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  1. I haven't been here in years. I actually forgot all about this place. Found it by accident during a google search. Wow.
  2. Well, I had the surgery on September 2nd. Everything went well. I had a little bit of pain at the patellar tendon donor site after surgery, I'd say it was a 4 out of 10. By day two I had no pain while in bed and minimal pain while walking. I haven't needed the vicodin since the first day of surgery. I started rehab 5 days post op (it was late because of the labor day holiday). I was already at Zero degrees extension which they said was the "hard part" at this stage anyway. I'm currently up to 116 degrees of flexion. I have a great therapist. She keeps telling me she's going to push me to my limit, and I keep telling her that she's "failed..try harder next time". Since things were going so well I guess I had to be knocked down a peg or two. My girlfriend and I were out driving this past Thursday and an elderly driver decided to turn and cross into our lane of traffic (we have no idea where she was going...had she completed her turn she would have been in somebody's front lawn. She hit us on the driver side front corner panel and totaled her car and my girlfriends. I'm not sure how but I ended up without a scratch on me, wasn't even sore the next day. I was even able to pop my girlfriend's door open after the crash (not bed for a week post op). My gf's hands are swollen and bruised and she's got a nasty contusion from the seatbelt. I learned a few things. Bigger cars are good to have. Sitting back away from the airbag is a good idea (it never touched me). Seatbelts are super. And...no matter how good a driver you are, you are only as safe as the worst driver who is passing you at any given time.
  3. South Eastern PA. I already have a surgeon. He came highly reccomended. 15 years in practice. Has co-authored several textbooks.
  4. Thanks for the replies. I am extremely worried about the rehab process. I met with a physical therapist a week after the injury and she gave me a series of home exercises to do as well as some things I could do at the gym. She recommended leg presses at the gym....that was a disaster. Pre-injury I would do 3 sets, 15 reps with 240 pounds no problem. The first time I used the machine post injury I put 15 pounds on it and I could feel the bones in my knee shifting and grinding. I wanted to vomit. So I stuck to the leg lifts and resistance band exercises at home. I also got a stationary bike from a co-worker to use at home (I'm gonna be on a tight budget after surgery so the gym membership is probably gonna have to go away). I have no choice but to save my PT benefits till after surgery so I'm not getting any guidance from a physical therapist right now. My insurance will only pay for 20 PT sessions though I'm going to try to trade some of my in patient psych/drug and alcohol treatment benefits for more PT. We'll see how that goes. Oh and my health insurance has a $1000 deductible, followed by another $1500 80/20 split. $35 copay for all PT visits and Orthopod appts. I'm looking at out of pocket expenses here of at least $3500...probably over $4000. I have money set aside in saving that will cover the costs. Of course that money was set aside to help pay for college costs. College is now on hold. I'm not in a happy place mentally over that. I'm putting in four 12 hour shifts followed by four days off at work, light duty of course. On the four days off I have housework and the kids (I'm the only adult in the house). My youngest lives with her mother an hour away. It's going to be difficult to see her after surgery so I'm spending as much time as I can with her now. Before I know it the entire week has gone by and i've done my exercises ONCE! Seems like when I do try to work on my home PT someone interrupts me or there's something that requires my attention. It doesn't help that I'm incredibly independent. I refuse to allow people to do things for me. So when I'm riding the stationary bike at home and someone walks in the room...I get pissed. Tonight is the perfect example. I was on the bike, my teenager comes into the room and throws a pillow at me to be funny. I was 2 seconds from throwing the stationary bike through the window. I'm on the bike because I'm hurt, I got hurt because I'm weak....that's what goes on in my head. Then I get miserable. It's like that now. I can't imagine what it's going to be like after surgery. I have to get my head in the game...and fast. I've read about tendonitis and pain when kneeling on the donor site in post op patellar tendon graft surgery. My surgeon doesn't like the hamstring tendons and said the allograft (cadaver donor) would be the worst choice in his opinion. He is actually the third surgeon I saw and was the only one that gave me what i would call a "no BS" assessment of my situation and options. He told me what was going to work and what was not going to work then explained why. So I feel pretty good about the surgery itself. Of course that's only based on my gut feeling. Richard, it was Rehoboth in Delaware.
  5. My girlfriend and I took my two daughters to the beach back in June. It was the first time my youngest ever saw the ocean which was really neat for me to witness. Unfortunatley, life has a sense of humor and an hour into our visit a wave knocked me flat on my face. On my way down I felt a series of pops in my knee. My family doc ordered an MRI which revealed a torn ACL. I'll be getting a petellar tendon graft. I'm currently waiting for a surgery date but I expect to have it done before the end of August. Right now my boss has me on light duty (I'm redesigning our trucks and jump kits, doing lots of QA, and also yard work lol). The surgeon tells me that most people are able to return to their normal activities in four months with a return to sports in 6 months. When I asked him how long he thought it would be until I could get back to working as a medic he said probably 4 to 6 months if everything goes well and if I stick to the rehab plan. Has anyone else had this surgery? How long until you were able to get back to working on the street? What difficulties did you encounter?
