08 April 2007


Sorry once again I haven't written much recently. I am really trying to get myself on the right track. Let's just say I'm having some life problems right now. Or something.

But I do almost have a story. Not about a call per-say....but a dream. I had a dream in my like 1/2 hour of sleep about a call. It was a full arrest. All out-CPR, rhythms, starting lines, pushing drugs, etc. It was like a mega-code in medic school. Haha. It didn't really bother me until I got to the firehouse this morning...I think bother is the wrong word. Maybe concern. I was talking with my partner and he was like, oh shit! I had a dream that I was doing CPR! So yeah. Hopefully it doesn't come true today. I would like a nice (insert "s" word) day :).

28 February 2007

I Apologize

For my absence recently...well actually for a couple of months. I have just had a lot going on. I was actually sick myself for nearly this entire month. I was in the hospital for several days, and I have been going back and forth with specialists. Definitely my idea of fun. I hate hospitals. And quite honestly I don't care for doctors, nurses, or the lot. Haha. Well, they're all okay unless I'm the one that's sick. I just don't like being the patient at all. And I'm a horrible patient because of it. I usually wait until the very last second to go to the ER. For example: I had an asthma attack this summer, while I was working, and I sat at the station in my bed, for at least an hour before my partner forced me to go. At the hospital I stopped breathing several times. Ha. But I still lived, so I still plan on waiting until I can't any longer.

Work has been pretty much the same. Some good calls...many not so good calls. I delivered my first baby this month. That was probably the best call I have ever been on.

I just got off work this morning from the ambulance company. Yesterday's shift was a complete nightmare. I started at 0700 and I was ready to leave by 1000. It was just bad. It wasn't like we were extremely busy or anything. We only ran five calls in 24 hours. We were just all over the place, ending up out of the county and running calls that another station should have been running, etc. The normal b.s. And absolutely everyone was crabby. It was ridiculous. And my partner and I were crabby as well. I swear we were getting CO poisoning in our rig or something because we were both feeling sick and dizzy. Like if I moved my head too fast, I would still be seeing whatever I was looking at before...and not what I was actually looking at. It was very odd. They kept us up for practically the entire shift. As soon as we'd drift off, the nextel would go off with another call. Typical day. I think the dispatchers time us so that as soon as we should be sleeping, they wake us up...like they purposely hold calls for that hour so that they can have the pleasure of disturbing my sleep. Oh well.

Anyways, I hope to update this much more often from now on. I'm sorry it took me so long! But hopefully some interesting calls soon.

18 December 2006

Christmas Music

A very slow day to begin with. We didn't do anything until the evening. I was hoping to keep it that way. Although quite boring, I would prefer to do nothing and get paid for it sometimes than cart around people that should be taking a taxi. Oh well.

All hell broke loose around 1800. We were called to a nursing home for chest pain. We got on scene, did our workup and determined that it was most likely a respiratory problem and not cardiac. Our patient had crackles in his lungs, just on the right side...probably pneumonia.

We had just made it back to quarters and got into bed (by this time it was around 2200 after getting dinner, etc) and we were called to a stand-by emergency room for a psych eval. Okay, no biggie. Just grab and go, drop 'em off and go back to bed. Well, it wasn't that easy. The nurse only gave us like maybe 1/16 of the story. She was actually an overdose. On cocaine, meth, trazadone, a bunch of psych meds, and pain killers. She was dizzy and nearly fell over getting onto the cot. Then she was hallucinating in the back of the ambulance. She said, "I really like what you've done with the place. Those curtains are beautiful!" Now mind you, we don't have any curtains, and our rig is definitely not beautiful. Then she asked why we were outside, and starting flipping out again trying to get the blanket over her head to suffocate herself. A little Narcan did the trick (kinda) but she was still hallucinating when we left the ER.

