Thursday, January 8, 2009

FP-C Exam

Finally after weeks of waiting, and checking the BCCTPC website. I called and got my results. I passed the Flight Paramedic-Certification (FP-C) exam. I don't have my score as of yet, but I passed. I guess my score doesn't really matter.

Saturday, October 13, 2007" title="Name that disease"> -">Test your disease knowledge

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Happy Birthday!!!!!!

Today Kevin would be celebrating his 35th birthday... I haven't posted on here in quite awhile... Things have been kinda hectic here. Getting the oldest kid off to her second year of college, cleaning, painting, and fixing up numerous projects around the house, busy busy busy... Had a few memorable calls since the last postings. I have to get some stuff down here soon.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Enduro Incidents

Shortly after Kevin died we moved out into the country. Not that far out of town, about 7 miles actually. The farm was really nice, but things were a lot different at home. You could obviously feel the tension between my parents. The loss of a child is something I never want to experience. I guess they felt like they wanted to do something for me so they did what any parent would do that had just lost a sibling: Buy them a dirt bike!

I remember going into the dealership and sitting on the brand new bikes not knowing that they were going to buy one for me. I remember the bright yellow gas tank of the Yamaha. The only draw back was that they "thought" it was safer if it had lights, blinkers, and everything else on it. So I got the Enduro 80. It was awesome. The rest of the kids that lived out by us had the "real" dirt bikes, but I could have cared less. We had trails and jumps set up all over our property, at my friends houses, and everywhere you could think of. I got into some trouble on that thing. I remember one time the baseball field just got a new load of clay on the infield. My friends and I, I was definitely coerced into this one, thought it would be a great idea to play baseball on our bikes. Well it was great, until the township worker came to the house and said we had to fix the infield where we tore it up. The guy that came to the door said "If you are going to do something as stupid as this make sure you cover yours tracks up." We all rode back to my house after the game, and he followed the tracks right into the front yard. Hey we were 10-13 years old, definitely not brain surgeons. There was also the time where I got caught jumping a rock gorge at our house. It was only 5 feet wide, but like 15 feet deep. My dad was SOOOO ticked, he was yelling so much the spittle was flying out of his mouth nonstop. That was one of the first times of getting by bike taken away (and getting my a$$ whooped). I had the bike taken away a couple more times for running late on curfew, doing stupid stuff (see above and much much more, but there were two incidents that really stick in my mind.

The first: Clotheslines and Motorbikes
I was practicing wheelies in the yard, it was softer to fall in the grass than on the gravel roads. I was not paying attention to the clothes lines and drove into them. The lines were low enough that they pulled me off the bike by the neck, flipped me in the air, and firmly flopped me onto my back. I got up and tried to rip my helmet off grabbing at the chin strap, apparently looking like I am grabbing my throat. I had the wind knocked out of me pretty hard. My mom watched the whole ordeal and totally freaked out. She ran over expecting the worst and I was mad that I bent my license plate and blinkers. Dad was told about it later that night, got my A$ beat, and had the bike taken away for a month. I can see why she would be freaked out about it, but a beating and taking the bike away... A little too much if you ask me. If Dad didn't want me to do wheelies, then why the hell was he doing them on my bike?!?!

The second: Porn Night at Camp
There were about eight of us that were pretty tight in those days. We all had bikes of 3-wheelers, YES 3-wheelers, and we hung out constantly together. Well we were at Clint's house for the day and his parents were away for the day. We were goofing off in the house, and Clint had decided (on his own ;)) to pull out the Playboys, Hustlers, and Penthouses his dad had hidden in the closet. Everyone is sitting there looking at these things and it's almost time for his parents to come home. Someone comes up with a plan to bring ALL of them out to the camp, spend the night, look at porn, and see if some of the older guys could score some beer. So it was all set, the arrangements were made, I was staying at Clint's, Clint was at Brian's, Brian was at my house, well you get the picture... Well Brian scored some beer, Clint had the mags, and I had the food. We drove all of our bikes out to Brian's Uncle's camp to spend the night. We had a lot of fun that night, it was hilarious, there were mags scattered everywhere on the floor, a six pack of empty beer cans on the tables, and food scrapes EVERYWHERE. Unfortunately, the parents figured out where we were. It was about seven in the morning, and there is a loud pounding on the door. We thought someone was screwing around. WRONG! Every one of ours Dad's were outside waiting for us to answer the door. The door opened and you can imagine the looks on our faces when all of these mags are EVERYWHERE, beer cans (only six) strewn about, and our Dads totally ticked that we were all there. I think everyone that spent the night there got their a$es beat pretty good for lying. Of course the bike was gone for a month... Turns out Brian's younger brother ratted us out. He was dealt with appropriately.

Okay, now I feel old. I looked up a picture to post on the blog of the bike and found this description: VINTAGE 1986 Yamaha Enduro 80. WTF, VINTAGE?!?! Gimme a break!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Kids say the darndest things...

Amber says today while we are talking about her buying a car and the insurance...
"but Dad, what about the insurance being be higher because the car is red..." The way she said it was freaking hilarious. C. spit out her cappuccino into the sink. It was a really good belly laugh. And Amber isn't even blond.

Monday, May 28, 2007

An Apology and the Aftermath...

After Kevin's accident, we moved back up north to Wisconsin. I think my family thought that it would be easier to take care of Kevin where the everyday rat race was a lot less hectic than in Milwaukee. Perhaps they just wanted to get away from the place where the accident happened.

