24 January 2007

The Laws of EMS

24 January 2007

"The Laws of EMS"

The Laws of EMS work....How many of these can you identify with. (Thanks to Robin for these)

The First Law of EMS:
All emergency calls will wait until you begin to
eat, regardless of the time.
The EMS Law of Gravity:
Any instrument, when dropped, will always come to rest in the least
accessible place possible.

The EMS Law of Time and Distance:
The distance of the call from the hospital increases as the time to
shift change decreases.

Corollary 1 - The shortest distance between the
station and the scene is under construction.

The EMS Rule of Random Simultaneity:
Emergency calls will randomly come in all at once.

The Axiom of Late-Night Runs:
If you respond to any motor vehicle accident call after midnight and do
not find a drunk on the scene, keep looking - somebody is still missing.

The EMS Law of Options:
Any patient, when given the option of either going to jail or going to
the hospital by a police officer, will always be inside the ambulance
before you are.

EMS Rules of the Bathroom:
A. If a call is received between 0500 and 0700, the location of the
call will always be in the bathroom.
B. If you have just gone to the bathroom, no call will be received.
C. If you have not just gone to the bathroom, you will soon regret it,
because the probability of receiving a run increases proportionally to
the time elapsed since last going to the bathroom.

The First Principle of Triage:
In any accident, the degree of injury suffered by a patient is
inversely proportional to the amount and volume of agonized screaming
produced by that patient.

The Gross Injury Rule:
Any injury, the sight of which makes you sick, should immediately be
covered by 4x4s and Kerlix.

The EMS Law of Light:
As the seriousness of any given injury increases, the availability of
light to examine that injury decreases.

The EMS Law of Space:
The amount of space which is needed to work on a patient varies
inversely with the amount of space which is available to work on that patient.

The EMS Theory of Relativity:
The number of distraught and uncooperative relatives surrounding any
given patient varies exponentially with the seriousness of the
patient's illness or injury.

The EMS Theory of Weight:
The weight of the patient that you are about to transport increases by
the square of the sum of the number of floors which must be ascended to
reach the patient plus the number of floors which must be descended
while carrying the patient.
Corollary 1 - Very heavy patients tend to gravitate toward locations
which are furthest from sea level.
Corollary 2 - If the patient is heavy, the elevator is broken, and the
lights in the stairwell are out.

The EMS Rules of No-Transport:
A Life-or-Death situation will immediately be created by driving away
from the home of patient whom you have just advised to go to the
hospital in a private vehicle.

The First EMS Rule of Bystanders:
Any bystander who offers you help will give you none.

The Second EMS Rule of Bystanders:
Always assume that any Physician found at the scene of an emergency is
a Gynecologist, until proven otherwise.

The EMS Rule of Warning Devices:
Any ambulance, whether it is responding to a call or traveling to a
hospital, with lights and siren, will be totally ignored by all
motorists, pedestrians, and dogs which may be found in or near the
roads along its route.

The EMS Rule of Rules:
As soon as an EMS Rule is accepted as absolute, an
exception to that Rule will immediately occur.

 

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

21 January 2007

What the Discovery Channel DOESN'T Show You

21 January 2007

"What the Discovery Channel Doesn't Show You"

Show of hands.

Who is addicted to those reality documentaries like "The Critical Hour", "Trauma: Life in the ER",  "COPS", and anything else that puts you in the front seat of the action?

Wow....quite a bit of you.  A bunch of adrenalin junkies here.  Cool...this should be easy.

Now, out of all you reality trekkers, how many of you have wondered what REALLY goes on when the camera isn't rolling or what may be on the editing room floor?

Good, yet another decent show of hands...

Well, today, I am going to tell you, because, what they don't show you is what I write about and we all know as to how "candid" I can be.

A word to the wise, if you haven't eaten yet..cancel the chinese order, tell the piza guy to circle the block a few times, and let your spouse know to turn the heat down on the oven...you may need a few minutes.

