Monday, March 11, 2013


Some calls stand out.

It might be because of the patient's condition, or it might be that things went particularly well- or not well. It might be the weather, or who was there, or where it was, or almost any other detail. There's no question, some stay with us longer than others.

If the reason that the thought lingers is that it was an emotionally traumatic event, there are a variety of ways that people deal with that. There's even a process in place, to bring help to anyone who is having a hard time.

I've been doing this for a few years now, and have seen more than a few things that most people never see. I've had calls go extremely well, up there near the "miracle" category. And I've had some that didn't go well, necessitating much thought and re-assessment and some researching and pre-planning for the next time.

I've had calls that might make most people stressed out not cause me to be so, and I've had some that weren't particularly "bad" stay on my mind for a long time.

I get attached.

This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. I get emotionally attached to inanimate objects, like my car, or my computer, or the house I lived in as a child, so attachments to actual people isn't much of a stretch. Even if I don't know them.

Through all of this, I've learned what helps me process things, what helps me cope, what helps me stay human, without staying sad.

I recently had a call where the patient didn't make it.
It wasn't a surprise, given the situation at the time.
I would really like to have been able to do something more helpful, but it was not to be.

I read the obituaries every day.
Partly to see if anyone I know died, partly to notice the ages of the deceased, but also, to see if any of "my" patients are in there. Sometimes, we get called to a patient and we don't find out directly what happened, but they never go home again.

It is in those obituaries that I sometimes begin my healing process. I read about their lives, their families. Sometimes the things they have done, or the dreams they had. I see how they were- and are- loved.

I "get to know them," just a little. Enough to say goodbye, and to mourn them as a person. Enough to be sad for their passing, and to remember them.

And then, I can move on.

Goodbye, my short-term friend. May your smiles be remembered, and lighten the hearts of your family and friends.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

In the Middle Of It

So we're taking this class, and having a great time. Learning a lot. Working with some great people. And now, cardiology. What we've been waiting for.

Sounds great.

Except for one little detail...
We are also right in the middle of our very own Mystery-Diagnosis-worthy medical situation.

As in, I wouldn't be surprised if we actually DO end up on that show.

So far, we're on Dr.visit #7, and medication #9.
And no one really has a clue what is wrong.
Lots of theories.
Conflicting theories.
Most of which don't match the signs and symptoms.

Some tests are being ordered, and I'm bouncing back and forth between "Oooh, cool!" and "oh, crap!"
Hopefully they will shed some light on the situation, and we'll get things figured out and fixed and life will go on.

In the meantime, this is wreaking havoc with any ability to do clinical or ride time, and the future of staying in the class is somewhat doubtful.

As much as I find the entire subject fascinating, I've been telling people that what I'd really like is for no one in my family to ever have anything medically "interesting" happen to them.

When we get to the other side of this, I'll write it up as an exercise, and see what people think. Until then, good thoughts would be appreciated.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Where Has the Time Gone?

Haven't found the time to write here for a while. Again.

Life is busy.
That's not a complaint, but it does make it challenging to keep up with everything.

I'm taking a class that takes a lot of time, for the class itself, studying between classes, and now, substantial ride and clinical time.

These are good things. I'm learning a tremendous amount. Excellent instructors. Plus, I've been doing this long enough now, and doing enough additional learning, that many things are starting to come together well.  That's interesting, a little exciting, and very useful on scene.

We've had interesting calls.
We've had more small town, small agency, politics.

I'll work on sharing more of the good stuff here. Learning opportunities. Stuff I've been thinking about. At least SOMETHING, rather than nothing.

Appreciating all of the support from those of you out in the blogosphere, even while I've been mostly absent.