Thursday, September 20, 2012

Update: Finally!

    Alright folks. I did say life was going to get busy, but I had no clue how right *that* was.
Soooo here is the deal.
I am now a volunteer firefighter/EMT with the Santa Fe Fire Department, Edgewood District. I got a job at Wal Mart, (for anyone who hasn't seen me there already), and am back in school, working toward A/EMT-- (Advanced EMT) to be certified in the national registry. Basically, that means that anywhere I go in the states, I would be qualified to get a paying EMS job with a service or Fire Department. As things stand right now, I am simply volunteering in order to get some needed skills and real-life experience for the future in my medical career.
I am SO thankful for how God is leading me and opening doors in this field, and I am set in my goal to help spread the gospel of Christ through this job.
A cool perk of the EVFD (Edgewood Volunteer Fire District) is the group of dedicated men and women I have the pleasure of serving alongside. I could not have asked for a more professional group to begin my career with.
Just recently I became certified with Santa Fe, and tonight got fitted with bunker gear, which is what you see firemen in all the time. I got the works, from the helmet down to the boots.

Today the word was ladder drilling, and we worked everything from extension ladders to Roof hooks and everything in between. 

I am going to turn in pretty quick here, but I will be back soon to post about my Front Sight trip and whatever else I left off from my post months ago...

                                                                        A final word.

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. 
--Colossians 3:23

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Brief Update


          I have been so busy lately, my computer time has been seriously limited.  Getting on to check my email has been a rarity, let alone posting on the blog! 

         The past two weeks in short form are as follows:

1. Got hired at the Edgewood Wal-Mart supercenter as a sales associate:
  a.  Hours were 0300 (3:00am) - 1200 (noon), but moved an hour later.  
  b.  Despite it being only an hour later, 4:00am is actually a much better and easier time
       to work than 3:00 - 12:00. 
2. Finals week started...need any more be said?
  a. I just completed my lab assessments, which are basically simulated patient treatments for the EMT.
  b. I'm currently waiting on grades for my math final, which did go very smoothly, and I am not too
      worried about at all.
  c. I have a biology lab final tomorrow.  Early.  Coming in from Edgewood to Main CNM campus.
  d. EMT-B theory final is Thursday!!!
  e. final day of EMT lab is subcutaneous and intramuscular injections.  One performed on a classmate,
      and on performed on me by a classmate. 
3. I'm housesitting for a couple weeks,
4. I am attending an open house for my Civil Air Patrol squadron (High Desert Composite) tomorrow at
    the Masonic lodge on Highway 66.
  a. Heather Wilson is going to be there.
  b. My store manager is going to be there.

          That about sums life up as I can remember it at the moment.  Life is busier than usual, and that is good.  As I like to say, it keeps me out of trouble and off the streets.  My intention at the moment is to take a trip to Santa Fe as soon as I recieve my basic certificate in order to see if I can make it into the May EMT-B exam block for the state of New Mexico.

          I have had little free time recently, but I do enjoy playing a few tunes on my guitar from time to time. 
These are a few of my current favorites and ones I am practicing/polishing.

Those Who Wait by Tommy Emmanuel

Here Without You by Three Doors Down

Here Comes the Sun by The Beetles

Take a Bow by Rihanna

Back in Black by AC/DC

Till next time...adios.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ride-Along Update

Time for a little more information from my ride along.
I can't publish information on who the patient was due to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), but since I don't have much information on them anyway, I can pretty much tell you about the calls. 

          The first call was for an "unresponsive" male patient at an apartment complex.  The call  came in as a "Delta" priority from dispatch, so we responded what we call code 3 with lights and sirens.  That was my first ever time in an emergency vehicle like that, so I was extremely happy--just about giddy. 
Anyway, Kris looked at the residence area and said "I think we've transported this guy before.  Watch, we'll get there and he'll be responsive and want us to take him to the hospital."  Upon our arrival, Kris said "yup, this is the guy.  He has gotten combative before, so just make a note of that."  When we entered the room, sure enough, the man was responsive and complaining of nothing in particular, just that he hurt everywhere. 
He was able to get to the ambulance, so we began transport.  Once in the ambulance, the patient began complaining of chest pain, so according to protocol Kris hooked up the EKG or electrocardiogram to the patient to monitor his heart rythm and make sure he was stable and not having a heart attack or cardiac dysrythm.  Once we got to the hospital, the patient decided he felt OK and walked to the restroom while we turned in the patient report.

