It's not a good feeling…

When you go to see your grandmother for what might be the last time, and all she asks is ‘who’s he?’…

So we’re now moved pretty well onto wordpress, and I must say I like it more than blogspot :) Lots more options to do what I want, and it seems a little more stable.

So, what have I been doing lately? Well it’s been a long week. I’ll take it day by day to start with

Monday I had an interview and testing session with Pridemark Paramedics. Got there about 15 minutes early and there were already 4 other candidates there. They had us give them copies of our MVRs and then put us in a big conference room to take their written test. By the time everyone was there we had 9 candidates total (3 medics, 6 EMTs) there to test and interview.

The written test itself wasn’t too bad. A lot of simple stuff on it, even if the wording on it wasn’t the best. But I’m finding out that that’s pretty standard on employment pretests. A couple of the questions didn’t really have a good answer, so I did just as my instructors have always told me. “When in doubt choose C!” No, really though I just picked the answer that was the least wrong out of the ones presented.

The ‘practical’ portion wound up being nothing more than a verbal scenario. They wanted it a little more detailed than a lot of places, but nowhere near as detailed as I had to learn for the NR oral boards. It was a simple down and out scenario in an office building. I’m sure most of you can come up with some ideas for that but it wound up being one that I’ve actually ran in real life several times. Yay for D50.

Lastly was the actual interview. I didn’t think that I did too badly, but some of the questions weren’t what I was expecting. It wasn’t quite like the ACA interview by any means, but still different.

So got home from that feeling pretty confident on everything. They told us we’d hear back from them within 48 hours.

Tuesday dawn a nice pretty day up here, but any happy feeling evaporated pretty quick with a phone call from my mother. All it basically said was ‘your grandmother’s not doing good, the hospital called us and told us she most likely won’t make it past tonight.’

Great way to kill a day huh? I was told not to make it the 8 hour drive south since they weren’t sure I’d get there in time anyway. She didn’t want me coming down and possibly killing myself in the attempt to beat the reaper. I felt, and still feel, horrible that I didn’t head down and ignore my mother.

That day the only thing that kept me sane really was my friend who I’ve mentioned a few times before. She kept texting and talking, trying to keep me distracted and from dwelling on what was happening. Keep me from dwelling on what I couldn’t have any impact on.

I’d said it on Twitter and I’ll say it again here… As┬áridiculous as it sounds, I felt like if I had been there, there was something that I could have done. Something that the MDs and RNs there missed. I hate being on the sidelines and not able to influence the course things are taking, especially when it involves medical and my family.

Wednesday, my grandmother was still hanging in, but had spiked a fever of 108. They ran a CT and found that she had had a stroke in her ‘temperature regulation area’ according to the MD through my mother. He didn’t want to go into any more details with me since I wasn’t there and he assumed being 22 I couldn’t understand what he meant (have I mentioned that I hate some MDs?). Nothing was breaking the fever and none of her meds were working for anything at that point.

Thursday morning the fever broke finally but she was in a vegetative state. No reaction to anything. No change for Friday either.

Oh, Wednesday I found out from Pridemark via email that I was not selected for the job, but that they would keep my app on file for later if they found a job that matched my qualifications. Nothing still head from the middle-east company, and no good news from any other job fronts that day.

Thursday I found out on Acadian’s website that it shows ‘Schedule interview’ for SE TX. So hopefully that’s a good sign.

So it’s not been the best week I could have had. I’m planning how to get to FL for what we’re assuming is going to be my grandmothers funeral (she has DNR/DNI signed and wishes no extraordinary measures, and my family and the staff is honoring those wishes), along with probably needing to get to OC TX and maybe Baton Rogue LA for interviews. I’ve also been making plans to go ot TN and visit her for a few days. I have something I really need to tell her and I’d rather do it in person.

