Sunday, November 25, 2007

- Sorry, Everyone

For personal reasons hiatus is in effect until further notice. I'd like to thank all of you who stop by.


In the words of the immortal Gen Mac: I shall return!

Remember, there ain't no Meat like Meat In The Seat!


-MedicMarch

Sunday, November 18, 2007

- Your Attention, Please

So, are there any readers in the house from Guildford County, NC or the surrounding area? If so, drop a comment or an email, because I need to know who you are! Important stuff!

I can be reached at medicmarch@gmail.com .


-MM

Saturday, November 17, 2007

- To Infinity, and Beyond!

As told to me by SpiderMan, my preceptor, yesterday:

"So we get this call out for a guy complaining of weakness and syncope. We get on scene, and this guy looks completely spent - like, totally drained, can barely move, etc. Complaining of head pain, says he can barely move his legs, and is really tired, that he just wants to lay on the couch. We finally manage to get out of him that he had taken some Cialis, and that he thought that it reacted with some of his other medication, but he wont tell me anything else.

Finally we get him loaded up, we get over to the hospital. We note that the only other medicine the guy is taking is Augmentin. Anyway, we look it up in the drug book and it says that Cialis has been noted to react with Augmentin in a very unusual away - it potentiates the feeling of orgasm...by 1,000 times.

Yeah.

Apparently the guy decided to check the equipment, so to speak. When he "peaked", he had a climax 1,000 times greater than his usual one. The guy totally lost it - it just blew him away. No wonder he couldn't walk and was feeling dizzy."

We better keep this a secret. If the teenagers ever find out it's going to be a disaster.

-MM

- 10K Hits #1

In lieu of making an entry here, I'd like to post a clipping off a message I sent to my best friend and what he wrote back. This was in early 06, when I was going through some pretty tough shit, and had reverted back to my old partying ways, and when I got done with that I found out who my friends really were...

anyway:

I was just looking at the old photos of NGS (MY OLD BAND-ED.) playing together on our old webpage that's still kind of up. It made me think of NGS and the early days before kyle joined and it was just you and me and Thomas running around in his Eagle and going to wal-mart. I'm kind of nostalgic for those days...I miss them. I miss drinking sodas out of your mom's fridge and hanging out with you and the gang and pegging the fuck out of each other with air soft guns. I know we're pretty busy and I also know that it's no one's fault but my own. I've been a real shitty friend for probably the past couple of years now but you still come out and listen to me at the shows and call me up every once in a while, and when I do get back to you I know I can be short and kind of an ass and I don't talk much. You've been a much better friend then I deserve. I just wanted to thank you for that and let you know how much of a douche I've been. I think our friendship is one of the most positive things that's ever happened in my life and I never have put into it as much as I got out of it. So I'm sorry, and thanks.

His Response:
Know what you mean man, I look fondly back on those days too. I don't know what it is but things were just really fun back then. I realize everyone gets busy. Over the past couple of years I've realized that everyone eventually goes their separate ways, and that's fine ya know, just still got to find time to be friends. Dude, I've never thought of you as any less of a friend because of anything you ever did. i might not agree with everything you have done, but hey that's me. I'm not going to let it mess up a friendship that has lasted this long. Sometimes i feel like i can't hangout (as much) with a lot of my friends because i don't really like to go out to bars, or drink that much. but dude, call me anytime when you aren't working. Ok shit I'm rambling now. get back to me on this, or something. talk to you later man.


Robby and I hooked up in eighth grade and started a punk band. Although that has since faded he's been the one constant friend I've had throughout the years, the one who I can call and would always call me back, the one who calls me if I don't call him, who's content to hang out and listen to me bitch, play music, whatever. I don't think I'll even be half the friend to him that he is to me, but I'm gonna goddamn well try.

Sorry for the serious stuff, folks. Just working around a little writer's block.

-MM

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

- It's the time of the season.

I wont give in to the temptation to blog about the oncoming Christmas blitz - it's pretty much been covered. As a lark, I've decided to blog out each entry in the 10,000 hits post...look for that coming soon!Haven't had much motivation to write lately - as AD pointed out it's still beautiful down here, and I actually went for a walk the other day. And not just to McDonald's! It was at the park!
















This fellow, by the way, is MedicDog...handsome, aint he? He stays with MedicMom since I have no backyard...and he's pretty god damned smart. Loves squirrels. Loves barking. Loves bacon. Loves sleeping. Not too different from MedicMarch, actually...MedicMom is not pleased that I've been tying to teach him how to open the front door. I don't think it's fair that she was so behind him getting taught how to fetch the paper but is upset about this. I'm just trying to give him a good education.
















What's going on in my life? Hmm. The latest applicant for MedicGirlfriend and I have parted ways. We were working opposite shifts and...well, she wasn't too sharp. Granted, I'm a pretty unusual feller, but after the fifteenth or sixteenth time I've had to explain a reference...well, it gets old. Cest la vie. To quote The Oblongs ..."Love is a joke with no punchline."

Uh. Except for AD's and Babs's. Cause AD pretty much knows where I live and too many places to hide bodies in the swamp. And Babs can almost certainly kick my ass. So, uh, only the best, guys. Please don't hurt me.

I was passed out dreaming yesterday, seducing Civil War era Southern Belles as a dashing blockade runner - "Oooh, March LeFitte, you are positively giving me the vap-uhs!", when MedicMom called me and woke me up to tell me she had booked me a day at the spa.

At first, I was confused ("MedicMom, didn't I just say MedicGIRLFRIEND? I don't want to prance around in a skimpy towel"). This gradually gave way to elation - I was imagining cute, giggly Asian girls with only the shakiest grasp on English. I'm an evil man, and I decided I DO want to prance around in a skimpy towel. But again, this gradually gave way to another feeling - suspicion.

"Wait a minute. You've got that tone in your voice. What's the catch?"

"Well, I actually just scheduled to get your back waxed."

Allow me to paint an image in your mind. Imagine, if you will, a large gorilla. Now give him a fancy Italian haircut and a stethoscope, and you've pretty much got a rough idea of what I look like. Naked. With a stethoscope. I am, needless to say, less than thrilled with the idea of getting my back waxed.

"Don't be a sissy," she tells me. "Plenty of guys do it all the time."

"MedicMom, they're YANKING THE HAIR OUT OF MY BACK WITH HOT WAX. No! I'm not doing it."

"Call J! She's the one who's going to do it."

J is a friend of ours who runs a spa here in town. I call her up.

"Hey there, MedicMarch. You ready to get your back waxed?"

"No! It's torture. You can't even do that shit to the prisoners at Guantanamo!"

"It's not that bad! You've had your eyebrows done, right?"

I have, in fact, had my eyebrows waxed in the past. Not to get them all shapely and feminine, but just to keep it from looking like someone had underlined my forehead with a big ole 44 magnum permanent marker. I didn't care for it much at all. I really don't understand how someone can have a bikini wax ::shudders::. The eyebrows nearly put me over the edge. It's not the pain so much as it's the sensation of having the hairs yanked out of my face.

"Yes, I've had it done. On the pain scale, what do you rate getting your eyebrows done?"

J thinks for a moment. "Hmmm. I suppose that's about a two."

For one brief glimmering moment, I am hopeful.

Of course, if you read this blog at all, you know that This is a mistake.

"Well, that's not so bad, I guess. What would you say getting your back done is?"

"Well, I've never had it done myself, obviously, but from my customers reactions, I'd say...hmmm....probably a six.

"A Six? A SIX?! Are you serious? That's three times the pain of getting my eyebrows done on an area that's two feet by two and a half feet! I'll never be able to sleep on my back again! You might accidentally rip out my spine!"

J eventually got me calmed down and told me when I was ready to give her a call.

Le sigh. I do not look forward to this.