1010 Hours

Another Saturday in EMS.

For some reason under God, the weekends are prime time for crime time.  Assaults are up, DUI's increase, and although it really isn't a crime, the wierd and unexplained emerge from the bowels of purgatory and come back to haunt the Earth for one long weekend.  It is kinda like playing football...and you are always the visiting team.  

The territory is unfamiliar, the fans are unfriendly, and most importantly you never know what the next play will hold for you.  Good thing I have insurance.

Sitting in the back bunk area, I was just getting comfortable after checking the truck, the drugs, and the rest of the "to-do" things that needed to accomplished before it was time to relax in a realm of leisure.

So I grabbed my MP3 player... (Yeah that is it)

My ESPN: The Magazine...

  (Great read)

and my sleeping bag... 

(No..this is NOT what mine looks like...Mine has race cars on it).

Ahhh....what better way to pass the time away on a cold, snowy day.

Of course, like it was just waiting for this paticular moment.....The Bat phone rings.....

Sure...and why shouldn't it.

"Hi there, this is the Sherrifs Department. We just got a call for the rescue squad at (add your address of choice here...I am not telling where we went). Third party call states he talked to his brother and he needed the squad. Said he feels like he is 'dying'."

For those of you in the civil service field, there is a key word(s) that kinda click your inner synapsis and kinda change the way you approach the call.

And for those of you who aren't in the field, I will let you guess what the word(s) could be.

......................................

......................................

......................................

Any guesses????

Okay. Who said "dying"?

If you did.........well then.....

 ....nope...try again....

Did you say "Sherrif's Department????

...again....Nope!!!

The correct answer is........

"Third Party".

Why would THIS be the answer?  Well, I am really glad you asked.

Usually Third Party calls are one of three things:

1) It is someone who lives in like Siberia who is talking to their fifth cousin's third wife's mother's next door neighbor from when she was in high school and all of a sudden the person on the other line drops the phone causing a panic to the caller to think that the person on the other line has passed out in mid sentence prompting a 411 call to find the right 911 number to send someone over to their house at like warp speed thinking that they coded and come to find out that when you get there, the only thing they need is some oxygen because you just busted down their $1,200 french doors ready to zap someone back into submission.

2) A neighbor, friend, or relative who hasn't talked to someone since Reagan was president decided to pick up the phone and call a number where no one was answering. This immediately translates into "Oh My God!!!  I need someone to check on them!!!" 

Soooo...off we go...again...to break some more glass....again....and find no reason for concern.....again. But boy, won't they be pissed when they see the damage you caused.

And 3).  The actual 2% of these calls that really warrant the rescue squad.  These are the ones that you assume the top two..walk in with just your clipboard, and find the patient who looks like Giant Smurf because they have lost all oxygen.  Sigh....

Grabbing my coat, I slowly made my way to the truck as I was hoping it be one of the first two. Preferably number one. That way I don't have to break any glass and search the unknown. 

"Your brother's cousin's sister's roomate's dog's groomer's next door neighbor from three flights up called the squad thinking you were in distress. Are you okay and do you need the squad?"

"Nope, I am fine. Don't know why they called."

"Okay then...bye bye see you."

Ahhh...the memories.

Pulling out of the bay, I am really trying to get a game face on while I reach for the clipboard to take inside with me.  Yeah, I know....I am pressing my luck.

The ride through the country with the freshly fallen snow was actually theraputic and very picturesque.  It made me just want take my time and enjoy the scenery...from the cab of the heated truck.

Pulling down an open desolate road, we began looking for house numbers to see just how far until our impending doom creeps closer.  It wasn't too far down the road where we were flagged down.

 "Over here............"

Feeling a disturbance in the force, I went anyways and grabbed the jump bag....

 (for all of you new to the blog here)

and made it up to the front porch of the house that looked like it was straight out of Deliverance.

Our progress was cut short by the brother who had made the call.  A taller man with a look of not only concern, but disappointment on his face. His words to us felt heavy and sorrowful.  I had a really bad feeling about this.

