice or easy way to put it.  That is it.  I know...I will go to Hell...at least it is warm all year 'round.

Trying to ascertain as to what EXACTLY happened, she bagan to tell me...with the towel over her mouth and her voice incomphrehensible due to the heavy crying and whining that was present.

Then her mother came up to me (also A Jeff Foxworthy model) and gave the story as to how the air bags deployed.

"We were just driving along, under the speed limit mind you and we hit one of those manholes. We went up in the air and came back down and smacked into the next one (which was like 3 feet away). I felt the wheels lift up and I saw the bumper hit the road, then the airbags came out."

Now say everything I just quoted with a NASCAR driver type voice.

...................   (By the way, that is the look I gave her.)

I didn't know whether I wanted to laugh or be shocked.

THIS was one for the books.

As she continued to rattle off someting about the car, she showed me her wrist that had some bruising. 

The scene was a Charlie Foxtrot (I can't say Cluster F*** on this site because I don't want to).

I had one who was a hysterical mess thinking she was going to die, I had the mother who was convinced that her daughter was going to die, and.....

Did I mention they had a son?

Yep. I met the actual Forrest Gump, only not as well kept but just every bit of "special".

So, I did what any good paramedic would do as I grind my teeth.

"You folks want to go to the hospital?" I was reluctant but asked.

Duh!!!!!

Of COURSE they wanted to go. They didn't have a car anymore and didn't want to end up in the street.

So, I loaded them in the squad. 

It was SUPPOSED to be Ken's call.   Did I mention SUPPOSED to be.

Ken, went on to investigate the cause of the accident, leaving me behind in the truck with Larry, Darryl, and Darryl.

Walking  around the corner, it was the first actual look at the mother, who was driving the vehicle in the setting sunlight.

"WOW!!! Ma'am you got one Hell of a bump on your head." I began to tell her as I observed the golf ball sized growth that was over her left eye."

"Oh, that is not from this, I have had it for years."She proceeded to tell me as I stared at the landing strip that had the grace of her presence.

Quickly, the only thing that came to mind, was "The Mole" from Austin Powers.

 (Yeah, this guy)

I didn't know what to do now and I didn't want to make it apparent that I was staring, so I thought of baseball. Well, women say that this works for guys? right??

Proceeding to climb into the truck to at least make it look like I was doing something, I was overcome with something that would send me back outside...and rather quickly.

It was a smell. Something that required vacation of the patient compartment with the greatest of expidence. Something that made my eyes water and water bad.

What was the smell???

It was....gulp.....

Them.

Yes the patients.  Apparently shower was not an active word in thier vocabulary as the emmination of three day old socks and pure sweat just aromazied the truck overcoming in a more pugnent odor than being sprayed with mace or pepper spray.

No folks, I am not dramatizing this.  Some of you are thinking "Man, that is awfully rude. I am sure that it wasn't that bad."

Well, you weren't there....so take my word for it.

To add to my case, the police officer then showed up to get information from the driver.  One sniff and he got right back out with tears in his eyes. (No, he wasn't happy).  Under closed lips, the words "OH MY GOD" came audible to only me.

Next, Ken came to the door. Then Ken backed from the door, motioning with his eyes to the control panel that held teh control for the exhaust fan.

What I think he wanted it to say was "Eject". I knewthat I did.

Breaking open a cold pack for Ms. Rhode Island, I gave it to her and she looked at me like I was insane.

"You want me to put this on my face? It hurts." She told me.

"Well, it will stop the swelling some, right now you can land a small aircraft on it. I would use it." is exactly what I told her.

Oh yeah....I forgot to tell you....silly me.

No one had a seat belt on. So she smacked her face against the window somewhat.  That didn't improve her looks...at all.

Trying to breathe through my mouth, I told Ken to just drive and that I would do this.

With Gilbert Grape's brother strapped up front, we headed to the hospital.

Now, it ws rush hour, traffic was heavy. With the construction, it was almost impassable, which meant that the smell lingered..and made it's way to the passenger compartment...which made its way to Ken. How do I know this?

Ken turned on the lights and sirens  to head to the hospital...which is a rarity....his eyes were bothering him bad. I was almost unconscious.

FOrtunately, it was only 30 seconds to the hospital, where i passed off the care (and smell) to the staff there.

They thanked me with their own special look.

Ken and I left to go back to the station, to change clothes and air the  truck out.

I don't think they make an air freshener that strong that can help me.

Oh well...it was burger time....

Adding this to the books of "Things that I have never seen" I closed my chapter and I end it here also.

I am gonna go and mace myself now..so I don't have to smell anything...anymore.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

04 May 2005

By Request II

05 May 2005

"By Request II"

When we last left our superheros...

Kim + White face = Bad feeling.

As Kurt and I were approached by Kim in the midst of all the people, a combination laughter/fear overcame us, me more so, seeing I was the designated driver.

"Is she okay Kim?" I asked her.

"Well....um...." She replied.