         Our second call was a shortness of breath call that we actually ended up letting the fire department take care of.  Residential neighborhood, husband called for wife.  During the time we were there, the fire medic asked the wife some questions, and when the husband answered for her, she screamed at him in full, coherent sentences, so we knew she was breathing quite well. 

          The third call was a little more interesting.  It came in as a "Charlie"-- respond code 3 for a possible MVC (motor vehicle collision) with pedestrian involvement.  it looked like a madhouse when we arrived  on-scene.  There were at leas two police squad cars, on fire engine and one fire ambulance inaddition to ours.  The fire EMTs already had the patient, a young woman appearing to be in here early twenties, backboarded and stabilized.  Kris asked the patient some of the standard orientation questions such as "what day is it?  Where are you right now?" and things of that nature.  This patient was unable to answer the questions given, so transport was indicated.  Once she was in the ambulance, Kris started an IV to keep her from going into shock.  He found that she was intoxicated at the time, and explained to me that that was the probable cause for here inability to answer the orientation questions.  Upon further examination, no evidence of physical trauma could be found upon the patient despite her complaint of pain in her legs.  Obtaining a history of the incident was pretty much impossible due to her uncooperative demeanor.  Once we got to the hospital, I actually got to lead the team in transferring her to a hospital bed from the long spine board.  After delivering the report, we reported ourselves back in service. 


          The fourth call was hands-down the best call, and quite a rare one at that.  We were dispatched at "Bravo" priority to the residence of victims of a previous MVC.  Upon arrival, we learned that the patient had walked from the scene of an accident to the residence.  Once we got the patient onto the gurney, Kris took his lung sounds because he was presenting with dyspnea and tachypnea, or difficulty breathing with fast respirations.  He could barely speak three words before having to take a few more breaths.  Kris looked surprised and said "You know you're missing a lung, right?"  The guy knew he was in pretty bad shape, but what he didn't know was that his exact condition was a tension pneumothorax, or air separating the lung from the chest wall, crushing it, and pushing it against the heart and other lung.  Due to the possibility of other unseen injuries, an IV was started, and rapid transport was initiated.  The interesting thing about this patient was that out of all of the patients so far, he was the most polite, the best historian, and the most normal seeming one so far that night.  We transported him to the trauma center at UNMH where he recieved a surgery on the spot.  With the pneumothorax condition being fairly rare, it is uncommon for a medic to just get to see a surgery normally, much less on a first ride-along.  It wasn't overly gory, but did remind me why I wanted to be the EMS medic patching someone up rather than cutting someone open for an emergency surgery.  They put a chest dart in the patient.  though not completely alike, it was similar to the posted link. 

WARNING: it is a graphic video, so don't watch unless you can handle blood and bodily fluids.

          All in all, a very good first ambulance ride. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Don't Get On My Nerves...In Class?

  It is officially down to the last few weeks in the first year of college!  It's been a bittersweet--mostly sweet journey full of God's blessings and provision for my life. 
          One interesting thing is that the last few weeks have exposed one thing that gets on my nerves MAJORLY.  That would be people not taking things seriously.  I can understand it when my friends joke about things and give me a hard time for being "too serious".  (;   However...when you are in an EMS class learning how to save someone's life?  That is a different matter altogether.  I actually *sternly* said something to two of my classmates earlier. (If you know me... *sternly* and Corey...well, they really don't go together very well usually).  They just don't usually *happen*.  Anyway, I went so far as to actually raise my voice and tell them "Don't stand over your patient!  Roll him the right way!  You know how to do it, so do it.  In the real world, things won't be so easy for you!!" 
          It may sound like I am overreacting, but think about this.  You are backboarding a patient.  Immobilizing them on a long spine board.  Manually stabilize the head to protect the vital nerves of the spinal chord.  Apply a C-collar to help immobilize the cervical spine.  Inspect and palpate (feel) their spine for any deformities, trauma, open wounds, things of that nature.  Roll them onto a backboard using the count of the responder who is stabilizing the patients head.  "1, 2, 3, (roll)." 

There are a few more steps after that, but without going into them, just know that they are simple, straightforward steps to keeping a patient safe for moving. 
          The consequences of not properly applying an LSB are far-reaching and severe for the patient and even the responder. 
          If the patient is not fully "packaged" in the correct manner, they could be paralyzed for life.  That in itself is a reason--a perfecly good reason-- to backboard someone *correctly* every practice time around. 
For me as an EMT, if I do it wrong, I could be sued for negligence-- a breach of duty.  Something any other good EMT would never do under any circumstances. 
          I know my medical terms can get extraneous and boring at times, but when you apply it to real life, that could be the life of your loved one, or even you that I will be working to save someday. 

