Monday, April 20, 2009

Not yet... not yet.

So, after a long hard think, I've come to a decision. And it hurts, but right now, my body hurts more. I've decided to opt out of the 3rd semester of my studies. Why? I'm not strong enough, physcially. For the past week and a half, the pain that Fibromyalgia causes has been getting increasingly worse. One way to control it is through a heavier exersize routine.
My eating habits have changed and I'm glad that I'm actually finding myself enjoying the new way of eating. Right now, the pain is bearable because of the Lyrica pills I'm taking. I don't want to rely on pills for the rest of my life.

I feel that if I complete the course in my current condition that my lack of strength will show through at a critical moment and I'll end up failing - either in my practicum or after i've completed my course. I don't think it would be good to graduate the course and then get hurt and have to take time off to heal when I know that I can change that.

So, 3rd semester off, have more exersize in my day, possibly find a part time job and keep up with my studies. Next year (as the course is being held here again), I'll complete my course and graduate with the physical strength I need to myself proud as a Paramedic. I want this badly, but I think I can say I'm smart enough to realize that things need to change so I can obtain my desired success.

As Su said, it's just delayed success. I think in the long run, it'll be better for me too.
I wrote an email to Bill Younger, who is Chair for the program and I hope I portrayed my desire in the letter. I'm including it for you all to read as it's something I do care about.

I've done a lot of thinking in regards to some issues I've been having.

As of late, I have been finding my health on a decline. Everyday I wake to pain throughout my body and I'm finding it harder to do simple things. My doctor is aware of the situation, but can't give a diagnosis; we have to rule everything else out before hand.

I want to be a Paramedic more than anything in the world right now. I've found my niche and I'm more than determined to get there. However, with my pain increasing, I think that if i continue, things will end up going wrong and all will be for naught.

I passed the physical exam for the entry and have proved myself that way, however I know I could be in much better shape and in doing so, will be able content in the knowledge that I won't mess up along the way (I'm thinking during the practicum or shortly after finishing the course.)

Paramedics need to be strong and right now, I'm not as strong as I could be.

So, in regards to my thinking, and it loathes me to even entertain the idea as it makes me sort of feel like a failure, but I realize that I know my limits and know when they need to be worked on; I was thinking of withdrawing from the course for the third semester, get myself stronger and get my body's pain issues under control and then reapply for the third semester for next year, when I know I will be able to do it.

Of course, I'm running this by you first as I don't know if this is something that is feasible or not.

I want to be able to pass my practicum and be able to do a Paramedic's job proper, without being in pain or hurting myself because I'm not strong enough.

I look forward to your reply.

Since I wrote that, we've conversed lots and all I have to do now is mail in my withdrawal letter and have my Re-apply letter ready once i get confimation of being out of the course.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A bit of April and march.

it's been a load of ups and downs.

because of the rain and snow when i drove in, i couldn't get my tattoo. i need to rebook that completely. i'm saddened that i couldn't get my keys done and the outline of ganesh done. but what am i to do? the roads were utterly crappy and jodie had told me that she came into the city and had to borrow her in-laws 4x4.

i pretty much relaxed til class started.

class was okay for the first couple days. i felt a little off my game, but that was just because the winnipeg site throws me off. it's just not my home base and i'm off a bit. out of my comfort zone and all that.

friday, i got one huge ass compliment. it was awesome and i felt so.... amazing.
we were in groups - as normal and i just ended up taking over and directing how things should go. cam, my instructor pulled me aside and told me, "you have just impressed the shit out of me. you took over the scene and you did everything perfectly. you showed care for the patient and didn't make anyone feel stupid. you are awesome." and he gave me a high five...while wearing my mittens. ^_^

i was seriously floating and just feeling so sure of myself in my skills for the rest of the day.

allen, another instructor did a one on one scene with me. this one was nerve wracking. but he said that my flow was pretty good and that i should have done my vitals and gotten O2 on sooner. other than that, i was good. i think i might ask him for another go round, but I didn't.

There were a total of two days where i missed. The first day, I was in pain and had a migraine of uber-intensity. This was not fun. The second day, I was waiting for my doctor's office to call me back with an appointment.
I got chastised for missing both days. Then got threatened with not graduating by the same instructor who gave me a compliment days ago.

Even to this day, i'm still recoiling from the actions of the instructors. We were given a case study to somehow form into a research paper. Not given much information on what we should be doing exactly, but I figured us students - who were almost all in the same boat of confusion would sort of band together and overcome.

