17 January 2011

Surgery, for serious this time!

So, surgery is in 16 hours! Hopefully for reals this time! I'm not saying I'm looking forward to it, infact I'm actually quite terrified. But I can't wait to be whole again!

My knee has been relatively strong as of late! Blessing!
Except for an incident at Safeway where shouting ensued and a scene was made, and ambulance was called. My life is awkward.
No kidding, so there I was, meandering down the frozen food aisle, looking for some frozen strawberries.
I'm going to make from-scratch Strawberry cake, it's gonna be great! I kept telling myself, picturing in my head a beautiful, moist cake that tasted even better than it looked!
My right leg goes one way, my left knee goes another, and I take a facer onto the floor. Im midst of the fall, I shriek like a girl and I don't just drop my basket, I throw it. In my haste to drop the basket, I don't catch myself, and land on my face.
Look at that bruise! the whole right side of my face looks jacked up!

As I lay there on the floor, my jeans soaking up the coffee that had been spilled, I thought to myself "I would make a terrible ninja!"
By the time I was able to struggle to my feet, my jeans were soaked, my knee was swelling past the allowance of my jeans and circulation was diminished to my left foot. No big deal, right?

By then, the store manager comes pelting up the aisle shouting for all to hear, "I've called an ambulance, they're on their way!"
*face palm*
"No no, I don't need an ambulance, I need some ice, some tylonel a knee brace that isn't broken!" I tried to reason with the manager, whose name was Chris.
"It's okay, doll. We'll get you right as rain" He tried to comfort, unaware that 80% of my tears were from humiliation as well as anger. 20% from the pain radiating throughout my leg

Within minutes, the fire department and the paramedics were traversing down the aisle toward me, dodging the contents of my basket which were strewn from me to the end of the aisle (Let me tell you, somehow I managed to get groceries from halfway up the aisle all the way to the end! I'm good!) toward me, a 4'9" gal, jeans soaked from coffee, crying, red faced, clutching my knee. Boy was I a site.
"Hey guys" I said, sniffing back tears. "I don't actually need an ambulance, I just need help out to my car!"
"Why don't we sit down for a minute and figure out what happened?" A guy I didn't recognize said to me.

Now, these paramedics don't work with me, rather they work with my sister. So usually, I know the vast majority of the people working, these two, I didn't know.

I sit on the pram and allow the student to tentatively take my blood pressure.
"160/94" He stammers.
I look at him. "That's not right" I tell him. "I'm never that hypertensive. Try again"
He goes again, more timid then before.
"okay... 136/54"
"Much better." I respond, turning my attention back to the paramedic as the fire department gathers my shopping basket full of junk. I cringe as my carton of eggs leak out egg goo from all sides.
"Did you hit your head at all when you fell?" Peter Paramedic asked me
"Yeah, I smacked my face on the floor, do I have a shiner?" I turn my face toward him.
"No... Does your neck hurt?"
"Nope, but my knee and my pride are pretty banged up" I respond.
"How did you fall?"
"I didn't fall, it was a gravity surge..." I mumble.
Everyone laughs.

"HERE!!!" Shouts the manager, running (literally running) up the aisle.
He trusts 4 ace bandages, an economy size bottle of extra-strength tylonel, a knee brace and three cold pack onto my lap.
"er... thanks buddy, but I'm not paying for this stuff. I have some at home." I point to the big windows. "Besides, if I want ice that bad, it's like 4 degrees outside, I'll go lay in the snow."
"Oh no, no no, it's on the house! Here, let me bag them for you!" He grabs the stuff, and sprints toward the check out lanes.

I look at Peter Paramedic. "High strung, that one is." I mutter. More laughter.
"I really think with that swelling, we should take you to the hospital. Plus, you hit your head, you could be more hurt than you think." He tells me.
"no no, I'm okay. I promise. Just sore. I just need to get to my car and I can take it from there." I assure him.
"I know the drill, you have to try to convince me to go, but I'm okay. I don't want to go. I don't need to go. I already have a torn ACL and I have surgery coming up soon. Nothing a hospital can do for me now that isn't going to be done in the next week anyway!"

Finally, with a parting farewell, a few signiatures, I'm left with the store manager.
"I'm really sorry, miss. Is there anything we can do for you?"
"I need some help to my car, it's icy, you see. and I don't want to slip and fall on a knee I cna hardly walk on anyway."
"okay! Right away! Butch, Gigantor!Aisle 17, now!" The manager shouts into his microphone thing.
Two burly men walk down the aisle toward us.
"This young lady needs help to her car, do no let her fall, do you understand me?!" He jabs the big one, who I called Butch, in the chest. "You, carry her groceries!"
The two nod without a word and help me to my feet again.
"Ah! I forgot my strawberries!" I stop.
"Don't worry miss, we found your shopping list, everything on the list was picked up, we got new eggs, and the manager took care of the cost for you." Gigantor said.