Made it back to quarters again. Laid down for 15 minutes. Called to transfer a psych to the state mental hospital. I was cursing and going on for several minutes because it is over 60 miles away. We got to the ER and I walk with the stretcher past the nurses station. The nurse grabbed my arm and was like, "you can't go in there without security!" I was like, "well, I wasn't planning on it, I'm just getting the cot out of the way." Whatever. So, we wait forever for paperwork, as usual, and finally we meet our patient. Before we even get a chance to open the door she opens it and yells at my partner, "you don't need to be knocking on my door, it is rude!" He never even touched the door. It took a lot of convincing, or rather several large security guards, to get her onto the cot. She loved the four point restraints. Ha. And even made my partner swear which takes quite a bit. The ride was actually quite funny. First I was listening to like pop/rock music, but I can't stand commercials, so then I changed it to country. Then that had commercials eventually too, so I changed it to Christmas music. Ooooh...that's when the fun started. She hated the music. So what did I do, you ask? I turned it up. And we both started singing, quite loudly I might add. For over 40 miles of the trip :). When we got there she said we stole her candy and that my partner's sister was a bitch, which she was referring to me. Then she got to fight with the guards at the mental hospital, so we headed home. Another life saved.

We did another transfer to a nursing facility out of the ER. This place is quite creepy. We always call the buildings bomb shelters. They are very funny looking and out of place, and there are maybe 50 of them. Very hard to find the one you need. And the lady was hacking and coughing all over my rig. Ugh. Disgusting.

We got back to quarters at 0654. At least I wasn't held over.

12 December 2006

Your patient

Busy day. We did a four hour ALS MRI. Those are my least favorite calls. In fact I hate doing them. It drives me crazy every time I get dipatched to one.

Lots of silly transfers....mostly rehab, psychs, and a few going back to nursing homes.

And I forgot my coat at home today so I froze to death until the evening. Then we got a call going to a nursing home near my house so we stopped afterwards and grabbed it.

Then we were dispatched for chest pain at a nursing home two towns away. The roads were kind of slick and it was really foggy out, so it took us a little while to get there. The lady was fine. All her vitals were good. She said it just hurt when she would breathe. She was just diagnosed with pneumonia/bronchitis last week.

When we were leaving the ER the FD was bringing a guy in that I had taken last week with chest pain. He was out of a nursing home. And one of the guys said, "yeah, we had to pick up your patient." Like the nursing isn't in their district. Dummies. That was the first time we had seen them at the ER all day, and we had been there at least 5 times already.

Took a crazy pysch patient that reminded me of a toddler because she asked "why" about everything. And she was being an ass, so we cranked the Christmas music and sang all the way to the psych hospital. The best song is actually a Hawaiian song called "Melekelikimaka" which means merry christmas, or happy Christmas. Yep. I went to the national fire academy and met some really cool guys from Hawaii. And I learned a lot. But anyways, it was an okay shift.

I was only peeved when we were woken at 0430 for a medicar call going to same day surgery...which doesn't even open until 0600. The nurse had a fit and flipped out on my partner and I, like we wanted to bring him early, like we didn't want to still be in bed. Hmph.

08 December 2006

No...just call 9-1-1

I started work as usual at 0700. We got a call at 0712. We were called for shortness of breath. The only bad part was that the nursing home we were sent to is about a 30 minute drive even with lights and sirens. So, we get down there, making decent time, and pull into the nursing home. We hit the "on scene" button on the computer in the rig, and just as I am taking off my seatbelt and opening the door, my dispatcher beeps us on the Nextel, "You guys can disregard...the facility is calling 9-1-1." I told dispatch, "But, we are already here...we're going in right now." She says, "Well, now they don't want us they want to wait for 9-1-1. You guys can stand down and return to quarters." I was like, whatever. We got back in the rig and left. I don't understand the nurse's logic. You call a private ambulance and accept a 30-40 minute ETA. The ambulance pulls into the parking lot as you are on the phone with dispatch asking for another ETA. They tell you that the crew just pulled up. So now you decide that the patient is too critical to wait and call 9-1-1, after 30 minutes? What the hell. I mean, if that floats your boat, by all means, but it just confused the hell out of me.

We left there and got back to quarters about 40 minutes later. I had just gotten my boots and socks off when dispatch, once again, sends us lights and sirens to a nursing home about 30 minutes away. We get dressed, get in the rig and head out. We are called for "Tachycardia...the pt is also complaining of SOB, fever and altered mental status." Okay.....

