Back to Reality

Well, life has begun again…great. Had a day in hell yesterday and go back for the next 3 days…great! : ( Being away from there was just wonderful, I’m hating being back! A combination of the stress and some electrolyte imbalance has caused my heart problems. Last year I was diagnosed with WAP (Wondering Atrial Pacemaker) and orthostatic hypotension, if you know anything medical wise, this isn’t a big deal. Had a full cardiac workup, echo, monitor for 48 hours…blah, blah, blah. Basically my heart never changed rhythms then and nothing out of the “normal” showed up. Cardiologist just said to watch it, but nothing to worry about. All my days at work, we weren’t able to catch anything on the monitor either. Did several blood work too, but I was always feeling “fine” during that and it never showed anything out of the normal.

Sunday I wasn’t feeling right, my heart felt like it was racing but my pulse was normal. I felt light headed and dizzy, was just…feeling “weird”, I’m not sure how else to describe it. So I called my friend, he was on duty just down the road at my local ambulance and I was lucky he was at the closest station too. My man was concerned about me driving, but I wasn’t going far. Drove down and him and his partner got me hooked up to the monitor and did a workup but nothing was showing up. Hooked myself up to the 12-lead, still nothing. I wasn’t feeling my heart flutter at that moment, so we waited…then it happened. My heart started racing and I looked at the monitor…Afib…uh…shit! Told my friend, he didn’t believe me, looked for himself and he freaked. Started printing like crazy, my heart was jumping in and out of it. I could feel it each time too. This was the first time we caught it on the monitor.

So we started reading, there’s a good chance I have a lack of magnesium, potassium, and calcium…all important to keep your heart ticking right. See, I’m at the age where I should be gaining weight (not complaining) but my body is not absorbing the nutrients it should. Took some vitamins, that seemed to fix the problem. I can’t afford to go back to the doctor, so I’m just going to take some vitamins for a while and see if that keeps working. For now it seems to. Below is my heart from the night of, then the night after.

12-Lead EKG showing my heart in Afib

WAP to Afib

Afib back into WAP

The next morning at work after some vitamins

Back to normal…sort of…

My man is worried, naturally, but I told him it’s not a big deal. I’m determined to get it figured out. I think I just need more nutrients, but we’ll see. I’m going to try these vitamins first, if that doesn’t change it, then I’ll call the doctors. I just really need to find another job, this place is killing me one way or another!

 

What Do You Make?

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I couldn’t have said it better myself! I’m not in this business to make money, because we are one of the lowest paid professions out there. Did you know that over 75% of America relies on VOLUNTEER firefighters?? These people, like me, risk their lives for NOTHING! Zero pay! I work on an ambulance, that’s how I make money to pay bills to continue schooling so I can VOLUNTEER as a firefighter. I bet you didn’t know that 96% of EMT’s cannot pay their bills off their single full time job? They require another one or more jobs to make a living. When I find that webpage again, I will put the link here. (Unable to locate it, however for lots of information about this career visit EMS World Magazine. This is great information for us! But good for the public to read and understand too! Just one of MANY magazines out there.)

To pay my bills, I’m working 4 regular jobs and any side jobs I can. I work on two different ambulance services, I teach at one local college and about to start teaching at another, I teach CPR/First Aid for a friends business, I volunteer in that free time I have with my local fire department, AND I do whatever I can for money on the side of all of that.

But none of it has to do with the money. I love working on the ambulance and firetrucks love holding grandmas hand and listening to her when she calls 911 just for someone to visit. I love listing to grandpas war stories and his childhood. I love listening about your kids while I try to calm you. I love saving your life, even if it’s just by talking to you or listening. I will give my life for someone I’ve never met, I determined that the day I signed up for my first class.

I love teaching too, I love sharing my small amount of knowledge with new people trying to get in this career. I love helping people learn. I love watching them grow. I want to help them become better at their career, not only with their hands on skills, but their people skills as well. I want them to know that it’s not about giving drugs all the time, it’s about the patients mental needs too. Maybe they just need someone to talk to, in fact most the time that’s why you’re taking an elder patient to the hospital. Strictly because their family doesn’t visit, they get lonely and just need an ear.

Listen to them! You will hear some incredible stories. I promise.

