Archive | November, 2009

Day 12!

24 Nov

Today is Day 12 without heat or hot water.

Kick ass.


Day 11

23 Nov

Today is Day 11 without heat or hot water in my house.  DAY 11.  AS IN OVER ONE WEEK AND A HALF.

And I’m cold.  It was 58 degrees in my house this morning and that’s with the one space heater I own going non-stop. 

My property manager is a moron.  She acts self-important and now it’s pissing me off. 



When I talk to her (that is, when she doesn’t realize it’s me calling) she acts like she’s doing me a favor by having people come out and look at / fix things.

One of the funniest things was when she was telling me that she didn’t understand why people talk to her the way they do…as they don’t know she’s a Captain’s Wife (navy O-6). To which I said, I’m a Captain’s Daughter but I don’t wear his rank like some.

She also told me that I was lucky that it wasn’t too cold yet. I invited her to come live at my house and I’ll go live at hers and then we can talk.  She wasn’t so keen on that idea.

She told me on Saturday during the day that there would be two space heaters on my doorstep Saturday night.  Guess what?  No space heaters.  And when I called her on Sunday – she wouldn’t pick up, return my phone call or send me a text message. 

I texted her and the head repair guy to find out if any work is being done at my house and neither one of them have responded back. That was an hour ago.

I’ve been more than patient.  I’ve waited 11 days taking cold showers and hanging out in a cold house but my patience has it’s limits and I’m there.

It’s Official – Yesterday blew chunks

19 Nov

Yesterday was my birthday.  It was also the date of finalization of my divorce.  Quite the combo, huh?

The divorce – the court proceedings were uneventful.  I’ll get the paperwork to go back to my maiden name tomorrow or Monday.  No big deal.  What  was a big deal was my Mom.  Apparently I’d done the wrong thing when I texted my ex-husband to let him know that ‘court is over – you can pick up paperwork on Monday’.  That was it.  And then I asked him when the refinancing is complete so that I can get the house that he and I had bought (the one I no longer live in) off of my credit report.  We exchanged about 2 more texts and that was it. 

That was a HUGE error on my part, apparently. 

She asked why I did that – and she didn’t understand that I cannot move forward financially until the house is out of my name. 

And that it hurt a little bit that my ex didn’t come to court – but that it was emblematic of how he treated me in my marriage.  To him, I was a non-person, living in a non-marriage and that the divorce was a non-event. He didn’t even wish me a happy birthday. 

I know it’ll get better.  I understand that – but I didn’t need my mother pointing out all of my shortfalls and errors.  And of all the shit that went down yesterday, I think that hurt the most.  Nothing like finalization of divorce and the realization that a lot of the things you thought were going to happen, probably aren’t.  And that the way you percieve yourself – that is destroyed. 

So when your Mom goes after you….you realize that yes, today sucks.

Last shift

9 Nov

Was somewhat of a doozy.  And at the same time, it sucked.  

0830 – got a call for a Cardiac Arrest – a ‘Code Red’.  67 yo male who was found by his family.  CPR was in progress by a neighbor when we got there.   We were the first of the ERS to arrive.  The cops with their AED’s arrived seconds after we did.  The neighbor had actually done really good CPR as there was obvious cavitation where she’d done compressions.  So we take over – get an OPA in and start bagging.   My trainee is doing the bagging while I’m doing compressions and my partner is running the show. My partner actually shows the officer that carried in her AED how to apply the pads.  AED analyzes the rhythm and tells us to continue CPR.

 First ALS on-scene is a paramedic engine and they start their protocols of establishing an IV, trying to get a tube in (guy had clamped down pretty good, and starting to push drugs.

All the while I’m doing compressions – alternating with one of the firefighters. 

The wife of the man we are working is screaming in the background that she’d been playing computer games last night and if she’d only checked on him sooner and that it’s all her fault.

The guy ends  up taking 4 rounds of medications, compressions had been going for 30 minutes when one of the paramedics called the hospital looking for orders to terminate CPR. 

The doctor declines our request – patient had been asystole on the monitor for the entire time – and orders us to continue CPR and that he’d see us on arrival.

So we transport.  Once we get to the hospital, the doctor says that he agreed with the paramedic’s request to terminate resucitation efforts but that he ordered us to transport ‘for the family’s sake’. 

What he didn’t understand is that the family knew that their family member was gone.  As my crew and I were walking in, one of the sons was holding the door and he told us he thought his dad was gone.   

The doctor calls time of death. 


