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Well this semester is officially over! I believe it was the hardest one yet! I took environmental biology, drama, and statistics. There were times I considered dropping, but I am so glad I pushed through! I got my grades today, and while they could have been much better, I passed! I am done with the local community college and moving on...

I was accepted into University of Texas at San Antonio into the Emergency Health Science program. It starts in July and I can't wait to take classes that I am interested in! The people that I have talked to at the University are all so friendly and helpful, such a stark contrast to my community college!

In other news, I am having a "mass" removed from my ankle next week. After all the problems I had last year, nobody knows exactly what it is. I am unsure how the surgery will be, or what will happen afterwards, so my excitement for school comes at a great time! It is definitely something to look forward to!

Have a great day everyone!!!


So, about 9 months ago I had a tumor removed from my thigh. It was unclear exactly what it was but there was a high possibility that it was a form of sarcoma, so I was referred to a leading cancer hospital. They have been doing repeat scans every 3 months and pretty much just waiting for something to start growing.

A few weeks ago I noticed a small lump in my forearm. I was initially in denial and just hoped it would go away, it didn't. I decided finally to go to a local dr to see if they knew what it was. I was really hoping there was nothing there and they would say I am paranoid. They didn't. They tried to schedule an MRI for that afternoon and an appointment with a surgeon the next day, but I decided I'd be better off with my oncologist so I called him. The surgeon called back and after talking to him for about 15 minutes he scheduled scans for Tuesday. They are working me into the schedule. So now I'm just waiting. It sucks. I am pretty much just counting the hours until I will know something. I am not a very patient person.

If you are the praying type, please send some up for all those affected by cancer!


New Ambulance

Well yesterday we went to pick up a new ambulance. I had been to the company that builds ours before, but yesterday the gave us a tour. It was awesome to see how ambulances are built from start to finish! They took us to lunch and even threw in a new Tshirt and hat for each of us! Of course we did pay multiple thousands of dollars to have the old box remounted and improved.

We also saw a new idea they have for a clinic on wheels/communications truck. It was a 14 foot box with 2 curtained areas for patients and 4 desks. Very neat idea! I'm hoping we can find a way to convince our supervisors we need such a vehicle! It amazes me how many improvements have been made to ambulances just in my 7 years of EMS.

If you are shopping for a new ambulance I would definetely recommend Frazer. They work with you to get you exactly what you need. They are helpful when problems arise, and they really KNOW ambulances.

The best part of the day was that I drove the truck 150 miles home and didn't even put one scratch on it! :icecream:


The spring semester started yesterday and I am already afraid! I am enrolled in Statistics, Environmental Biology, and Theater. My only real concern is statistics. I am not even sure what the class is about!

Hopefully all my professors are great! Good luck to those of you who are also enrolled this semester. I am hoping this will be my last semester at the local community college!

On another note, my books cost $450! I only bought three! How crazy is that?


The end is near...

Well I'm almost 2 months out from microdiscectomy on L5-S1 and I must say I'm disappointed. I was looking at the surgery as a cure for my injury and apparently that was not a realistic expectation. The surgeon told me that disc space is prone to injury and I will need a fusion at that level by the time I'm 40, but I guess I chose to not actually HEAR him.

Waking up from surgery was awful. I was in excruciating pain from severe muscle spasms that the recovery nurse had a hard time controlling. She eventually gave me enough medication to knock me out for most of the rest of the day. After the recovery room experience I wasn't in much pain at all for the first week. We even drove the three hours home that day and ate at a restaraunt on the way. Week 2 was a little rough which is expected. At the end of week 3 I went to get cleared to return to work, as I was told that was how long I would need to be off. He did clear me but advised that it was not in my best interest. He said it could take up to a year to heal from the surgery and I would always have a high risk for re-herniation. He told me I should look at different career paths.

All was ok, not great, until this past Friday when I had severe muscle spasms all night. These spasms were more severe than prior to surgery. They have gone away and are now tolerable for the most part. Today I experienced the tingling in my lower leg again, and called the surgeon who prescribed a steroid pack, pain meds, and a new muscle relaxer. Hopefully they will reduce my pain and tingling.

The hardest thing is that tonight I have reached the conclusion that my time as a paramedic may be over. I don't know what I will do now. I have no real education other than EMS. I don't have enough EMS education to teach and don't relish the idea of going into administration. I don't know where to go. I don't know what else to do with my life. As much as I sometimes hate my job, it really is important to me. I can't imagine any other proffesion bringing me such joy.

I will miss everything from holding a little old ladies wrinkled hand as she tells me stories of her youth to the small child who I can make smile even though his arm is in the shape of a Z. EMS is my passion. I can't imagine walking away.

Hopefully I can squeeze enough time out of my back to be able to figure out my next step.


I'm having surgery in a week...and I'm slightly nervous...I think I know too much about the OR!

During my clinical time I spent many hours in the OR. I witnessed techs making fun of patients, not being professional, and many minor mistakes being made. I am terrified of what will go on as I am under anesthesia. The people I work with are not helping...I have been told that I will be awake throughout surgery without the ability to let them know. I have been told that I will wake up intubated. I am afraid of waking up in severe pain. I am afraid the surgery won't work. I am afraid that the surgeon will find more damage than expected when he goes in. I am afraid that the surgery will be more extensive than I am anticipating.