  6. I did two intubations this year. Got both on the first attempt. One cardiac arrest in the field. One with pneumonia in the ER (my service medical director was the receiving physician in the ER. He let me use the Glidescope on that one). Some of the medics I work with have 8-12 intubations. They also work 7 days a week with several different agencies. I only have one job. According to my Service Medical Director the paramedics in Pennsylvannia average <1 intubation per year. There are some very rural areas utilizing volunteers who work other careers for their "real job". He also tells me the statistics are flawed because they are counting paramedics who are no longer practicing but are still certified (we are certified forever). So I have no idea what the average paramedic is doing. We have no access to an operating room. We have an annual skills review conducted by our medical director. We intubate the same dummy every year. We should probably make him a DNR, he's looking pretty rough these days.
  7. I'm curious what side effects you had, if you don't mind sharing.
  8. PA now has a program that deploys 'qualified' paramedics to district health center 'flu clinics' to assist in the administration of the H1N1 vaccine under the supervision of a district health Nurse working for the Dept of Health. Qualified medics would be paid $20.00 and are protected under the Commonwealth's liability shield. Question: I am faced with staffing shortages on a fairly regular basis. Why would I want to encourage my medics to work for the Dept of Health when I need them HERE? Is there a shortage of available nurses?
  9. I got my H1N1 vaccine 4 days ago and I've become the subject of a lot of jokes at work. Every time I cough, sneeze, or blow my nose someone, somewhere, shouts "swine flu!!!” The anti-vaccine crowd at work seems to take pleasure in telling me how stupid I was to get this vaccine. I hear the same thing about the seasonal flu vaccine every year as well. These same people chose to get vaccinated against Hepatitis B. I'm wondering why? Why did they feel that vaccine was safe but not the H1N1 or seasonal influenza vaccine? These same people have no problem getting a Tetanus booster after an injury or before surgery. Why aren't they afraid of that vaccine? One of my co-workers has refused to vaccinate her children for anything. She used the varicella vaccine to prove her point saying that kids used to get chicken pox all the time and nothing bad ever happened to them. As a person who not only had chicken pox but shingles as well I was sure to let her know that if her kids ever got shingles they'd be hunting her down and kicking her a## for the pain she put them through by not vaccinating them against varicella. Does it surprise you that this woman had no idea that chicken pox and shingles were related? So the decision to not vaccinate her children was an educated one?
  10. I'll gladly fill out a survey. I'd prefer an email if you dont mind... jmoyer@wbems.org
  11. Redcell19512

    I did it!

    I got the H1N1 nasal mist vaccine yesterday at an urgent care center 10 minutes from my house. The entire process took about 20 minutes. Both of my kids got the seasonal flu mist at their physicals recently so I'm told they have to wait 4 weeks to get the H1N1 mist or wait for the injection. My girlfriend is a respiratory therapist and currently has three H1N1 pt's in the ICU, two are on vents (26 and 35 year olds who have no pre-exisiting health problems). One of the vent pt's was initally admitted to a regular room with no isolation precautions before it was discovered she had H1N1. It's quite possible I've already been exposed to H1N1. My girlfriend has become a potential biological weapon lol...please dont tell her I said that, she will hurt me. I've gotten the seasonal flu vaccine every year for the past 16 years and have zero regrets. That's because 17 years ago I got sick with the seasonal flu and it was awful! I have no desire to go through that again and I'll do anything I can to reduce that risk.
  12. I wipe down the patient compartment and crew area at the start of every shift with an alcohol based disinfectant (we bought the same stuff the local hospitals use). I also sweep and wet mop the floor. The litter gets wiped down after every call. I typically only "decon" the truck after a call if there's blood or other body fluids or if the pt had a fever and a cough. If I have a patient that has nausea, vomiting, diarrhea I'll wipe down the litter and any area near the patient in the ambulance with the sodium hypocholorite wipes that we have. The down side is that many people don't like the bleach odor (go work at McDonalds, the fries smell good) and it leaves a residue when it dries. The residue is easy to deal with, just wipe it down with a wet towel and hand dry. Takes a bit more time to do but there's two of us on the truck so it really shoudln't be a problem.
  13. A large majority of my co-workers, friends, and family have NO plans to get vaccinated for H1N1 or seasonal influenza. These are the things I'm hearing people say: Vaccines weaken your immune system. Getting sick makes your immune system stronger. The government was in such a hurry to make the H1N1 vaccine that they didn't test it. It's not safe! So if I get a flu shot I can still get colds and stuff? What the hell's the point then? A friend of mine got the flu from the flu shot. I'll never get one. I've given up trying to educate my co-workers by pointing them to reliable sources of information (like the CDC). I look at it this way, more available vaccine for me and my kids.
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