Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Life

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, October 12, 2009

Karma's A Bitch

An elderly woman lies strapped to a bed in the emergency room. She's taken a fall at her house and has severe injuries to her face and head. She is alone in the room; tubes and monitor wires run out from underneath the sheet that is supposed to keep her warm. The monitor glows green with her "numbers", and the 1,000 cc bag of normal saline has almost run it's course.

In her loneliness she cries out in pain, begging God, or anyone for that matter, to help her. Tears run down her cheeks. The neck collar prevents her head from moving but her aged eyes move back and forth searching for someone that can alleviate her pain. Moans turn into screams...desperation and agony set in.

I asked the nurse if we couldn't give the elderly lady something to make her more comfortable. Through the backdrop of screams the indignant nurse informs me that "She's 90-something years old, she doesn't feel any pain", and makes her way to another room. Huh?

I walked into the Doctor's Lounge and found the attending physician. "I'm giving the lady in Room 6 five of morphine". The doctor looked up from what he was reading, "OK".

I demanded the morphine from the same nurse, invoking the physician's orders and soon the patient was blissfully asleep.

I've run into this grotesque attitude before from nurses, physicians, paramedics, and all other manner of heath care "professionals"; that of compassion equates to weakness and inexperience. Many try to pretend that they are so endowed with medical knowledge and experience that only they can recognize the true medical emergencies worthy of their limited compassion. All others are pushed to the curb, compassion be damned. Karma's a bitch!

Friday, October 9, 2009

"They'll Fight Over It When You're Dead".

I ran across a signature in a blog the other day that stated, "When discussing the shelf life of Twinkies, the limiting factor is the life of the shelf". This made me laugh because I've always been attracted to things that are designed to last longer than I am.

Not too long ago I discovered Saddleback Leather's briefcase; 100-year guarantee. I think I just bought a present for my great-grandson (or daughter). I hope they enjoy it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy Birthday

Maine in the fall. I love the crisp air that bites at you in the early morning and the leaves under feet.

I was speaking with a fellow paramedic yesterday and we were relating calls that just make you cringe. As a very senior medic, hers won. Apparently she had been called to the scene of a domestic dispute where an intoxicated guy threatened to cut his unborn child out of his 24-week pregnant girlfriend. In his rage he broke a beer bottle and sliced open the girl's abdomen.

When the paramedic arrived the police had the guy in handcuffs, and the girl was taking her last breaths as she lay in a massive sea of blood. The crew quickly loaded the woman in the ambulance and rushed the 30+ miles to the hospital, doing CPR the entire way on the obviously dead woman in an effort to supply enough oxygenated blood to the tiny fetus struggling inside.

When they arrived at the hospital the surgeons completed the cesarian section and delivered the fetus, about the size of a small hand.

That fetus is a 24-year old woman today. Simply awesome.