Duty · Life in Da City! · Pains in my Fifth Point of Contact · Protect and Serve

Two More Tales

Once upon a time, Da City was “The Arsenal of Democracy”, heavily industrialized, and a place where a reasonably hard working high school graduate could graduate, and, within a year, have a solidly middle class lifestyle working in a factory. One auto company had established an industrial complex just outside Da City, and on an island in this complex, had established forges, stamping plants, and coking ovens. Even across the river, the smell had to be experienced to be believed.

I worked with one guy, back on EMS, who had worked, pre-fire department, for one of the private ambulance services. They had caught a run for some emergency or another on this island, and, this being the days of 24 hour shifts, my friend fell asleep, letting his partner, who was driving, take care of things.

He related, “I was awakened when the ambulance stopped. I looked out, at the gas flaring off, and the chemical smell of sulfur heavy in the air. The area aroiund us looked like a hellish war torn moonscape, and I thought, “Oh my f@@king Ghawd! He’s wrecked the ambulance, I’ve died, and this is Hell!”

Another story, from a slightly later time, had me working with Doug and Rob, at a house in the far western area of Da City. We were dispatched to an assault, and met the cops on the scene. Upon entering the house, a gentleman (looking to be something like 6 feet and some change tall, probably running probably 220 pounds) reported that the woman of the house, who, herself, looked to be like 5 feet 2 inches, maybe 120 pounds, had assaulted him, striking him with her fists. He reported that he needed to be “checked out” due to his (non evident) injuries. She interjected that she had not assaulted him, he had, rather, assaulted her (and inflicting no perceptible injury in that process). He responded, loudly, and it was on. The Great West Side Debating Society Quarterly Meeting began.

While “the adults” were yelling etc, I noticed, in corner of the next room a perhaps 5-7 yo little girl, crouched in corner, mouth open, fists clenched as in a silent scream. While cops refereed “the adults”, I crouched down in front of child, attempting to verbally soothe her. One female officer noticed, and came over. I introduced the officer to the child, “This is my friend, Officer Evans. She would like to talk to you for a while. Is that OK? She, and the rest of her friends will keep you safe.”

We disengaged, everybody signed no transport forms, we went in service. As Rob finished the trip sheets, he paused, and commented, “You know, I think we may have just witnessed a watershed moment in that little girl’s life.”

Bastard. I fear that he was right.

Fun And Games · Having A Good Partner Is Very Important! · Life in Da City! · Pre Planning Your Scene · Sometimes You Get to Think That You Have Accomplished Something!

First noc I wore fire boots at work: freeway run, on a snowy night.

TINS©, TIWFDASL©, and going to paramedic school in my off time (this was many, many years ago). In the course of this schooling, I spent some time in clinicals, variously in the local ED in a wretched hive of scum and villainy not so very far from Da City, or with one of the advanced life support crews running calls in the self same wretched hive.

It’s generally educational to spend time with other medics, as their organization’s culture, and lore, is likely to be kind of at a tangent to your home outfit. The education may run both ways. In any event, There I was, (studying) Fighting Disease, and Saving Lives in The Wretched Hive, and one of the host medics came on duty, ferrying his “load out” into the ambulance. I noticed that he tucked a pair of fire boots behind his seat, and asked him about them.

It being winter in The Northern Un-Named State, well, we were susceptible to receiving considerable amounts of snow from time to time. I believe the professional meteorological term is “ass loads”. My host noted that this could result in snowy shoes, and therefore wet feet, and that there were few things so miserable as cold, wet feet, in Da Nawth, in winter. Waterproof boots, that reached nigh up to one’s crotch, served admirably to avert this sort of undesirable outcome. I took notes.

Soon, I acquired my very own pair of “Storm King” (old standard) NFPA complaint boots. So, it happened that I wore them to work one snowy evening, and, early in the shift, Doug and I caught a run for “one down” on the expressway.

We pulled up behind the state police cruiser, and saw a figure prone in the snow and slush. The trooper told us that the patient had been struck by an overtaking vehicle, when the overtaking vehicle did not notice that our patient was bent over the lip of the trunk of his STOPPED vehicle, ON THE SHOULDER OF THE DAMNED EXPRESSWAY!

Our patient did not fare well in this exchange. I pulled up my bunker style boots, so that they reached nearly to my crotch, and knelt in the slush. Doug logrolled the man, and I slid the backboard beneath him, and logrolled him my way, so Doug and I could then center him on our spine splint. We buckled him in, collared him, schlepped him into our rig, and beat feet to TSBTCIDC, which happened to be one exit and a coupla turns away.

I remained dry and warm. If I had never worn those boots another day, that night, in that slush, they paid for themselves!

Uncategorized

“These are a few of my favorite things!”

Exhibit 1: Cleti seeking work noted excusing them for their call off yesterday. When I did NOT see them, And there is no record of any visit anywhere. And, of course, no symptoms today. (Hangover, anybody?)

Exhibit 2: Jane Doe arrives, reports (complaint). My MA elicits a chief complaint, obtains vital signs, verifies medications, allergies, medical history. Generally, as the MAs with whom I work are smart and on the game, they try to identify what, if anything, Jane Doe has attempted to manage her symptoms with, as well as how long this has afflicted Jane.

Since not uncommonly the interrogatory the MA initiates will get those ol’ neurons a’firing, and other, potentially relevant, information will bubble to the forefront of Jane’s consciousness, I will myself reiterate the allergy-medication-history-symptoms-duration-efforts to remedy these symptoms line of inquiry.