Well, the students were still up in the air and when I contacted one, she told me that if i didn't hand it in already that I should just not bother and that i probably already gotten a 0%.
I asked my instructor and other instructors and they gave me no help, stating that i was given all the information in the city. well, if that was the "you have all the information already" comment, then no, that wasn't helpful. it also didn't help that i felt once more like i was being chastised like a child for asking for help. needless to say, i didn't want to speak to that instructor again.

two weeks later, i finally handed in my report and got an email back stating that the instructor was under the impression that i wasn't handing it in as there was no futher contact between us. this is when i told him that i felt like i was being chastised for asking for assistance and that i didn't need a rerun of that. also, in short, i basically told him that he needn't bother reading my report as it would probably be a waste of his time.

this was also around the time of when we were suppose to be doing our clinical rotation for ER, EKG and Psych.

Rolling from 2 weeks in winnipeg to doing exams with no study time... even though the coordinator stated there was. i believe it was something akin to "that week was there for you" when i asked what week and if this was some week that magically appeared, he told me that we got back from winnipeg, had the class on monday and then exam on tuesday. ...that is not a week. he also stated that the afternoons after our exams were meant for study time.
studying for exams that were being labelled as "the hardest ones yet", a weekend and a couple half days are not nearly enough to get decent marks.

my mistake for actually stating that i was "burnt out" from the whole ordeal. the coordinator of the course felt that i might benefit from some councilling through the school.
apparently i should have used the term exhausted. *eye roll*

i really don't like the way that they, the instructors and coordinator, treat us like children. I'm 30, an adult and I expect to be treated like one. I don't want my hand held and to be coddled, if I wanted that, I'd go for daycare or something.

I realize that we're the forerunners of this course, but we're finding more and more bad things out than good.

As it stands right now, I don't feel very sure of myself in my skills and we go back to car in May.
When we were doing our clinical rotations here, the staff at the hospital didn't know what to do with us. The didn't know what our skills were and what medications we could give. In the end, I ended up doing a fuckload of vitals and general care.

Our, as in the Paramedics, care is different than the care the nurses do. We stabilize the patient as best as possible and stop them from bleeding. We keep them alive, or as Doc says in RedVsBlue "make them comfortable while they die."

I guess I'll leave this entry with something from school Shaw came by to do a segment as well.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Courses: A&P this go round...

I've said it once, and I will forever say it: It's hard being the fore-runner of a new class.

We're breaking ground and slogging through everything to work out kinks (and not the good kind!) and make sure things get ironed out for the next wave.

My current beef is Anatomy and Physiology. Okay, so it's more current as i'm sitting here with the textbook open from trying to read a really dry chapter - wait, they're all dry....
The first month of classes, we had to plow through half the book. half of 1000+ pages. so, yes, normally it's about 500+ and that can take me about a week. If it wasn't dry and filled with so much stuff.

I just did an exam. My unofficial mark was 63%. 2% under the passing percentage. do i feel shitty? yes. two weeks of sitting in front of a computer reading and doing assignments on the computer, not to mention handwritten notes - i hate handwritten class notes! until about 2am.

this is my life. most of my other classes are put on a back burner because this A&P course is huge and time consuming. and trust me, osmosis does NOT work. i've tried and woken up to painful books jabbing me in the side.

i have an exam again in 2 weeks. then one week of studying one more huge section and then the final. that's right, the final. which may or may not have lots of the previous chapters on it.

this is leaving me strung out and confused. not to mention the frustration of not being able to buy iMedterms for my iPod to help me study. it doesn't tell you that only the US can buy it until you're clicking to make payment. bah.

i'm going to see what i can do to get around that.

but back to a&p, this is a heavy course and i think that it should be throughout the full year, not just the first trimester. sept to mid-dec is how long the course is. i have a feeling that i'll be referring back to this book lots. and i wonder if i'll be able to access the web page information at a later time, like after the course ends. i'll have to inquire about that.

but i think i'm going to go and study more. i mean, it's the weekend right and i still have 10 minutes left until 2am.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ask and ye shall receive...

There is dried blood on my boot and shirt. It's brighter on my boot than it is on my shirt. On my shirt it's a dull brown color.

It is not mine.

Today, I asked the Blessed Lady to test me. To see if I was made for this job, to see if I was made of sterner stuff or if I would crumple under the pressure of seeing trauma.

I asked and I received.

