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Just Me

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I have to wonder what is wrong with someone to go into an elementary school and just start shooting. Innocent babies dead because someone decided it would be a good idea. The shooters mother dead because she was a teacher in that school. Can someone explain it? anyone? cuz I sure can't.

This world has gone absolutely insane. It seems that this kind of thing is getting more and more frequent. We all think of Columbine and the shooting at the Amish school in PA and I'm sure that there are others but they slip my mind just now. What in your life can be so bad that your only alternative is to kill your mother and 20 innocent children in kindergarten and first grade? along with 6 other adults? Did nobody see this coming? Did nobody see that there was something wrong with this person? Have we, as a country, become so used to this kind of gun violence that what happened today is just commonplace?

Don't get me wrong, I advocate the fact that people have the right to keep and bear arms. I grew up around guns...my father taught me how to shoot when I was old enough to hold them without shooting myself in the foot. NY has some pretty stringent gun laws. I cant shoot my husbands pistol because I dont have a pistol permit but I can shoot the shotgun and rifle. I can protect myself and my son should the occassion arise....and God willing it never will arise.

I just don't understand this kind of thing..,I don't...and I am saddened that the world that my son has to grow up in, is so violent. That, for some people, the only answer to thier problems, is to pick up a gun or 2, go to the local elementary school and kill 26 people.

I wish that I could turn back the clock 30 yrs. A time when you could leave your house doors and windows open and unlocked and nobody would even think to walk in if your car wasnt there. When you could leave your keys in the car at night, without worrying that it would be gone in the morning,.....when your kids could go to school and not be afraid that someone is going to come in with a gun, and kill you and your friends and your teacher and anyone else they happen to come across. I wish......

My thoughts and prayers go to the families that lost thier sweet babies today and the families of the adults that were killed. And to my EMS brothers and sisters in CT....I am so sorry that this kind of thikng has happened in your town and state. I am thinking of you all and pray that you find the strength to go on.


I can't believe that I haven't blogged anything since April! Holy crap!! Maybe it's because my life is really uninteresting. I wake up, I get dressed, I get Jayse up and dressed, cook breakfast, put the dishes in the sink, make my lunch, yell at Jayse for the 4th time to get his shoes and coat on and grab his backpack and then out the door we go. I get to work, I check my rig and then I clean up the station....and run calls.

We were really lucky last week. Didnt turn a wheel Thursday or Saturday, only ran 1 call Monday and then all hell broke loose...again. Shootings, stabbings, fatal wrecks, acute MI's...you name it, we caught it. I've gotten pretty good at letting the bad things I see go by the wayside. I talk about it if I need to and then I just let it go. As long as I know that I am doing the very best I can.

Today we got a call for "bleeding from the mouth". About half way to the call, dispatch told it us it was now a full arrest and that she was sending us backup. As we were pulling into the driveway, my partner says.."I know these people. I grew up and went to school with thier kids". My pucker factor just went from a 2 to a 20....shit!!! So we get parked, I grab the first in bag, the IO and the suction. Jason grabs the monitor and tells the crew that coming to help to get the stretcher and a backboard when they get there.

So we walk into this beautiful house and I look down and I see blood drops on the floor....leading through the living room, up the stairs and onto the second floor. I see a woman standing there in tears and covered in blood. What the hell is going on? We walk into the bedroom and 1 of our co-workers is there and a couple of the EMT's from the fire dept. I see a man in a white coat doing CPR and HE is covered in blood. So we got to work, my partner gave the monitor to our co-worker. My partner asked for the intubation equipment, which I gave him. One of the EMT's is freaking out.."what can I do...What can I do!!" I send her out to check on the woman that I saw, to talk to her, make sure she is ok and to help her get cleaned up. I then grab the IO and head for the feet. I had an EMT run my line down and I drilled the IO, drew back got blood and hooked up the line. All the while the family member is talking to his brother....begging him to hold on. I ask what happened, whle my partner is fighting with the airway because its full of blood...he can't get the tube so he goes with a combitube. Something is better than nothing but now he is kinda stuck...cant deligate the airway because he has to constantly suction blood out of it.

Anyway, the family member tells us that his brother had a tonsilectomy 2 days ago with a tracheal cutdown? in Rochester. He says his wife heard him hit the floor and she came in to the room and found him on the floor, spewing blood from his mouth. The patient was covered, there were pools of blood on the floor as well as several towels dropped on the floor,soaking up more blood. If I didnt know better I would swear it was a murder scene and I had to swallow the dark humor that sometimes bubbles to the surface.