Rule of thumb. If someone ever says "umm" to you, chances are that you won't like the outcome of whatever they tell you. This has been proven by NASA or someone like that. They call it "Houstonwehaveaproblem" syndrome.

Giving Kim a blank stare, she proceeded to explain her findings.

"She is in there, but...."

I waited for it to get worse.

"She is sitting the opposite way on the toilet and her head is on the tank." Kim told us.

Now, only the skilled can sit the wrong way on a toilet without falling off or shifting because it is uncomfortable.  Add in the factor that she is drunk also and you have what some call circus freaks, others call it masterful.  Either way, she needed to come out.  Time to draw straws again.

Reluctant to do so, Kim saved both Kurt and myself as to our venture into the eighth wonder of the world by stating that she had to go and get something from her table and that she would get Donna when she came back.

WOO HOO....SCORE!!!!

Ten minutes had gone by since Kim went back in....and when she came out...the look was priceless.

Here came Kim with Donna in tow.  Donna who looked like a politician with a painted smile on her face had the obvious signs of hurting...and we all know what kind of hurting I am talking about here.

Trying not to laugh, "Are you alright?" I asked her.

She nodded but actually showed that she was not.

"I think I should take you home." I told her.

Nodding again, I was soon convinced that this was the only unit of motion that she had left that was unassisted.

Helping her gather her things, I slowly but delicately helped her to my truck.

The wind was really picking up and the rain started turning to ice as it pelted away on our face. My objective was not to fall over..and not let Donna fall over to.

Walking slowly but surely, Donna looked up at the sky as the rain shot off her skin welcoming the water, but cringing at the pain.  The weather was one challenge. Donna was the other.

Okay, got her in the truck and strapped in.  Chore one is done. Now...to get her home.

Pulling out of the lot.  I focused on the newly glazed road while trying to maintain contact with Donna who laid dormant in the passenger seat.

Of course, I then told her the one thing that you KNOW will happen with sheer mention. The only thing, other than taxes, is guarunteeed in ones life.

Those famous "I dare you to" words...

"Donna, if you are gonna puke, let me know."

Famous last words.

Nodding yet again, she assured that she was fine and that there was no need to stop and that it wasn't far to the apartment and that she would be fine until we got there.

Mistake one...Telling her to let me know or the sheer mention of vommiting.

Mistake two. Taking her word that she would be okay.

Now, it is one thing being the designated driver. A responsible role that is taken by that one person ensuring that fun is being held and that everyone gets home safely. I fully endorse this role and hope that more people follow it.

BUT....

Has anyone ever read the instruction books detailing the rules and roles that you must play?  No one ever mentioned Puke Patrol or Curb side service.  I think it falls in the category "taking one for the team."  As you read on, you will find out more.

So, the assurance of a chuck-free trip was given and I was satisfied with that. After all, it was all highway home and we should be there in just about 10 minutes. As I turned right, I knew that the home stretch was just down the road.  A half mile into the trip, Donna's face went from groggy to "OH MY GOD....PULL OVER." Yes...you all know that look.

Here is the problem with that. I was in the left lane on a four lane divided highway...in heavy traffic, at night, in severe weather.  Sure....no problem. (This is where I roll my eyes.)

Getting the truck over, I put my four ways on and ran around to open her door.  The wind was already in the 30 MPH range and had gust up to 50.  The rain was straight sleet now making everything slippery. Taking my turnout coat from the back, I buttoned it up to the top as not to blow over.  I managed to get to Donna and open the door which attempted to close with the high winds.  Holding the door with my foot and trying to balance on the other, I began to unbuckle Mount St. Donna and prepare for the eruption.

Donna leaned forward in the truck with one arm bracing herself from the dashboard, head was in the crash position and the "OOOhhhhhh" began to come from her mouth.  I began to pull her over closer to me so that she would not throw up in the truck....but that was a wasted effort.

The Wind up...and the Pitch....

Here came dinner. Not so much inthe fashion as what it looked like when it went in, but nevertheless, it was back for an encore presentation.

Okay, so I am a paramedic and I have seen a lot of sick crap.

However...

I don't do puke very well and usually counteracts a response when seen with me.  This time, I got lucky...somewhat.

Now, remember when I said that I placed Donna in a strategic position to expel her happiness. I was dead on in my placement...until she decided to turn her head...and puke all over her arm.

Even with degrees of sickness and elevated levels of ethenol in the blood, Donna had great aim...all over herself.

Seems Donna ate a little more than I thought.

Now, remember...I am in the middle of a highway. The wind is somewhere around hurricane speeds and I had more ice than winter in Siberia.  What I didn't mention is WHERE on the highway we were.

Right in front of the Turnpike entrance. Yes, folks, we were the cheap enterainment that was showing before going onto the toll road.  To make it more interesting, I now had to take off her sweater which was a smorgasbord of intestinal contents and buckle her back into the seat. 

Umm...ewwww.

Holding back my own dinner, I managed to get her strapped back in and partially cleaned up.  Now to see if we can make it back home.

