Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, October 25, 2010
Drew dropped me off at one of the hospitals so that I could finish out my shift with another crew. When we pulled up to the hospital, he said that he felt like he was dropping me off at school or something. I grabbed my backpack and the lunch pale I bring and said, "Thanks Dad," as he drove away. He tells everyone that I am like his daughter, mostly because he has to clean up after me. One time, I got blood ALL over my pants and there he was on the floor wiping it off for me. He was like "geez does your husband have to clean up after you like this?" HAHAHA I laughed so hard because, well only John and I know if that's true (wink wink) The crew I went to ride with had an EMT-basic student on their truck so there were 4 people on the truck. We like to call that a "clown truck" here. We had a few good calls. I ran them all and I really liked the medic that I worked with that night. He had some awesome stories, but he has been doing this along time. My last night was Saturday. Drew had the night off but I didn't want to take the night off so I asked this medic if I could ride with her. We only had 2 calls the whole night! This time however, we watched CSI and movies on her laptop and had a grand ol' time. She came up and asked me what my first name was because all she knew was princess and she couldn't put that on the report! haha apparently that is now my name for EVERYONE.
I am working an overtime shift tomorrow because I need to make up a shift from when I was sick. I can't believe that I have less than 3 weeks left!! AHHH! I was talking to my sister yesterday and she said it had gone by fast and then turned around and said no it seems like you have been there forever! Thanks Aub! It seems to be going by fast for me and John said he is getting used to being alone :( All we talk about is what it will be like when we see each other at the airport. I CAN'T WAIT!!!!! We are looking forward to the holidays and spending time with family. I am sad that I won't see either of my brother's anytime soon but hopefully after I graduate in July, John and I will head off to see the Harris' in HAWAII!!!! :) g2g homework awaits me! Oh ya, I started another class today! Maybe that was a bad idea!
-Love Princess (refer to previous posts if you don't understand)
Thursday, October 21, 2010
FYI: I don’t go back and edit these because frankly I am sick of editing papers so I just type and whatever comes out comes out. Do not judge me on my spelling, grammar or anything else ok?
So I know I usually don’t post in the middle of my work week, let alone after my first shift of the week. Well, lucky you, I brought my laptop to work today because if you haven’t forgotten I am also taking 4 online classes while I am here. I am taking an advanced writing class, so in between playing Paramedic, I have to write papers! Let me first start out by saying that I am lucky to be alive!! (don’t worry Grandma Harris I promise I am OK J ) It is 6:27 in the morning and I am anxiously awaiting 8 o’clock when I get to go home. I switched my sleeping schedule around this week because I am sick of being awake in the middle of the nights on my days off. Well, the only problem is that I have get back on this weird schedule while on my work days. I got up this morning and headed over to the library so that I could take my medical terminology midterm. After that, I went home and tried to force myself to go to sleep so that I could stay up tonight for work. I woke up at about 1 pm STARVING!!! I ate some lucky charms and went back to bed. When I awoke a few hours later, I got ready and headed off. Little did I know that the WEIRDEST day of my entire EMS carrier thus far was ahead of me.
My first call was to a very very drunk/drugged lady who had gotten hit in the face by someone. She had a definite broken nose. She was super wacked out and a tad bit hysterical. I always love those calls J Next, we had a typical constipated teenager in extreme pain. That was uneventful. On our way to our next post we end up traveling down the highway at about 70 mph. There I am minding my own business staring out the back windows and all of the sudden the ambulance SLAMS on its breaks and we swerve to the right (my left because I am riding backwards) My diet coke goes flying and all I do is hold on for dear life. All I can hear is Drew scream from the front, “HOLY @#$#@ WE ALMOST HIT HORSES” I then look out the back and see 3, count them 1, 2, 3 Clydesdale horses RUNNING at full speed down the INTERSTATE!!!!