So I get the line attached and the IO secure and asked for my vasopressin....I got handed an Epi...ok that works. Give the Epi and because it was witnessed, asked for the Atropine. Got that and gave it. IO is runnin great...they finally have him intubated and now we have to move him. A backboard isnt gonna work....so we use the megamover. I apologize for the messl, I got told not to worry about it by the man's brother. The guys get him down to the stretcher and secured and now we are cookin with gas. I'm doin compressions and the only activity is my compressions....the 4:1 is asystole in 2 leads, but I gotta say that there wasnt anything to circulate. Got my 40 of vasopressin in him and continue compressions. My partner is still trying to keep the airway clear and he tells me that when I'm not doing compressions, he is easier to bag, but doing the compressions there is blood in the tube. I havent got much more to throw at him, so I fire up the pacer. Get my mMa set and the pulse to 60. My partner gets on the radio and calls a quick report and asks for sodium bicarb...we got the order for it, which surprised me and I gave that as well. The 4:1 is now showing agonal beats but no pulse....PEA. Shit!!! back to compressions....by now my back ( where I sprained it) is screaming at me to stop but I cant. We finally pull into the hospital, get him inside, get him moved over and respiratory therapy is there...with their fancy cameras and all...and they cant get the tube. Nice! Meanwhile someone else is doing compressions...at about 60 a minute. Really??! speed it up man!! then someone else takes over...and she is over on the left side of the chest...bouncing up an down....let me in there I tell her...and I start compressions again.

My white shirt is red, my blue pants are red and I am sweating like a pig on a hot summer day. The Doc looks at me and says " Good compressions!" "Thanks Doc...we get lots of practice...unlike some of the people in this room." I finally cant make myself do another compression and I let the 60 a minute man take back over. I untangle our monitor and walk out of the room. I only know this patients first name and that he is 59 years old. Except for the tonsilectomy 2 days ago I know nothing about him, except that he is dead and I worked my ass off to make that not happen.

We were out of service for 2 hours after the call. Cleaning up the rig and restocking it. Then we had to go to our houses and get clean uniforms and different boots. I threw my uniform into the washer at work and off we went on the next call.

Why cant I just have a nice normal day of Gramma fell and bumped her head?? Nope I get the people the bleed out in front of their families eyes and am helpless to stop it.

Some days it just doesnt pay to chew through the straps man.


Today was my first day back from an 11 day vacation. I had a bad feeling all night last night and had a hard time getting moving this morning. BUt I got my son off to school, got dressed and went to work. The morning was pretty uneventful....quiet actually for a Monday. But I still had that nagging bad feeling. We took our first call at about 11. A dialysis patient who's electrolytes go wonky pretty easy. He actually called for an ambulance before he was really bad...sure enough his K was off.

So we get back to station, get lunch watch some TV and the phone rings..."need you central until I get another crew freed up". So we get in the rig and head central. We get told that we can 5-4 station 2. On the way back, dispatch calls...."Head for Millerton, on Bailey Creek Road, about a mile up from 549, for a motorcycle into a barbed wire fence". Keep in mind that PA has no helmet law.

So on the way out there Im thinkin...ok this might not be so bad. But that bad feeling was ever present. We get on scene and in front of the firetruck is a Harley on its side. No driver in sight. Then I look and see firemen kneeling on the road on the left side of a large tree. So I get out, ask what they need and they say "just need some help to get him up this bank." So I grab the backboard and as he is coming up, feet first, I'm looking at him. His right leg is slightly askew but there are no obvious injuries. They get him up the bank and set the board on the ground and I start my survey. He has an abrasion around his eye, maybe from sunglasses and an abrasion on his forehead, over the right eye. His left arm is doing funny things...multiple fractures of the humerous and a radius/ulna fracture. Chest is clear, right arm is clear, belly is soft and non tender, pelvis is stable, lower extremities are clear. He is gazing to the left and he is combative. C-collar is placed and I leave the fireman to strap him to the backboard. I spy the helmet in the field about 30 yards from where they brought him up from. Unknown how long he had been there or who finally came along and saw the bike in the road. PA State Trooper shows up as I am telling my partner to haul ass.

So I do my thing as best I could...he is covered in dirt, pale, diaphoretic and wont leave his right hand tucked into the spider strap. I ask for another set of hands while enroute. Meanwhile I am tryng to get the left arm splinted, and he is pulling the O2 off with his right hand. Monitor shows he is tachy..rate of 150ish, get a pressure...its high too. He is also tachypnic. Pupils are equal and reactive but he is still gazing to the left. Redo the trauma assessment which remains negative. (No he doesnt have his pants or shirt anymore) Stop to pick up my extra set of hands and get an 18 in his right AC and run ringers KVO. His pressure is till high and his pulse is falling but still in the 130's. So I call in to the ED...they give me a room and notify of any changes.