"Hey guys, I am sorry. I just don't know what is wrong with him. He never wants help but today he was all about me calling you guys.  I just wanted to say sorry in advance."

Uuuuuuuuuuttttttt OOOOhhhhhhhh.

Rule of thumb. When someone apologizes prior to the act, it is most likely a sign that you are about to get your ass kicked in some way or another.

Watch my tail, Goose. I'm going in.

And there it was......

What a house looks like after a nuclear fall out. 

 Ya'll better double glove.

With lack of proper lighting, all I could initally see was what looked like the sofa cushions ripped to shreads and scattered like confetti on Broadway in New York at midnight on New Year's.  The color of it gave a clue that it was from the 70's and from the looks of the rest of the room, it had been there since then too.  The couch, I think was plaid at one time and now resembles something that came out of a firefighter's training house after a live burn.  Below me were magazines and books that came waist high parting for a small two inch path that I would venture to say was where the patient walked.  Another clue would be that the carpet was worn out in this so-called-path and it looked like if you ever brought a vaccuum into this place, the vaccuum would look at it and say "hell with this..I am outta here."  Empty food cartons and grocery bags littered the rest of the floor compiling into a corner of the room where I assume a chair might have been...or still be there.

Moving on, I peeked into the kitchen. The once all white tile and counter was now speckled with mold and growth that I don't even think forensic scientist could determine. Any type of dishes that the person owned hadn't been washed...since the FIRST gulf war.  Rat droppings and roaches have made thier home here and it was imminent that even they  have packed up for cleaner pastures.  Mail from the late 80's piled up on the kitchen table overflowing  a quarter of the room hiding what I am sure was old beyond rotted food. 

At this point, the stench began to settle in.  Now, for those who aren't in the field, let me fill you in on this paticular smell.  Not only does it make you want to vomit on site, but the stench wreaks so bad, that it settles in your clothes. And I don't care HOW good Tide works on making things clean, your only recourse is to burn the outfit you have on...and do it in a remote area down wind.

Moving to my right, the next room was the bathroom....

If you all need a garbage can to go and puke in...I will give you a minute.

Okay. Ready? Are you sure?

(Danielle, knowing you, you better get a tissue)

The first thing that caught my eye was the sink.  My first car had less rust on it than the fixtures and drain had on it.  The pipes that protruded from under it were so corroded that there were actual holes in them....and what came out ofthose holes lookedlike something from The Swamp Thing".  A toothbrush (I am assuming it was a toothbrush) was covered in black mold and had a combination of slime and spider web on it.  God knows what was in the bristles.  The shower hadn't seen an occupant in this century as the shower curtain I think was also white when it came out of the package when new. Now it was more of a battleship gray.  I think the cure for cancer was in that curtain somewhere.

Okay....everyone breathe!!!!!!  Nice deep breath.....This is gonna start getting worse.

The toliet was last on my tour of the commode.  The water inside the bowl was pitch black. It looked like someone dumped a combination of tar and motor oil in there (which was probably best...then I couldn't see the bottom.) The porceilin on the toilet was cracked in several places and the mounting screws had seemed to dissipate into a pile of iron ferrite.  The smell that came from the bathroom only accelerated the odor eating bacteria that I felt crawling into my flesh.  I thought of closing the door, but I didn't want to lose my hand.

Taking a few more steps, it was time to see the patient...and thinking it couldn't get any worse....I stood there corrected as our eyes made contact....I was wrong.

The first thought that came to mind.....

There he was....staring at me.....all 550 pounds of him...and that was a generous estimate.

Now, for all of you who think that I am being mean and insensitive, let me clarify something for you. I am not against the obese. I deal with them on a daily basis and I treat them like any other patient.

However....

There is obese....and there is "What the Hell happened to you" obese.

And, for the record, those who are morbidly obese, I know it is "not their fault" and may be seeing a physician for the problem at hand, and for that, I am nothing but empathtic and hope for a speedy recovery for you.