A little later on in the day – about 1600 – we get a call to a house ‘to transport a woman in pain’.  I admit to thinking that this was a crap call.  That this was a BS call for a woman who just couldn’t suck it up and drive herself.  How wrong I was.

This woman is a 43yo who is currently coping with end stage breast cancer that metastasized to her bones.  She’s got tumors in her hips that she’s undergoing radiation therapy so her hip joint is very brittle.  She’s currently on 180mg daily of oxytocin and 80mg daily of morphine.  And she’s still in pain. 

She screams a primal scream when we go to move her in her wheelchair.  She bursts into tears when we ask her what’s the best way to get her from the wheelchair and onto the stretcher.  And she begs us to drive slowly down the main road to get to the hospital. Each bump she says shoots a shockwave through her body. 

My closest ALS for pain management is 20 minutes away.  I’d be at the hospital before then and she’s on so much pain meds, I wasn’t sure that the dosage that could be given would do anything. 

It takes us an hour to get the patient out of the house.  And 45 minutes to make a 20 minute transport.  My partner is driving and he’s fantastic.  He takes the streets that have been recently paved to avoid any unnecessary bumps. Once we arrive at the hospital, it takes 6 of us – 3 from the truck , 2 nurses and a tech to lift her from the stretcher and get her onto the bed.  I had to ask my patient’s family to leave the room while we moved her from the stretcher to the bed because they were too distraught and not helping my patient remain calm.  And the more hysterical my patient got, the worse it was for us (the nurses, EMTs and tech) to organize a plan as to best move her. 

It was  a 2hr call but I can still hear her screams in my head when people ask ‘so how was your shift on the ambulance’.  

It’s this type of calls like this last call that are the hardest.  I would prefer a trauma case where I can DO something – afterall, it’s the ‘doing’ that I signed up for.  The ‘not doing’ is very hard deal with especially when you know that there is nothing that you can do.  I can’t take away her breast cancer, I can’t take away the tumors in her hips and I don’t have any pain medications that would cut through the pain for her. 

She’s 43.

Irony – thy name is divorce

4 Nov

My lawyer just emailed me with my court date. 

It’s my birthday.  Literally, my divorce date is the same date as my birthday.


Awkward, thy name is EMS

2 Nov

So I was on the ambulance on Saturday night (Halloween) for 13hrs – which wasn’t a big deal.  Ended up with 4 (or 5) calls…

1) Stroke or back spasms – depends on who you listen to.  The patient said that his chief complaint was back spasms, his wife said that he was having a deep brain stroke.  Apparently she has an EEG in the house 😉  Either way, I rode the call in and had a great time talking to my patient.  He even gave me 2 hugs!

2) 4 car accident – more like a 4 car fender bender but whatever.  Took 4 patient refusals out of that one…

3) MVA due to ETOH in a really sketchy neighborhood.  19 yo female got housed on vodka (and probably something more) and then drove into a parked car.  She puked on my pants…eww.  I hate, abhor, loathe – all of the above vomit.  I can deal with just about anything else the body produces but vomit.  Seriously ick.  So we took her to the hospital and turned her over to the ER staff who were just as giddy as I was to be dealing with a highly intoxicated female with aggression issues 😉

4) Diabetic.  Apparently an insulin-dependent diabetic took her insulin but decided not to eat dinner.  So her sugar crashed to 14.  One amp of D-50 and she’s back in the real world but now she’s wheezing. She hit her own inhaler with no relief, so we gave her an albuterol / atrovent combination nebulizer.  So after giving her D-50 and the nebulizer the patient was ADAMANT that she was not going to the hospital.  So another patient refusal but this one to go with the now opened drug box.  Off to ER we go!

So the part that was awkward was last night (01 November) on the ambulance.  I staffed with a ‘friend’ of mine – I know this person and I know that they’ve been flirting with me for a while.  But anyways, we staffed up and went to a traffic accident immediately.  Got cleared by the fire guys.  Then we went to another traffic accident where we transported the patient to the large hospital in the area.  But the part where it was awkward happened in two different parts – the first where my patient told me I was gorgeous and he was single.  And he wanted my number – all while my partner was in the back of the ambulance with me.

A little while later it got a bit more awkward when we were at dinner.  The patient worked at an italian diner so we went there.  He called the establishment, told them that he was covering our dinner AND that he wanted my number.  So our server came out with a pen and paper and told me that my patient wanted my number.  In front of my partner. 

So I wrote a number down – but then my partner had the audacity to reach for the paper to see what number I was giving! AWKWARD!