I want my care to be the absolute BEST I can provide, and if I see anything less in myself or another, I cannot and will not tolerate it.
          Now, with that in mind, it is also more the attitude of the person.  If they are struggling with a skill, I am totally OK with that, and ready to help them so that they understand and can complete it. 

Sooo....if you don't want me yelling at you...try not to kill people through thoughtlessness.  Can't stand it...though I'm fairly certain that no one reading this blog would do such a thing. 

         Recently that has been teaching me to stand up for something.  I used to be such a pushover, letting things like carelessness and neglect thrive...even in my spiritual life--not just in other poeple--but in myself as well.  I would not take chances that God put right in front of me, just because of my sheepishness.  I am coming to realize just how much we as Christians have been entrusted with spreading the word to unbelievers-- that the world is not right, they are sinners just as we are, and they deserve eternal punishment--just as we did before Jesus rescued us and brought us back from absolute death. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stuff...and a Ride Along!!!!

          Time for a post that doesn't have a terribly large amount of significance-- something of a personal update more than anything.
          Lately I have been doing mostly nothing but study EMS terms and other items of interest for school and my future career. 
Really, medicine is SO interesting if you know what the body systems do and why they do it.  Ah, I'm sure there are a lot of people who would disagree with that statement, (who wants to know about all that gross squishy stuff inside anyway?)  but hey, pursue what you enjoy and you will always like your job.
          I recently took an ambulance ride with a service in Albuquerque.  That was hands-down the best overnighter I have EVER pulled, and probably up there near the top of the best 12 hour periods in my life.

 It is an amazing thing, being part of the thread of hope that an injured person can cling to.  Conversely, there are people who want help, but don't want to listen to or do what they are asked.  It reminds me of the human relationship to Christ.  Many people want His help, but do not look or listen to what is best for them, but only what they want out of the relationship.  Many "patients" in life do not even want Christ's help at all.  When someone truly cries out to God for help, it gives Him great pleasure to be the light in the dark, hopeless world that seems to close in around them. 
          Anyway...I was the third rider with a medic named Kris and an EVO (Emergency Vehicle Operator) named Felicia.  Kris and Felicia are six and three year veterans of AAS respectively.  They are both outstanding medics, and great to be along with.
          Some things learned during the ride.

1.   Things are NEVER as they seem at first.  (more on that later)
2.   I have a black cloud hanging over me.  People get hurt when I'm out and about.
3.   People ALWAYS lie.
4.   Calls that come in as very serious or life threatening...frequently are not.
5.   And vice versa.  U.S. military veterans will go as far as apologize for taking up your
      time and may even try to tip you for your services--even though they are practically about to die. 
6.   EMS is a LOT of sitting around and waiting for something to happen.
7.   When something DOES happen, it is likely to be a small incident.
8.   Nearly everyone who hurts themselves is either intoxicated or high. (or both. (or has been recently))
9.   The vast majority of patients do not notice or care about how the medic is doing physically, even
       if the medic is coughing and in pain. 
10.  NEVER walk away from the scene of an accident.  Just don't?  For your own good? 
       For me?  And your local EMS?  (; 
11.  NEVER NEVER NEVER do drugs. 
   a.)   or become an alcoholic.
   b.)   or smoke.
   d.)  I won't judge you if you do, but you are killing yourself. 
12.   Ambulances serviced by female paramedics are the most pleasant smelling and clean vehicles you
        will ever have the privilege to be in.  Not even kidding.  
13.   In EMS, one can stereotype and be correct 99.9 percent of the time.

That is all for now... I'll give some more specifics in my next update.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kindness: Excellence in Everyday Life

Your attitude in public affects so many more people than you think.  It's not just the way you carry your self, the way you talk the way you look, but it's also how you interact with other people.  All those factors can make or break some totally random person's day.  For example, the person at school who asks you for help on the computermay be having a rough day and just need something to distract them from all the hardships of the day.

