Code 3 – v2.0

What I did for my fourth of July?

Well, I helped a nice Russian lady face the hard reality of pending organ failure due to chronic Hep C infection. She developed an upper GI bleed today and showed the first stages of organ failure. Sadly, her future doesn’t look rosey.

Then I worked a 49 year old male in full arrest from a MI (heart attack). He later coded (died) at the hospital. While the learning experience for me was invaluable, all I wanted to do was hug his poor wife afterwards. They were visiting from out of town. I’m sure this wasn’t in the vacation plans. I can only imagine what it’s like to lose a loved while on vacation in a foreign city. I can’t speak for other cities but, the emergency responder care you get in SF is first rate. We had 3 paramedics onscene, a paramedic captain, and 4 EMT’s (including me). With the exception of moi, it’s a standard response on any type of resuscitation. We “worked” the man for almost an hour before finally transporting C3 (code 3) to the nearest hospital. We didn’t think he’d live but since he had what’s called a ‘workable rhythm’ on his heart-rate, we did the best we could. I’m a quick study and that one call made it worth it for all my previous ride alongs. I’m very fortunate in that I assimilate info quickly. The other firefighters didn’t know I was a newbie till after it was over and my crew mentioned it.
Continue reading Code 3 – v2.0

Nonsense

I had another ride along today. It went well. Not very busy but something is better than nothing. I always find my ride alongs a lesson in humility. I usually end up dealing w/the down-trodden and cast aways of society. Whether by fault or fate, life dealt these folks a shitty hand. Some make the best of it, others wallow in their misery. Either way, I’m reminded of how lucky I am and how far we need to go as a society before we can even begin to throw around terms like “civilized”. It is unthinkable that we allow folks to sink to such lows.

While responding to a victim of an assualt, we happen to see a man walking the streets sort of erratically. The most striking trait is the odd color of his hands. By odd, they were completely purple. Not a good sign regardless of the reason. It becomes apparent said person isn’t dealing w/a full deck as we watch him perform a sort of hopscotch of hopping back and forth across the street. PD was onscene and mentioned he’d been 5150’d (psych eval’d) previously on several occasions. Uh, yeah! Here we have a man that w/medication and just a modicum of daily intervention could lead a normal even productive life. Thanks to a variety of issues, including our shitty no-good piece-of-shit president’s policy of robbing this country of any social programs, this poor soul is left homeless and forgotten. He wanders the streets on a daily basis in a cloud of chemical dysfuntion. And true to description, after dealing w/our current patient, we can’t find him. Lost once again in the daily shuffle of life. He is but one of many such people in this city. And not just SF, you could pick any large city in the US and encounter a similar problem.

Oh, and our assault victim? A victim true enough. But, as soon as PD left, he hopped out of the ambulance and was on his way. He was what we call a “repeat offender”. Someone who works the ins and outs of the system just so he can get a ‘free ride’. But how free is it when your life is at the whim of social services, housed in squalor, and totally dependent on the kindness of others?

At day’s end I find my faith in my current career choice renewed. I may not be able to save them all but I know I can make a difference. Even if that “difference” is a compassionate face in the chain of faces one must endure when faced w/a life on the streets.

Emergency?

Is it possible I’m FINALLY on another ride along today? Well, if it’s after 8:00am and this is still here, it’s true!

** Update **

Yes, it did happen. It’s been so long I was getting discouraged. This was a new medic too and I really liked them. They were knowledgable and treated every patient w/dignity. I really liked seeing that. There are ways w/dealing w/”repeat offenders” however, being ugly isn’t one of them. They found me energetic and eager to learn which made their job easier. YAY!

Long day though and I’m tired. Doing laundry now. It’s piled up so high I can’t avoid it any longer. I’m down at the local Sit & Spin doing it as I can do all the loads at once. I’ve resigned myself to just having it done. My free time is continually limited and I’m not keeping up w/it. (Yeah, I’m lazy too but that’s not the point.)

A Pox On Your House…

I had to go see my doc today. Last night, I developed a full body rash that was hella itchy. I normally would have waited before going to see the doc but, I have a ride-a-long on the ambulance tomorrow. I thought it prudent to get checked out. It hasn’t moved onto my face, for which, I am sooo grateful. Of course, the new EMT in me started checking off the possibilities…

Scabbies – No – been there did that once at 19. There is no mistaking it for something else.

Syphilis – No – this nasty little STD can often bring on symptoms from other little buggers hiding in your spine. Had a screening no less than two weeks ago and all good. It is possible to test negative during the primary stage so we took another blood test today just to make sure. Yes, I’m thankful my penis won’t be falling off anytime soon.

Chickenpox/Shingles – No, this would have been an irony as just last week I was reading Johnny’s run in w/said illness. Mind you, I am very leary of catching the pox. I missed it as a kid and it is much much worse if you get it as an adult. Again, thank the stars, I still have plenty of antibodies from my last vaccination.

What’s left? Allergic reaction. – Well that is the consensus I reached with my doc. Not having a clue what it might be, I’m hoping it clears up before my guests arrive later in the week. I’d hate to be remembered as the buggy blogger.

Busy Bee III

No rest for the wicked. I’m off but not such luck on actually being free. *sigh* I miss having a life. (Wait, did I ever have one?…*pondering*)

I’m off to work to bend fresh minds to my iron will. The current class has finished their first rotation and today is their one day classroom training session before starting 2nd rotation. Out of 18 there are 9 left. Sadly, that’s better than most. The remaining group is doing well though.