While we lived in Wisconsin, my parents had met with a lawyer about what happened. I didn't know the details of what exactly they talked to him about, but I found out later what happened. The main problem with this "case" is that the EMS providers who responded that night had assumed that Kevin was hyperventilating, and did not administer oxygen. Instead they used a bag or mask over his face for the treatment of hyperventilation, thus depriving his brain of oxygen. The case did go to court, my parents sued the Milwaukee Fire Dept/EMS. They lost the case, but the medic did say they made a mistake. I guess that is what they were looking for.

Do I agree with my parents regarding taking them to court? No I don't. The case never helped anyone. I have been in the medic's shoes once, second guessing everything you did on the call. The circumstances were completely different in my case. I wasn't the one on trial, just a witness for the prosecution. After I found out about the case I blamed the EMS workers that night for the death of my brother. I was only ten years old. Was it right of me? No. Do I know exactly what they saw that night? Absolutely not. But in the back of my mind I have always thought about it, "what if they would have done something different?" Would it have changed anything?

There have been nights when I think back on calls that have gone wrong, (bad outcomes), that I have run and think to myself "is this what those guys felt like the night of Kevin's accident?" If so, I am sorry I ever blamed you for his death. I know that you were only doing what you were trained to do. Hopefully you did your job to the best of your abilities that night, and can rest peacefully. I do have to say that this whole thing changed me forever. In some ways good and some ways bad. From the time I started my EMS training I vowed to myself NEVER to let myself become complacent in my duties or training. I also made the impossible vow to myself to never screw up on a call. The people I have trained and work with know how I am in regards to training and performance. Typical TYPE A personality, some say VERY ANAL. Some have asked, if brave enough, why I push everyone as hard as I do. I push everyone around me to be the best they can, to practice until they get it right, and then practice it more, so they can rely on their training and be confident in their skills. I admit that sometimes I come off way to hard and demanding, but others say that if I chew them out for something they did wrong they will never forget how to do it right. A lot of them don't know what happened, and the ones that do, know why I push them so hard. God forbid, even though I know it happens, that anyone will ever have to go through what Kevin had to go through. If I, or someone I have trained can be there to change just one persons life I will be happy.

The Accident continued

I awake to hear the commotion in the house and hop out of bed. I see my parents standing next to each other, and my baby brother being worked on by 2 EMS workers on the floor. Apparently, my brother had stopped breathing or was having difficulty breathing at some point during the night and my parents called EMS. They got to the house and took Kevin out on the stretcher to bring him back to Milwaukee Children's. I don't remember a lot of what was said that night, I only know the end results.

We arrived at the ER and we were ushered into the room in which Kevin was being held. Expecting to see Kevin sitting up smiling like he always was, my parents and I were met with something very different. Kevin was in a bed, intubated and on a ventilator. The ER doctor, who was different than the one from earlier, had said something about Kevin not getting enough oxygen to his brain. I don't really remember a lot of the conversation. Who could? Sitting there looking at your younger brother with a tube sticking out of his mouth. The doctor told my parents they weren't sure how much Kevin would recover from the incident, how much brain damage had occurred, or if he would ever really recover at all. We stayed at the hospital for quite awhile. Waiting for any slight change. That change would never come. Kevin remained intubated and in a coma. The doctors gave my parents a choice of waiting longer or stopping the ventilator. The final diagnosis was that he had fractured his trachea/larynx at the time of the fall, and suffered severe brain damage. Kevin must have had laryngospasms in the night which caused him to have the lack of oxygen. They took some time to think about it,and had decided to stop the ventilator.

On that day Kevin proved to everyone how much of a fighter he really was. When the vent was shut off, Kevin began breathing on his own. Slowly at first, but more frequently as time went on. Kevin remained comatose. Kevin then had a tracheostomy to compensate for the crushed trachea and larynx. Kevin remained comatose throughout his stay at Children's. A J-Tube was placed in Kev's abdomen for feeding purposes. Kevin was released from Children's hospital later that month. The doctors continued to tell us that there was little to no brain activity present on the EEG (Electroencephalograph). I know they said he had no brain activity, but there were times when he would track you with his eyes, move his arms and legs a little, but nothing more than that. There were times where you could tell he was in pain. He would cry and tears would fall from his eyes. He was in this state for four years. We talked to him, played with him, fed him, changed him, and suctioned his trach (I got to be VERY proficient in deep tracheal suctioning). I like to think he didn't suffer those four years, but at times I knew he was suffering. What child that age deserves to live in that private hell of a wheelchair. Not being able to play or run with other kids his age. What my parents did that day in Children's had to be one of the hardest days of their lives. I hope and pray that I never have to make that decision.

The morning Kevin died my parents woke me up and told me that Kevin had died during the night. I remember climbing into his bed and holding him for a very long time. I wouldn't let anyone in the room to bother us. I needed that time to be with my little brother. Every time someone would come in I would scream for them to get out and to leave us alone. They listened to my demands for as long as they could. Finally my parents came in and carried me out of the house kicking and screaming. That was the last time I would ever see my little brother Kevin... Kevin was cremated and his ashes were spread near a scenic overlook we always played at that he loved.

Kevin was born August 22, 1972. His accident was Aug 8, 1976. 14 days shy of his 4th birthday. Not a very happy birthday. He died May 3, 1981. He was 8 years old, 3 months shy of his 9th birthday. He was here for a short time, but he had a reason to be here. Am I sure of that reason? I don't fully know yet.

R.I.P. Kevin,
Your Big Brother

Me @ Children's Aug 76/Parents & me @ Children's/Kev & me June 76