Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Clooney and the Geyser

Finally!! I'm actually home, in my house, sitting at my desk, writing. I haven't actually been in my house to speak of since sometime on Sunday, and it is now Wednesday. What does that say about my life? Right now, not much, I'm afraid; too much work, too little time to recover. And that is never a good thing in itself.

I finished "The Kite Runner" already. Once I got started, I simply couldn't put it down. It was a very well-told story about Amir, an Afghani, and his life growing up in a suburb of Kabul, his servant-friend, Hassan, his father Baba, his father's (and Amir's) friend Rahmi Khan, and a number of other characters in the story. The main themes that run through the novel are violence and betrayal, friendship, love, and most notably for me, redemption. Parts of the story were somewhat difficult to read because of the violent tone, and there were two scenes that I had an especially difficult time with, mainly because I could relate to both the content and the things that happened in these scenes. I can't say anymore than that, and I won't give the story away, but I would highly recommend it.

Lots of work over the past few days. Sunday was notable for an overdose we picked up: a 4o year-old male who wanted to end it in a big way. He was found by his sister, down in his bedroom, covered with vomitus. She found a number of empty medication bottles, and all of the drugs were heavy-hitters: Klonopin, Seroquel, Neurontin, and Zoloft were all filled within a week of the call, and they were all empty. He was unresponsive but breathing (not much). Unfortunately, he had a gag reflex so oral intubation wasn't happening. Mike, my medic student, tried to nasally intubate him, but that didn't work either - Mike learned a lesson about smaller ET tubes (diameter of 6mm or smaller) for the nose. He tried to use a bigger tube, and it just wasn't happening and we ended up dealing with bleeding from the trauma we inflicted. So we ended up going with the nose hose/trumpet again and assisting his ventilations. When we got to the ED, Dr. Clooney (not his real name, but he is affectionately known by that name because he has George's picture on his ID badge) had ordered up 40mg of Etomidate and attempted intubation again once the med was on board. Well, the vomitus geyser happened almost immediately - I'm guessing the gag reflex hadn't been totally supressed at that point. And I'm right up there putting a second IV into the patient, watching this all happen. Tell me I wasn't having a good time....

It wasn't pretty. And I don't know what the outcome was as I haven't had an opportunity to find out.

Yesterday I worked up at Tri-Town and we were posted in Hooksett. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate going to Hooksett? Long story, not really good to talk about here. Anyway, Chris, my partner, and I had a spell where we were back and forth with calls. I think over approximately 3 hours we did 4 calls, and one of them is worth talking about just because of how sad it was. We got called to a residence for a "Code Gray" - in previous posts I've talked about them, I'm sure - parlance for a dead body. We arrived on scene and Hooksett PD was already there waiting for us so that we could confirm death; apparently there was going to be no working this one.... Turns out they were called to this residence for a welfare check on a subject and they found this approximately 30 year-old female on her living room sofa, dead. There was a half-empty bottle of gin on the kitchen counter, a number of empty medication bottles, all sleep aids, and a completely empty blister pack of Benadryl. The body had a plastic bag over its head, tied closed. Rigor had already set in at that point; her hands were curled, and I could not move the fingers. Cyanosis and lividity were present and visible; there was simply no need to confirm death with a cardiac monitor.

Found out this woman had a history of psychiatric issues, and she'd been transported to the hospital less than two weeks previous for an attempt.

I know that if someone really wants to die, they will find a way and not tell anyone of their intentions, but with her history of illness and more notably of previous attempts, she was telegraphing her needs pretty loudly, I would say. It's possible that this was preventable if she'd gotten the kind of help that she needed. However, you can't help someone if they don't want it. And that is what saddens me the most about this person's death.

Today was a track day, and it was a typical day: slow, no problems, just good racing. And I'm happy about that.

I feel my synapses shutting down one at a time - I'm done for now.

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