-MM

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

- God Laughs At Me

I had written down what I wanted to say. It was about two pages long, and I had it memorized. I carpool with Lazy Partner, so I was going to have a captive audience. It detailed why I'm unhappy with her performance and why, even though I thought she was nice enough, I'm giving her this talking to. That she needed to mature as a person, as an employee, and as a medic. That she gets paid a lot more than I did when I started as an EMT although she's not doing half the job. That she needs to work on every area of her job performance. That she needs to listen to my orders and obey them, and if she has questions, to ask me after the call. That she needs to learn how to work a god damned mop.

I had written all this out in the nicest manner. It was ready to go for our ride to work later that week.

I arrive to work to find someone different at the station.

"Didn't you hear?" She says, when I question Lazy Partner's where-a-bouts.

Hmmmm. "Nope."

"She's working with Redhead Medic now, on the other shift. She says she thinks she needs to work with someone with more experience."

I am, as always, the last to know. Apparently last shift when I was outside washing the unit by myself, she was inside with the oncoming crew, telling me she wants to work with someone who can teach her better. They told me as much when I mentioned to them this morning that she was switching - Ice Cold Medic tells me "Oh, yeah. That's what I heard. She mentioned that Friday."

What Lazy Partner apparently does not know is that RedHead Medic is a lot less patient then I am, doesn't help out with the driving, and has no tolerance for any bit of BS. This will be...entertaining.

All that effort for nothing.

-MM

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

- Hollywood.

Terminally Anxious Dispatcher can't keep the worry out of her voice. "They're saying 5 kids involved, blood everywhere. I'm going to send an additional unit. AirLife 1 and 3 are responding.d"

We are hurtling down Big Road. We are going to have to go down to the next highway exit and loop back to get to the crash site, where a single car has careened off the road into the forested median. As we pass from the other direction I can see smoke rising up through the trees. I swear there is a flicker of yellow. I want to stop here and just run through the forest, but the trees are too thick. We have to go all the way around.

"Unit X."
"G0 Ahead, X"
"If you don't have them coming already, get fire department rolling. The car is on fire."
"They've been toned out, March, coming from around the river."
"-4."

We take a shortcut I know about. Lazy Partner is scared about crossing the opening, stating that it rained a couple of days ago and the ground is probably still too wet. I can see anxiety in her eyes.

"Just do it. We'll make it."

The ground holds, and we quickly get on scene. Our field supervisor comes over the radio as we pull up, establishing incident command.

I leap out of the truck, double gloved, ready for action, and say the line every medic has said a thousand times when they get to a scene.

"What we got?"

"6 vics, one critical, the rest all need to be collared and boarded."

"No one still inside the car, huh?" I can see the smoldering wreck in the trees. All the foliage around it has been burnt away. The car looks like it's been inside a compactor, with the front compressed to an average length of two feet. The windows are all broken but I'm not sure if that's from the wreck or the firefighters.I finish sizing up the scene. All the vics are sitting or laying on the grassy hill next to the wooded median. The VFD Paramedic is with the critical, and that's who I go to first. I turn to our Sup. "Ok, this is what I think. Crit out first on Airlife 3 (who is closer), we get the rest boarded, and decide if another needs to go out on Airlife 1. Sound Good?"

"Exactly what I'm thinking. I'll get in touch with dispatch."

Technically since I'm the first "Real" unit on scene, this is my scene, but since a supervisor is here I'm content to let him make the calls. He's got a lot more experience and I'm not going to get into a pissing contest over stupid shit like who's in charge when people need help. It is, however, very reassuring to hear him echo my exact thoughts, that we've processed the same information and come to the same conclusion.

Maybe I should go help this critical patient before my head gets much bigger and I cant fit inside the back of my unit.

I make eye contact with my partner, who has parked the truck at the front of the scene, put my hands around my neck, hold up the number 5, and yell "Peds!!!". Mom, I can see, already has a collar on, and one of the firefighters had bandaged her hand. I kneel down next to the critical. She has swelling to the right side of her face, and her left arm is swollen, definite fracture. Her vitals are stable, though, and she's talking to us, remembers everything that happened. I grab my partner. "Collar her, board her, she's out first, I'm going to check the rest."

I quickly assess the rest. No one is really hurt, but one of the other kids has a goose egg on the noggin and is complaining of abdominal pain. The kids are 3,4,10,11, and 15. I decide to fly out Goose egg and drive the rest.

Airlife 3 comes in low and fast, buzzing the scene. They troopers scramble to shut down the interstate. After giving instructions to the VFDs to finish boarding everyone, Supervisor and I grab my stretcher and load up the critical. Airlife has set down, and the flight medic takes my report. They lift off.

Our other medic unit has arrived at this time, and in short order, we get everyone loaded up. Airlife 1 sets down a mere 50 yards from my unit, kicking up dust, and forcing Lazy and I to lean over our patient, the Mom, to protect her from debris. Lazy sets me up an IV as we put Goose egg in the chopper. Airlife 1 takes off again, low over the scene, the rotor wash battering my unit.

We transport to the hospital uneventfully. Mom is feeling a little chest pain but it is consistent with injuries from where her seat belt would've been. I shoot a 12 lead for posterity that comes back negative. From our supervisor getting on scene to us, the last unit to leave, the whole call has lasted 27 minutes, including the time for to board 6 patients and two choppers to set down and load up.

Later, when we're restocking, Lazy partner can not quit smiling.

"What?" I inquire.

"That was so cool, with the choppers flying around, and the smoke, and the chaos. It was like I was in a movie!"

-MM

PS - Scroll down to read my 10 percent post - I'm going to blog on a topic of you're choosing, so leave your vote in the 10 percent comments section.

- 10 percent of 100 grand

I guess you guys might be paying attention after all.

Wretham, MA, thanks for being #10,000.

As way of compensation for all you guys putting up with me, I want you guys to leave a comment on this entry of a subject you want me to blog on. the only thing I'm not willing to blog about is politics or the war, so other than that....shoot.

-MM

- DNR

After I get over the lungfunk I always seem to pick up from this time of year, posts are coming.


-MM

Monday, October 15, 2007

- It's Not Getting Any Better

This morning I:

Made Truck Soap
Made Mop Water
Cleaned the Stretcher
Sprayed the Back
Mopped the Back
Mopped out the Cab
Disinfected Cab
Wet the Unit
Washed the unit
Rinsed the Unit
Shined Unit tires
Windexed the Glass
Rolled the Hose
Made Mop Water Again
Swept Station
Washed Dishes
Lysoled All Bathroom Surfaces.

My Partner:
-Washed one Ambulance Wall
-Told A Ghost Story
-Ordered Makeup From TV
-Complained about being ordered to Mop the Station
-Bitched when I was finishing up a run form that I was taking too long (we carpool)

Did I mention that she's not allowed to tech calls, because all though she's been hired for three months she has yet to complete our EMT-B "Boot Camp"? I. Run. Everything. Granted, it's not been a problem lately as we've had slow shifts...also, she did not stock paper towels on the unit, forcing me to clean up a guy who mud all over with 4x4s.

She also got mad at me last night because I told her she needed to do the full inventory every morning. She always seems to have an excuse when I ask her about whether she's performed her job duties.

Whenever I took Driver's Ed, I took with my football coach. I would make an excuse every time I messed up, and after three or four go-rounds, he said "Dammit, March, Next time I correct you I just want you to say 'OK, COACH, SORRY, I FUCKED UP.'

I missed a turn, and when I started to open my mouth, he gave me a look - the same look he gave the O-Line after we had -3 yards rushing after the first half, one game where he told us that if we didn't get it together, that we were going to go outside and hit the sled till we quit the team.

So I said, "OK, Coach, Sorry, I fucked up."

I'm glad my Coach made me do that. I now own up to my mistakes and try to learn from them, something I don't often see in other people.

Especially not in my partner.

Le Sigh.

-MM

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

MedicMarch, Your Lord and Savior

I'm sleeping happily at the station when the call comes in. It is Terminally Anxious Dispatcher.

"Hey, MedicMarch. Priority To Mosquito Bayou for an Unknown. 54 yo male rolling around in bed."

"Maybe he's trying to get comfortable?"