After my heart stopped beating out of my chest, we get called to a rollover. The rollover was pretty epic but the lady thankfully did not get hurt. She was reaching for her cell phone out of her back pocket, slammed the side rail, flipped her truck and slid! Seriously lady? Sign Oprah’s no phone zone pledge and this wouldn’t have happened. After we got all the paperwork done on her we started heading towards our next post. All of the sudden the brakes SLAM again and we swerve. I was like, “seriously guys that is not funny.” I thought they were playing a joke on me. After all, I am the bud of all jokes around here. Drew then yelled “Are @#%## kidding me? He is driving on the wrong side of the road.” Apparently this car was traveling in our lane coming right for us!!! We flipped a u-turn and followed this guy and alarmed the police. We followed him until police arrived, just waiting for him to wreck his car. At one point he was doing over 100 mph. Sure enough, he hit 2 poles!!! I never thought I would follow a car and wait for it to crash in order to help them. The officer came and put him in handcuffs as we looked at the insane mess he made. After this call we were all wondering who was trying to kill us. I mean come on almost 2 near death head on collisions in 1 night? We ended up at a gas station and there were 3 cops their drinking coffee and chatting It up. We stayed there for awhile until we got a call. The officers jokingly said, “Well maybe we will see you there.” Little did they know…..THEY WOULD.
Our call came out as a fall and then an unconscious. We arrived on scene to an older house. When we walked in all I could think about was the awful smell. I don’t know what that smell was but it stunk. Our patient was in the bathroom between the toilet and the wall. Our patient was also almost 400 pounds. 380 to be exact! Only 55 years old. Well we thought it was a fall but guess what, he wasn’t breathing and he didn’t have a pulse. Do you know what that means? FULL ARREST!!! My first one mind you. Well I knew that I would be of no help in trying to get this man out from behind the toilet to a place that we could work a code. I walked out and Drew was sitting in the living room writing down this guy’s medications. We had another Paramedic on our truck instead of an EMT so he was in the bathroom. I walk out with the monitor and calmly said, “it’s a full arrest.” Drew totally thought I was kidding. I WASN’T. As the firemen tried to get him out, I was in the living room making space to bring him to. I got out all of the intubation stuff and got the patched ready so that if we needed to we could shock him. After 10 minutes we finally got that guy out and onto the floor with the help of what we call a mega mover! It is a tarp that moves fat people. So we start working him and I tubed him! J That’s 2 tubes so far!!! Fire was doing chest compressions and Drew was pushing drugs. He was a lot harder to intubate then my little old lady. 1 he had teeth 2 he was huge with a huge neck 3 we were all on the floor. We worked him for 20 minutes because that is what we have to do. His heart rhythm showed PEA this means pulseless electrical activity. Basically, the electricity to the heart is working but the muscle is not contracting. We called the doctor and he let us call the code. We cleaned up all our stuff and went out to the ambulance to regroup and restock everything. We decided to stick around to help the funeral home get him out of the house. When we went back inside I saw the sickest thing in front of me. (MOM, don’t read this) The cockroaches were already on this guy!!!!! Like in his mouth. IT WAS SICK! I still feel like I have bugs all over me. EWWWWWW
We talked about the call afterwards and I felt really good about it. I had so many questions after because I had never worked a code before. I got them all answered. It is now 7 and we get cleared to go home in 15 minutes. We get cleared 45 minutes before our end of shift so we can get fuel and stuff. Hopefully I won’t get a call in the next 15 minutes. Today was a day that I will never forget. As strange as this day was I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!!!!!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
My calls were pretty good though. I had an auto-ped (automobile vs. pedestrian) Drew said this was one of his top three. A lady was crossing the street (probably j-walking) when she was struck by an oncoming car. While she was still flying in the air, a truck hit her and then ran her over. When we got to her she was lying on the pavement but was talking to us and alert. The first thing I noticed was her leg was was literally split open. I am talking I could see the muscle people. She also had a huge tire mark across her chest that looked like a recent skin graft. We noticed that she had blood on her bottom. So, my job was to look what orifice it was coming from. It was coming from her vagina and I mean a lot was coming. Her legs were bowed and we were thinking broken pelvis. That was obviously later confirmed at the hospital. I remember kneeling next to her trying to get her on the board and I looked around and was looking for Drew. Well to my surprise there he was standing back with the Field Supervisor just watching me run this call! When we got her in the back, Drew handed me the IO needle drill. (Needle that you drill into the bone when you can't get an IV) There I was holding this ready to go when drew was like wait, let me try an IV first. He tried and missed and then we were like ,"ya drilling her leg won't work her pelvis is broken" :( I have never been that close to drilling someone :( She never got stablilized once we got to the hospital and died later that night.