Tomorrow, I’m headed over to City College to help my previous instructor w/his new EMT class. They are coming toward the end of the semester and doing much more hands on.

Wednesday, I have to go in early (7:00am) as I’m learning the new dynamic deployment for fire side. (I’m not exactly a morning person so I’m sure I’ll be extra cranky that day.) We are switching to a new type of dispatching for medics in the city. Instead of placing them at fire stations they will be roaming. We will use an AVL (automatically verifiy location) system to deploy medics for emergency calls. Basically, it just means we’ll have more tools to do our job effectively. Not any new skills but more attention is required now. The current system is sloppy at best. After a week of training, I hit the floor. One of the perks might be better days off for awhile. I might end up w/a weekend day or two off thru the month of April.

Stick & Stones Will . . .

I thought I’d talk about something other than myself today. Yeah, I know, there’s a first.

I do keep up my blogroll even though I get behind at times. Some more than others but I usually make it to all about once a week. Lately though, I’ve been reading Steve from Bent Collective a lot. If you aren’t a heavy reader of Bent, you should be. Here you have a man in the prime of his life giving of himself to help others. He traveled half way around the world to the bodunk country of Uzbekistan, easily a third world country, to setup a clinic and care for the ravaged HIV population there. Uzbekistan is only 2 small countries away from Afghanistan. They don’t particularly like us. Of course, being so far away does present some technological issues. Enter his friend Al who often keeps us apprised of Steve’s lastest efforts via the blog.
Continue reading Stick & Stones Will . . .

802’s

Ok, I sorta got my wish. I ended up riding around not in an ambulance but w/an RC. RC stands for Rescue Captain. Basically, he is a Paramedic supervsior. He was also my instructor for my EMT cert.

Nothing gruesome but my first two calls of the day were 802’s. (Dead on arrival) The first was sad as an 11 year old boy woke up to find his mother had passed away during the night. Truly impactful event for an 11 year old boy wouldn’t you say? The parents were estranged from each other so we had to stand by till the father could come onscene. The boy handled it like a trooper and his giant tomcat seemed to be a huge comfort (that was for you Homer). Having already been predisposed to such tragedies on a daily basis from my current job, I was saddened but very in control. Lets face it, people die everyday. I can think of no better way to go than peacefully in your sleep in your own home.

A couple hours go by and we get another call. A typical man down/3rd party scenario. Continue reading 802’s

Ignorant or Stupid

My dander is up today. Stupid people really work my last gay nerve.

Before I start let me explain something. There is a clear difference between ignorance and stupidity. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge. Stupidity, on the other hand, is the refusal or inability to process knowledge. In most respects they are a before and after state of being.

Ok, so my first bitch, I’m scrolling thru tribe today and I happen upon a thread about steroids. A HIV postive guy left a note saying he was interested in finding steroids to bulk up. He only mentions his HIV status in passing with his physical stats. While there were only a few comments, several were mean and one was just plain nasty. Oh but here’s the pisser! The comments were clearly based on negative ignorant perceptions. One guy assumed because the poster mentioned he was positive, he was using his status as an excuse. Even if he was, piss off! The poor man is dealing w/a terminal illness cut him some slack.

Knowing it wouldn’t do any good, I made an effort to correct said ignorance, not once but twice. I’m not for or against steroids. It’s a personal choice. And, I’ll be the first to admit I know poz guys who use their status as an excuse to bulk up legally. So what, if you fortunate enough to be healthy, count your blessings and move on. Until we have equal rights under the law in this country, I think we have bigger issues as gay men to be fighting over.

‘nuf said!

Then I’m reading bent collective’s rants about treating HIV patients in a third world country. Here we have a man who is giving up 6 months of his life to work in a true 3rd world country that doesn’t even like us. Apparently, a bitch fight breaks out over whether we should be tending to our own at home before offering his support overseas. One such person even goes so far to suggest the US is one step away from being a 3rd world country. Yes, news fans, read it again. One step away from being a 3rd world country. . . wait! what’s that noise…

*ring ring ring*

Why, it’s the clue phone! Hello! We are nowhere near close to being a 3rd world country! Making such statements takes you clearly out of the realm of ignorance and plants you firmly on the solid ground of stupidity. (note, I stopped here so I could edit out my several lines of curse words.) We have problems in this country. Yes, we do. But, our problems pale in comparison to the crisis that people face on a daily basis living in a 3rd world country. Anyone who is willing to give of themselves to help said people deserves our respect. Or at the very least, shut your pie hole and be grateful you live in a country where we have the luxury of such decisions.

I used to think I was very tolerant person. However, I’m guess I’m not. You know why? Because I have no use for stupid people anymore.

Code 3

I’m doing a ride along again today (it’s after midnight while I’m writing this). Twelve hours bouncing around in a tin box w/some of the needest citizens in the city. Drunks, junkies, crabby old ladies, and the occasional victim of circumstance.

Ah, I love this job!

Apparently, someone at HQ screwed up and scheduled two fo us for the same day. Since, I was lower in senority, I got booted. Oh well, shit happens. I might do one tomorrow but it’s iffy right now. So now I have all this free time on my hands. What to do…what to do?….hmmmmmm

Oh and happy VD guys.