13 January 2008

Ten Minutes

13 January 2008

"Ten Minutes"

Have you ever actually "stopped" in order to appreciate time?  It is one of those things that are overlooked and taken for granted, yet eventually, we all run out of.  In a world where "time is money" we tend to get wrapped up with the light at the end of the tunnel that we forget to notice the colors, sounds, textures, and sensory stimulations that make our journey into the great unknown, just that....great.

So, I thought that today, I would write a comparison to help, maybe guide you through the rest of your life which is an hourglass glued to the table, slowly getting smaller with every waking breath and take you inside the mind of the paramedic and EMT and show you how ten minutes are an eternity.

In ten minutes, you have taken a warm shower in peace and feel refreshed and ready for the world.  In ten minutes, I have stood out in the pooring rain holding the hand of a car accident victim telling her I am not going to leave her while the fire department cuts away the steel and fiberglass in order to get her out.

In ten minutes, you stand in line to get an overpriced cup of coffee with some name that is longer than some third world countries.  In ten minutes, I am trying to start AND finish my meal while I am en route to the next call which happens to be the sixth one in four hours since my shift started.

In ten minutes, you have a conversation with your parents over the cell phone because you have just that much time to kill before you are at your destination.  In ten minutes, I am pumping on the chest of a stranger's loved one who was found on thier bedroom floor working against a clock that I am already way behind hoping that a miracle will come.

In ten minutes, you complain that your job, your boss, and your coworkers are something that you just want to do without and that they are just one more piece of stress that you could live without. In ten minutes, I am waiting for a helicopter to transport a victim from an accident that may never make it to work again.

In ten minutes, you try on several new outfits wondering which ones will look great in the up coming season. In ten minutes, I pray that I can change the same clothes that I have been stuck in for 36 plus hours and are covered in smoke, dirt, and blood.

In ten minutes, you go to bed hoping that you won't forget to pick up milk tomorrow.  I may not even see my bed in ten minutes.

In ten minutes, you contemplate what to do for your birthday. In ten minutes, I am celebrating someone's birth on a lonely stretch of highway.

In ten minutes, you meet a stranger because he has an item you want to buy. In ten minutes, I meet a stranger because he wants to breathe.

In ten minutes,  you hear a siren and curiously go looking to see what and where the trouble is. I am hoping you pull over so that I am where I need to be in under ten minutes.

In ten minutes, you may see an old friend for the first time in a long time. In ten minutes, I may see a stranger for the last.

In ten minutes, you go through the room greeting all your family members during a holiday event. Ten minutes is all I get with mine miles apart via cell phone on the way back from the hospital.

In ten minutes, you may get to know me. In ten minutes, I may know everything I need to about you.

In ten minutes, you will forget who I am. In ten minutes, I will never forget who you are.

To all the active and potential EMS personnel out there, I want to thank you for what you do as the brother and sisterhood we share is unlike anything else you may expirience.

What we do is a calling...it is something that we don't choose, but rather it chooses us.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,


05 January 2008

Medical Funnies

05 January 2008

"Medical Funnies"

Well, things have been slow on the ranch this week and today was a day of class.  I think I had more excitement grocery shopping (and that says a lot). 

So, thanks to my friend Robin, I thought I would start the year off on a lighter side.  I hope you like some of the short stories posted.  Until then, I will see you next week.

1. A man comes into the ER and yells, "My wife's going
to have her baby in the cab!" I grabbed my stuff,
rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady's dress, and
began to take off her underwear. Suddenly, I noticed
that there were several cabs -- and I was in the wrong

Submitted by Dr. Mark MacDonald, San Antonio , TX .


2. At the beginning of my shift, I placed a
stethoscope on an elderly and slightly deaf female
patient's anterior chest wall. "Big breaths," I
instructed. "Yes, they used to be," replied the

Submitted by Dr. Richard Byrnes, Seattle , WA


3. One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I
told a wife that her husband had died of a massive
myocardial infarct. Not more than five minutes later,
I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that
he had died of a "massive internal fart."

Submitted by Dr. Susan Steinberg


4. During a patient's two week follow-up appointment
with his cardiologist, he informed me, his doctor,
that he was having trouble with one of his
medications. "Which one?" I asked.
"The patch, the nurse told me to put on a new one
every six hours, and now I'm running out of places to
put it!"
I had him quickly undress, and discovered what I hoped
I wouldn't see. Yes, the man had over fifty patches on
his body! Now, the instructions include removal of the
old patch before applying a new one.

Submitted by Dr. Rebecca St. Clair, Norfolk , VA


5. While acquainting myself with a new elderly
patient, I asked, "How long have you been bedridden?"
After a look of complete confusion, she answered,
"Why, not for about twenty years -- when my husband
was alive."

Submitted by Dr. Steven Swanson, Corvallis , OR


6. I was caring for a woman and asked, "So, how's your
breakfast this morning?"
"It's very good, except for the Kentucky Jelly. I
can't seem to get used to the taste," the patient
I then asked to see the jelly, and the woman produced
a foil packet labeled "KY Jelly."

Submitted by Dr. Leonard Kransdorf, Detroit , MI


7. A nurse was on duty in the emergency room when a
young woman with purple hair styled into a punk rocker
mohawk, sporting a variety of tattoos, and wearing
strange clothing, entered. It was quickly determined
that the patient had acute appendicitis, so she was
scheduled for immediate surgery. When she was
completely disrobed on the operating table, the staff
noticed that her "lower" hair had been dyed green, and
above it there was a tattoo that read, "Keep off the
Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote a
short note on the patient's dressing, which said,
"Sorry, had to mow the lawn."

Submitted by RN, no name


AND FINALLY!!!............

8. As a new, young MD doing his residency in OB, I was
quite embarrassed when performing female pelvic exams.
To cover my embarrassment, I had unconsciously formed
a habit of whistling softly. The middle-aged lady upon
whom I was performing this exam suddenly burst out
laughing and further embarrassing me. I looked up from
my work and sheepishly said, "I'm sorry. Was I
tickling you?"

She replied, "No doctor, but the song you were
whistling was, "I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener."

Doctor wouldn't submit his name (Can't blame him!)

Rounding Third and Heading Home,