But...

For those who just sit there and do nothing about it, then all I can say is "What the F***?!?!?!".

Scanning the room, the layout consist of a bed (which gave out LONG ago) a dresser (covered in who knows what) and a bookshelf. On the bookshelf was almost every Sci-Fi novel ever written (and everyone that every flea market carried). Also on the shelf were every single action figure that Marvel and DC comicsever put out. As impressive as the collection was, the dolls (sorry...action figures...it is a guy who owns them) were in poor shape and would have a low resale value. Lining the walls and covering the front of the bed where a normal person's head board would be was a shotty, yet noticeable display of porn. We aren't talking the high end stuff either. More along the lines of " BBW of color in the land of midgets 34" genre.  Oh yeah..it was horrible.

Oh yeah...did I mention that the patient was naked????

 Yeah..this is more accurate.

Turning to Phil, he had already gotten on the radio to call for mutual aid for a bariatric cot to be delivered to the scene.

 This is the normal cot we carry in our squad...

 This is what I needed..God, I hope Phil ordered some Advil too.

The room was lit by a single 60 watt bulb and even that was having a hard time keeping up.

Beginning my interview of the patient, his genereal complaint was "I thought I was going to kick the bucket".  Well, first you are gonna have to FIND the bucket.

Rolling himself into a sitting position (gag here), he began to tell me his medical history and the care we was receiving...or lack there of.

Finding out that he was diabetic, I figured I would check his sugar levels (seeing it was the only piece of equipment that I didn't have to size up on him.  Getting some blood in the test strip, his sugar came back at 40 mg/dl. (This is pretty low).  However, he was talking and conversing with no problem so I thought I would try a less invasive technique that they taught us in school to see how it would work.  I call it "Let's drink some Orange Juice".

Calling to his brother to bring the juice, I listened for the sound of any help that might come to pull me out of this black hole that seemed to have sucked me in like a bug to a flouresent zapper...

 OWWW...Medic!!!!

In the distance, I could hear the tones drop for the mutual aid from the neighboring service requesting they bring their special cot..and their special truck. 

Phil came back into the room which wasn't big enough for all of us and gave me the proper blood pressure cuff to get a reading.  Taking the vitals, I also plugged the pulse ox (yeah this thing) to check is oxygen level....and guess what??  It was low too.....85% to be exact. Geez, can't this guy get anything right?

Soooo....I got nasal cannula and placed it on him giving him the much needed oxygen that his oversized frame needed.  As if it were saying "Thank You", the numbers climbed up almost instantly to where I felt was an acceptable level.  Good....problem solved there.

Chugging his orange juice, the patient stated that he was feeling much better now.....but stil wanted to go to the hospital.

  That's me to the left there....

Trying not to step on anything that I didn't recognize (which was everything in the room) I treated him as best I could with what little I had. All I wanted to do was three things.

A) get some oxygen of my own.

B) find solid ground and run as fast as I can away.

and C)  make a bonfire with my uniform.

What seemed like hours was, in reality, only a couple of minutes when the other EMS company arrived.  The paramedic stepped into the room, looked, and walked right out. Hey, can you blame him?

Unloading their cot on the porch, our next step was going to be the epic one....

How do we get him out.

I mean, I am not skinny by any means, but even I had to step high and postition myself jsut so to get through the hallway, now I had to move a Mack truck down a Golf cart path.  I sure hope he can walk some.

Advising the patient of our dillema, the first shed of light came upon us when he said he felt well enough to walk to the cot.  That's good, because if you didn't, There were gonna be a lot of firefighters making way for a new picture window in your bedroom with their K-12 saws...

Oh yeah....firefighters love to break glass and kick ass...

Helping Willy to his feet (no, that was not his name), I thought that the moving part would become a cinch seeing he said he could walk....until I saw the sheet.....that was stuck way up his ass...

Okay...NOW I need a therapist.