We get him there and the team is there and after helping get him over to the bed, I stand back and tell the nurse who didnt hear the radio report, what I thought had happened. Next thing I know the Doc is doing RSI and he is on a vent. Once that happened, his pressure started to come down and there was all kind of running. I finish my paperwork, ask if there is anything else they need and out the door I go.

This is about 13:45.

At 1630, the phone rings. Its dispatch. I need to call the ER and talk to Missy. My patient died. I was floored! So I call the ED and ask for Missy...she gets on the phone and says that the family was asking what happened, was there any officers there. So I gave her my best guess at what may have happened and tell her that there was a state trooper there, but I didnt talk to him or get a name....I was kinda busy. I asked her what had happened. She tells me that they sent him to CT for the Head injury....he didnt have one., No bleed, no bruise no nothing. But he decompensated further, so they sent him back for a full body CT and found a huge pelvic fracture. I told her that I had checked his pelvis and it was stable. I checked his belly and it was fine. She told me that they missed it too and only really started to try to get to the bottom of why he was crashing with the CT of his whole body. She said he could have been eviscerated inside and bled out....she didnt know for sure. Just that the fracture was big.

I've been going over and over it in my head...did I miss it?? Did the right leg kind of bowed in to the left leg mean something, kind of like an inner rotation hip fracture? Was that the clue?? My pelvic exam revealed a solid result.....what did I miss dammit!!? I can beat myself up until the cows come home but it doesnt change the fact that he is dead. I cant change that...I wish I could...for his family.

In going over my assessment in my head...I didnt miss anything. I cant treat what I cant see. But I still feel awful and I cant shake the feeling. This is the 4th fatal accident that I have been on in the last 3 months...when does it end?? When does God say...enough is enough. Or will it end with me saying...I cant take anymore. I'm not making a difference...I just....cant do this anymore. I just cant.


stressful week

I have had a really stressful week this past week. Bad falls in which one guy ended up with an open tib/fib. STEMI's, stokes, flash pulmonary edema and 3 full arrests. 2 of the full arrests will most likely walk out of the hospital....I'm pretty proud of that. Today's arrest ended up with a tension pneumo and has a chest tube in and he is on a ventilator. I dont know how good his prognosis is, probably not very good at all. He was down 20 minutes before we got to him and it was another 20 before we got him to the ED. But family started CPR almost immediately so there may be a chance for him.

Its funny how the cycles work. Some weeks its diabetics...others its respiratory problems. This week people were seriously ill and needed intervention to stay alive. But, this week, it's taken its toll on me for some reason. I'm mentally exhausted...short tempered and moody. Every muscle in my body aches and my head hurts. Guess its a good thing I'm off for the next 2 days. I'm turning my phone off and hiding for 2 days. Maybe it will be enough time to recuperate a little....maybe. I hope......


Dear EMS Gods

With today being Christmas Eve, I am humbly beseeching the EMS Gods to be good for the next 40 hours. I want everyone to be safe and healthy for the holidays.

I dont want to tell 80 yr old Grandma that her husband of 60 yrs has no pulse and that it is hopeless, all the while doing CPR and pushing drugs.

I dont want to tell the father of 3, that the accident that his wife was in took the lives of her and thier 3 children.

I dont want to tell the 3 yr old that Mommy isnt ok but I'll keep trying.

I dont want to take any premature babies to higher level of care so that they can die an hour after I get them there.

The next 40 hours are for celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ...not for mourning the death of a loved one.

I dont want anyone to have to remember Christmas as the day they lost everything. So no fires either, please.

Amen and thank you.


Well I went ahead and did it. Became a subscriber to the City. Only took 6 years but its worth it for the plethora of info that I gain everyday. I also have changed my name. Again, about time, since its been 3 1/2 years since I got my medic card.

I am still in awe of the fact that I actually got my medic card. Every so often I say to myself "self...your the medic,you cant sit back and wait for someone else to make the decisions". I kick myself in the arse for making mistakes, harder than anyone else could, learn from them and move on.

If I dont see some of you before Thursday to say this...

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! May your holiday truly be blessed!



There have been many times in my career that I have been told of a colleague's death. All of them moved me to some kind of emotion. Today I have been moved to tears, sobbing into my pillow, my heart in my throat and my stomach feeling like its being squeezed by an icy cold hand. I know that this isnt what he would want. He would want us all to keep fighting the good fight. To continue educating ourselves...being better than we dreamed we could be....to take the torch and light the way for others, to pass on what we know and continue to better the EMS field.

