I've won the bet.

Tuesday is the day for the cookout welcoming the new students into the paramedic program.

This will also be the day when Peaches makes his debut!!!

Tonight, Peaches, Trainwreck, Herself and I are going dress shopping.

Hee heee!

Pictures, I promise.



I got to stick a ton of people today, help diagnose a urinary tract infection and generally run around like crazy.

I'm off to the firehouse for a night of duty and then back to the University Heath Center tomorrow morning. It'll be Freshman Move-In day so, we'll be hella-busy.

Woo hoo!

I'll write more as I have time to.



Today I heard a doctor tell a patient, "If you don't know what you're doing, don't have sex!"

I love campus medicine!



I started my job at the University Health Center today. It's really cool. I had to work a bit to get my head around the idea that not all my patients are emergencies. Hee hee.

As I was getting oriented, I was talking to "Charlie," the CNP who's the head resident medical person there, and I asked him, "Where's your code cart?"

He smiled at me like a tolerant parent. "We don't have a code cart. We have a 'critical care' cart but we don't have codes here."

I can see he's right. This place is tiny and nobody comes here for an emergency, they call 911. I think he's also smiling because he knows where I'm coming from. His partner (We'll call him "Chief" since that's what I call him) is a paramedic, one of my professors and the head of the paramedic clinical program at my school. He's also my advisor.

As far as the workplace. It's the coolest. Everyone here is professional, open minded and competent. I'm going to like it very much.




I cought some nasty intestinal bug.

I've been laid up all day. Bleah!

Today, my parents got on a plane for Ireland for a 10 day vacation. Hmmm.... I wonder where mom will land a plane this time?



Blog every day?

I've been trying to keep my promise of an entry a day. Tonight is more difficult than others. I suppose that writing an entry about not having anything to write about is a cheap way out. This will be my only one, I promise.

On a slightly medical note, I bought scrubs and a lab coat for my new job as a medical assistant at the campus health center. I'm looking forward to having some non-emergency, clinical experience to round out my skills. Everyone there is the coolest.

This evening my mom had me put them on and she was tickled to see her "baby" in scrubs. Mind you her "baby is over 6 feet tall and 230lbs! And I'm the smallest!!

There, I wrote about SOMETHING. Blah. Be sure to visit some of the links I have over there to the right ---->. There's some pretty good reads there.



My mom is the coolest!

She's on a flight from Minnesota to Cleveland when the flight attendants come onto the loudspeaker system asking if there is a doctor or nurse on the plane to press their call button.

My mother is a Nurse Practitioner (CNP) who's had a ton of experience from neonatal intensive care to transport nursing (helicopters) and now is in private practice at a pediatrician's office. She and I trade stories all the time and she loves hearing about my calls. She presses her call button. Of course.

The flight attendant takes her up to first class where she sees a man, about 60, who's pale, sweating and complaining of chest pain. His hands are very cold and his capillary refill on his fingers is about 5-7 seconds. She gets him on O2 and takes his BP. He's at 190/110 with a fast, powerful pulse.

"Have you had high blood pressure in the past?" Mom asks him

He nods

"Have you taken medicine for it?"

"Yes but I stopped a couple months ago."

"Does anyone in your family have heart problems?"

"Yes, both my parents." He starts shaking.

Right now the plane is a cruising altitude somewhere over the midwest. My mom turns to the flight attendant.


20 minutes later they're on the ground in Detroit. One does not argue with mom.




Late post

I'm sticking with my blog a day promise but it seems I got to my posting a bit late tonight.

I went out tonight and ran into a friend that was in a horrible accident on his motorcycle. He got treated by a lot of medics and flown to trauma. I was delighted that he was recovering so well. He was delighted that I'm going to be a medic. He thinks they're the best.

Every day I find reassurances that I'm doing what I'm meant to do.



Herself and I are walking in to a supermarket this evening. On the way out the door comes a "youth." He's got his hair in cornrows, he's wearing a baseball cap I've seen on some rap artist's head, baggy jeans, and Timberland boots. He's got the mean set to his mouth and a walk like a gangsta'.

He breaks into song.