We get on scene after dealing with every single idiot in the world on the road we were on, and head inside. We get to the room and speak with the caregiver. She says that the patient was up, talking, eating and even brushed her teeth this morning. When she came back to check on her she was, well, not herself. Our patient was slumped over in her wheelchair, wasn't speaking, had a blood pressure of 70, a blood glucose of almost 400, and had a heart rate around 130 with an elevated T-wave. Yeah. Needless to say we didn't stay and play long. We were heading out to the rig and the caregiver hands me her cell phone, and said, "It's the family, they want to talk to you." I politely declined and said that I couldn't share any patient info over the phone. The caregiver asked me if we were going to go to her desired hospital (which was about 30 minutes away). I told her we would try, but there was a 99.9% chance we would be diverted. She got pissed and told us they didn't like the closest hospital. I aksed if she was a DNR, and the caregiver said yes...but of course she couldn't produce it. To make a long story short we went to the closest facility. We got her blood pressure up to 100 systolic, but she was big time messed up. I'm sure she's in ICU right about now.

We did a transfer for a hip fracture.....

Then a psych transfer. This woman was absolutely disgusting. She was psychotic. Very upset about everything. She had been smearing feces and menstrual blood all over the walls and her body. Her hair was all matted. And she had sores on her feet from never wearing shoes. Ugh. She was completely uncooperative, then laughing, the yelling, then asking about our credentials, and asking to see another doctor. Yeah. So, we ended up cranking the Christmas music up and singing aloud for the whole three mile transport. :) Yeah, we're evil...going to hell on the express bus.

All in all, a good shift.

08 November 2006


First call right off the bat was a psych transfer. We got to the ER and it was a miracle-the paperwork was done and waiting for us! Whoa.

I finished my paperwork and went to meet our patient. He seemed alright. I hadn't really read into his papers, so I didn't get the whole story right away. I did notice that his feel looked blistered and had soot all over them. I just though, "hmmm...odd." Then I spoke with one of the security guards and got the truth. Apparently the guy doesn't like to live in his house, so he roams around the county and stays at campgrounds and basically lives off the streets. He was brought in by the police yesterday because he was found at one of the local campgrounds lighting a picnic table on fire, and in the process nearly catching the brush on fire. And that's not all. He proceeded to get up on top of the table, start dancing, and singing Elvis songs. Nice. That would have been a sight to see.


A apologize for not writing as much as I used to. I have been extremely stressed out, and probably a little burned out too, recently. I couldn't keep up with the blog-especially trying to write stuff down so I could remember to post it later. I just got the wireless broadband for my laptop, so I will try to post more often...

23 October 2006

Long Month

It has been quite a long month of the same old crap. I really haven't had any good calls whatsoever.

Today has been a typical day. Well, kind of. We have only done four calls so far. We did a couple BLS calls in the morning. We just did a call for "bleeding" that was actually for an ulcer that started bleeding on a lady's leg. The bleeding didn't worry me too much, but the fact that her leg was really swollen above the wound, that I couldn't get a pedal pulse, and that her capillary refill was +3 worried me. Oh well, I'm sure she'll be fine.

We also did a psych right after that. I walked into the room to get him on the cot and he had blood streaming down his arm from where he had an IV. By the time I got gloves on there was blood everywhere-a nice little pool on the floor, all over my gloves, and all over the bed. Good times. The best part was that the RN was rushing us to get him out of the room because she had a squad coming in. Well, they couldn't use the room anyways because housekeeping needed to sanitize it all now that it was covered in blood. Gotta love it.

Now I am back in quarters, just chilling. I have homework to do...

12 October 2006


A complete BLS day. The only call that we did that was ALS was a burn and return (radiation). Pretty boring.

Most of our calls were psych transports. Nothing good either.

I am off until Tuesday, so hopefully I'll have something by then...

09 October 2006


I haven't posted in forever. I've had a lot of crap going on....

Anyways, life is the same. I missed a structure fire today. I don't feel too bad because we went mutual aid and only did change on quarters-they struck out the box as soon as they got in the station.

But, the reason I am posting is much more, well, funny.