Oh yeah, if you think I helped him remove it, you better re-read my contract.

So, here we were moving him to the living room.  I almost expected to hear the "beep" that trucks make when they move in reverse.   Half way out, he asked for two things...and two things only...

First...his shoes. He didn't want to step in snow.  Okay, I can respect that.

The second, his shaw...he was cold.

HELLO?!?!?!  You are naked?  Did you ever think about any clothes or a blanket or such?

Nope, he wanted his shaw, which in comparison to his body, was about the size of three sheets of toilet paper.  Hey, I am not gonna stop him.  Let's just keep moving.

Looking around, I noticed that the fire department had shown up to assist us transfer the patient. I bet they had no idea when the pagers called for a "Lift assist" that they would be moving a small country. (Yes, I am being mean...my back is telling me I have a right to be.)

Okay. Cot. Patient. Locked and loaded.  Let's get him to the truck.  Using eight people to move him into the squad, I had taken a deep breath of relief and began to thank everyone for their efforts.  Throwing my gear back in our rig, I was just about to get inside and start a report, when Phil came up and asked me "do you need to take any of our gear with you?"

Huh????

Color me confused if you will.

Here, thinking that the patient was on THEIR cot and in THEIR truck, that he became THEIR patient.

Apparently not.  I guess I had got voted "most likely to get hosed in a EMS run when caring for a patient over 500 lbs."  Yea me.

So, I got what I needed, closed the door to the back of the squad, and told the driver up front to drive it like she stole it.

As we started away, the smell had begun to seep out again and with a combination of heat from the patient compartment, it was something just short of a biological weapon.  I think my skin was beginning to melt.

Spiking a bag, the other medic and I began looking for a site to stick an IV in with.

This is where if you were religious, you started praying to God...and hard.

Finding a vein in his arms was like trying to thread a needle in a hay stack blindfolded at 60 MPH.  Thinking it couldn't get any worse, the patient turned to me and asked the question that just was the icing on the cake...

"You have done this while moving before,I mean, I just don't know how you can do that?

What are you KIDDING ME?!?!?

So I looked at him (my patience already at a low) and replied..

"Usually we are pretty drunk so the unsteady hands are offset by the moving of the truck. It's a science, but man is it fun...."

There. That oughta shut him up.

As we got closer to the hospital, our IV tries steadily increased from one..to two..to three...to six...and so forth....until I heard from the other side.

"Holy Shit...I got it."

SOLD!!!!!!!!!!!

Tape it down with some tape (how redundant was that) and make sure he doesn't move that arm....ever.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful and the other medic and I took turns lecturing the patient as to health care and his lack of maid service.  Like it was going to do any good.

Arriving at the hospital, we carefully got him out of the truck and into the ER...where he looked like a Macy"s float coming down 49th street.  Moving him to the bed, it had only taken eight of us to transfer him and leave care to those who get paid a LOT more than I do.

Filling out the report, I felt like a runner who sprinted the New York City Marathon (see my NYC friends....I am referencing you and your city....it's my shout out..lol).

It was off to the station after that to change clothes...and look for a new job. (kidding there).

A few hours later, I went back with another patient and found that they discharged Tiny after a couple insulin shots and probably a meal.

Great....Hope I am sick next time he calls.

Welp, another one saved. Another story written. Another backache to aleviate.

I am off to go raid the drug store for some pain meds.....I hope they have industral strength.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

17 January 2007

Drinking and Driving..A Music Video

17 January 2007

"Drinking and Driving..A Music Video"

The number of Drunk Driving accidents in the recent weeks have just sky rocketed in this area.

I cannot stress how important it is to not do this....There is really no amount of yelling at you I can do...someone will still do it.

So, I have added a video a friend sent me and by clicking on the link below, you can go to it and watch it. 