"...Leeeeaavin' on a jet plane....Don't know when I'll be back again...."

Peter, Paul and Mary?????




I'm Done!

Big sigh of relief!: "Whoooosh!"

I STILL don't know if I or Peaches has won. (Yes, we're THAT close!!!)

I'm ahead of him in the lecture but he's KILLING me in the lab.

Who knows? You ALL will know as soon as I do. I have promised Marc pictures of the victory dinner and I intend to deliver!

I celebrated this evening by spending some time with some friends of Herself. We drank a lot of wine, ate a lot of FABULOUS food and had a wonderful time. At one point, the husband, The Sandalmaker, asked me a lot of questions about my school and what I do. He asked me in a tone that led me to believe that he thought I was doing something pretty cool.

Mind you, I think the Sandalmaker is a pure and true Jedi and I admire him beyond the scope of words.

He thinks that knowledge of science and the ability to NOT puke in the presence of sick people is cool.

I am honored.

Is that humility or just a lack of self-esteem?

"The path that can be told is not the true path."
-Lao Tsu (who TOTALLY would have been a Jedi, given the chance)



Wagh! I've been cramming all day and my brain is destroyed.

Tomorrow signals the end of my summer session.

2 final exams and a laboratory practical.

I can't wait.

I'm going to trudge out of this library to my car, drive the 28 miles home, curl up with Herself and sleep.


I'll probably dream of the negative feedback cycle of hormonal influence on gametogenesis.




The summer is coming to a close and I'm starting to see some of my classmates come back to campus. I'm in a pretty tight program starting in the fall. I'll be one of 13 people out of a total of 50 or so applicants that start this paramedic clinical/degree program in September. Some are new faces. Some are people I've seen (and liked a lot) for the past year and a half. Peaches is in the program too, and we're two peas in a pod. It'll be neat to see how we do. We're already talking about competition for the fall semester.

Peaches (or me) in a dress update: As of the end of the 1st session, Peaches was ahead of me by 0.1 percent (that's one tenth of a percent). The second session ends on Thursday and we'll score from an average of the two.

For those of you who haven't heard. Peaches and I have been taking Anatomy and Physiology I and II together this summer and we're very competitive. Whoever gets the higher grade at the end of both sessions gets taken to dinner by the loser. To sweeten the deal, the loser has to wear a dress! Wooo Hooo! Peaches is tall and skinny and I think he's look GREAT in a blue floor-length slinky thing with a slit up to his hip. Me? If I lose, I'll wear a tube top and a miniskirt. I'll not shave for a couple days and introduce myself as Peaches's "Hungarian girlfriend." I'll hang all over him like a whore onto a millionare and make sure everyone knows how much he loves me. Even if I lose, I'll win! There will be pictures. I promise.

As to my classmates for the fall. I'm seeing these people again and I'm looking forward to working with them in the next 2 years. The ones I know, I like. Each and every one. I've been introduced to a couple new ones and they strike me as competent, eager and likable. I'm going to have blog names for them as they develop.

The fall semester should give me a lot of blogworthy materials. I'll be taking pharmacology, cardiac patients, respiratory patients, EMS leadership and critically ill patients. All of these classes will be with a group of people whom I find to be as interesting and likable as they are different from each other.

I'll also be working at the University health center as a Medical Assistant. Peaches has worked there for a couple semesters and has told me about it. He says I'll treat a lot of STDs, burn (or freeze) off a lot of warts, and give a lot of flu shots. I'm looking forward to the non-emergent clinical experience. I think it will round out my paramedic training a bit and give me a perspective on medicine when there's not an imminent threat of death. It will also give me a chance to get really good at HIPAA confidentiality since many of my patients will also be classmates. (HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a US law that basically says you have the right to have access to your medical records, take them with you and your medical information is private. It holds ALL medical workers accountable for maintaining the confidentiality of patient records, conditions and identities.)

Ok, I have 2 finals and a practical exam on Thursday. I need to get some sleep so I can spend all of tomorrow in the lab getting ready. Wish me luck! Thanks for reading.


Dang! What the hell do I write?