"Ha. Just get in the unit and run the call."

Sigh.

My partner is hauling ass. I believe we've gone plaid.

"Where do I turn? Where do I turn? I don't know where I'm going!"

I'm trying to coach her.

"Slow down, slow down, slow down, CAR CAR CAR! CAR! CAR! Turn Left! LEFT! LEFT LE-shit."

"Where, up there?"

"No, the road you passed."

She is not applying the brakes yet. "Huh?"

"The road was back there. Turn around."

"Why didn't you tell me earlier to turn?"

"If we weren't traveling at ludicrous speed, we would've been OK."

"What?"

"Nothing. Turn Around."

We make the turn and head back towards the scene.

"This is the house. The House. HOUSE. THIS IS THE HOUSE. STOP, STOP, THIS IS IT."

We have issues.

A man in a wheelchair is worriedly waving us in from the drive way. "In heah, In heah. He sick."

We roll our equipment inside to find a man rolling around in his bed, back and forth. His wife is holding his hand, kneeling by his bedside, crying. Pages are ripped out from a bible, scattered all over the room. I'm trying to remember our protocol for demonic possession as I introduce myself.

"I'm MedicMarch with XXXX EMS. How long has he been like this?"

She looks up. "He like this since I got home!"

My boot kicks over an empty bottle of SoCo.

"He have any medical problems?" I ask. "Or has he been reading the Necronomicon?"

"He has back problems, and he's got the pressure. Oh, and he got the sugar."

Aha. Most likely our culprit. His CBG is 28.

The man in the wheelchair has managed to wheel to the threshold of the door. "My daddy! My daddy! What's wrong with my daddy? Oh Jesus, help us! My Lord and Savior God, who protects us from all evil, protect us from the devil in my daddy!"

The wife kneeling by his side is chanting in tongues. I tell my partner to assemble my D50 as I set up my IV equipment. The man in bed is hooting- Hooo! Hooo! Hooo! Just like a white winged dove...I start humming.

"The devil's in him!" The man's wife is frantic. "He was reading the bible but then he started tearing out the pages and eating them."

"Not very nutritious, those bible pages. I hear the Diamond Sutra's a little more sugary. Probably would've been better."

"Huh?"

"Nothing, ma'am. Is he allergic to anything?"

The chanting is increasing in volume, and it's at least 100 degrees in the room. It's a circus. My partner drops the D50 and it shatters on the tile floor. "Grab another from the box in the unit," I tell her. Under my breath, I say to myself "This could not get any worse."

This is what we refer to in the business as a "Mistake."

You see, fate has a hard-on for jinxing health care workers.

At this moment, the family's daughter runs in. She sees me kneeling over her gyrating father, the son yelling, and the mom crying, and does the only thing she can - runs up to me, and grabs my hands, which are currently uncapping an 18g IV.

"What are you doin' to my daddy?!"

I don't answer immediately, as she stares down at my hand, which now has an 18g hole in the meaty part of the palm. I look down at my hand as well. "I was going to start an IV on him, but it's going to wait for a second now."

I take off my glove, put a 4x4 on my hand, and put another glove on, grab another needle.

"Ok, ma'am, I need your help to start this IV on him, so I can fix his sugar."

My partner, meanwhile, has come back. The man is rolling around. "Keep his arm still for me, guys."

I sink the IV and manage to get it secured. I push the sugar in. The son and mother are continuing their litany. Hallelujahs and Our Fathers bounce around the room, and any moment I expect a tambourine player to bust out of the closet, sweaty, messing around with a rattle snake.

The man comes around.

"Oh Jesus! Jesus Healed my father! Oh thank you! Jesus, Thank you! Jesus be praised, my lord and savior be praised."

Damn it, I hate it when someone else gets the credit for my work.

We start to get the man loaded up. Just as we are leaving the residence the man's pastor pulls up in a brand new caddy, he is dressed impeccably in a black suit, and his hair has been laid out, parted down the middle of his head.

He stops us. "A prayer for our brother."

He goes into another chorus of Hail Marys and Thank you Jees-us-uhs. I look at my watch.

We get it wrapped up, finally, and bring the man to the Catholic Hospital down the road. We are informed that it will be a 2 or 3 hour wait for a room.

Guess Jesus couldn't help us out with that one.

-MM

Friday, October 5, 2007

- R and R

So this past week Spiderman and I had a chance to take in something truly despicable. That's right, ladies and gentleman, we got to see GWAR.

We had known about the show for a few weeks but it looked like we weren't going to be able to see 'em - our schedules synced up wrong. But then, impossibly we both managed to switch. So at 9 o clock, swaddled in trashbags, we were able to witness the most gruesome show I've ever been party to. The pit was crazy. Easily one of the best shows I've ever seen. Oderus, Flattus, Balsac the Jaws of Death, Beefcake the Mighty (WOO!), and Jizmak.

The show was loud, fast, and brutal. Let me tell you folks, it's hard for me to write about. Words can not describe the Awesome.


Look, if you have a chance to go to a GWAR, go.

I'ma go clean the blood out of my ears. After all, I've got a date tonight.

-MM


Monday, September 24, 2007

- Old Hands

Lifeless eyes stare through the ceiling as my partner does compressions. The bicarb we pushed in a little while might be helping out because even though we don't have pulses yet, our patient has reached an organized rhythm. My partner, the new one, is getting tired quickly. This is the first time she's ever performed CPR on a real person.

"Get your shoulders over the chest a little more. You want to be at a 90 degree angle" I coach her.

The other paramedic squeezes air into the man's lungs.

The patient in question is a 51 year old former employee of the company I currently work for. He had moved into our service area recently after starting his own safety business. We've called in the chopper and are on our way to the LZ across the bayou.

My partner is starting to tire out, so I tell her to take over bagging and I take compressions. The other medic, who I went to paramedic school with, pushes in another epi. I feel the burn start in my shoulders as we pull up to the LZ. The Flight Medic opens the back doors, looks inside. The man on the stretcher was his partner for 2 years, back when he was still on the truck.

"Fuck. What we got?"

I give a rundown of the patient - 51 year old male, told his wife he was having trouble breathing, dropped. CPR almost from the moment he hit the ground. All we've had on the monitor is PEA.
IO drilled, number 7.0 tube, almost done with his first bag of fluid, 6 epis in, maxed out on atropine, bicarb in, d50 in, narcan in. Hypertension, didn't take his meds, no allergies.

The Flight Medic loads up the patient. The other paramedic flies in with him.

The man doesn't make it. They lose the rhythm shortly after takeoff and don't ever get anything back. They later say it was due to a massive infarct.

I wipe the sweat from my forehead, walk back to the cab of my unit, pick up the phone. Could I've done anything different? I run through my algorithm in my head. I treated the hell out of him.

The funeral service is well attended.

I walk out of the funeral home, run into the Flight Medic. He and I aren't on the best of terms - I don't think he's a very nice person, and he has a lot of disdain for the paramedic factory that I was churned out of, which I don't blame him for. Some of my class mates were less then stellar, and some of those were less than competent.

He takes a drag from his smoke.

"I was really mad at you, MedicMarch. When they called him, all I could think of was that you did something wrong, or fucked up somewhere, and it was your fault he wasn't coming back. I was looking for someone to blame."

I stand there silently, wondering if I'm about to get hit.

"Then I thought about it a little more. Thought about the report you gave me." He points inside. "Thought a lot about him. He never listened to his doctors."

He takes another drag. "I just wanted to say I'm sorry about that. You did what you could for him, and I'm embarrassed for having been mad at you. It was very unprofessional of me. I'm sorry." He sticks his hand out and shakes mine.

I walk to my jeep and get in, rest my head on the steering wheel for a moment. At home that evening, I am sitting on my porch, and I pour a little of my beer into the garden. One for me, one for my homie.

-MM

Sunday, September 16, 2007

- Switchblade McGrew

So my buddy Chad is currently in Iraq.

I'm not going to go into the politics involved. I've already said this.

