Thursday, May 23, 2002

making a living

Work is going slowly. I can do assessments and the paperwork, but still get confused about who is supposed to sign where on our forms. Most of our patients are in no condition to sign, so if there's a relative nearby, we get them to sign. We also get the receiving nurse to sign for possession of the patient. And the sending institution has to come up with a reason why the pt has to be transported by ambulance. I still haven't driven the truck, and there are two types of stretchers, of which I understand one.

I have school books, but through some weirdness about purchase orders and used book prices, I wound up with a 'recommended' $90 book for which I have to pay $53 next Friday. It's a pathophysiology book which is highly recommended by the head of the EMS program. Big sucker, too. About as thick as the PDR.

I've been sending gifts to my Mom all month. Her birthday is on May 30. The only one she hasn't opened yet is a book on Celtic myths and legends. She has a series of BBC produced videos on the history of the Celts, which we watched together a couple of weeks ago. I gave her an Enya CD, because she didn't have any and she likes Enya. Also gave her a new wallet, which she's been looking for for a long time.

I hope I can work this weekend (but weekends are slow), and get some more training on where hospitals are and how to drive the truck. These people are magicians when it comes to backing these huge monster trucks into small spaces. Backing & parallel parking have never been among my talents.

I injured my back on Monday. I was pulling an empty gurney toward me, and I tripped backwards over a curb and landed against a pole with my back, then hit the ground on my ass. Ouch. I was ok for the first few minutes, and then my L5 started acting up, and my muscles started getting tight. I have pain in the lower lumbar area, L hip, and lateral L knee. I have already been to the Occupational Medicine MD x 2, but have to go again today. I am running low on pain pills. They also have me on muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory meds.

This is National EMS week, so the hospitals are giving us things like cookies, ice cream, breakfast tacos, and these nifty little flashlights. They fit in the R thigh pocket of paramedic pants without slipping down too far. And they're pretty sturdy, which my present one isn't.

I think I will continue to be on light duty for awhile. Which is just fine with me, as people on stretchers can be pretty heavy. Most of the ones we transport are old, though, and don't have much body fat left, usually. We had a guy yesterday who was Alert & Oriented x 0.5: he knew his first name but not his last or his location or the date. We see a lot of diabetic patients... Diabetis is not good at all... I hope my Mother can stave off the bad things for a good long time. Especially the bad mental things.

Thursday, May 09, 2002

back in the saddle

It's been nearly a month since I've blogged. Wow.

The semester is nearly over, and will be next week. I only have 2 tests to go. I got into the Summer evening track of the Paramedic program, and I have a job that starts Monday at a locally owned transport ambulance service. School is paid for.

I'm trying to get into the city Medical Assistance Program, because I have extremely high cholesterol and have to take a medication that costs $124.99 per month, and I don't have any insurance to pay for it. With a part time job, I won't have the money to pay for it, either.

I'm going to my Mom's house this weekend for Mother's Day. We're going to break my gr.mother out of the nursing home and take her home to eat KFC Chicken Pot Pies, one of my gr.mother's favorite delicacies. My sister, her sports-fiend husband, and my nephew will also be in attendance.

I went out and got my uniform patches sewn on my shirts for work and my clinicals yesterday. They all have a State of Texas EMT patch on the left shoulder, and a patch for either my employer or my school on the right shoulder. I'm ready to go. School starts May 28.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

just another day

I'm skipping Death & Dying today: we're seeing an 'optional' movie. I don't feel up to it. Have to go to A & P, though, as we've started the circulatory system. Finally, something I know again. I am not up on my brain parts and endocrine system. Will be working out after class tonight at the school gym. Yesterday I power walked with Binky the Wonder Dog around my apartment complex. Was quite taxing. There is another non-emergent transport service in town, but they're in a very dangerous part of town and are basically pretty sleazy. They would hire any warm body with a certificate. I am not quite that desperate yet. I'm going to see how well I can improve my physical stamina in the next 30 days... which is something I've needed to do for awhile now, anyway.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

EMT stuff

Found a great local Austin Paramedic/Fire Fighter's site He collects patches, too.

My own life is not going well. I failed the physical agility part of the AMR job testing process. Gonna work out daily for the next month and try again. Very down on myself about this. I shouldn't have dropped my weightlifting course this semester, but there it is: have to go with life one day at a time.

Have been going to my Mom's house every weekend and planting things for her. She has a very nice garden with lots of perinials now. Not sure what they all are, as I am a fish and cat person, not a gardener. I just dig holes and put stuff in it as directed. Mom is an insulin dependent diabetic, and has developed a rash on the tops of her feet that's moving up her legs. She has an MD appt tomorrow. Hope it's nothing serious. With diabetis, you just never know.

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

joy to the world

Two wonderful things happened today:

1. I was accepted into the Summer Class of the Emergency Medical Technology Program (aka Paramedic School) at Austin Community College. There are only 15 spaces. I have to get a physical exam and start the Hepatitis B vaccination schedule (3 injections.) We have a mandatory orientation on April 24.

2. I nearly have a job. I finally got in touch with the HR guy at AMR, and went in and got interviewed and took the written exam. Now I have to pass the drug screening test and the physical 'agility' test, which is supposed to see if you can lift things like stretchers and people and haul them around. I have grave doubts about my ability in the endurance portion of the test. Very grave. However, we shall see. I have to get the drug screen and the agility test done before Tuesday of next week, when I'm scheduled to start. The HR guy said that only 3 people have failed the physical test, but I sincerely do not want to be number 4. Not much I can do in this short period of time, though.