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”  --Proverbs 12:25

          Your demeanor when you are answering could be the difference between them interacting with a friendly person or conversely someone whom they regret talking to or even looking at at all.  Humankind in general is attracted to a good personality, a kind, easygoing demeanor, a friendly attitude, and a willingness to be of service at a moment's notice. 
It could literally be the difference between a kind face that gives them a little relief from the strains in life and says "I am glad you asked me for help, let me show you how Jesus would respond", or a heartless cold shoulder that communicates more "I want to talk to you like I need a gaping hole in the top of my head."

          If you interact with people and open up with them a little, just being yourself, you will find that there are infinitely many people who you will come into contact with that are just neat people.  They have a good outlook on life, and are willing and eager to say things to make your day better as you have made theirs.  If you don't reaspond with a smile, maybe you will never know these people and you will definitely be missing out.
          Show a Christ-like demeanor not only when interacting one-on-one with individuals, but also in any other situations that require it.  Someone's day can quickly be turned upside down by traffic.  As I was driving to shcool this morning, I was stopped at a traffic light waiting to turn left when I got a green arrow.  I cleared left, right, and front, then I started into my turn when I was about a third of the way through, a car came zooming into the intersection just slow enough to stop directly in my path.  I said out loud "What in the world..?"  and looked at the individual in the car.  I'm chuckling as I type this, but the poor guy was very apologetic, obviously noting his error and not wanting me to get angry at him.  My first thought was "How would Jesus respond to something like this?"  My second thought was "How many road rage incidents in America have been caused by people gesturing and yelling and screaming etc?"  Answer: a whole lot. 

          I could guarantee you that Jesus would gesture and holler and shake his fist at something as fleeting as this.  Why in the world should we? 

All this to say, demonstrate the love of Christ in the little things of everyday monotony.

"Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God" 
--1 Corinthians 4:1.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Thoughts about love...

Here is a chat message between me and one of my best friends from a while back.  I really enjoyed typing it up and overthinking everything.   Take a little time to think about the love of God that he demonstrated to us.  Maybe you'll get a new cool perspective on things from this, or maybe it will bring back memories, but here it is...

Her question:       "What do you think is the POINT of unrequited love? I mean...WHYYYYY in the world does it even have to happen? Is unrequited love ONLY infatuation (even if it is immense infatuation), or is it real love? And why, if you are going to love someone and they don't love you back, why isn't the love simply one of friendship at first? Why doesn't it just stay at friendship and not move past that? I guess maybe it depends on the people and their situation and emotional scale or something? Maybe it's just another "experience" that God decided to throw in the mix of life? If we didn't have unrequited love, would it be better for everyone, or worse?
I just want to figure out the WHY behind it...

Just some questions...and if you want to answer them you should! I am asking the same questions of another friend and want to find out other peoples' opinions on this.

My answer:
          Weeeeellll....I don't know that one myself. Things WOULD be much easier without it.  However...
I believe iut is multi-faceted. I may nail down a more definite "if there was one I had to choose" at the end.

So, the *pont*(s) of unrequited love. The first big one that really comes to mind (and is probably the main one I'll come back to) is that...unrequited love points to Christ. Odd? I'm still trying to figure that one out, but the way I'm seeing pieces fit is kind of like this.
Christ died on the cross for our sins. In doing so, he LOVED us WAAAAAAY before we even knew him--when our whole existence in time-space (wherever that is in the eternal scheme of things) was as an enemy of God and all He stands for. Thusly, when Christ loved us, we were incapable and indeed, when we *did* live without Him in our lives, His love was unrequited. That said, though we do love Him now, there are many that still don't, some that will in the future, and some that never will. It's the same as unrequited love. Some end up working out in the long run, others never do. For me as a Christian, it just points out that the whole pont is that "God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

So, he demonstrated His love, it was an exercise of His volition. He KNEW some would never accept Him, yet he chose to love and be rejected.

point/question 2...
Unrequited love can be infatuation in some cases, but just becuase one person doesn't return it doesn't make it any less REAL. A person my *do* something to make it infatuation, but love is love is love. Infatuation is infatuation is....yeah. I see no reason why the actions of the one who does not love the other should affect the way they love. If opposition were to stop everyone from doing a difficult thing, no one would EXCEL, no one would ever FIND OUT if it were meant to be, no one would surpass expectations for their own life!!! Infatuation fades, and fades quickly. Real love persists--not to the point of being stubbornness, but to the point of knowing when to stop. If one person's hate for God affected us as to make us quit immediately, we would never evangelize or step out of our comfort zone!!! Again, just a parallel, not a bad thing in the case of the "love-ee". :P Which brings me to...