Herself writes every day. Each morning she gets up, grabs a glass of orange juice and writes 3 pages in her big black journal. I don't read it. It's her thing. The stuff of hers that I have read is fabulous. She's, quite possibly, the best writer I've ever read. She's an editor and has a degree in English and Literature from a fabulous university.

Me? Mornings? They're like this: Out of bed, potty, dog's gotta go out, pour coffee for me, dog's gotta go out, Pour coffee for Herself, dog's gotta go out, Look at dog, She's REALLY gotta go out. Drink a glass of water. "Hey! Does the dog have to go out?" Take the dog out (Let the cat in.). Get the paper. Give the dog her vitamin and her medicine (incontience, she's old) Print my homework. Have another cup of coffee Start the eggs/oatmeal/cream of wheat/cereal/french toast/breakfast burritos or whateverthehell I make for breakfast. Check email. Pack lunches for herself and I. Have another cup of coffee. Have breakfast with Herself. Have another cup of coffee. Spend 2.75 seconds contemplating how awesome Herself is. Head out the door.

As you can see, I write at night.

I'm trying to stick to my "Blog every day!" promise. It's pretty hard when my brain is full of A&P homework, stress about finals and worries about my grade.

What does this have to do with EMS, me becoming a medic or any of that stuff? Nothing.




God in my ambulance?

Jason has an entry in his blog about God.

Wow, man. That's a heavy topic. In fact, I have made it a habit to NEVER discuss politics, religion or any extremely contentious social issues. It always turns out bad and I've yet to change anyone's mind (or vice-versa).

With that said, here we go:

Jason says,

"Who here prays before they arrive on a scene? It's become second nature to me to say a little prayer on the way to a scene for God to help guide my hands and mind to help my patient, and for Him to be with the patient. I'm sure it helps, and it sure helps give me a better feeling about the events that are about to unfold (which probably gives me a better self-confidence, which in turn allows me to perform my duties better)."

First of all, I don't publicly adhere to a specific religious affiliation and I make no claims as to the evidence or belief in a supreme being/higher intelligence/divine force. I was raised in a Judeo-christian faith and I'm sure it has colored my approach to divinity. I have also extensively studied, practiced and read many Eastern beliefs and doctrines and draw upon them as well.

My relationship with the supernatural/divine/higher power/spiritual force is an extremely personal one. How that fits into my work with life and death and my influence on it can be summed up as this. If there is one, the Man(Woman?) upstairs is in charge of the afterlife. Everything up to that point is my problem. I don't mess around in the afterlife, She (He?) doesn't mess around down here in the dirt. It's that simple.

From the Tao Te Ching By Lao Tzu (about 2,500 years ago): "Heaven and Earth are impartial; they treat all creation as straw dogs."

I'm here to do something. That's to be a Medic. I know I'm going to die. I know I won't be famous or immortalized in my artistic works. I don't have the pride to think I'm going to contribute something bigger than myself. I'm just a foot soldier. I will work to do my best to save every life I can and alleviate as much suffering as I can. I'll fight each battle with the tenacity as if it were my last and with the energy as if it were my first. I'm alone. Nobody's guiding me but me.

The Hokkagare (the "manual" of the Bushido, or Samurai, code) says, "The Samurai embraces death. He breathes each breath as if it were his last and welcomes death into his heart. By doing so he is free of fear." (badly paraphrased, I'm sure)

Each moment is the last. Each patient is the only patient I have. Each call is the most important call ever. I fight each "battle" without focusing on losing, I only focus on winning.

Now, please know this: This entire entry is my own personal approach to the divine in EMS. I, in no way, mean to make a judgment on how anyone else does it. It's important that everyone find their path and I'm not prideful enough to think I have the answers. I can understand where Jason's coming from and I'm pleased he has a path. I merely intend to share a bit of my own.

The "GOD" question? My answer: I don't know. All I know is my patient before me, my tools, my talent and the battle is on.

From the Tao Te Ching again: "Love the whole world as if it were yourself; then you can truly care for all things."




I don't own a TV. Sometimes I get left out of a conversation because I didn't see the finale of "Friends" (in fact, I've never seen an episode of the show). Then again, I'd rather talk about topics more interesting than TV shows. Herself and I inherited a non-functioning television in our old house that only worked with the VCR which was fine. I love movies. We sold that one with the VCR for $30 at our yard sale.