I'm trying to be optimistic. I hope that my pain will be greatly relieved after surgery. I hope that I can control the pain with minimal pain killers.

I really NEED this surgery to work. The last 7 months have been crazy awful.


I hate the term Paragod. I hated it when I was an EMT-B, and I hate it now that I'm a paramedic.

I know there are times when paramedics take it too far. I worked with one who insisted that I stand on the right side of the stretcher, for no reason other than the fact that he felt that's the way it should be. There are paramedics, who think that EMT's offer no help at all other than the ability to drive. However, there are times when paramedics must stand there ground.

I am a green paramedic. I can admit that. I've been a paramedic for almost 4 years and was an EMT for 3 before that. I know I don't know everything. I never will.

It bothers me when EMT's try to quarterback my calls. There are times when experience is helpful and I will listen to the suggestions they offer, but the final call is mine. I am responsible for the patient, nobody else.

If you don't understand why I've done something a certain way ask me after the call. I'm happy to explain my thinking and discuss the situation.

It is so easy for lower level providers to critique what they don't understand. They don't want the responsibility of being a paramedic yet they want to judge what they don't understand.

There are times when a paramedic has to be authoritative. There's no way around it.

So, if I override a decision you try to make, please understand it isn't personal. I just may have a different way of thinking than you do.


It just gets better and better...

I was thrown from a horse back in April(my fault, not the horses) and had immediate excruciating back pain. When I was able to catch my breath I stood up and walked about 8 steps before I had to lay back down from fear of passing out. This happened at my grandparents house and scared the crap out of my grandpa. He wanted to call 911 but I couldn't let that happen. I didn't want to be mae fun of by my colleagues! Lol. Anyway, I crawled into the car and he took me to a small local ER. The CT showed a compression/end plate fracture at L1. I was off work for 3 months and started PT three days after the injury. I followed my doctors advice to the T but didn't seem to get any better and he just wasn't listening to me. He released me for work but I still was having symptoms and didn't know what to do...

I went to a chiropractor and he ordered an MRI which showed a herniation and extrusion at the L5-S1 level with an annular tear. I have decreased reflexes on my right side and severe sciatic pain at times. I saw a pain management dr who did 2 epidural spinal injections with no relief.

A friend convinced me to see an orthopedic spine specialist who recommends a microdiscectomy. I scheduled the surgery but can find little information about returning to heavy lifting. Hopefully I will get more information at the Pre-OP appointment. The surgeon said I could go back to work after 4 weeks and I hope he is right because after that I wil lose my job.

I am very nervous about back surgery. I don't want to live in pain every day for the rest of my life but I also don't want to give up my career.

Anybody have any experience with this? Any advice?


You just never know what may happen...

I am having a little medical problem and am trying to keep it quiet in my circle of family and friends but I am really struggling so I thought maybe my EMT City friends could offer some advice or words of encouragement.

I have had a small growth on my thigh for about 5 years. I went to my PCP a few years ago and he said it was nothing, it had probably been there longer than I realized and i shouldn't worry about it.

Well a month ago I took a spill from a horse and the area around my growth appeared to have a huge bruise around it but it didn't feel like a bruise. In one of my follow up appointments for the back injury I asked my PCP to look at it again. He became very concerned and scheduled me to come in the next day so he could remove it. No big deal, he cut it out, left a stitch to close the incision, sent it to pathology because he nor anyone in the office had ever seen anything like it before.

The first pathologist called him and told him he thought it looked like a liposarcoma but he had never seen it before so he was sending it to a second pathologist. The second pathologist said it looked like a different even rarer form of sarcoma but when he stained the slide it didn't act like it should. His recommendation was to remove the rest of the groth with a large section of healthy tissue just to be cautious. I was sent to a general surgeon who told me he wouldn't touch it until he had approval of an oncologist. The oncologist wouldn't make a definitive diagnosis but thinks it is sarcoma. He ordered a CT of my chest, abdomen, and pelvis as that is where this particular cancer spreads. I had the CT today so I am just waiting for results. The oncologist said that the tumor in my thigh will need to be removed regardless and next week he and the surgeon will discuss how much needs to be removed.

Does anyone have experience with liposarcoma or any other forms of sarcoma? Does it sound like I'm on the right track? Any suggestions for me? I am very worried and the more I google the worse it gets.



I have been handed the short hand of the stick. I have been working with part-timers as one of our full-time employees has been out on medical leave.

A little back ground info on my service-we are a rural 911 service and the closest hospital is at a minimum 30 miles away.

I have been working with one part-timer who is male and older than me so he thinks he is entitled to be king. He is an Intermediate and his only other EMS job is for a transfer service where he has worked for about a year. The first time I ran a call with him I realized he is very green to the emergency part of things. I thought no big deal, I don't mind teaching him a few things...HA. You can only teach people who want to be taught.

He was unsable to take a blood sugar, or even locate the glucometer. He questioned my judgement on an unconscious diabetic that I gave Glucagon to. Everything must be explained to him. He apparently has never backboarded a patient before. He refused to listen to me when I told him we were going to the ER without lights and sirens with a drunk patient. He refuses to actually take a patient himself. It is so stressful to know that the only extra pair of hands you have is unwilling to make any effort to learn anything. Knowing I could be working a cardiac arrest with him is terrifying. The fear that I could be stuck with him having multiple patients is even more terrifying. Sometimes working for a rural service really sucks!

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