Well, Chad is sending me a present. I had mentioned to him how upset I was that my old SpyderCo G-10 was stolen - it fell out of my pocket one night while laying on a couch, and when I went back the next day it was no where to be found. It was a great knife that I really enjoyed and I got a lot of use out of - it worked fantastic and handled whatever I tossed at it.

So I was chatting with him about it and he told me that in 4-6 weeks I shall be receiving this :


Pretty, No? A real nice knife, expensive, but it's gotten good reviews.

I'm excited! Are you excited?

-MM

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

- Requiem

I was a junior in high school. I was sitting in Ms Gauthier's Gifted American History class and the period had just started when the teacher next door came in. "A plane hit the World Trade Center!" she said. We turned on the television to see. One of the towers was burning - it looked like it was wearing a belt of fire. The test we were taking that day lay forgotten.

Then, as we watched the television, the second plane hit.

I know we all have our particular memories of that day, but sitting in the back of the classroom, next to my friend Matt, the silence among us is what I remember most. It was a dead silence, that lasted about 15 seconds, but watching the debris fall from the other side of the building, it was in slow motion.

Our teacher turned off the TV, and faced us, pale. "We....We have a test today. Time starts now."

We took our test and turned the television back on, and watched the fire trucks, the police cars, the ambulances, responding to the scene.

We watched the towers fall.

It's been said that 9/11 was my generation's Pearl Harbor or Kennedy Assassination, and I'm inclined to agree.

* * *

When I stopped in at my mother's this morning to play with the dog and get some free breakfest, I remarked to her that this was the first year that's gone by that the wounds 9/11 left on me haven't felt like they've been rubbed with salt. I don't say this to suggest that the passage of time has eliminated the pain and rage I felt that day, sitting in my orange chair at my black desk, useless, hopeless. Time has merely dulled my choler and hurt, made it almost bearable.

Almost.

I've seen some horrible things at work, been a part of some hopeless situations. I manage through these because I can. However, I still have trouble watching the attacks played again and again on television. Something twisted in me that day the hasn't been set right, that has healed broken. However, the memory of those killed in the attacks will live on through all of us. We are all survivors of those attacks, and we are all tributes to the dead. I would challenge myself to remember that. I live on in the place of those victims, and I'm going to live life to its fullest.

I'm not going to go political on this, but I think this country has a lot of problems that we aren't addressing. But I also think that we are the greatest county in the world, bar none. And I'm proud to be an American.

-MM

Friday, September 7, 2007

- From now on, you're my cleaning lady.

How do you motivate someone to do the worst, shitty, bitch jobs that EMS has to offer? All the stuff that to the casual observer would not be what they think is involved - all the boring stuff.

-Washing the unit
-Cleaning the unit after calls and at the end of shifts
-Cleaning the station

I've tried to show leadership by taking the helm and showing my rookie the ropes of doing all the nonglamorous-but-necessary shit we need to do so that we can concentrate the rest of our time on "actual" work.

Personally, I don't know if I'm weird, but I've rarely had to have been asked to wash and clean the unit or station. I'm not obsessive compulsive but when you think about all the shit that happens in the back of your unit...

Plus, I like being in a clean unit. I take pride in it. I Pledge my tires. I disinfect the keyboards of out MDTs. I take the mattress off our cot and spray it with a hose. I go the extra mile, and I like to inspire my new Basic to do the same. Not only does it look good, it's healthier for you.

Case in point: 3 medics at one of our stations were diagnosed with Staph infections. Nothing but guys worked at the station and it was notorious for being a sty. I hate to think what might've been crawling around the back of their unit. I had worked over time out at the station, and when I woke up before shift change and started to mop, and asked the paramedic to give me a hand, he looked at me like I was retarded. "I'm the paramedic," he said. "You're the Basic. You do the Bitch work. That's what the B is for!" I thought he was joking, but when he refused to pitch in, I got pissed off.

I don't want to be that paramedic. I do realize, though, that the Basic gets the short end of the stick when it comes to stuff like this. For me it was part of the territory. So to instruct my new Basic partner I've been trying to lead by example. I try to make her do her job duties by explaining why they're important - like doing your inventory at the beginning of the shift. I rely on the oxygen and boards and other equipment. Until she can look at the cabinets in the unit and instinctively know what's missing, I want her in the back, with the sheet, going over each item. She just plain hasn't had enough experience to pencil whip though the inventory. I'm not blaming her yet - her preceptors, I think, might've showed her the easy way instead of the right way, and now it's biting her in the ass. A lot of times, she doesn't even know she's screwing up, and then when I point it out, she gets slightly frustrated. But what bothers me is that she seems to be lacking Basic skills. I ask her to do things like hook up the 4-lead or spike a bag, then I have to drop what I'm doing because she doesn't know how. At least she learns quickly. I just don't want her to get upset and too frustrated and sometimes I think I'm throwing a lot at her.

I've told her that if I take something from her on scene and do it myself, I'm not mad at her, I just can do it quicker because I've been doing it for longer. I always make a point after to show her the way I need and like it do be done, and that seems to be working pretty well.

This hasn't been the case with her station duties. I had to prompt her to wake up and sweep the station several times yesterday before I went outside to restock my bag and begin washing the unit.

She ended up falling back asleep. By the time I walked back inside to mop out the station it was near crew change and the station wasn't swept. I had to hop on another unit across the parish so I didn't have time to do it myself. When I woke her up and told her that she needed to get up, she gave me a real hostile look and it pissed me off, so I turned around and walked back out and finished the unit. Whenever we did changeout with the oncoming crew I told her she needed to sweep and mop the station now because I couldn't stick around to do it.

Well, apparently a few minutes after I left so did she. Our supervisor came by to give us some Narcs and saw the station hadn't been mopped. I got a pissed off voice mail from him asking me to come back to the station to do my station duties. I was already on the other unit by this point, but the oncoming crew mentioned that'd I singlehandedly washed out the unit and cleaned it up while she was supposed to be sweeping and that I was on my way to work. He called me back to apologize. Later I found out he gave her a light ass chewing over the phone

All of this could've been avoided if she'd done what I asked her. I think the problem heremight be that that I'm two years younger then her and she might precieve that I'm ordering her around....I don't know. I just wish she'd get with the program. I do my best to help her out but I'm too busy as a new medic trying to keep my own shit together to do much for others right now.

Thoughts?

-MM

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

- Voices

The man in black laughs at me as I compress the baby's chest. His mother found him face down in his crib, unresponsive. I try to ignore the small cold body that I hold in my arms as we get back in the unit.

The man in black laughs at me as I play my flashlight around the body lying in the field. He has been thrown out of the back window of a car, and lies, motionless and broken, in tall grass near the interstate. A beetle crawls across his nose, which I brush off.

The man in black laughs at me as I watch a nursing home CNA do lazy, ineffective compressions on the chest of a resident, her hands splayed across the middle of his chest. She does not lean over the body or press down much. The man's eyes stare vacantly at the ceiling.

The man in black sits in an easy chair across from the patient I am now assessing. His heart is beating 30 times a minute and he is so pale that he looks like a black and white photo of himself.

"You're too late. He's going to die." The man in black is leaning over my shoulder as I fasten the velcro of the cuff around the man's arm.

I can't obtain a blood pressure.

"He's going to die," he says. Smiles. "He's going to die. You can't save him."

I quickly run a twelve lead. No STEMI. We load into the unit. Oxygen is applied. We get enroute to the hospital.

"You're going to miss the IV. He's gonna die. You can't save him."

I stick the IV in his arm. Pace or Drugs? Pace or Drugs?

The man in black sniffs at me with a grin on his face. "You're killing him. Every second you wait you're killing him. He's going to die."

I compromise by slapping the pads on the man and pulling up my atropine.

"A little medicine to help you, sir!" I cinch the line and push in the medicine. The man's heart rate rises to 35, 40,37...stays in between 35-40.

The man in black looks at me sourly. "It doesn't matter. He could be having the big one. He's going to die."

I try again for another pressure and get a systolic of 70. No bottom number.