Another call was a 2 year old pediatric. She had a febrile seizure. (Note to parents: DO NOT put your kids in a cold bath when they have a fever. Rapid temp change will cause them to seize) I knew that we needed an IV ASAP. Drew looked and then said, "do you want to do it?" I was like heck yes. He handed me the needle and looked me straight in the eye and said, "you can't miss." He has never said that to me before with that much authority. For some reason I feel like I work better when I am under stress. Who would have thought? Well I got the IV and she started crying. I was happy because a crying baby means a healthy baby.
We of course had a lot of BS calls aka as bull crap calls, but that is EMS for you. I did however get to give a diabetic D50. Surprisingly I have never had the opportunity to do that before. D50 is simply sugar that you put through an IV. It works faster than anything else.
On a home front note, My sister in-law Hailey is having her baby shower this weekend. I am sad I can't be there, but I just want her to know how much I love her and wish that I could be. Her and her husband Kory are having a little boy in November named Paxton. All I have to say is that baby better not come early, because I want to be home when he does :) Love you Hailey!
So, this is obviously a post full of random thoughts. I will leave you with something from my husband. Hopefully he won't kill me for telling you this. You know those old spice commercials on TV about being a man's man? Well, John is obsessed with them. He will watch them on you tube and just giggle. If you haven't met John he is a man's man. NOTHING about that guy is girly or metro sexual! Well, the other night at work I get a text from him saying he has bad news. I of course was freaking out. His next text simply said this. "I found out I am not a man's man. I bought old spice deodorant and I broke out in a rash." AHAHAHAHA I laughed for 10 minutes. I sure miss him. Only 25 more days :)
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sorry I have neglected my blogging duties. I am been really busy! I think I am like 8 shifts behind on blogging, maybe more. First things first. I LOVE NIGHTS! I really am glad that I got a chance to work both days and nights. The calls are certainly different. I don't miss the nursing home calls and I am loving the psych and drunk calls. The nights seem to go by much faster as well.
On one of my last day shifts, Drew and our old EMT-Basic partner took me to the OKC bombing memorial. The outside part is open 24 hours. It was really neat to go there in the ambulance and be there in my uniform. There was a very strong spirit there. I thought back to the day that this horrible event occured. I remember I was at my Grandma Harris' house. I had slept over at her house and she was babysitting me. I remember going up to her playrooom and she was watching it on T.V. I remember her trying to explain to me what was going on. I can picture that moment like it was yesterday. I thought about my Grandma Harris the whole time I was there and how I was standing at the exact places that we were watching things on T.V. I didn't bring my camera but here is a pic I found. When John comes to get me we are going to walk the grounds and go to the museum. Speaking of John, he is LOVING his new job! We bought his plane ticket to come get me on November the 13th! That is 1 month and a day away. FYI I have completed 21 shifts. I am halfway done!!! It truly has gone by fast and I hope the last leg of this race goes by just as fast. John sent me a care package full of my favorite things. He found an Okapi stuffed animal!!! How cool is that? If you remember we discovered these at the zoo here right before he left. My amazing sister sent me a fun package too full of her favorite things. I love having a sister! Thanks guys! LOVE YOU
Now, on to my calls!! I am now running all the calls. Drew sits back and just does paperwork. Pretty much his job is to make sure I don't kill anyone. I am so thankful that he lets me run calls and use my brain. It really shows that he trusts me. When we switched to nights we got a new Basic partner. Her name is Sara. She is super tiny but man that girl is tough. It is fun to have another girl on the truck, but I miss our old partner :( I kind of liked being the only girl on the truck. Everyone around here has nicknames. Want to know what mine is.......PRINCESS! Apparently one day I fell asleep in the back of the ambulance and my hands were together resting on my head like a princess. I then sneezed and Drew was like, "geez, you even sneeze like a princess." The name stuck and now everyone here calls me princess.