I was to be at Base for 5pm. I was early and I was the only one there. I waited for everyone else to arrive, which they did. My instructor asked if I was excited and looking forward to the ride along for Halloween, I was. Scorpio made a comment that he would love to run a Code tonight. People told him to shut up. ...I secretly agreed with him. I thought it would have been fitting in a way, Samhain when the veil is the thinnest and being able to run a Code...

We rode around, to keep an eye out for the children - to make sure they weren't egging houses or having the crap beaten out of them by bullies. I was with the EMS Director while we drove around on the reserve. There were plenty of kids and parents in cars watching them go from house to house.

Around almost 8-ish, we got a call to a house for abdominal pains. We arrived and were met by the Po-po. We thought it to be a bit odd, but didn't really say anything. They mentioned something about getting a call from a mobile phone, but that it kept breaking up. They mentioned something about a gun shot. We mentioned that we didn't get a call about that. The po-po left and we went inside. We introduced ourselves and started taking information and doing our job.
The second crew showed up and took over.

EMS-D and I left and were once again met by the po-po, who informed us where the gun shot scene was. We traveled down a darkened road following the tail lights of the cruiser.

We arrived on scene and there were cops standing around. There were two youth standing at the front of a vehicle, one was smoking, the other was looking else where. As we neared, trauma bag in hand, one of the youth to the back of the vehicle was crying.

EMS-D and I rounded the back of the vehicle and were informed that it was a gun shot. The cops didn't bother attempting CPR or moving the body for us. That was fine, we could do it. EMS-D wanted to take a look at the wound fully, he asked for scissors from his trauma bag. I didn't know where they were, so I handed him mine. I watched him use my fluorescent hot pink scissors to cut away the clothing.

I remember seeing part of the wound and thought, how the hell do you accidently shoot yourself there? I seen the blood before I smelt it, but I knew it would have the strong metallic scent. We had to lift him out of the back of the jeep. On the count of three we did that; he was so limp, not heavy, but noodley.

We got him to the gravel road and almost for a second - one of those long pregnant seconds - all i could do was stare at the amount of blood in the back of the jeep. EMS-D asked me if I knew how to do CPR and all i could think after being snapped out of my moment of gazing was "Dude, you taught it to me." Of course, I told him i could, which he then informed me that I would be doing compressions after he inserted a compitube. I got the required equipment for him. EMS-D's hands were covered in blood and he didn't want to contaminate the rest of his trauma bag. I fetched stuff and prepared it.

Within moments I was doing compressions. They say that whoever does compressions first usually breaks the patient’s ribs first. I guess that would have been me. I didn't feel ribs break, but maybe it's something you don't really feel when you're doing compressions.

The chest lifted with the forced air going into the lungs, which is what you normally want to see. However, when I pressed on his chest to do the compressions, you could hear a wet farting noise. Disgusting, but true. It only helped push blood out of his body.

A few moments later the second crew showed up. They took over and demanded that I come with them, after once more asking if i knew how to do CPR. Which is weird, as they would have seen me doing it when they got on scene.

I got told to do the air bagging. I did that. I remember giving responses of "Yes Sir." to almost everyone who gave me an order. I know I wasn't on auto-pilot because my thoughts were very random and lucid. i thought about the blood on the rig wall and wondering if we got to bring the pressure washer inside to spray it down. I wanted to know if i could use the pressure sprayer, coz it looked fun. I have this weird thing about cleaning some objects. if it's filthy, I love watching it be rinsed away and become clean.

The defib was used on him, an IV was started. Vitals were taken, just in case there was a chance that our efforts brought him back.

I was told by E-man that i had to keep bagging once we stopped and that they wouldn't have time for me to jump down carefully or climb down and that they were going to be going in at a fast pace. My only response was "Yes Sir." I knew I could make the jump from the back of the rig.

The ER nurses took over and I felt in the way, so I went back outside. I tried to tidy up the rig a bit. Putting papers in the trash and sharps in the plastic box. I didn't know what i was suppose to use to wipe the walls down, so i didn't. I had a seat and found that my eye kept going to the blood on the floor.

It was a vivid red on a dull black. It looked like spilled paint. EMS-D joined me in the cleaning process. Told me where the chemicals where and we talked of little things. I talked to him about what had happened and I asked him how I did. He said, "you did okay." I went from working with EMS-D who was doing things in a relaxed pace to the back of the rig where it became a flurry of excitement. I didn't miss a beat, but more or less, stumbled a couple of times. Nothing terrible with that.