And on to her… it’s amazing how perfect she is and she doesn’t realize it yet. Every time I tell her that I know she can do everything she’s up against she just acts flabbergasted that I’ve got any confidence in her. One of the nice things is she doesn’t think that she’s perfect, she knows she has flaws, but at the same time she thinks those flaws make it so no one wants her.

She told me that she really wants to stay with me wherever I move to (right now as just friends since I haven’t told her anything), even if it is TX. She has told me many many times how much she hates TX and yet she’s willing to move down there to be around me.

Well, I’m done for now. I’ve got a few more apps to finish and send out.

http://transportjockey.com/2010/06/26/64/

My Strength

I’m in what feels like a downward spiral. Ever since my shot at medic ended it seems like I don’t know where I want to go, or how to get there even if I know what I want. I don’t know how I’ll survive, I don’t know how I’ll make a living, how I’ll continue school, anything. I’ve gotten to the point that you could probably call it depression. I don’t feel up to doing anything.
No one at work really notices, none of my classmates notice. I try my best to hide it. Hell, I pick up extra shifts so other people at work can do fun things, but really I just want a chance to throw myself into something and pretend the world doesn’t exist.
Everything the last year has made me question every little thing that has happened. From my failed engagement, to feeling like I have no prospects with other people, to failing at work, failing at school, failing at life. Seeing people die regularly, wondering what is the point behind everything.
I work at a hospital, and I float to every type of floor. I see some of the people in our ICU and Neuro unit, the drunks in our ED, the psych patients in our Behavioral unit, and just wonder. What is the point of living if that is your quality of life? But then I think about something that helps give me strength.

That thing, or actually those people, are my parents.
While I was in High School, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. A very rare type that originally was a skin cancer that metastasized through the lymph system into the breast tissue. She didn’t give up even when she was told what was going on. Throughout my high school career I saw her fight and struggle but never give up.
I drove her to Albuquerque for her first biopsy, because my father was out of country on business. I helped out wherever I could. I wanted to make sure I could always be there to help whenever I could. I made sure me and my brother tried to not stress her out. But being high schoolers we found a way to do it anyways. She never broke down to us, but I could tell that it was a struggle just to get through some days.
Money became tight for us because of the cost of driving 140 miles round trip for her treatments several times a week, but she tried her best to make sure we were never wanting, and she succeeded. She fought harder than anyone I’ve ever seen. She was at every event we ever did in school, made every meeting.
And come our senior year we got one of the best presents I could ever imagine. My mothers cancer was in remission. One of my most treasured memories from high school is something that she would kill me if she knew that I had. It’s a picture. Of her. At me and my brothers graduation party. She’s sitting at a table with friends, enjoying herself. I can only speak for myself, but her being there with us and our dad was the best present I ever could ask for.
I guess that’s part of the reason I wanted to go to school close to home my first year in college. I wanted to make sure everything was ok.
The other person who is my strength is my father. He has been there and supportive through everything. I might have made him mad, but it was always forgiven and forgotten. He helped my mother through the most difficult time in her life. He always did his best to make sure we were brought up right. And I can’t even begin to tell him how happy I am that he succeeded. I’m not perfect, not by any stretch, but he has tried to make sure I am a good person.
My dad served his country proudly for 20 years of his life and for that I am always grateful that I had a father who was selfless enough to give up those years and willing to do what his country asked of him. His career is what gave me the idea that I wanted to serve in some small way, and probably the reason I first got into EMS. He was always trying to help those who needed it through his church or from work. At first I didn’t understand it, but now it makes me fill up with pride that he is my father.

EDIT: This has been sitting in my draft page for over 6 months. I never could figure out how to end it, but I think I will just let it speak for itself.

I got tagged!

So there’s a blog chain of sorts going around asking what we keep in the bathroom to keep ourselves entertained. My friend @EMTGoose has tagged me, so I guess it’s my turn.

Lets see… what is in there?

Not much actually.

Newest issue of JEMS, and a fantasy book called ‘The Last Dragonlord’. I guess there would be more except for the fact that I have a Kindle and don’t carry a lot of books anymore ­čśŤ

So next up I tag:

@Medic61

@Epi_Junky

@EngineMedic

and

@Rescue_Monkey

WTF?