I love my career! The only thing I hope to change about it, is to gain more respect for our field all around. The next time you hear those “annoying sirens” or don’t pull over for us, just remember what you would want people to do if you need us. Too many people complain that we cause more traffic and problems running lights and sirens, but when you need us you want to know what took so long. Did you PULL OVER AND STOP the last time an ambulance came up behind you? Or did you try to out run it?

Students

I’m not sure what the deal is, but for some reason I always end up with the lazy students. When I say lazy, I mean not only will they not help with chores, they won’t do anything on the calls and I had one student downright refuse to call the hospital. “I don’t like calling in reports.” My response? Get over it! I’m sorry, but you’re about to test for your medic license. What are you going to do when you become a paramedic and are the only one in the back, just not call the hospital?? Negative!

If her goal was to become an “ambulance driver” (as some people refer to us), then going for a medic license failed her in that goal. Believe it or not, there are some departments (boarding one of my jobs) that hire “ambulance drivers.” You require zero medical training for this position, not even a first responder license, you strictly drive the truck. What fun…not! However we do have an employee at one of my job that wants to do just that, drive the ambulance only, I should refer her. She’s horrible with her EMT skills and just applied for medic school. I’m sorry, if you’re EMT skills are that shitty, you’re really going to be a horrible medic.

I was one of the rare students in my paramedic class that actually has a job in the field and had for a while. In fact, only 2 other people in my paramedic class worked/or ever have worked on an ambulance, and I can tell you…it showed! It showed in class, it showed during clinicals, it showed on the ride time…it was horrible. Too many students go straight through and too many schools let them.

Once class was over and we all finally managed to get our license, only 4 of us have jobs. Out of those 4, ONE got a job after medic school with zero ambulance experience. 16 of us completed class and 4 have jobs. The other students are complaining they can’t get/find a job and won’t listen to me when I tell them it’s because they went straight through class.

Back to being a student, I don’t know about anyone else out there but we weren’t allowed computers, no sitting down, no couches or recliners, and you ALWAYS helped with chores. When there was down time, you spent it studying not playing computer games. Schools have rules of what you can/can’t do and I know these kids would be in real trouble if their teacher showed up but it’s more than that. It’s about being respectful and doing the right thing. Are people not taught that these days?

Test Complete

So, I finished my test with 80 something questions, the last number I looked up and saw was 88. I think it’s a bad sign…I think I majorly failed! I would not be surprised at all if I did! It has the most retarded questions!! Words I’ve never seen and couldn’t even pronounce. Why the hell do they have to do that to people? Why trick people up so bad?? So you can make more money? The test is suppose to represent that you are a competent medic…I know plenty of people that have passed that stupid test and are shit out there! The test doesn’t do anything it says as far as proving you know your stuff. Seriously…I’m not becoming a doctor…I don’t need to know half the crap on the damn test! Yes, an understand of it is needed, but why the hell must you make an IMPOSSIBLE test over stupid shit we CAN’T use on an ambulance?! Ok, I’m done venting…for now. I’m not really too concerned about when my results will be posted because I already know I failed it, why bother posting it for me to see.

Due to this stupid test, I have not posted for a while, instead I have been preparing. Now that it’s over, it’s time for me to prepare some more…but in between that I am taking a little time to catch you up in my world.

This past weekend was my birthday and it was awesome! Friday night I went to dinner with a bunch of friends and had a blast! I got some toys too (my friends know me so well) and then just hung out. My awesome man was there and only two friends don’t know about us, so everyone else kept quiet, but it was great being able to have him there! He treated me really good to! Desert and all! : ) Then Saturday I got up early to head out shopping with my man. I hate shopping but I have no idea what I wanted for my birthday so he took me to look. I found nothing. Then we got ready, met a friend and picked up my cousins and headed to Supercross!!

Supercross usually falls on, or very close to, my birthday every year so I’m used to going and it has sort of becoming part of celebrating. This year it worked to my advantage. I got some extra autographs and goodies! : ) The races were awesome of course, but I was missing my favorite rider. Andrew Short is out with injury so I was a bit bummed. We saw a bad crash right in front of us in the lites class, one guy got his head ran over twice, but he got up and walked away. It was a lot of fun overall!

After all the fun was over, I got to prepare for the test and now I wait…