"You should've gone with pacing!" The man in black is gleeful again. "You've killed him."

Shut up, I think to myself.

I push in another half milligram of atropine.

Slowly, the man's rate picks up. I look at him and see he's gotten some color back in his cheeks. Not today, buddy, I think to myself.

I leave the line wide open and patch the hospital. His rate is now in the 60's and I have a pressure of 100/50. We bring him into the cardiac room, and I walk out, sweaty, tired. But I won. I won it this time.


* * *

I slide the atropine boxes into the trash can and look at the man in black triumphantly.

He stares at me petulantly. "I win in the end!" He says. "I win! I always win in the end."

I give him the finger.

"Maybe so," I say, my voice strong and loud. "Maybe so, dipshit. But not today."


-MM

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

- Calling Dick Tracy! Come in, Tracy!

We have been getting slammed all shift. We stop in at the Golden Arches in Lakeside, because hey, it's just my arteries clogging, nothing important, right?

I walk in and place my order.

"I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?"

The lady at the register eyes me as one might eye an annoying mosquito - or perhaps a tired looking EMT giving her lip and holding up her line.

"What?"

"Number 2, with cheese, plain, please. Coke to drink."

Take that, arteries.

Of course, we get a call right after we place our order. Dispatch can smell when something good happens to paramedics, and they don't like it. Think Narcan to a heroin addict. Yeah. That level of hate. Well, god bless the stalwart employees of this restaurant, because our food was ready in no time flat once they realized we had a call. So with cheezburger in hand we take off down the road.

The section of town we're in is infamous for violent crime and drugs. We arrive to the residence to find the fire department on scene holding a lady's arm up. It is wrapped in a large bandage. The lady looks familiar to me. They are sitting on the steps of a rundown home. I walk up and introduce myself. The Firefighter tells me it's deep and will definitely need stitches. When I ask the lady what happened. In a rapid narrative, she tells me "I was washing some dishes and there was a broken glass, uh I broke a glass. Last night. It, uh, I broke it and put the glass in my sink. And I was doing dishes, and I didn't see it. I cut it." She will not make eye contact with me.

It doesn't take a Mensa membership to figure out she might be lying. My partner takes over and I ask the cops if they've been inside. They say they haven't been past the living room, where the lady was sitting. I ask him to come with me. He humors me and we go in the front door. There is a large puddle of congealing blood. It trails in from the kitchen, but I see immediately that it doesn't trail from the sink. It trails from the hallway. Just to make sure, I check the sink - no broken glass. I check the trashcan - no broken glass. Something ain't right.

Gingerly, carefully, watching my every step, I follow the trail of blood into the bathroom. There, I find a larger pool of blood, and a small broken window. There is blood and bloody fingerprints all over. Hmm. Crime scene, I realize belatedly. Uh-oh. I carefully walk back out and tell the police officer what I've found. He calls it in and as I'm leaving I suddenly realize where I recognize the lady from - she's the Woo-Woo You-Hoo!

I walk back outside. "You used to live in Mosquito Bayou, didn't ya."

"Yes."

I kneel down. "Did you try to hurt yourself today?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

She looks up at me. "The rock. I can't handle it no mo'."

We bring her in. I tell the Doctor at the hospital what has happened. When I leave, she is getting stitches put in her wrist. I go over to her, and grab her hand, and tell her it will be ok.

* * *

A few months later, another crew returns to the residence. A female matching the description of our patient was found dead of an overdose.

-MM

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

-5000

5000 pages visits? Holy crap. I didn't even know you guys were paying attention.

Revere, Massachusetts?

Congrats! In keeping with my giant stack of GI Joe Marvel comics, you win a No-Prize! Enjoy!

A Big shout out to PIXIE, for referring the visitor! Thanks!

Also please welcome NYC EMS to the blogroll!


I'm working on a post right now, expect to see it this evening!

-MM

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

- Sweat

The man is cold and sweaty, lying on his floor in the kitchen, orange juice spread around my boots like a bizarre neon flood. He is unresponsive to me. I put him on the monitor

"I was here last week," says my partner. "It took G-Money four sticks to get a good line."

G-Money's IV skills are legendary. He has tubed countless victims.He has been a paramedic for 15 years and had precepted scores of paramedic students, most of whom now work solo on choppers and planes or are the EMS chiefs for local fire department. His bowel movement smell of roses. His touch heals the sick and infirm, and he's got a golden halo that spins above his company cap.

On the other hand, I'm a newly cleared paramedic with sticky orange juice boots who's only been on his own for a month, and who's friends admit he has self-confidence "issues." (actual quote.)

I leap, puma like, into action, barking orders. I order a CBG as I put my patient on the monitor and grab a pressure. It's lower than I like, but I can work with it.

"14." Says my partner, rummaging in our ALS bag.

"What? No, that's way too big. Give me an 18 or 20."

She smiles as she comes out of the bag with a tourniquet, a 20g IV catheter, an assembled amp of D50, a lock, and tape. "No. His sugar is 14."

"Oh. Ok."

I take a tourniquet to his arm and start looking for a vein. I note some scars on the arm that look surgical...something else is going on on this arm. I feel around. Something hard and plastic is under the skin. Crap. Shunt.

I wrap the tourniquet around his other arm. I can actually see bruises where G-Money was trying to get a line. This guy's veins are crap, and when I do a little test poke, roll away from me like all the girls I've ever asked out. I stick and miss an IV in his hand. I get another in his wrist that blows. I can feel panic rising inside me. "Glucagon," I tell my partner. "If I miss this one, we roll. I don't want to play around." I stick the Glook. If I can't get the stick soon, and the Glucagon doesn't take, I'm going to have to drill him, and I don't want to do that.


I rewrap the tourniquet higher up on his arm, shooting directly for his AC. I nail it! I beat G-Money!!! As I secure it I realize that our patient is too sweaty for our tape to stick. I ask for a kling wrap from one of the firefighters, who I don't recognize. He's new. Uh-oh.

I secure the IV best I can by drying off the skin and wiping it with and alcohol pad. I push in the D50. The firefighter has yet to find the kling and is now rearranging my ALS bag. Screw it. Just as I reach across to grab some more tape the patient starts moving his arms away from me. The IV, of course stays in my hand. Blood is now mixing with the orange juice on the floor, and I curse and wrap it up. Sweat is pouring from my head, into the mess on the floor.

Finally, the patient is starting to come around and wake up, and he's up enough to sit up and take some oral glutose. I get him loaded up and prepare to start looking for another site, my confidence bolstered by the fact that I managed to hit his crap veins twice already. I pop another IV in his AC and hang some D5. As we pull up his CBG reads 147.

When we arrive at the hospital, he is laughing and joking with us. I get him a sandwich. The nurse asks us if I want some OJ to go with it.

"Well, ok."

Although I have enough OJ in my pants now to provide breakfast refreshment for the Minnesota Viking's O-Line. Fabulous.


* * *
Due to staffing shortages, I am being assigned a brand new EMT-B next week on a permanent basis. Anyone have any tips or tricks for training someone new? Besides patience, and lots of it?

Also, a shout out to my man AD, who may have found him some lovin. We're rooting for you, big guy. And hey, Babs, you got a sister? ::wink wink::

Welcome Babs to the blogroll, everyone. She's a fine, upstanding southern lady nurse with a heart of gold and hair to match. Check 'er out!

-MM

EDIT: FIXED AMBULANCE DRIVER'S LINK...thanks Babs!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

- Ejection


Man that was a good game...wish I could've gotten a few more minutes of sleep. Well, at least I'll make it to work on time. If I'm late again they'll fire me. I can't believe that trooper gave me a ticket back there.

Where are my smokes? Fuck! Where'd they go? Oh...on the floorboard over there.

I think I can reach em....stretttchhh.....

***




"Well, shit. I'm out of ideas."


