Like my own Gramma

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My ¬†Gramma’s hand, held by my sister’s, a few days before Gramma passed away.

We ¬†were dispatched for trouble breathing. It had been a busy night, back-to-back calls, all kinds of patients. The day had felt rather hurried and frantic. My partner and I were both a few PCRs behind. We arrived on scene at a single family home and a woman waiting out front for us. “It’s my mom…. something’s not right…” she trails off, obviously upset, fearing that we’re going to bear horrible news when we see her mother.
The house is old, with narrow hallways and tight corners. We leave the cot in the hallway leading to the back bedroom because it won’t make the tight turn. I carry my monitor and airway bag.

As I make the turn into the bedroom, my heart skips a beat. The frail, white-haired, quiet woman in bed could have been my Gramma’s twin. Continue reading “Like my own Gramma”

A Bad Day in EMS

bad day

What does a “bad day” in EMS look like? First you have to ask if it’s a “bad day” for the EMS provider…. or for the EMS recipient. As a provider, I’ve had all kinds of days. I’ve had days where I feel appreciated by my employer, the general public, my coworkers, and my patients. I’ve also had days where I feel insignificant. In the way. Replaceable. Patients who don’t want your help, or worse, need your help and there’s nothing you can do. Family members who discover a loved one at home, deceased, having never gotten the chance to say goodbye, not even sure how long they’ve been dead. I’m a religious person, and I believe that a lot of things happen for a reason, but I also think that sometimes bad things just happen. Babies don’t die because they’re bad people or they’ve done anything wrong. Innocent drivers don’t get killed by drunk drivers because they wanted to buy groceries. In EMS, it’s our job to make scenes and create calm, direct patient care, and try to make a bad situation slightly better than how we found it. Continue reading “A Bad Day in EMS”

End of Shift

This post authored by Ventricular Escape Beats contributor siren911.

bootsI may be hanging up my boots. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2007 but was probably infected long before that , perhaps even before I was a Medic in 1996. It was diagnosed as Chronic Tertiary (or end stage) neurological Lyme disease because of the length of time that I had had it, that it was in my CSF and brain and that I was as far, stage wise as I could be. I honestly didn’t take it as seriously as I should have. After all, I got sick every 4 years and always recovered. Continue reading “End of Shift”

New Home, New Site!

Welcome to the new home of my EMS-related thoughts and rantings! For those of you who followed me on The Nightshift Squirrel, thank you so much for making the jump to this site. I’m not entirely sure what happened to the guys I was working with on that site – they’re still active on facebook, but have completely stopped updating the site and have stopped responding to my emails and messages. So, rather than just continue to manage their facebook page for them, I’ve decided to step out on my own. I plan to recruit a couple other EMS and public safety type folks to contribute here, as well.

For those of you who are just joining us out in TV land, WELCOME!! Thanks for joining me. This should be an exciting adventure. I plan to post as often as I can, but in all reality, the life of a paramedic is an unpredictable one, and some months I might post several times and other months you might not hear from me. If YOU would like to contribute, please email me at dave@ventricularescape.com and I’ll happily add you as a contributor to the blog or the facebook page, whichever you’re interested in.

Take a look around – I’ve reposted my favorite blog posts here, and I plan on migrating over some of my other, older entries, too. Stay tuned!