Now, if I were going to put a television in my home, it would have to be beautiful, even when it's off. These are the most beautiful TV's I've ever seen. They work with a VCR or DVD player too!


Blog every day!

I've heard from a couple readers who are griping about my posting schedule. Thank you. I'm still delighted that I'm being read. (I reached 3K hits today! w00t!) I've decided to post an entry every day.

Now, those of you who've read my drivel for a while know that I don't like writing drivel. I strive to post only that which is a good read or, at least vaguely interesting. Here's the challenge: Since I'm going to post every day I've got to find the interesting anecdote, event or thought to post. I suppose some days will be considerably shorter than other but we'll see. I'll do my best to keep my posts related to EMS and Paramedic school. I'll try not to wander too far into "the weeds."

I can't claim inconvenience since I use a really cool program to write my blog on my Powerbook laptop and it posts directly to Blogger. I can't claim lack of connectivity since I have wireless access at home and school and Macjournal enables me to write them when I want and post them when I can.

There you have it. Jason, Psychwolf, Clarke and the rest of my adored readers will at least have some new material on a regular basis. Thank you for your comments. All of you, please feel free to email me or leave a comment with the link below.



Getting lost seemed to be the theme last night.

4 o'clock this morning the buzzer goes off. MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident) on the southbound side of Suchandsuch Highway just after Somethingorother Interstate. We roll out just after the engine and the radio is all a-chatter with the 5 units responding to our wreck and another just around the corner.

Our engine drives right by the site.

Our ambulance (with me in it) drives right by.

So does a rescue squad and a batallion chief.

We don't see a thing!

Finally somebody notices that the "wreck" is a car in a ditch in the median that's been there for 2 days. The only difference is that it's night time and raining.



I rode a fire truck for the first time last night. Both Engines were heading out the door to a fire in the next area over and there was no driver for the ambulance left behind. Somebody told me to grab my gear and get on board so, I did.

We got lost

Never made it to the fire.

Turns out there wasn't a fire anyway.




I'm scheduled for Firehouse duty on Friday the 13th.

Sounds like fun! Stay tuned...



If you're rich, does that make you stupid?

I commute over 50 miles (round trip) on a major interstate every day to get to school. I keep seeing people in very expensive cars, driving fast and doing stupid things. This week I've seen:

-a man in a 2004 Jaguar S type (about $40,000) reading a magazine at 70mph
-a man in a 2003 Ford Taurus SE ($25,000) typing on a laptop in the passenger seat while changing lanes at 75mph
-a man in a 2002 Ford Expedition (about the size of a house and just as expensive) with a newspaper fully open on the steering wheel driving at 75mph.
-a woman in a 2003 Lexus SUV ($40,000+) eating a bowl of soup (with Both hands!!!!) while tailgating me at 80mph.
-a man in a customized 2000 Ford Econoline van (Price: unknown but it's a big van!) typing text messages on his cellphone while swerving between lanes and cutting people off (Did I mention he frequently used his other hand to "gesticulate" to other cars that were honking at him?).

Did these people have to sell their brains to afford their vehicles?

I work in EMS. These are the people that keep us in business. Unfortunately.



What about Maddog?

I was checking things out the other day and I noticed that the link to About MaddogMedic was broken. Oops! I fixed it so it points here.

I've also added the More About MaddogMedic link to the side. If some of you newer readers are interested in me, you can read up. Please feel free to leave a comment or email me if you have any questions, comments or want to learn more.

I've been really busy with the 2nd session of Anatomy and Physiology. Peaches and I are neck in neck as far as score so we won't be sure until the end of the session who gets a free dinner and who gets to wear a dress!

I've received a job offer from the place where Peaches works and, after thinking about it, I don't think I'll take the job. The pay is pretty low for the work I'll be doing and they'll want me to work from 6pm to 6am. The health center where I go to school is hiring people and, though they don't pay as much, they offer much more flexible and reasonable hours, and it's a hell of a lot closer than driving another 20 minutes further north from school.

That's about it for now!