The thing about EMS is 90% of the people that call the ambulance DON'T NEED IT! It gets really old really fast. There is however always those few calls where you actually saved someone's life and feel like you made a difference. Case in point number 1. One of my last days while working on days, we got called to a nursing home for what we thought might be a cardiac arrest. I was pumped, thinking this would be my first one. When we get into the room, I saw a fragile little old lady being held by her grandson. She was gasping for air every few seconds. The nursing staff told us she had a DNR which means do not resusitate. Until we see those documents we are going to try and save her. Turns out she had a pulse and a good blood pressure. She WASN'T dead! She was in respiratory arrest, however this can quickly turn into cardiac arrest. We quickly got her onto our cot. I knew what was next.....INTUBATION!! intubation is when you put a tube down the trachea so that you can breathe for the patient with a bag and if it is a long transport hook them up to a ventilator. You have to use a blade to lift up their epiglottis and pass the tube through the patient's vocal cords. Guess who got the tube the first try....ME! Drew was like awesome job all the way to the truck. When we got into the truck I was bagging her and her oxygen saturations were coming up. She started to open her eyes and I calmly told her that there was a tube in her throat to help her breathe and not to fight it. When we got to the hospital, we turned her over to the ER staff and started on our paperwork. By the time we were done with our paperwork the lady had been extubated and was breathing on her own and TALKING!!!! ABSOLUTE MIRACLE. I went in her room and told her I was sorry I had to put a tube down her throat. She looked at me and said "That's OK sweetheart. Thank you." I actually saved that woman's life. That was an amazing feeling. Here is a pic of what an intubation is.One of the saddest calls that I went on was to a domestic assault. A women was asaulted by her husband in front of her child in the car. He was drunk and drove off with the child. When we got to her house, the husband was in the cop car and it was clear that he had beat the crap out of her. My heart just sank for her. This was the first time that this had happened and I know it will not be the last. We had to convince her to go to the hospital. She had no one to watch her baby so we took him with us. The cop said to her, "I have been married to my wife for 25 years and never have I told her I loved her by beating the crap out of her." I said a little prayer for her and thanked my Heavenly Father for such a loving husband. I really am so grateful to have John. I sent him a text that night telling him how wonderful he was and thanking him for not beating me. This is the reality of life though. Most all assault calls I have been on are domestic.
I have been on a few overdose calls as well. The other night a very high class well to do women took A LOT of medication and wrote a note to her kids. She then ran away and told her family she was going to jump in the lake. Long story short, the police helicopter came out looking for her, we were looking for her with flashlights with the cops and the firefighters for a good 45 mintues. Drew said that this was the best game of hide and seek he had every played. We found her sitting by a tree, very out of it and took her to the hospital.
I have had a few heart attacks that we transport rapido to the hospital. Those are always intense and fun. I have had so many neat calls that they all mesh together. If I think of more I will post them. Those are the big ones for now. I will try and update after every few shifts so I don't forget my cool calls. As for now it is 2 in the morning. I don't really go to bed until 8 am. I try and keep my schedule on my off days so it doesn't mess me up during the work week. I am doing lots of homework on my off days in the middle of the night. As for my post title......I am not sure when I am supposed to eat breakfast lunch and dinner. My time is ALL MESSED UP. Well I better get to updating my shifts online so they actually count! Love to all!!! Wish me luck :)
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Well, I have another 4 shifts under my belt. I am now running all the calls. I am so grateful to be here. I am truly learning what it is like in big city EMS. I get home anywhere from 9-9:30 every night and try to go to bed as a soon as possible. I wake up at about 6:45. By the end of the day I am DEAD tired. That is why I don't post each day. It is easier for me to post on my days off.