EMS-D asked if I wanted to go home, or if I wanted to stay with the night shift. Night shift was Precept-C and Tintin. I ended up staying and we all got coffee. Or as EMS-D said, bribery so I can stay with the night crew.

I asked for this; to be tested. I was tested and I passed. The boy, the 13 year old boy who might or might not have been accidently shot, is still dead.

And after a day or so for reflection, how do I feel now? Proud that I know I'm strong enough to do this work. I'm comfortable with the lack of emotional responses from the cases I worked last night. It doesn't make me a monster, it just means I haven't found the thing that affects me.

I started my New Year by bringing the dead to the other side, as a test of strength. I have set the course for the rest of the year and even now, when I hear a rig scream through the night, I smile.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Almost all of October

I guess i should make a post or something. let you all know that i'm alive and stuff.

i'm trying to recall what i've done in the past while and it seriously seems like some sort of blurry mess of things all paramedic related.

um.... hm, okay. i'm trying to think of where to start! let's start at the start of the month. good a place as any, yeah?

Begining of October would have been a Communication class. Despite it being on communication, it really doesn't seem like i learn lots on communicating! It would have followed with Independant Study, or as I call it iStudy. ahahaaaa-lame.

those classes went by fairly quick, as they are wont to do. normally with iStudy we freak out and just study A&P (anatomy and phsiology) we had an exam later in the month, so of course we're going to be studying our collective asses off.

the second was filled with Health Systems and i think we had a guest speaker who didn't show. i think it was the fitting. the next day was Patient Assessment and LAB.

For labs, we have to wear our uniforms. We've been having issues with the supplier for our uniforms since day one in dealing with them. for the longest time we were waiting on getting our uniforms and contacting the supplier everyday. No word of a lie. we called every freaking day. and getting a hold of this man was harder to do than getting a greased pig from something who loves greased pigs.
nothing that friday from our supplier, despite the promises that "it'll be there on friday." whatever, i go home knowing full well that i have to be up at some godless time for my first ambulance ride-along.

so, i have to be at the base for my 7:30am shift. well, to be polite, you should be there anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes before incase a call comes in. that way the morning shift can take it and let the night shift start being "back up", which is understandable!
i'm there and oh dear gods, all i want to do is sleep. i have no clue how the hell i'm going to last 12 hours.

our first call was to a care home for a transfer. i swear the nurses there just...weren't on the ball as well as they could have been. she repeated herself a few times and the info changed every now and then. hmmm...whatever. we loaded our patient and brought him in.
the next was, i can't remember. i think a flight patient came in. we went out to the grace lake airport and picked them up and brought them in.

you know, lots is blurring together. i remember moments more than anything of the 4-12 hour shifts. lovely those shifts...2 days and 2 nights.
i know we did fall asleep for a bit. which was amusing.

we got a couple more calls. i know one was to pick up the flight nurse from the airport and bring him in to pick up the earlier transfer. the flight nurse was sorta creepy. but he asked me to hook up leads, which i've never done before and it was something we didn't learn. luckily the sticky pads were already on the patient.
it was weird. in the morning when we dropped the patient off, it was empty. when we came back to pick him up to bring him to the airport, his whole family was in the hallway. i swear there was around 20 people milling around and waiting for their turn to say good-bye.

mostly i carried paperwork and the bags for the paramedics. it was good though.
i got off of work at 7:30pm. and i'm sure i went home to sleep.

the second day was pretty much like the first, as in a blur. i don't really recall much of it.

the 3rd day, i started at 7:30pm. there was a Code on the morning shift. that was when one of my classmates started her ride-alongs. she knew the person who committed suicide.
sadly in a very twisted way, i wished that it was me, if anything for the simple knowledge of weither or not i can handle seeing a dead body.
they say seeing a MVA or being on a Code can change your views on things. It can actually turn you off of being a paramedic. I guess the practical side of me is thinking that i want to have this experience before the end of the course. I guess in a way, save money or not blow money on a career that's stopped short by a "life-altering experience."

somehow, despite the fact that i know i probably won't see something like that any time soon, i still think i'd be able to handle it and do my job as a paramedic.