Best Partner Ever and I are gathered at the foot of the highway on ramp, with other representatives of the local first responder cadre: some BackWater Parish VFFs, a couple of Backwater Parish deputies, and a Trooper. The Trooper kicks his tire in disgust. He has just been denied clearance to halt traffic on the interstate long enough for us to sneak down the wrong way and come up the other side.


The problem is that along this stretch of Interstate there is nothing but water for seven miles - we are near the beginning of the bridge and the accident is somewhere in the middle - but the bridge is so narrow at a choke point over Bourbon River that the 18 wheelers, stopped in both lanes the whole way down the roadway to the accident, do not have room to pull off to either side. This time of night is prime driving time for truckers and they line the interstate the whole mile and a half to the crash site. Our ambulance will not squeeze between them. The night is too foggy to allow use of the choppers, and no one can tell us if traffic is getting through the accident site. If it isn't we can send up a unit from the other side of the bridge, in the wrong lane, to come and pick the patient up. And If it is going through, we can stop it. But to do that, we have to get on scene.


I look at BPE. He and I are thinking the same thing.


"OK," I state decisively. "We Hoof it. Troop, start trying to get those trucks out of the way so we can get the Rescue Rig up there if we need it."

We load everything we think we might need on the stretcher. I chunk the suction underneath the head.

The call had come in thirty minutes earlier. A pickup truck had strayed too far to the side of the interstate past Bourbon River, clipped the side at 70 miles an hour, and began flipping. Luckily, the truck did not flip over the guard rails into the swamps 30 feet below, but the driver wasn't wearing his seatbelt, and is thrown out of the front window at some point during the rotation. Luckily, since he was ejected and it seems no one else is in the car, we can afford to wait on the rescue rig. It's a gamble.

"You ready?" I ask BPE. I know right now he has to be regretting taking up smoking. I know that I'm regretting taking up cheeseburgers.

He shrugs. "Fuck it. Let's go."

We start jogging with the stretcher between us, up the incline of the Bourbon bridge. It's a good quarter mile up to the top, on an incline. At least we'll be OK coming down the other side, I reason. Let me tell you something, folks - there's a reason the treadmills have an Incline option. I'm feeling the burn. Drivers and Passengers that we're running by gasp as they realize who we are.

We are both sweating pretty well by the time we get to the top. People have suddenly realized that there is an emergency now, but can't still can't pull of to either side.

We crest and then start down the other side. Back at the bottom of the hill one of the VFFs has manged to get his metro in between a small gap. It's another quarter mile down the bridge, back onto the elevated interstate and I can finally see that traffic is stopped completely - the truck is lying diagonally across both lanes. I grab my cell phone and call dispatch, and tell them it's clear to send a unit up the other side.

We go maybe another half mile before we get to the crash. It is a mess. The patient is lying on his back, and an off duty deputy is holding c-spine. "He started breathing funny about 2 minutes ago." As he says this the patient lets out a great snoring respiration.

BPE and I've only been working together for 3 months, but we are like a well oiled machine. I slap a collar on the patient. Against the tops of my fingers, I can feel a massive head wound. I finish hooking the Velcro and open my hands as BPE tosses me a BVM. He readies his intubation equipment as I hook the BVM up to hi-flow and start bagging the patient. He has not breathed since the first snoring respiration on scene. I slide out of the way as he scopes the airway and looks in. He asks for pressure and I give it. He slides the tube in and gets no resistance. The ETCo2 shows us in. I slap pads on him and we have a bradycardic rhythm at 50, with a slight pulse. BPE does his trauma exam. We board the patient, BPE confirms good lung sounds. He feel some creptius on the ribs, but it's not interfering with anything yet.

All of a sudden there are flashing red lights and I see another crew pull up. They are from out of the service area. We load up and the out of town medic jumps in the back with BPE and they start working the guy. I get behind the wheel. We are thirty minutes out from the nearest hospital and 40 minutes out from the one that can take care of him the best. I hear the familiar CHUNK of the defibrillator. The patient has tach'd out on us. I slam the gas, leaving the out of town EMT to get all our gear. A supervisory unit is going to bring up our unit as soon as the traffic clears.

We bring the patient, who has started to move against our straps and headbed, into the ER. As we wheel him in I grab his hand and squeeze it, and tell him everything is going to be OK, that he's at the hospital. Faintly, he squeezes back.

Unusually, the state troopers have all of the patients information - he had been pulled over coming through Smokestack City for speeding, and the ticket was found on the floor inside the vehicle.

We hand off and go outside. In the unit there is blood everywhere. It takes the 3 of us an hour to clean everything.

* * *
We visit the patient about 3 weeks later. He is still in the ICU and has not come around. We ask to see him, but the staff will not let us. "The case is under litigation. The family is suing the state for inadequate response. That they refused to close traffic down."

I remember how angry the trooper was when he was denied his request to shut everything down.

Later, a doctor who realizes who we are tells us that he has a 1 percent chance of ever getting back normal neurological function. He had coded a few times and they think he might've had an anoxic event.

* * *
A year later I am in the lobby of small nursing home/hospital up in the northern part of the state. A nurse recognizes my name. "Did you transport my son?"

She tells me the details and the call comes rushing back to me. Apparently she remembered seeing my name on the run report they received.

We talk about the call. Apparently the dad was a lawyer and was really upset at what happened but then dropped the case when they received our run report with the details of the call.

My palms sweat around my coke as I ask her the question.

"Did he make it? The doctors didn't give him much of a chance, last I heard."

She smiles, and tells me to walk down the hall with her. She brings me into a room.

Our patient is lying in a bed. He looks at me.

"He can't talk, but he can understand everything you say. They said he's been slowly getting back some function."

I walk over to the patient and grab his hand and squeeze it.

He squeezes back.

-MM







Wednesday, August 8, 2007

- Trustees of Modern Chemistry III


It is 3 in the afternoon, and a nice, Louisiana fall is unfolding before my eyes. The trees are a beautiful orange, and the temperature outside is extremely pleasant, although there is a definite chill in the air. It's going to get nippley when the sun goes down. A bitch in the yard next door to our station lays in the sun, her puppies playing with her ears. Her owners are big fans of XXXX Ambulance Service and often, during hunting season, they will bring us cuts of venison and rabbit stew. In the summer we get melons and vegetables. Best Partner Ever* and I are sitting on the steps, me with a copy of The Economist magazine and him with his cigarette. I smile at him and he smiles back. Everything is well.

"Looks like the dollar's getting it's ass kicked again," I state.

"Hmmmph." Best Partner Ever blows a smoke ring as he soaks this in. "You actually read that shit?"

"I can infer a lot from looking at the graphs, ok? I am a High School Graduate. The sad smiley face and big downward arrow next to the dollar sign was plain enough for me."

We both laugh, and all of a sudden this makes me realize that I have to pee. I also realized that we missed lunch. I make the critical error of mentioning these two items to BPE. For those of you in the biz, you can draw a conclusion of what happened next.

As "...and get some lunch?" left my lips, the station phone rang.

"Priority One towards Mosquito Bayou - female found in bayou, swimming, fully clothed. Family states she has a history of substance abuse. Law Enforcement enroute."

Lovely.

We rocket along the windy country road. The residence actually is outside the City (I use that term loosely) limits, but not by much. Mosquito Bayou is usually good for two types of calls - Complete and Utter bullshit, and Complete and Utter OH SHIT.

Yeah. Guess which one this is.

We're making good time to the scene - I swear the engine in the BattleWagon runs better in the cool, crisp air, and it hums beautifully. Even the impending clash with someone who's high enough to think that taking a dip in the cold bayou isn't enough to dampen my spirits. It's too nice of a day.

Let me interrupt the story now to tell you something - God knows when I'm happy. To quote R. Lee Ermy, He plays his games, and we play ours. A lot of times, I'm positive I'm just a tiny pawn in the master plan of things.

Other times, I'm sure I'm the rube on the hidden camera show he has piped to his throne, watching me as receive the celestial equivalent of "Television's Bloopers and Practical Jokes."
Laugh it up, Jesus.