Hasn’t my family had enough bad luck the last few years to last a lifetime? Got word this morning that my grandmother in Socorro just had a turn for the worst. She’s been in the hospital for the last couple of days for a fall at the SNF she was at. The RN staff called my mother this morning just as she got to work telling her that she needed to get to the hospital.

Apparently my grandmother has had several CVAs in the last 24 hours and several seizures as well. She has spiked a fever that nothing seems to touch and is hypotensive compared to her baseline. They are saying that she most likely will not last the night.

And I’m up here in Denver, 8 hours from home. No money to get down there, not able to help, not able to do anything. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this helpless. I’m an EMT, I don’t like just sitting up here and not being able to do anything for someone I care about. I should be doing something, anything to help her. But sadly I can’t.

If it weren’t for a very special friend who I’ve mentioned a time or two recently I think I would have gone insane. She’s been patient with me through all the texts I’ve sent her and keeps telling me that everything will be alright. And funnily enough, I believe her when she tells me this.

I’m gonna go back to pacing and getting frustrated. I just wish I could get more news. I might break down and call the hospital she’s at and have them confirm with my mother that I’m allowed to get information and just get it straight from the source. Maybe I can help explain some of it to my parents as well.

Seriously?

Ok, my notoriously bad luck with women has creeped up again. I have this friend, one I have known on and off for years (about 9 of them to be exact). We lost contact for about 2 years and then found each other again and since have gone to visit each other and see each other as much as possible.

I met her on a long trip that we took with a student organization, while I was actually dating my first gf. We hit it off then and I felt something, something that I tried to not feel since I had a girlfriend back home at the time. I realized when I saw her again for the first time in a while about a year ago that I still felt the same way. I would look forward to every time I’d talk to her or make plans to see her (which was difficult since she was living in a town about 2 hours away from me and I was working full time and going to school full time).

I flirted with her every chance I got when we were together and she seemed to return the favor and we both enjoyed when we got to hang out. Since I moved to CO I’ve been able to see her a few times and I really want to tell her that I want to be more than friends. But I found out recently something that might make her not want to :( It’s something pretty major and something that she thinks will put everyone off. Can’t go into too much detail since everything I was told was in confidence.

Now I gotta figure out what to do now.

Ups and Downs all in a couple of days

Interesting couple of days… or at least interesting now that I’m doped up on medications.
Yesterday started fun enough. Took the truck on some of the dirt trails to a bit of BLM land that is used as a firing range. I left early enough to have it all to myself which was nice :) Took two .22LRs, my Mosin, and my EAA Witness in 10mm. Burned through about 400 rounds of .22, 50 of 7.62x54R and 40 of 10mm. Also ran out of targets. All of the guns I took shot great :) And I didn’t wanna stop even after I ran out of targets.
So what did I do? Well, I pick up my brass anyway (and picked up about 400 pieces of brass that had been left by other shooters), so I figured why not try to shoot the brass? It was pretty fun actually. Hit a 7.62 brass with my 10mm, and several pieces of varying brass with shots from the .22s. All iron sites at 10+ meters. Not too bad if I say so myself (I’ll get the brass out of the truck and take some pictures of them)

On the way back I heard a snapping sound and then a weird sizzling sound coming from the underside of my truck. Pulled over real quick and looked underneath. What did I find? My tranny spurting ATF. Not good. Got a tow truck called to come get me and towed my truck to a transmission shop. I was about 40 miles from home, not too bad. I called around and tried to find a friend or two that wasn’t doing anything so they could come pick me up. Nothing much happening there.

Wound up calling my brother in ABQ and having him get me a deal at a hotel in the same family as the one he works at there. Only problem with that is that the hotel was 3.5 miles away, and there are no busses or cabs in this town. Great… grabbed water an my pack out of the truck and started walking. $35 for a night at the hotel, not gonna complain.