First of all, I will be getting done a few days sooner than scheduled because my preceptor is switching to nights. Wednesdays through Saturdays. I had the option to go to nights with him and I figured it would be a great opportunity, plus I really like my preceptor and I don't want to take the chance of getting a new one. My new schedule starts next Wednesday and I will run 12 hours 8pm to 8am. Now, I will get all the drunks and the good traumas. I am excited for that :) Hopefully I will be able to readjust my sleep schedule. I had the day off today but tomorrow night I am going in because my preceptor is doing an overtime shift. That means another extra shift under my belt :) I will have Thursday off and then back to work on Friday at 8 am. I will work until Monday and then have Tuesday off and then switch to my new schedule. This next week is going to be CRAZY!!!!
Everyone asks me how John is doing......well, we have GREAT NEWS!!! John got offered a job as a 3/4 employee of the school! (REAL JOB, NOT A STUDENT EMPLOYEE) :) John's current employer and the landscape company called the school and begged them not to take John. John is a wanted employee! This means he works 30 hours/week and makes double what he used to make! Our tuition is paid for and we get REAL benefits! He gets paid sick/vacation days. His job description is Groundskeepr/Substitute Garbage Truck Driver. He got his Commercial Driver's License a few months ago and that is why he can drive the garbage truck. We feel so blessed and grateful for this opportunity. This is truly an answer to our prayers. We needed this great news to keep us sane while we are apart. I am so proud of him. He always tells me that he will always take care of me. I trust him more than anyone in this world. He works so hard for our family. I am so lucky to have such a hard working husband who is always trying to do better.
On to PARAMEDIC STUFF!!! These last four shits have been very interesting. I had that "one" call that changes your life. I finally knew what it meant when they say that this job is stressful. On Sunday morning, after picking up a lady from the nursing home and taking her to the hospital, I was thinking to myself....."this is going to be just another one of those days" meaning no "real" calls just a bunch of nursing home and panic attacks. The dispatcher comes over the radio and tells us to head towards an address. My preceptor Drew, leans back and says, "pediatric cardiac arrest." These are the three words that you never want to hear. He then said. "2 month old male." I immediately started writing down drug doses for a baby that size and what size tube I would need to intubate him with. I said a pray that I would be able to remember everything I had been taught. I told Drew that I was nervous and he said, "Don't worry we got this." When we arrived at the apartment building I noticed that it was government housing and didn't look like a safe area of town. I jumped out of the back of the ambulance, we grabbed the cot and started for the door. I immediately saw a fireman walk out of the front door and put his bags and monitor on the front porch. I thought to myself well maybe it wasn't a true cardiac arrest if he didn't need his bags. When we got closer I saw another fireman standing at the front door giving us the "cut it" sign. You know the one where wave your hand across your neck. I wasn't sure what he meant by that until we got closer and all I could hear were blood curdling screams. I knew it wasn't good. A mother and father walked out of the house in tears and the mom proceeded to throw up on the porch. I walked in a saw a two month old little boy in a blue onsie lying dead on the couch. Rigor mortise had set in as well as color drained from his face. I just stood there and looked at him. His hand was held up by his face. Immediately a feeling came over me. It was a feeling of peace. As I looked at this precious child it was obvious that I was looking at a body but I knew his spirit wasn't there. I knew that his spirit was with our Heavenly Father. It was truly a spiritual experience for me. I will never forget that child's face or the feeling that I had when I left that house. It made me grateful for the plan of salvation and the knowledge that I have from the gospel of Jesus Christ. My first DOA (dead on arrival) was a baby. I left out a lot of details because this is a crime scene but I just wanted to share that experience with you.