After returning from a rescue call this morning, the crew that was working was doing house chores, etc. One guy was out in the garage and he heard something behind him. He turned around and a deer had run into the bay. The deer was wounded-bleeding from god only knows what. (Walk in rescue call?) Anyways, so the guy is yelling at the others not to move because, they were all in the "house" part of the station and he didn't want anyone to get hurt. Meanwhile, one of the other guys was in the training room and heard a commotion and the one firefighter yelling, but he figured people were screwing around (as usual). Well, the deer ended up running into the door that separates the bay from the house and left snot marks everywhere and scratched up the door. It turned around, as the one firefighter is hiding in the workout room, and runs into the dayroom, getting blood all over the carpet, table, and chairs. The firefighter that was in the fitness room called the police station next door and told them that they needed to get over here and help. Well, needless to say, the cops thought he was joking. The deer eventually ran out of the bay, leaving only a trail of blood and snot.

Good times. I wish I could get the pictures, but they aren't on the shared disc. Very funny though.

I did a practice CPAT test on Saturday. Let's just say that I am joining a gym on Tuesday, because otherwise the only thing I'll be leaving in on test day is an ambulance.

Not too many good calls recently. I have had a few funny ones.

I had a lady that kept yelling "can someone please get me a gown" every thirty seconds for the hour we waited for her paperwork in the ER. They were getting slammed-two full arrests at once.

04 October 2006


A couple days ago we had some really bad storms. On my way to work I could see heat lightning, but it didn't look bad. We got a rescue call right off the bat, and it was still okay outside-it wasn't even raining yet.

By the time we were about two minutes from the hospital it was hailing. By the time we got into the ER you could hear the sirens going off outside and the intercom at the hospital saying "code yellow." Which is their tornado warning. We hauled ass to get everything together and get back up to our station. I was doing my paperwork and I had to call dispatch to get times. The phone rang and rang and their was no answer. I thought for sure that the tornado had taken out my town. But, they apparently didn't feel like answering the phone.

The tornado was sighted in the town just north of the hospital, and headed towards the hospital (south). Basically we had to drive right back through the storm to get to quarters. The roads were flooded, shit was flying everywhere-leaves, sticks, trash. We were making waves going down the road. It was so windy that every time my partner took his foot off the accelerator, we got blown into the other lane. Crazy.

When we got back to the station there were tons of people here. A lot of people don't have basements, so we all come to the firehouse when there's a tornado warning.

Anyways, we got back for maybe 15 minutes and got dispatched to another call. Nothing big, but by this time it was raining like crazy. I looked like a drowned rat by the time we got to the ER.

It was an interesting night, to say the least.

I found out the next morning that a tree in my backyard got struck by lightning. It is a huge willow tree, and the branch is literally split to the core. It will definitely take out my fence if it falls.

22 September 2006

Going Steady

It didn't seem like we ran very many calls today. When I finally counted them up in the evening we had already done six. We were steady all day, but we made it back to quarters several times throughout the day.

We did several psych transports. A call for back pain at a nursing home. The lady seemed completely fine. She was; we took her back to the nursing home with a perfect bill of health several hours later.

We had a lady with an allergic reaction from a cleaning solvent. She wasn't wearing gloves and she got a rash on her hands and said that she had hives on her face. They were gone by the time we got there, but she said her face felt tight and she was itchy. The miracle drug Bendryl cured that. Another save...

We took a 15 year old girl that was a cutter to the psych facility.

No really good call. Just more of the same.

18 September 2006

Nursing Supervisor

Today was way too long. We ran all day...and all night. I feel like I have the flu. I just need a few hours of sleep.

Only one truly memorable call for the shift. I am blanking on most everything right now. We were called to a nursing home for a fall-patient still on the floor. We got on scene and a lady met us at the door. She said she was the "nursing supervisor," and starting giving us report. She said that our patient fell and probably has a broken shoulder. We asked her if the fall was witnessed. She said, "I am speaking now. When I am done telling you the story-then you ask questions." I just looked at my partner and rolled my eyes. So, the nurse finishes her little speech and still hasn't answered us. So we ask again-several times actually, but we never got an answer. Then we asked how she fell. She didn't answer. So we expanded a bit, asking if she slipped or tripped, etc. The nurse said, "When you're 96 years old, you just fall!" Okay...

We got to the patient and she was still on the floor, propped up with pillows and had a sling on her arm. She said her arm hurt, but other than that she was fine. She looked like she was in a lot of pain. She also had a huge knot on her head. We did our workup, got a c-collar on her, put her on a backboard, and did our vitals. She was writhing in pain-her shoulder was obviously deformed.