While I was walking over there, I got a very unexpected but very good phone call. Pridemark Paramedics was calling to ask if I would be willing to come in on Monday afternoon for an interview. I told them yes and kinda did a little happy dance. I really was not expecting that since I got my interview last week cancelled due to them having too many medics to interview. IT sounds like they need 3 more full time crews, so they called some of the EMTs on the top of their list that hadn’t interviewed yet. That’s one good thing. Would prefer to still go overseas, but this will do nicely.

Crashed about midnight at the hotel and woke up early at 0600… with 5/10 right flank pain that radiated to the back. Not again :( As time went on it kept getting worse. Finally evening out at about an 8/10 with n/v to go along with it. Not too fun.

Got a call that my truck was ready and hitched a ride over to the shop. Turns out the pan gasket and a tranny cooler line blew. No big deal. The mechanic handed me my keys while he was telling me what happened to the truck. He replaced both things and topped off the ATF. Then I got another shock. He told me the work was on the house. Apparently he’s a volly FF/EMT for a local dept and decided that he would do a favor to an EMT that’s relatively new to the area. He wouldn’t take a dime for the work to the truck. Some people say EMS is a family, and times like this it feels like it.

Got back home with flank pain still there pretty bad. Finally broke down after it had been going on about 10 hours and went to an Urgent care. Now I rememeber why I saw them turf so many of their patients straight to a hospital. Wound up going to the ER on their orders, where I had an U/S, bloods drawn, IV started, IV phenergan and IV Toradol given. I feel a little more human now. U/S still show what might be the start of a gall stone forming :( Not my month for that.
Anyways, I’m off to bed, hopefully I’ll feel better

Quick update

Just wanted to let people know I’m still around and looking for jobs. Put out tons of applications, in places from Denver, to Durango, to Baton Rouge, to Tulsa, to Albuquerque. And everywhere in between. Applying for ER tech, ICU tech, Tele tech, EMT, EMT-I, among others. I even applied in my home town where my parents live to work in an ER.
I’ve already gotten turned down on 3 ER Tech positions, 1 Dialysis tech position, 2 EMT positions, and at a Starbucks. But I’m trying hard not to get frustrated.
And I’ve got a lead on what something that I’m really hoping for. A job as an EMT-I in Kabul, Afghanistan. It’s a year contract and the pay is incredible. I’m really hoping i get it since it sounds interesting, is remote medicine, and would help pay off all my bills and let me finish medic school anywhere I wanted to without having to worry about working.

Now, back to looking for more jobs and being a lazy bum… Oh look, Chai :)

Argh

Finding a job here in Colorado at this point, at least in the EMS field, is seemingly difficult since I’m not a medic yet. So I’m seriously thinking about getting a cert in either OK, TX, or LA. All three states take my NREMT-I/85 cert at face value, and at least TX and OK have opening right now.

I’m just getting frustrated today, since I have gotten 4 turn downs in the last 8 hours. I have a lot more apps out there, but I just feel more and more frustrated. Rent is now paid for June, but I’m just feeling a pinch with money right now. Hell, I don’t know if I’ll have enough to certify in another state, plus eat. Let alone move out there if I get a job. What I might have to do is see if I can borrow some money from my parents with the promise to pay them back once I get back on my feet finally.

This is not the first time I’m regretting leaving Albuquerque. I had a set job there and was making good money. I could have lived comfortably for a while, but due to my ex marrying my ex-partner, problems with school, and just not being happy… I leapt before I really looked out over the edge. I just keep thinking that maybe I should have done it a little more careful.

But it’s already done. Now it’s time to pick myself back up, dust myself off, and proceed to get back to kicking ass and being a damned good EMT or Tech. And if that means moving again, this time with no friends there, I’ll do it. And probably come out of it a better person than I was to begin with. Afterall, that’s why I can still talk to friends with the wonders of the net and phone. Thank god for all of them.