A few hours later, I had a massive trauma. (my first one) It was a 3 car MVA and my patient was unconscious. I have never seen a car wreck with more damage. I never panicked and I knew what needed to be done. We used the jaws of life to get him out. He was unrestrained and people all I have to say is WHERE YOUR SEAT BELTS!!!! Drew said I did a fantastic job! There were SOOOO many people there. Tons of ambulances, fire truck and even a police helicopter. Turns out, he had been running from the police when he ran a red light and hit 2 cars. We ran him into the trauma hospital and yelled report as a huge trauma team was assessing him. It was just like T.V! I loved every minute of it! On the way to the hospital I thought to myself, "this is what EMS is all about" He is considered my first trauma save. After I got cleaned up (lots of blood) Drew said, "well, your first trauma save was a drunk Mexican fugitive. How do you feel about that?" I just laughed. It would have been harder if he had killed someone because of his stupidity, but everyone survived. Truly a miracle. The wreck was on the news and here is the link. Sunday was a very eventful day for me. I love this job and I know it is what I am supposed to be doing!
Love you all!!!
Car wreck: http://www.koco.com/video/25076480/detail.html
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I am averaging about 7-8 calls per 12 hour shift. Most of them are BS calls. A lot of people call the ambulance for nothing, it is really frustrating but whatever. We make it very entertaining. The first day I watched them and helped out where I could but everyday we have a new goal. Drew is a great teacher and always tells me where I can improve and tells me when I am doing a good job. We don't have a station that we sit at. We go to EMSA headquarters and check out our cot and get the truck that we will be in for the day. We check out the narcotic drugs and go over our supplies. We then go out on the truck and usually get a call before we go to our first post. We post around the city and that is where we wait for calls. I love being in a busy EMS system. I have recently started running the calls and Drew stands back and I tell him what to do. I am learning a ton and feel pretty confident. I have had some calls that I have never had before like assault, domestic violence, children, drugs.....pretty sweet calls I must say. Drew wears a bullet proof vest!!! I am like hello where is mine? I think he wears it though just so he says that he does.
It is hard being away from John, but I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to come to a busy EMS system and learn from the best paramedics. I try to stay posotive and realize that this is where I am going to learn how to be a good Medic. A lot of people have told me that I should be a model not a medic here but I say NO WAY I LOVE THIS. Most women medic here are, well a littl lesbian-ish. I was really worried here about my diabetes and what everyone would think but Drew said there is another medic here who is diabetic and has an insulin pump. He just said to tell him if I feel funny and we will fix it! :) This took a ton of stress off of me. However he did say that before he gives me sugar he is going to take a picture. I guess the diabetic medic here drools when he has low blood suagr....lol
I thought the very first call I was going to have was a women having a baby! I was soooo excited, but of course the call is never what you think. She was only 7 weeks and probably had an ectopic pregnancy. I have had a lot of shortness of breath calls. Yesterday I took a guy off of his drug high and he was MAD! I also had a 4 year old with a tension pneumothorax, (collapsed lung) that call was pretty scary because we could have possibly had to dart her chest. I had an assault where a girl hit a guy with a metal insence burner and cut his arm down to the muscle. It was super bloody and super awesome. I also unloaded an 18month old from a helicopter who got ran over by his parents. All I have to say about that is WATCH BEHIND YOU!!! to often does this sort of thing happen and it is so preventable. The baby survived and was stable when we got him out of the helicopter and rolled him into the trauma center. I will try and write more after calls so that I can remember them better.
I have 3 days off so I will be doing my homework ALL DAY! I can't wait to go back on Friday!! Living with 3 other girls really isn't as bad as I thought. We really don't see each other much because we have opposite shifts. We try to do things together and talk and study when we can. I talk to John every night right after my shift and we try to Skype every night. Skype is what keeps me sane.
Have a wonderful day and feel free to ask me any questions!!!
-Em (Future Medic)