Because we never got a straight answer from the nurse as to whether it was witnessed or not, we did an ALS workup including an IV. (We also needed the IV for pain meds.) Anyways, when I took her blood pressure it was 206/126. We got the IV, and the woman yelled out in pain. The nursing supervisor came stomping down the hall asking us what we needed an IV for, because this was "just a simple fall." We tried to explain, but she wouldn't listen and stormed right back out of the room. The RN also told us that we must call the hospital before we leave. Well, we didn't call before we left because that's not our protocol.

She was pissed. So, she was calling our company to complain instead of assisting us.

We got the lady out to the rig, did another set of vitals, gave her morphine and meds to decrease her blood pressure. She was doing alright.

We got to the hospital without a problem. Then I got a page saying we need to call operations. I called and the nurse, sure enough, called in a complaint. She said we were rude, we initiated care without her approval, that we did unnecessary treatment and that we didn't consult her before we did anything. She told the call taker that we didn't need to give her morphine IV, that we could have given it P.O., and that she really didn't need morphine anyways, she could have given her tylenol. Nice. I just told operations that we followed our pain management and hypertensive protocols, and that's that. As far as I know the complaint was dropped, but I sure don't want to run into that nurse again.

12 September 2006

Where is Lake County?

We were busy all day. Every called pulled me closer and closer to Chicago. Don't worry-we finally made it.

We were sent on a priority to a home address in Chicago. There was tons on construction, so every street that I wanted to turn on, I couldn't. Ugh. We finally made it-on a one way street with cars parked on both sides. We pretty much shut down the street. We were called for "general weakness." We got inside this apartment building and had to maneuver the cot down and around on a ramp to get onto the first floor. I cut a corner a little too close and caught it with the bottom of the stretcher. Yeah, so I broke the wall! The base board ripped off (about 1 1/2 feet of it) along with about six inches tall of the past 80 years worth of paint. Oops. I just kept walking. We tried to get on the elevator, but the cot wouldn't fit...it wouldn't fit in the freight elevator either. So, we left the cot downstairs, and carried the jump bag and monitor up with us. The apartment door was open, and we were greeted my a very surly guy in a wheelchair. He was a paraplegic, and a very crabby one might I add. I asked him what was wrong, and he said his colostomy and urostomy bags came off. Great. He said otherwise he was fine.

We took him in the wheelchair to the first floor. He was probably about 130 kg and there was no way we were going to lift him out of the chair and onto the cot. He said he "rolled" onto the wheelchair, so he said he would "roll" onto the cot. That wasn't too pleasant. I got his butt in my face, and he only got about halfway on, so we had to pull him the rest of the way up. He was soaked in urine and feces. It was dripping off his legs. And all over the cot and floor. My partner ran his wheelchair back upstairs while I got a history, etc. We got a move on out to the rig. We ran BLS-nothing I can do but get him to the ER so they can put his colostomy back in.

It started to pour rain outside. As it was, I was stuck in the back of a tiny little rig with a smelly man that was covered in urine and feces. Now I can't run with the windows open because we will probably drown. I called report, and turned on the exhaust fan. I was pretty much sucking the wall to get any fresh air I could out of that little hole. Disgusting, I know. Then the rig started leaking again. Sheets of water were falling into the back through the weather stripping-soaking out jump bag. To make things even better, the entire ER bay was full, so we had to unload the patient outside and take him in. I looked like a sewer rat by the time we were done. Yuck.

We did several psych calls, a call for altered mental status, and a call for a guy with a 104 fever. I got off an hour and a half late. I think I only did two calls in Lake county. The rest were south.

06 September 2006


A day full of psychs. For almost the entire day, I just bounced from one hospital to the same psych facility over and over again. We joked that we were the underground railroad for psychs-only we had to take the normal streets.

We took one to Chicago pretty late in the day. She was laughing most of the time and things such as the glove box and the tape on the cabinets.

On the way back from Chicago we acted like complete idiots. We searched, and found, the wierdest radio station and blasted it-with the windows open. Then, when we would pass either a) a car with their windows open, b) a large crowd of people, or c) a semi-truck, we would slow down and start dancing like complete idiots. Think: rave dancers with glow sticks, someone having a seizure, and disco dancing all in one. It was hysterical. By the time we got close to the highway we were playing it over the PA and naming our dance moves, such as "dying octopus" "crazed orangutan" "drowning fish" and "rabid donkey." It was way too funny. The best was on the highway because we would catch up to a truck, slow down so that we were even with their cab, count to 3 and start dancing. A couple of them were laughing hysterically and then got on their CB radios.