While we are feeling the pain and sorrow of Rob's passing, it is hard to remember that he suffered horribly. He didnt want us to know, whether it be pride or wanting to spare us and himself from pity and being treated differently, only he knows. I knew he was sick but I didnt truly know how sick. None of us did really.

I am dedicating these poems to Rob...our Dustdevil. We will miss you deeply. Shine your light Rob, guide us to where we need to go.

The Paramedic

The medic stood and faced God.

Which must always come to pass.

He hoped his uniform was clean,

He'd gotten dressed kinda fast.

"Step forward now, paramedic.

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To my church have you been true?"

The medic squared his shoulders and said,

"No Lord I guess I ain't,

cause those of us who wade in blood,

can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,

and at times my talk was tough.

And at times I've been violent,

cause the streets are awful rough.

But I never took a penny

that wasn't mine to keep...

although I worked alot of overtime,

when the bills got far too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,

though at times I shook with fear.

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

among the people here.

They never wanted me around,

except to calm their fears.

If you have a place for me, Lord,

It needn't be so grand.

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't I undestand."

There was silence all around the throne,

where saints had often trod.

As there medic waited quietly

for the judgement of his God.

"Step forward now, paramedic.

You've borne your burdens well.

Walk peacefully on heavens streets.

You've done your time in hell."

When God Made Paramedics

When God made paramedics, He was into His sixth day of overtime.

An angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

God said, "Have you read the specs on this order?

A Paramedic has to be able to carry an injured person up a wet, grassy hill in the dark,

dodge stray bullets to reach a dying child unarmed,

enter homes the health inspector wouldn't touch,

and not wrinkle his uniform."

"He has to be able to lift three times his own weight.

Crawl into wrecked cars with barely enough room to move,

and console a grieving mother as

he is doing CPR on a baby he knows will never breathe again."

"He has to be in top mental condition at all times,

running on no sleep, black coffee and half-eaten meals,

and he has to have six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands...no way."

"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," God replied.

"It's the three pairs of eyes a medic has to have."

"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.

God nodded. "One pair that sees open sores as he's drawing blood,

always wondering if the patient is HIV positive."

(When he already knows and wishes he'd taken that accounting job)

"Another pair here in the side of his head for his partner's safety.

And another pair of eyes here in front

that can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say,

"You'll be alright ma'am when he knows it isn't so."

"Lord," said the angel, touching His sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow."

"I can't," God replied.

"I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound

drunk out from behind a steering wheel

without incident and feed a family of five on a private service paycheck."

The angel circled the model of the Paramedic very slowly.

"Can it think?" she asked.

"You bet", God said.

"It can tell you the symptoms of 100 illnesses;

recite drug calculations in it's sleep;

intubate, defibrillate, medicate, and continue CPR

nonstop over terrain that any doctor would fear...

and it still keeps it's sense of humor."

"This medic also has phenomenal personal control.

He can deal with a multi-victim trauma,

coax a frightened elderly person to unlock their door,

comfort a murder victim's family,

and then read in the daily paper how Paramedics were

unable to locate a house quickly enough,

allowing the person to die.

A house that had no street sign, no house numbers, no phone to call back."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Paramedic.

"There's a leak," she pronounced.

"I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model."

"That's not a leak," God replied, "It's a tear."

"What's the tear for?" asked the angel.

"It's for bottled up emotions,

for patients they've tried in vain to save,

for commitment to that hope

that they will make a difference in a person's chance to survive, for life."

"You're a genius!" said the angel.

God looked somber.


Author Unknown


First day of school

Today is Jayses first day back to school. For the last 3 years, he has been in the 8-1-1 program at Parley Coburn, an inner city school. He was released back to his home school of Pine City for 5th grade.

He has progressed so much in the last 3 years. He has met all of his goals academically and still working on social and communication goals. I am so proud of him. If someone had told me 3 yrs ago that he would do so well, I would have flat out called them a liar. I truly thought that he would be in the 8-1-1 program for as long as he could be. But he proved me wrong....and I am so happy he did.

I had to laugh at him after I took him to his classroom. After I met his teacher and his Special Ed teacher, he put his backpack in his cubby, turned and looked at me and said " it's ok Mom, you can go now". 3 years ago, a new teacher, new classroom and new school threw him into a sensory overload. Today, it was as though he had been doing this all along and seemed to be just fine with it. I hope so, we've come too far to take a slide backward now.