I have an inkling that something is wrong when not one, but TWO BackWater Parish pass us up in the opposite direction. I hop on the horn and call dispatch, who says, really really really, that they called the po-leece to come with us. But just in case....hold up. So that they can call the police.

We shut down and loop back around behind the troopers, who pull up at a local restaurant. They've both made it inside already. We explain the situation to said LEOs. The elder, his belly extending prodigiously over his utility belt, informs us that he has already ordered his food, and will NOT be accompanying us on our little "expedirtion". The youth, known to our station as Tater, is eager, as my partner and I are, and agrees to escort us to the scene. We inform dispatch of this, and they give their consent to our plan of action. The family has called back to state that the errent member has returned is now soaking, still fully clothed, in a tub.

Outstanding.

We thunder on around country corners, covering the road quickly, and pull up to a run down, beat up house. Normally we would cover in the unit a safe distance away, but BPE and I know Tater the deputy well, and I'm worried that he might have his hands full. As soon as we step out, I can hear a three tone call being delivered from inside the habitation - Wooooo -OOOO OOO-----OOOOh. Low, high, medium. Woooo-OOOOO-OOOOh. Like an air raid siren. As I pass a pair of gloves to the officer, the door to the domicile burts open, and out pops the guest of honor - soaking wet, in two layers of denim and finery, pupils so large I can see them from 20 feet away. I hunker protectively behind the deputy's car as he pulls his piece.

"GEDOWNONTHEGROUNNOW! RINOW!" He yells. Although I would've not previously believed it, at the site of two paramedics and an upset, armed deputy, her eyes go wider.

"WOOOOOO----OOOOO---OOOOH!" She shouts, waving her arms like a skydancer - one of those goofy ass things you see at grand openings and the like. Then she turns around and tries to run back inside, only to trip on a welcome mat. Tater seizes the opportunity and runs up the front steps. For all of her tininess, she puts up a good fight when he jumps on her - so much so that I, coming up the stairs, see that he is about to fall off. Apparently this particulah speciman of Cockus Crachedii (thanks, AD!) is super wiggly!Huzzah. I plant my knee in between her shoulder blades and Tater cuffs her up. She looks all the world like a cracked out, beached submarine. She slobbers and gibbers at us as her family rushes in and starts yelling at us.
"Wooooo
-OOOOOOO-----OOOOh! Wooooo-OOOOOOO-----OOOOh"

"What are you doin' to hea?! She was swimmin in da bi-yo! Bring her to da hospital! She sick, not under arrest!"

I leave the delicacies to Tater as the three of us hustle her out to the stretcher Best Partner Ever has thoughtfully pulled. We grab the monitor and bags I dropped in my haste to restrain Mistress Freakout the II and get her loaded into the back so BPE can do his assessment. After throwing a NRB on her I step back outside to the family and explain to them why we appeared to be so rough - the quicker we get her under control and loaded up, the quicker we can help her, and that calms them down. In reality I don't think my words have any calming effect - they're just happy this mess is off thier hands. I ask for her history and they tell me "She smokes the rock. All the damn time. Just got out of rehab. That bitch took my check!".

Fab-u-luss.

We get her restrained with hands at 12 and 5 (to the tune of Wooooo-OOOOOOO-----OOOOh! Wooooo-OOOOOOO-----OOOOh!) , and we get en route to the hospital with a police escort following - BPE has me patch a report. He has managed to verbally calm the patient and we even loosen the Headbed we taped on her to keep her from smacking her face on the plastic of the board. BPE reports slightly increased vital signs, but nothing to suggest excited deliruium. We bring her into the hospital - she is snoozing now, and we get her transferred over to the hospital bed with the help of BAPS Nurse, who you may remember from Medicmarch goes to seizure rodeo. Just then Bad Attitude Nurse bustles in, arms akimbo. "What the hell is this shit?" she asks loudly, pointing disgustedly at our patient.

I belatedly make a shushing gesture, but it's too late. We've awakened the little angel on the stretcher, and she lets us know.

"Wooooo-OOOOOOO-----OOOOh!"

I am pissed, but not as pissed as little angel. Her hands, which BPE and I were attempting to tie. My side is secured, but BPE's is not, and a hand reaches out and claws at BAPS nurse and then pulls off her NRB. BAPS Nurse cocks an eyebrow, and with no hesitation, CHOKESLAMS the rising Crachedii back onto the board.

As I've previously stated, BAPS Nurse is my hero.

"YA'LL TREATING ME LIKE AN ANIMAL!" Screams our bundle of joy.

BAPS Nurse's eyes are cold. "Act like an animal, you get treated like one"

The Patient is b52'd and later I see her sleeping.

Peaceful as all get out.

***
Guys, there's been a definite lack of updates, and I'm sorry. I'm going to post part II of this story when I get some free time as well as the WORST CALL EVER. Stay tuned.
-MM

PS * He really was my best partner ever. I miss him every shift. His wife's garter hangs from my rearview. We're going out at the end of the month on a three day weekend to The Big Easy, and I'm super excited.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

- More Trustees Of Modern Chemistry

So, I can't bare the thought of not posting SOMETHING, so here is a story, as told to me last night by my new partner.

"Well, we went out to this one guy who was walking down the street in nothing but his underwear, crawling around, pretending he was a big predatory cat. The cop had grabbed him but the guy was going apeshit in the car, so they called us. The guy is sweating, freaking out, tachy at 130, so we load him and head to the hospital with the cops behind us. This guy will not sit still and he keeps unbuckling seat belts. I go to put restraints on him and he jumps off the stretcher and hides in the back of the module, near the doors, peaking around the corner. I ask him what he's doing, and he goes 'Hiding - he's going to shoot me.' I'm trying to be helpful, and I ask him 'Who, the cop back there?' They guy goes 'BACK THERE?! BACK WHERE!' and does a weird James Bond ninja roll across the bench seat to the side door, which he grabs, opens and jumps out of."

"Well, we were in a residential area in a turn, and were only going about 10 miles an hour, but he loses his balance and trips over the curb, rolling across the sidewalk. I yell upfront to Kermit (ed: I call his partner "Kermit" because to me he looks like a giant Muppet) to pull over and as I'm stepping out of the side, the cop hits him like Warren Sapp tackling a third grader. The guy goes down and starts struggling with cop, but he's so sweaty that the cop can only get one hand cuffed. The cop gets tired of messing with him and drags him to the cop car, where he hooks the other end of the cuff and pulls out a JUG of mace and just lets the guy have it. Kermit and I were caught in the blast, and then the wind changed direction, so all of us are choking and crying and gagging. The perp is slowly shaking his head 'No' side-to-side, and he's squeaking like a baby T-Rex each time - 'aaaahhhh....aaaaahhhh'. The cop, cursing and crying, finally tosses the guy in the back, hops up front, and rolls down all the windows on the cruiser. He takes off lights and sirens and we follow him. "

"Well, apparently, Kermit had gotten the mace in his eyes pretty bad and he had two stacks of four-by-fours and some sterile water I had grabbed for him, and he had them pressed to his face. 'It feels like I have a goatee of fire!' he keeps saying. 'It burns! I've got a goatee of fire!' Well, needless to say, the ER was surprised to see us. We ended up getting the guy sedated and we're all washing our eyes out when another combative lady comes out of her room and starts walking towards Kermit."

Here's something you have to understand about Kermit, my dear readers - He is a 6'2", 260 pound TEDDY BEAR. He's 20 and was raised in a sheltered, pentecostal family. He doesn't smoke, drink, or curse. He's innocent - not something you can say for very many people in this profession.

"Kermit is standing there, with his big, dopey, Muppet baby face and rubs his eyes like a 3 year old, with both hands, and looks down at this little old black lady. She looks him up and down, and her face twists up with a sour look. Kermit finishes and grabs a paper towel, drying his hands off. 'Can I help you, ma'am?' He asks the lady, sweet as can be.

'Get Out of my way, you fat motherfucker! I gotta SHIT!'"