3. It's about taking risks.
Risks may scar, be remembered, hurt, etc. Love isn't *safe*.  It's *good*, but not *safe* by a long shot. My personality...I just like to take risks from time to time. It varies with my mood, but one thing I learned is that risks are not always just spur-of-the-moment decisions, but sometimes meticulously planned--for gaining more knowledge, and what's more *WISDOM*--what to do with that knowledge. With those risks come learning and a wisdom that surpasses the wisdom one had before the unrequited love. For example, in learning about someone while having a love for them, even if it is not returned, one learns how to better serve them and be a friend. Future knowledge like that can soften or even prevent future scars and struggles with *other* loves, friends, ventures and...wait for it...more calculated risks. (:

I think as to why does love not just start out as friendship...I think it really does. If it starts out *too* soon, I think yes, it could very well be infatuation. However...what makes a love--no matter how unrequited a love it is-- a love? In a true love (and this is not a Biblical parallel as much as it is a definition) someone sees something particular in the other person that they admire that they don't in other people.
(Phileo love) know different types of may start out as Eros--romantic love. If it progresses past that, it's probably going to be real. It goes to the Phileo stage. At that point, with both, one has seen in the other something they admire. The other person, however, may have Phileo love without Eros love--thus even though they may want to be friends, the "romantic" part is not there. The elements of Phileo are present in both parties in a (true love) unrequited love situation. In infatuation, there is just Eros for the one, Phileo, Agape--uinconditional love, or even nothing at all in the way of love for the other. Also--love must progress past the physical outward appearance to be real and not infatuation. The "something" one sees in another person must be a greater, more important attribute (than good looks or a fun personality, etc.)

I think this is all tying back in to the *point* of unrequited love, though. It's hard keeping everything straight... :P

Anyway, depending on how the "loved one" responds to that, it may just very well *not* pass beyond friendship. If the "love-er" sees that Eros love is not present in the other, most likely if it was a true love, they will still want to be friends with that person. (ie. because of the special attribute they saw in the first place).
It will pass oftentimes in *infatuation* as well, the difference in the passing being there may not be an interest in the PERSON and the aforementioned *characteristic*..."since they don't love me back, they have nothing more to offer me, so I can completely and totally move on." 

Haha, if we didn't have unrequited love, think of all experiences that would be lost--both good and bad--the friendships that wouldn't exist.... (: A lot of peeps would be machines walking around. Think about it...unrequited love is one of the risks of life. Even the 1-2 people on the adventure scale need SOME excitement.

So....paragraph 5 (line 2 and on) needs clarification.

Infatuation/love are OBVIOUSLY 2 very different things, and I do view them as such. In the case of infatuation, it is just unrequited infatuatoin. I'd say that is absolutely fine, and a good thing. Sometimes, however, it is hard to see clearcut *lines* between infatuation/love. (refer to paragraph 7 for more complete guidelines.) If someone really DOES love another with a true love, then they should continue until there is a certain and definite-- "This isn't going to work out." If someone who really loves someone else fails and falls at the first hardship, there would be no real love. Period. Love is fraught with hardship, and unrequited love is no exeption. That said, infatuation is infatuation is...yeah."

Her: "WOW - wonderful!!  That was beyond what I expected answer wise!

All of what you wrote is very interesting to think about...nice to see someone else's point of view.

One thing...
I asked why when you love someone as a friend, why it moves past that stage for some people, and not for another. I think you misunderstood my question (the paragraph under #3)...I do believe that real love starts out w/ friendship (it's better!!!)...just clarifying that.
But I worded that question weirdly anyway so it was my fault..."

 Me:       "Ah, got it. It did *kinda* sound like you were saying there were times when friendship was skipped, and I was like...whuuuuut? But now I see what you meant. (:

As to that...I really don't know why God has purposed for some people to "move farther" with their friendship into what we could call romantic love. It's just a thing that needs to be experienced, I suppose. I certainly don't understand it. This said, however, I am of the conviction that love between a man and a woman is more special--like the relationship between Christ and the church. For me, there's always also been this...thing, like doing something for one's true love (even though one might do something very similar or the same for a best friend) that sets it apart from being "just" an act for a friend. Not just the big things like perhaps having to give up comfort and certain attitudes, belongings, feelings, or even up to one's life, but also just doing the little things like just being a kind person and doing things--random little things. Does that make any sense at all or is it hopeless rambling? I'm a hopeless romantic underneath, so maybe in that light/mindset it makes more sense, but that's just a thought."