On another note, with 9/11 on the horizon, take some time to do a random act of kindness. "Pay it Forward" to 3 complete strangers and expect nothing in return.

May your day be full of peace and blessings.



It's been a long time since I've wanted to write in my blog. Work and life, I guess, have kind of prevented me from sitting down and putting my thoughts into words.

Did my recert this year...holy crap that was a fast 3 years :rolleyes: PALS and ACLS this fall...yeah the circle never stops. I still learn something from every call though, which is good. I have gotten more cynical though..not as gullible. Funny how that little voice your head gets stronger..I throw the BS flag quite often anymore.

I was actually in the chat the other day. I know I know..its like going to church after years of not going, and no the roof didnt fall in on me lol It was good to talk to Scotty and Kate. I kind of miss the old gang, sitting in the chatroom and talking about anything and everything. Laughin and jokin with good friends ( at the time).

Update on the court case with the baby boy. First trial ended in a hung jury, 11 guilty votes and 1 not guilty. The judge declared a mistrial and the day before I was to appear, yet again, the DA called me and said that she had taken a plea deal. She got 90 days after time served was taken into account. Win for the DA I guess...not so much for baby boy :wtf: and she's about to have another one. There is no justice sometimes and unfortunately we get to see it firsthand. I try not to think about it too much, it will just make me mad and upset.

When did children become disposable? Appendages that you can get rid of at any time and with the Casey Anthony trial and the one that I was involved with, there is no ramification for that action. They just pop out another one, that will live in poverty and live with abuse or worse...indifference. How have we, as a society, allowed this to happen. I just dont understand it.

I think I am done rambling now...maybe I will feel like writing again soon. But, then again, maybe not.


Todays level of suck is a 10+ on the suck scale. I guess I should really thank my lucky stars that I havent had to deal with this before now. I'm a year into being a paramedic and until today I have not had to deal with an infant death.

Yes I have had sick kids but no deaths. This infant was 2 months old. Mom put the baby to bed last night and woke up this morning to her child not breathing and calls 911. I get in the house...I didnt take anything with me because I truly anticipated a scoop and run, family (or whoever it was) points to the child lying on the bed. At first glance I knew that there was absolutely nothing that I could do. But I checked for a pulse anyway, put the monitor on, looked at the lividity on the childs face and the rigor in his tiny body and called medical control.

So now I am desperately trying to find a way to work this out and cope with it. My boss gave me the option to come home for the rest of the day and I gratefully took it. I cant seem to stop seeing this child in my head and all I want to to do is hug my boy till he squirms out of my embrace...and still not let go.

If Joe Blow off the street asks me today why I do this job...I will have to look him in the eye and say "I dont know". Because today is not a good day to be a paramedic.

Today's level of suck???? yep...off the charts....


I can't believe it's been a year since I took my state paramedic test. Where has the time gone to? This years class is testing out on practical tomorrow...I remember that day like it was yesterday. Butterflies in my stomach the size of taradactyles...feeling sick...and scared to death that I would royally screw something up.

I got through all of them the first time except for static cardiology and one of the oral stations. Dont know what I messed up on but I got through it the second time. What a HUGE relief!! It was like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders.

So here I am a year later...and watching some of the students going through the same thing. I can only say that I wish I had had the support that myself and my co-workers are giving this years class. People that I thought were friends have gone thier seperate ways and thats ok...friendship has its reasons and seasons. I cant fault them for going away because I sort of did to.

I'm still learning this job. I try to learn something from every call. When I was just out of school EVERYBODY was dying...now I've gotten a better handle on whats legit and what's bullshit. But they all get treated with respect...

I am hoping to come off the mandatory year of taking every call soon. My company's policy and sometimes its a real pain but on the other hand, it has given me the opportunity to grow as a new medic and find my niche....my way of doing things. Common sense and instinct. Something that doesnt really happen as a basic.

Honing my clinician skills and getting better at documentation has been tough...100% QA usually is. But..as the QA supervisor has pointed out to me and in his words.." It's really tough for me to find anything wrong with your PCR's now." YAY me!! SO in spite of myself I guess I am getting better at this job.

I still have moments of pure panic but I guess anyone who says that they dont would be a liar. Or has been around long enough to have seen everything.

My life is in a good place right now...my son is doing well, I love my job and I have a great guy in my life. We are going on vacation in July ( yes a REAL vacation) and I cant wait. 10 days of sun and beach..ahhhhh!!! No phones, no tones, no pagers, no 50 calls and 4 crews, no NICU runs, no Columbia Pres, no Cleveland Clinic, no Rochester....pure heaven.

MOJITOS's for all my friends!! :beer::thumbsup:

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