So, when you have twice assured health care professionals that you have NOT employed anything to address your sniffles, for the love of Crom, do NOT interject into my instructions, right after I instruct you to employ any of a dozen over-the-counter nasal steroid sprays, that “I have already tried Flonase!” (or whatever).

It wastes my (indeed, as well as your) time, provides you with the appearance of stupidity, and raises my blood pressure.

Item 3: (Heads Up! This is NOT a ‘sick person’ story!) If any of you have shopped for a vehicle recently, you may have noticed that nearly every vehicle in America that has four wheels and an engine, has a back up camera. My new truck, indeed, does have one.

So, TINS©, there I was at the gas station, looking for a vacant pump. This one fellow pulled away, and I noticed, as I approached the spot that he had vacated, that the woman parked at the next pump behind him had, well, let us say that she had decided to determine how far she could stretch the dispensing hose forward, and still reach her gas inlet.

I pulled in, and backed my full sized truck up, attempting to avoid replicating her hose stretching experiment. Of course, that required that I approach her front bumper closely, a fact that I observed in my (Surprise!) back up camera display. I halted, something like 6-12 inches from her bumper. I exited, and approached the pump to begin my transaction, and she looked me over, and observed, “You got kind of close to my bumper, ya know!”

I smiled, indeed, with a smile that likely even reached my eyes. “Yep. That’s why I have a back up camera, to make sure that I did not get too, too close!”

She looked surprised at that. “You have a back up camera?”

Again, as I started to pump my own gas, “Yep, sure do!”

Uneventfully, she drove away.

(TDW-Mark II observed two things: First, “When she spoke up, I pulled down my visor mirror, so I could keep an armed eye on things”. Secondly, as she and I discussed it later, she observed, “You were nicer than I would have been. I might have observed, ‘Ya know, sweetie, it’s kind of sad that the Rover brought you back here!'”)

Item 4: I have whimsical voices in my head. In this, The Age Of Da Rona, folks seeking entry to our clinic are interviewed. Those who answer affirmatively to any of several inquiries get “drive through” health care. The registrar noted the vehicle, as well as the complaint.

That leads to several whimsical moments. For instance, there is the “GMC sinus” entry. That would be an altogether new variety of sinus affliction.

Then there is the notation of the “Tan Dodge Congestion”. (Hmm. THAT’S a new model name for me!)

Or the “Silver Ram”, leading to the chorus in my head serenading me with

“City sidewalks,

Busy sidewalks,

Dressed in Holiday style,

In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas.

Children laughing, people passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you’ll hear
Silver RAM
Silver RAM, It’s Christmas time in the city….”

Finally, Item 5: a comment in response to post at Gun Free Zone blog (https://gunfreezone.net/journalists-are-dumbasses-who-think-that-tv-shows-are-reality/)

Christopher Schwehr

APRIL 23, 2021 AT 2:04 PM

It’s known as FOCUS: Fuck Off ‘Cuz U Stupid.

Fun And Games Off Duty · Gratitude

Dad’s Blood Infusion

So, TINS©, TIWFDASL©…well, while This Is (indeed) No Shit, I was NOT, in this tale, Fighting Disease And Saving Lives. Rather, years ago, I was in The Un-Named Eastern State, visiting the Momette and my father. Dad had had a cardiac arrest something on the order of a year and a half prior, and had, miraculously, recovered entirely intact. Subsequent to that, he was found to have cancer, and THAT had NOT had a miraculous outcome. He had undergone several surgeries, and finally had been referred to hospice.

Let me say this about hospice. These folks, in this corner of that state, were a Gift From Heaven. No shit, honest-to-God, straight up. If I were to be found to have a heart, they certainly warmed it.

Today’s lesson concerns one of Dad’s surgeries. I had taken some time off, and was in The Un-Named Eastern State. Dad had come out of surgery, and we were there to visit him: Mom, My Brother The Accountant, and myself, who, at this point (yeah, my stories sort of jump from one point in time to another, don’t they?) was an actively licensed paramedic, as well as an RN, and nursing supervisor. I had been an ED RN for something on the order of 5 years at the time of this story. In anticipation of there developing a need for me to make a longer term presence in my parents’ home, I had obtained a Nursing license in the Un-Named Eastern State.

So, we were standing at Dad’s bedside, and I noted that he had blood running. As a nurse, we all learn, early on, that from the time that the blood departs the blood bank, until the last drop of hemoglobin rich goodness leaves the bag for your patient’s veins, no more than four hours must elapse. Anything not infused at the four hour mark, will still be in the bag as it is returned to the blood bank.

Idly, I observed that the bag appeared to be half full, and dropping sluggishly. I looked at the blood bank tag, which documented, among other things, the time the infusion had started: approaching three hours previous to my inspection thereof. I inspected the tubing, looking for closed clamps, kinked tubing, or other impediment to flow. On Dad’s hand, just upstream from the IV catheter, I observed a tight bend, something resembling a slight kink in the tubing.

I released the tape, opened the loop a bit, and re taped it, and gave things another looking over.

My mother reproached me. “Reltney, I don’t think you should mess with that. You should call the nurse.”

I was surprised. “Mom, I *AM* a nurse! In fact, I’m even a nurse, in *THIS* state!”

She replied, “Oh, you know what I mean!”