As I was half dragged/half carried out of the store, we watch the fire department peel out of the parking lot and the ambulance turn around the block.

Safely delivered to my car, I drive home.

Mostly, I'm missing the station, I miss the guys. I miss my Batt Chief. I miss that patient who hates me, and the one who requests me personally everytime.
Thankfully though, I've managed to stay in the loop with the guys.
This weekend was my partners birthday, so, naturally. I went to prank celebrate with them.

He may have returned from a call with more balloons than he'll ever know what to do with. I may be okay with that!!

Holy wow, I want surgery to be over with now!

09 January 2011

New Year, new goals!

Okay, so I'm not so great at blogging. Sue me. Actually, this is America, you probably could for some sort of emotional damage or something. So don't.

Anyway, with the new year, I decided to make a goal to blog a bit more. Especially since people seem to think the EMT job is kinda cool.

That being said, I should update you (the generic you, seeing as I don't know if anybody will read this) on some of the more interesting things as of late.

  • I had my first C0R 0 with this partner, recently. For those who don't speak ambulance, C0R 0 means dead person. The call went as well as it could have for the first C0R for us. The chest was compressed, meds were given, King tube dropped (not by me, unfortunately, our Engineer did the honors) but he was *asystolic on arrival and throughout the entire scene.
Sure, there are things I'd have changed, but I'm a perfectionist and I will always find something to do better or do different, and the day that I stop finding those things to change, is the day I need a different career.

  • I had my first Chopper Go. We were toned to a single car accident, car in the ditch, driver bleeding profusely.
The scene was only a few miles from our station, so we got there in no time.
Lights were flashing all down the road; strobes giving the impression of a rave gone bad. Really bad.
People were moving everywhere, Fire, police, us. I took a calming breath then jumped out.
"Dibe!" My partner called my name, over the chaotic noise.
"What do you want?" I respond, as I pull the back open.
"Red and heat" He refers to our red bag, the trauma bag, and the heat cranked in the back to help potential shock.

Chopper go!

I leave our bed, chopper's coming in, right? Who needs the bed...
I traverse down the ditch 50 lbs red bag in hand, c-spine stuff balanced precariously amid the metal and blood in this field. The damage to the car is significant. Front end, driver side. There's glass everywhere, wood splinters in all directions. The driver side door is impaled by a 2X4 and our patient, the driver, is altered, slipping in and out of consciousness.

"Rapid extrication"
"Who's the ground contact!"
"Dibe, BVM"

Back up the ditch
Back down the ditch

"I got c-spine"
"Dibe, more trauma dressings!"

Back up the ditch
Back down

"How far out is the chopper!"
Chopper is 14 out The radio spits out.

"Too long, let's go. Get the bed"

Back up.

"Dibe, code 3!" My partner shouts as 2 fire fighters climb in the back of the ambulance
I fight the urge to laugh, imagining what others will think as they see 4 people squeeze onto a trauma twinkie.**
"yeah, yeah. I know, hold tight guys, it's a tight turn"

I speak of the radio, informing dispatch where we're taking the patient. Unfortunately, I forget to slow down, knowing only my partner can understand my super-skill of auctioneer talking.
"Where are you going" I'm asked again
"Emergent, 2 fire riders, Community!" I say, slower this time.
"calm down, slow down."
I grumble, cursing my super-skill once again.
"Sorry, we are going to community, with two fire riders, clearly, we're emergent" I say at what feels like snails pace.
We get there and transfer care, and clean up begins. There's blood everywhere. The seats, the floor, the ceiling. Clean up takes 25 minutes. restock takes 15.

Later we find out that our patient was already in neurosurgery, she had 2 bleeds.

The next week we learn that once inside, the surgeons found wood fragments inside her skull. And they say no deficits expected. What a lucky gal.

  •  I broke my partner's head. 3 stitches. whoops!

  • The Injury:
I went to Utah on vacation with my brother and in a dance off of epic proportions, I tore my L knee's ACL. That's right. Busted it right up. So the whole list there, was done while being broken! Lucky me!

Surgery is the 18th, and then it will be back to training for CPAT!

  1. Get off the crutches. Date accomplished:
  2. Walk around the block. Date accomplished:
  3. Walk a mile Date accomplished:
  4. Walk 3 miles. Date accomplished:
  5. Run around the block. Date accomplished:
  6. Run a mile Date accomplished:
  7. Run 3 miles. Date accomplished:
  8. Pass the Physical Agility Test. Date accomplished:
  9. Go back to work!!! Date Cleared for duty:
  •                                   First day back: