Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Watching The Snow Melt

It's 12:15PM. Currently, the temperature outside my window (I don't know how accurate the thermometer is because of direct sunlight) is 59.5 degrees F. Whether or not it's an accurate representation of temperature doesn't matter; I have puddles in my driveway instead of patches of ice.

I took this week off from work to spend some time around my kids. Doesn't get to happen very often, either because they are doing things or I am working, or some combination of the two. At the moment my 14 year-old daughter is the only one here, and she's in another part of the house. My 15 year-old is hanging out with her friends (one is 16, old enough to drive, and I worry constantly even though I know that the young lady behind the wheel is conscientious and responsible), and my 17 year-old son is spending the day with his girlfriend. And every time I think or say that - the fact my son is dating - I'm blown away, simply because I remember when they were babies and small children, and it wasn't that long ago.

I've decided one thing, and I did that a while ago: my kids may be growing up and will soon come into adulthood, but I have no intention of growing old. It's not going to happen; I will continue to have the outlook of a young man as long as I can. As I've said before, we don't know when we will die, so I'm going to do my best to have a positive outlook. Even when I'm an old and frail man I will continue to act like I can do anything - maybe that attitude will allow me to do more than I should when I get to that stage of my life. We'll see.

Last night I watched an episide of "American Experience" on PBS. It was the story of the Apollo 8 mission in 1968. I was 6 years old when Apollo 8 went to the moon, but I still remember that as well as the Apollo 11 mission. To this day I am still overwhelmed when I think about space flight, simply because it is hard to imagine being up there, away from what we are used to here. The people who flew the missions, as well as those involved in the shuttle program, are heroes, at least in my opinion. They are human beings, just like the rest of us, that have the courage to put their lives at risk to explore what is outside of our world. Further, they explore the possibilities of what we can do beyond our own world. They have, as Tom Wolfe so aptly put it, the "Right Stuff", and they are testament to the limits and boundaries we as humans are able and willing to push. Even though they have strength, character, and intelligence, it is hard to forget that they are indeed human; this was made clear as a reminder recently with the incident that happened with the shuttle astronaut in Orlando - sometimes people who are in a place like theirs are unable to withstand the standards that they are bound to uphold. And who is to blame? The person, or the system itself? I don't know the answer to that, but it must be remembered that those who we see as heroes are no different from the rest of us who are merely human. Extraordinary humans, perhaps, but humans just the same.

My friend Squid asked me to help him write documentation for his tactical team. He sent me a slew of documents from various sources on infectious diseases, which I agreed to research and summarize for him. At least that's what I think he needs done. He has good sources: the CDC, some documents from the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, as well as some others that I haven't had time to read yet. It's a lot of stuff, and I suspect he needs it done sooner than later. We'll see how it goes, in terms of time. I know I can do it, but now it's a matter of squeezing it in to other things.

In a couple of weeks I'm taking the Neonatal Resuscitation Program, or NRP. It's a one day class but it is full of information. I suspect I will be the only Paramedic attending the class I'm going to as most of the time the students are Labor and Delivery or Neonatal ICU nurses. Paramedics, however, do regularly attend this program, and the audience is anyone who provides care for newborns. I think it will be a good stepping stone for going to the Critical Care Paramedic course; that will happen later on this year. As it happens, we do that now and again; if I have a mother giving birth in my ambulance and the baby is in trouble, I have to be able to handle both patients. Fortunately, I've never been in that situation. I came close once, but the mother didn't have to push until we got to the hospital. Thank God.....

Anyway, the snow is still melting and the driveway is still wet. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

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