so, that night we did inventory and stuff. make up bed rolls for the rigs and make sure it was supplied.
i got to take apart a trauma bag and i think i'm fairly comfortable on where things are in it. i learnt how to do hands on of emptying an O2 tank and then rehooking one up.
i don't recall any calls... i do know that i got my pylon jacket of doom and the other pair of pants. sadly, the jacket when worn with inner shell, is too small and i can't fit it. getting a hold of the supplier has been a bitch.

the next day...well, we fought to stay awake by watching movies. yeah... matty and i watched something called the last king of scotland or last kingdom of scotland. that was seriously messed up.

from there it brought me to wed morning and i slept for the majority of the day and packed for my week and a half in winnipeg. part pleasure and part for school. yay.

on the 9th, i was suppose to leave early, but i had a migraine so mum told me to sleep it off. i did. woke at 11am.

the majority of the trip down was boring. i started passing out, so i pulled over for 15 minutes for a nap. i kept driving and ended up getting some energy iced tea. it was yummy.

pulled into winnipeg and visited with jenn right off the hop as i waited for miss k to get off of work.

here's a pic of me taking Vitals in Lab Week!

lab week...not gonna lie to yah. that was fucking intimidating. seriously.
i felt out of place and lost and nervous.

most of the time, i felt as if all my skills and confidence were just squished. like a bug. a BUG i tell you!

i swore i felt so small and the more i went through things, the more nervous i got and it just went downhill. i got cranky and shit like that...which didn't help as that just made me feel so much smaller.

thursday we had an open house. that was more than a loaded gun and interesting. i had to watch my tongue with all the dignitaries there. i really didn't want to show any displeasure - yet. also, why oh why do they need to marinate themselves in perfume/cologne? do you really stink THAT much?
another place that has a scent free policy that's NOT enforced by the "management". Cam is totally cool in not wearing it and if he does wear anything - deoderant, hair stuff or detergent... barely smell anything. if i can, it's not a bad smell. i don't have an allergy attack.

speaking of allergies, im so very proud of myself. i'm slowly building up a tolerance to it. not as much as before, but i can handle most light stuff.

right... open house! we got to speak with bill younger about complaints we had. and from what i could tell - we, as in the pas, had a few!

funny side note - on the chat for class, everyone thought i was a guy. infact, Nish (a really awesome possum guy) thought i was some big burly bitter guy. one day ian (from dauphin) and myself were probably argueing or bantering or something about ...something and Nish said he turned to ian and said "what's up with this cyd character?"
i wound up sitting next to Nish during the first few days in winnipeg.
we had a laugh about it.

friday, i felt much better and in my game. i was able to go through my assessments and felt comfortable answering questions.

after the weekend, i ended up going home on saturday. had a med terminology exam on monday. i passed with a 65%. by the skin on my ass - or something like that.

the rest of the week was filled with guest speakers and class and labs. well, also this past bit of week.

we had an exam, yesterday. i got either a 83 or a 88. i seen the 8 part and was happy. period.
we read EKG's in lab. went over things in a nice dumbed down version. so freaking helpful! i understand it much more!

yesterday we started pharmacology.

oh. on the trip down to winnipeg, i got to use my HolyFreakingPylonJacket in a useful way.
A girl passed out and ended in the ditch - good job. well a huge truck - it was 4x4... tried to get her out. it failed. like here's your shipment of FAIL! it got stuck in the mud...half way up the tires. and this tiny ford ranger was trying to pull it out. it failed.
a broken tow rope later, and myself locked out of my own car - while it was running... it's a habit. i get out, lock the door. ... yeah... shut up.
one semi driver was gonna pull them out, but he fucked off. so, while the guys helping us broke into my car, the rest of us tried to figure out where would be good to stop traffic.
another semi stopped and helped! i drove a bit away and got out the blinding jacket of doom and stopped traffic while they hitched huge chains to get the truck and car out.
the girl was fine.

so, yay. jacket was useful, it's probably not going back to ross - the supplier of lame... but i'll wear it. i just can't wear the inner shell. boooo to that.

oh. found a picture of a truck that's not Ironhide (so want that truck) that totally made me INK.

and seriously, i think i'm done. ... yeah. night night all.

today, i also get to do ride alongs with the ems director for halloween. every year they drive around and make sure kids aren't being beaten up for their candy.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

The First of the Paramedic Brat's tales

today, so far, we've done 3 calls.

1 transfer, one pick up from the middle of a road and one airport transfer.
i've seen different areas of the hospital and sadly i think i might end up drinking coffee. right no, i need food as i'm feeling really light-headed.

i'm gonna leave this for now, do more later.