Click here to Watch Video

My God People...use some common sense...and watch out for others, it could be your loved ones that they could affect.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

16 January 2007

The Plot Thickens...Part II

16 January 2007

"The Plot Thickens...Part II"

Divide and Conquer

This concise bit of governing (or wartime) advice comes to us from Latin divide et impera ("divide and rule").   It was a Roman maxim which was first used in its English form in the late 16th to early 17th centuries.  This quotation is from 1608: "For a Prince, that he may have good success against either rebels or forraine enemies, it is a sure axioms, Divide and rule."  Various other quotations claim the phrase to have been a maxim of Machiavelli and a motto of Phillip of Macedonia (father of Alexander the Great),

(This came from the site www.takeourword.com)

How does this translate for our superheros????

Well, pull up a chair and let's catch up with our story.

There she was. Standing in the door way, breathing like she ran the Boston marathon in full sprint, the overly obnoxious female that had waved us into the realm of the unknown waves her arms frantically while pointing to the outer doors that lead to the parking lot.

Take me to DefCon 3 please.....

Thanks!!!!

Most people who have to make decisions have deadlines and timetables in order to function properly. 

I had about five seconds....no pressure. (This is where I roll my eyes).

Packaging up the monitor really quickly, I handed it to Darnell and told her to go with Lassie and see if Timmy really did fall in the well. (Please people...it's a metaphor).

Pulling the radio to my mouth, I called dispatch and told that I needed more help and another squad.

Here's the thing. Most companies that run this sort of service are usually mid to high tech and have knowledgeable and trained personnel to operate and maneuver their vehicles.

With us...it's a crap shoot.

You may get what you want if the jet stream has shifted course over a three degree latitutional line stemming from the Tropic of Cancer causing the cloud cover that obstructs the moon which is 78.6573% full to elevate the tides to come in another 4.36 inches making the ambient temperature a cool 2.495867 degrees wamer.

But hey...wouldn't it be easier just to roll the dice???

Here ya go....

 

  Best of Luck!!!!

So here I am...

In a high traffic area with two very nervous adults, an almost completely unconscious teenager, a jump bag that is very limited with equipment, and my only help has left to try to contain the other storm that was brewing out in the lot.

Yep, General...I need DefCon 2

  Make it fast...

Okay...time to switch gears here.  Instead of getting frustrated with Murphy's Law, why not give these two ladies that are standing over looking as if their fasaid will soon crumble some meaningless task to give their minds a little distraction.

Deputizing the two women...I sent one outside to get some blankets off the cot that was right out the door. The other, I made hold the IV bag while I planted a pipeline into the young patient's arm.  Not even flinching, I began to get a little concerned. Usually, if someone sticks a sharp piece of metal into your arm, you would flinch....she took it like a champ. Whoa boy!!!

Securing the line to her forearm, I took a second to look up and listen.

What did I hear????

Nothing.

Nothing is bad.

Here I am now..out of options. I mean, there is only so much that I can do with the minimal equipment that I have and even I began to get nervous as the vitals for my patient began to lower beyond my comfort level.  I think I could literally hear my heartbeat in my ears.

She needed to go...and she needed to go now.

Then....

As if the clouds had parted, the radio crackled with a voice, a familiar voice. It was someone that I knew. It was someone that was coming to help.

Chris, an Intermediate, was a couple of minutes away stating that the fire department was right in front of him. His words were "hold tight, here comes the calvary."

"And the Lord said, you've got to riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiise up!"

Here came help and if felt like the preacher on Sunday coming to save us all.  Talk about the biggest sigh of relief....it felt like Miller Time.

  Ahh, the taste of victory.

Sirens began to play in the distance and as they got louder, I became a littleless of an internal basket case....only.....

Waiting for my help to come and help me package up, I realized that no one was coming through the door.

  HUH?!?!?!?!?!?

Ummmm.....

It wasn't soon after my relief that turned back into frustration that Lassie came back into the room.

"The fire department is here." As if she hand delivered them herself.

Thank you Captain Obvious.

"Well....where are they?" I said to her with that "well duh" voice.

"They are outside helping the chest pain." She answered back as if it was HER patient.

Take me to DefCon one....

By now, my frustration has turned into rage. I could feel the heat coming off my ears.

"Why don't you go and get them and tell them I need them in here." I made it clear to her so she wouldn't have any doubt.

"Well who do you need?" She asked as if I was running up her minutes on a cell phone.

Now...can anyone really be THIS stupid?!?!?!

Don't answer that!!!!

"Look, I am gonna make this easy...even for you. If they have a big Yellow coat on...then bring them to me!!!"  I was trying to remain calm with the family still in the room looking over what is beginning to be a patient with an uphill battle.

Realizing the reason that paramedics don't carry hand guns, my inept friend returned with a company of firefighters ready to lend a hand.

Instructing them as to what I needed them to do, they effortlessly packaged up my patient and escorted her to the truck so that I can do a little more than sit with a thumb up my ass (I wouldn't recommend that).

Regaining some dignity and composure, I reassessed my patient and began my immediate course of action.  Through the back doors, I could see the curious firemen looking in seeing how the patient was doing. Or it could be the fact that the teenager was very attractive yet not alert enough to know who they are let alone their advances. (don't ask).

As if the grace of God was still with my, another familiar head popped in the back of the rig seeing what help I needed. Sean, an EMT who works for our company, arrived just in time to take the floor show on the road.  Instructing him to drive, we began our journey to the hospital.

Seeing that I am pressed for time here, I will tell you that the trip in was pretty uneventful and to this day, I still haven't heard what went on with her.  I can tell you that she was being seen by a specialist BEFORE this for what her family thought was a stroke.....Lucky me.

I haven't seen Lassie again but I know that she is around somewhere.  I hope REALLY far away.

Dar's patient was also being seen by a specialist for an abnormality in her heart. She spent a few nights in the hospital and has fully recovered from what I gathered.

Dar did a good job...it was her first call without another medic.

Kudos to you.

Until next time folks.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

10 January 2007

Keeping a Candle Lit

 

10 January 2006

"Keeping a Candle Lit"

I know I have promised some of you the continuation of  my last entry that I left as a cliff hanger and I will..but I have to do something first.

I have to say Good Luck to my brother Mark.

Mark got his orders for Iraq.

He leaves Friday.

I am really besides myself right about now and don't have the vocabulary as to what I want to say.  All I can do is share a letter that I have written to him.

Mark-

Wow, I really don't know what to say other than "I Love You" and that I pray for nothing more than for you to take care of yourself while you are over there.  It only seems like yesterday to me that we were playing hot wheels and riding our bikes to the park at the end of the street to throw rocks at the train...lol.  I have memories of you playing football and me watching from the ambulance as you made some poor kids life miserable with one of your crushing blows.   It only seemed like yesterday that I prayed for a little brother...and got one.

Even though our lives have taken us onto different paths, you have always been in my heart and in my head.  No where have I ever gone without wondering where you are or what you are doing.  Knowing that you are out there doing what you love and for a country that you have a great passion for, only inspires me to excel at what I do.

The day the towers fell, my first thoughts we to you and your wife knowing that you were stationed at a base that was likely for attacks. And as I packed for New York, I prayed for your safety not only that day, but from that time on.

Let these people bitch and moan as to how the country is being run, but don't let it discourage you in any way.  It is because of you and your beliefs in defending the nation that we live in, is what is allowing the freedom that we have and the liberty to say what we will.

You are going over there for the greater cause and to impact the way that the people of Iraq will live from this day forward.  You are there to make a difference, and as you have done since high school, you are there to turn nothing into admiration.

As I leave this letter, I want you to know that there will always be a candle lit for you as everyone awaits you to come home safely.  I cannot tell you how proud I am of you and what you have made with your life.  All I ask is that you be objective to the bigger picture while you are there and lastly, that you keep your chin up.

Be safe and remember...that your big brother loves you.

Michael.

 

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-