The trip back to the apartments lead without very little incident after our birth of dinner. But the fun wasn't over just yet.  Now I had to get her into the house.

Donna, who has lost all function into her mobility will now need to be assisted to her unit..which is up the stairs.  Let me tell you a little about Donna physically.  Fortunately, she is not heavy (which would have created a whole other problem) but she is tall.  6'0" tall to be exact. A little too tall for me to carry in my arms and if I did the traditonal fireman-throw her over my shoulder-carry, I am sure that my coat would no longer be reflective.  

Looking up the steps, the distance became distorted looking as if it were the Rocky Mountains that I was climbing.  Man it was a long way up...all seven steps.

Normally, this would take, what, all of 4 seconds to get up. Our trip...15 minutes. 

So...let's review. I got her out of the bathroom, to the truck, home with only one pit stop, and up the stairs and into her apartment. That, alone, is qualifications for sainthood, but what fun would it be if I stopped there.

My next line of business was to get her showered.

Okay, all you perv's out there. Let me remind you of something.  Donna and I dated so it is not like "hey, here is my chance to fondle the drunk chick". (Like I needed alcohol for that...LOL...I am kidding, I know you are reading this Donna.)

This proved to be the easiest of all the chores so far and I thought that I was home free from this point.  Leaving her in the shower, I closed the door so that she could have some privacy.  Moving to the living room, I was stopped in my tracks by the sound that overcame me.

What sounded like a dead body being tossed over the balcony, I was poised to turn around and go back INTO the bathroom to see if my mind had ran away from me.

Opening the door, there laid Donna...on the floor of the tub, laughing as if to say "woo hoo..lookie where I am."

No problem, pick her up, see if she is okay, and try again. After all, it was funny.

This time I made it to the kitchen...until she fell again.

Time for innovation.  Getting a lawn chair from outside, it quickly became a fixture for her to sit in while the shower rehydrated her soul...not to mention prevent her from falling.

Making sure she would be okay, I proceeded to leave until she asked "where are you going?"

"Home" I told her. My work here was done.

"Why?" she asked.

Umm...because I don't live here.

"Do you want me to stay?" Although it was apparent, I asked.

"Yes, if you could" She replied.

Again, to all you sickos out there...Nothing happened. Donna just wanted someone to stay in case she needed something and I wanted to make sure she didn't pass out.  Boy, you all have some evil minds.

Now, here came the convienent part. Going home. I lived in the next building so all I had to do was walk across, get some stuff, and come back.

Of course nothing is ever easy.

Remember what I said about the weather????

Taking one step outside, I began to turn left. My leg went straight. Gravity did the rest and it did it righton my left wrist.

Now, I must have said every naval term (swearing) known to man and said it loudly, because even Donna heard me..from in the apartment.

Walking with disgust, I made it back after a short trip to my place, wet, cold, and with only one functioning arm.

By the time I got back, Donna was passed out in the bed.  I covered her up and took my place on the couch in the front room. A few episodes of COPS and I was out..

The next morning....

Donna was still asleep as I woke knowing that I had to deal with the aftermath of the eruption....cleaning out the truck.

Here is where the good news and the bad news came into play.

Overnight, the temperature had fallen to roughly 20 degrees.  This is good because the throw up that was in my truck no longer smelled. Let me tell you what a big plus that was.

Now the bad news....remember...20 degrees....Need I say more.

For all of you who were horrible at science, anything with a water base freezes at 32 degrees. So.......

I proceeded to go to the car wash down the block. I figure a quick vaccuum and a spray of air freshener should make things almost as good as new.

Until I got there.

The snow plows had come in the night, leaving a literal eight foot drift in front of the entrance. 

This is what I had.

This is what I needed.

Okay..on to the next car wash.

I drove into town to hit the second car wash.  Entrance was cleared. This was good. There was no one there...this was better.  NOW things were going my way.

Pulling up to a vaccuum machine, I got out to get my change to start my quest of cleanliness.

I grabbed my five dollar bill out of my pocket and inserted it into the machine and waited.

And waited....

And waited.....

and nothing came out.

Okay, by this time, I was ready to kill someone. Good thing it was too cold to stand outside and commit the crime.  Looking around, there was no number to call, no one to talk to, no one to help me.  Fine....you win.

I ultimately drove it to work where the bays were heated and I could use the facilities for free.

Opening the door to the passenger side, I got my first "aftershock" look as to what Iwas up against.

Chunks...and lots of them....

Grabbing towels, I managed to start cleaning for a good four minutes hurl free....

But remember...I am not good with puke.  So naturally...

I ran outside into the parking lot and relinquished my stomach contents with ease.  Oh I was gonna kill her.

After thawing out the puke, I managed to get it cleaned.  It was quite a site and quite a night.

To this day, we still laugh about it and I remind her of the mess that she made. It is one of those things that you will never ever forget...

Oh, and we always take her car when we go out drinking.

Momma didn't raise no fool.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-