"And with that she brushes past Kermit, and goes in the bathroom, and proceeds to have one of the noisiest BMs I've ever heard. But Kermy doesn't hear any of this. After the lady tells him off, he just puts his head down and walks out of the ER like a kicked puppy."

"When we got back to the station later, found him in the kitchen with his head in the freezer. 'It feels like I had a goatee of fire,' he says."


***

On a related note, 2 DOAs in 2 shifts. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Sorry for the nonupdates, guys - not much fun going on yet. I'll get something up soon, though, I have a couple of old calls in my head I can post up if this block keeps up.

-MM

Monday, July 30, 2007

- SOB

Hooray for writer's block! Updates coming soon...

-MM

Friday, July 27, 2007

- Tales From The Parish Line

We pull up to the house in a skid of dust and gravel. I throw us into park as my pager beeps at me madly with one call note, all capital letters, flashing across the screen.

UNKNOWN.

I grab the bag and head towards the stairs of a decrepit trailer. Our third rider is way ahead of me, and suddenly learns why "Don't Run" is a rule we take seriously. He trips on the second stair up and goes to his knees, the monitor flung out in front of him, looking all the world like an old lady losing her umbrella in a gust of wind. I step over him and walk through the open door from the porch. A firefighter turns around. "What's all the noise?"

"My rider got tagged by a sniper. What we got?"

"Baby ate a plant or something. He got pretty red and was havinga hare trouble breathing, but we gave him some O2 and he seems OK now."

I walk in the room to see a nice little backwoods family waiting for me in the "living" room - all the rooms in this trailer run together, so It's hard to tell where the kitchen begins. I think it's where stained, ugly carpet meets stained, cracked linoleum.

Maybe they're not hick trailer trash, I wish feverently. They're a hard working family down on their luck, forced to live in this shit hole by an evil...shit, an evil godmother or something, I don't know...it stinks in here.

Wait a minute. I thought a whole backwoods family is in here, but I see it's only HickDad and HickBaby - HickMomma is MIA. This is not the happy family combo plate I expected. I raise an eyebrow to the Cowboy FF.

"Mom's in the cruiser out front with Steve, Mike, and The Taco".

Steve and Mike are the local deputies around here and The Taco is the largest, friendliest, tater tot lovingest German Shepard I've ever met.

That is, until, Mike tells Taco it's work time. The Taco? He becomes....well, a werewolf is too mild. He becomes a werebear - a slobbering, evil monster capable of devouring criminals, boats, and small houses in a single satisfied glomp.

"She thought she would try to flush her meth when she saw us get here. Only, she's kinda high, and was trying to wash it down the kitchen sink. She got about half way done with Mike and The Taco came in through the front." He lowers his voice to a whisper. "Taco was real rowdy when they walked in..she peed a little. Well, a lot. They've got her out in the cruiser. Dad gave this address instead of the one next door, which is where the baby was. They walked out front when the crusiers pulled up and went in next door and watched mom get busted."

"You checked the baby? Is he ok?" Cowboy nods yes.

Hickdad hands the baby to me. The baby has big blue eyes, a big ole smile, and a big diaper, full of smelly, soft, baby shit. The diaper is not containing the poop, I conclude. It's cruising slowly, just everday shit without a care, from my gloved hand down towards the crook of my arm. After a quick assessment, I hand the baby (who is fine) back to dad, who, I realize is sweating profusely. His face is red, and he is scratching his side absently. I tell him we need to take his son to the hospital, JIC. I ask him what happened.

"Well, I's on my way home from work when my mom called me and said he was out on the back patio and he got into one a her plants. He had two handfuls of leaves in his hands and was cryin'. She thought he ate some so she called me. He was fine, there weren't none in his mouth or nuthin'."

HickDad is still sweating and scratching his side. Sweating. Red. Wheezing a little. Something isn't right.

I ask HickDad if the baby has any history or anything, and he tells me No.

I am beginning to form a picture in my head. Dad is real nervous...maybe his wife? No....why is he scratching. Those Wheezes.

Oh shit.

No, it can't be.

Things have fallen into place rather quickly.

"Are you ok?" I ask him.

"Well yeah, uh, no, man, I'm having trouble breathing."

I direct Stumbles the Third Rider to get vitals and motion for my partner to grab the stretcher, and I kneel next to Hickdad.

"What happened?"

"Well, uh, I wasn't sure if that's what he ate or not, so I, uh, I ate some of the plant. Like, 5 or six leaves. A branch worth. I wanted to make sure that's what he had."

I swear, the stupid hurts so much my ears start to bleed. I sigh as I put my steth to the man's chest.

"Do you have any medical problems?"

***

Later, we are parked in front of the Sonic. Mike and Taco are next to us, and I sit on the back of my ambulance, the module doors open. We have had two codes out here today, an assault, a breathing problem, another assault, said poisoning, and three transfers. The sun sets over a rice field. Neon light from the sign casts down on me and my powerade slush. Taco is sitting obediently next to the cruiser, watching Mike as he slowly polishes off a hamburger.

Mike then pulls a giant box of tater tots out of his Sonic bag. Taco licks his chops but continues to sit. Taco is the Zen Master of waiting for tots. I have seen Mike put a tator tot on Taco's nose, sit down, and start talking to someone, with Taco waiting patiently. Mike then gives Taco a look and says "Take it!!". Before "It" reverberates to my ears, the tator tot has vanished, Taco has licked his chops, and he is in place for another tot.

Today, Taco has worked hard, and made a lady pee herself in terror, and does not have to perform such indignities. Mike tosses the tots at Taco, rapid fire, as fast as he can, and Taco does not miss a single tot.

"Are you supposed to be doing that?" I ask Mike. "I mean, feeding him that shit?"

"Meh." Mike, 6'4", 280 lbs of muscle, meh's like a 70 year old Yiddish Housewife, shrugging his shoulders pragmatically. "He loves 'em. No one at the department cares. He's a good boy. I'm not supposed to, I know I'm not, but Taco's smart enough to not tell anyone." He winks at Taco conspiratorially.

I look Taco at the eyes. "You're going to get fat. That shit goes directly to your hips, Taco my boy. You're a good pooch, but that shit'll kill ya."

Taco turns his head away from me, dismissively, and licks his chops. He's a happy pooch.

The Sun has set on another day in BackWater Parish. My new turf. My new home.

-MM

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

- Hitting Home

A few minutes after I updated yesterday I got a phone call about one of my friends from high school. Apparently a large group was hanging out at a local river canoing, drinking, and having fun. He was on top of a sand bar and dived into the water. The water was only 3 feet deep. He fractured his C5 and C6. They airlifted him to a hospital in town and they're waiting for the swelling to go down so that they can do surgery. The good news is that he's breathing on his own...and that's about it. I haven't passed by the hospital yet.

I see this sort of thing routinely, and I've always wondered why people get so panicked when a loved one is injured, when if you just keep a cool head and hold it together you can get things accomplished. It's arrogant of me to say so but I've always prided myself on being the eye of the hurricane in an emergency.

Now I know why people get panicked. Now I know why people fall apart. Now I know why some medics work far away from their area so they don't have to see someone they know. To be honest with you, it scares the shit out of me to think I might have to pick up one of my friends who've been seriously hurt. But I'd rather it be me. I trust myself enough to take care of one of my friends, and not many others.

I'm just hoping he pulls through right now.

-MM

Monday, July 23, 2007

- Ok, Settle Down, Settle Down

You may have noticed a conspicuous absence of smart assery, vulgarity, and hairy man chest in your life these past two weeks. It's cause I've been so BUSY, mang!

Why has ole MedicMarch been so busy these past two weeks?

Simple.

Because I'm officially cleared as a Paramedic.

On my own.

Hole-eee shit!

Updates coming soon! This evening! Swear!

-MM

Saturday, July 14, 2007

- Holy Crap!



So apparently I'm getting around pretty quick: 2,215 visitors.

Woohoo! I've only been here for 2 months!

-MM

-Fo' the Haterz


-MM

PS - A lot of updates recently so scroll down to read it all.