We got back up north and were immediately dispatched to another psych for the underground railroad. I recommended that we just rent a bus and take them all at once, but we couldn't figure out how to secure the restraints properly to the bus seats. Yeah.

We got into the ER and started paperwork. I checked on the patient and let him know I would be right back-we just had to grab the rest of the paperwork. As I was leaving the room I thought I heard something like a duck quacking. I ignored it and started getting everything together. We got him on the cot and out to the rig. While we were pulling out of the bay I heard it again. It was definitely a quack. He continued quacking for the entire trip. By the time we were halfway to the hospital we were playing a game I like to call "animal sounds." He would quack, I would bark, he'd quack again, I would moo, or meow, or make any other sound I could think of. He was having a blast, although he wouldn't make any other noises but the quacking. It was fun just the same.

We were called for a chest pain. We went enroute to the facility our dispatch told us over the nextel. It was about 0300. I didn't bother to look at the pager. We were about 4 blocks away and I look at the pager to see what room number we were going to and the facility name was different. They both start with the same letter. I was like, oh shit! Yeah, so I turned around and headed towards the other one, which is about 2 blocks from our quarters versus the three miles I had just driven. Just as I was making a u turn dispatch keyed us up and told us that we were going the wrong way and that we could disregard. The other shift rig was given the call first, disregarded from it when we got it, and saw us going south instead of east. They got the call. Oops. We went to the facility anyways and helped them out. The lady was fine. She has chronic angina. Like, daily. Oh well.

A very long day, although interesting, I am pooped. I didn't use any ALS skills, but I did have fun dancing, playing animal sounds and going the wrong way on a priority :)

04 September 2006


I ran all day in Chicago. I didn't mind too much because for once I actually knew where I was going. We did mostly BLS transfers. Nothing exciting, but I met some nice people.

We took a lady from a suburban hospital to a home address in Chicago. She was in her early eighties and her daughter was with her. Neither spoke more than a couple words of English-only Russian. So, needless to say, we had a hard time communicating. I was in back, and my partner was driving. We got the address, but the daughter was trying to tell my partner where she needed to go. We made it to the apartment complex eventually. It was an odd place, almost like a planned community. It had a nursing home, senior living, regular apartments, school, church, etc. I don't think we would have found it if the daughter hadn't been with because the address was off a main road, but it was just the address to the complex, not the apartment. Anyways, we got there and as I was getting out of the ambulance, the daughter said in broken English, "wait...wait..." and she was digging through her bag. Then she pulled out a box of chocolate truffles and handed them to me. She said, "for you...thank you...thank you." We took her mother upstairs and said our goodbyes. It's not too often that people are actually appreciative-and we didn't really even do anything but give them a ride.

We did a couple more transfers, but got out of the city on a whim. They sent us on a priority from Chicago back up to Waukegan. That was over 25 miles running hot. It was for an altered mental status, but when we got on scene we got the rest of the story. The status was not normal, but had been abnormal for several days already, and they were really sending him out because he had a fever of 100.1 that was down to 98 by the time we got there. Yeah. Good times.

We did several psych bounces, and a return to a nursing home in Cook County. The place isn't the best, but I have never seen it in such terrible disrepair as I did last night. We took the lady into her room and I heard a chirping noise. It was the smoke detector in the room. I told the CNA that they need to change the battery and he looked at me like I was crazy. Then the nurse was on break, so I was sent to the other side of the nursing home to get a signature. On my way over I passed probably 5 or 6 smoke detectors that were either hanging from the ceiling by the wires or that were simply torn down. There were also about 4 large emesis basins lining the hallway because the roof was leaking. Really nice. That place should be shut down.

We went back up north and stopped for gas. I was pumping and a lady walked out of the station and said "Hello!" She sounded rather drunk, and I just said hi and went back to my pumping. I watched her walk to the other side of the building and start dancing. She only had a t-shirt on and it was pouring rain. By the time we left she was deep in conversation with the wall at the laundromat next door.

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