Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Updates, Etc.

A couple of up-to-date notes to put up…

Martha was released from CMC Sunday afternoon. The migraine was brought under control through the help of good care and good chemicals, namely, Imitrex. Two doses over two days seemed to knock it out, so she came home after the second one did its job. She has to follow up with a neurologist, and I know it will be a challenge to get her to do that. It seems we – anyone who works in health care, medicine, or public safety – are our own worst enemy because we don’t always follow our own advice. So getting her to make sure she does this may be a little daunting.

She called me at about 2:00 yesterday afternoon to let me know that her blood pressure was not right (unusually wide pulse pressure) and that she was dizzy and nauseous, and did I think she should be seen in the Whidden’s ED?

What do you think my answer was?

Two hours later I got a text message from her letting me know that she’d been triaged and was in a treatment room. Probably 30 minutes after that she called me to let me know she’d gotten a liter of fluid and was due to get more. As she didn’t know how they were going to proceed, I figured it was in her best interest if I got down there, so I got in the car and headed to Everett. Normally about a one hour drive from our house in Goffstown, it took me better than 90 minutes. When I got there, she was on her third liter, they’d given her anti-emetics, and she had gotten some pain medication. While the nausea was pretty much gone, the pain persisted. So she got another dose of Imitrex (a bit more than 48 hours later than the first one) and a 1 milligram dose of Ativan. By the time we left at about 10:30, she was almost pain-free and not caring very much about anything. And my car is in Everett, so we have to go get it once she wakes up. It is approaching 2:00PM, and I don’t know how much longer she’ll sleep.

This past Saturday I was injured on the job. A 400-plus pound cardiac arrest patient caused by me and one of the Paramedics that works for me to get hurt. Sean, the medic, ended up with an injury to his back, and I tore my right bicep. His injury occurred on scene and mine happened when we were unloading the patient at the hospital. Whoever was pulling the stretcher out of the back of the ambulance was a little bit overzealous and the safety bar hopped the arresting hook that is on the deck. I was holding the lower bar with my right hand while untangling IV tubing and ambu-bag tubing from the locking mechanism, and not a second after getting it freed I heard “the wheels aren’t down yet!”, and then the stretcher (with this very large patient still on it) dropped off of the back of the truck. I still was gripping the bar, and the next sensation I had, as the stretcher was dropping, was that my arm was being ripped apart.

I had a similar sensation when I fell and ruptured my Achilles tendon in 2008. At least this time I could walk.

So we went inside – all 8 or so of us that were wrangling this patient. Chris, the other medic on the truck, helped me get back on my feet. Once we were all inside, he and Sean did what they needed to do in terms of handing off care and I directed the rest of the traffic as best I could. Sean came back out and had to sit down, but he couldn’t turn his head. And my right arm was frozen.

The patient didn’t survive – his downtime was unknown, and we found out from one of his daughters that he’d been complaining of not feeling well for two days before this event happened. I have to think that he had an MI and it spiraled down from there.

Turned out Sean had an injury to one of his trapezius muscles, and it appears that I have a torn bicep. Right now it’s not too bad, but I suspect it will require surgery to fix. I have full range of motion of my arm and shoulder, but I have a lot of discomfort when I extend my arm. Flexing is less painful, but I have a bump of tissue at the mid-point between my elbow and the center of my humerus. And – it is starting to bruise.

Dealing with the workers compensation carrier hasn’t been bad – yet – but we’ll see what happens. It’s been a bit of a bad experience dealing with the orthopedic surgeon as his insurance coordinator, whom I’ve spoken with twice, appears to be a bit of a knucklehead. I’m not really happy about that; she had no recollection of our conversation on Monday. It’s a good thing I’ve been keeping copious notes, and I have a strong feeling I will need them. If I’m right, this could shape up to be a totally different experience than the one I had with my Achilles.

So I’m out of work indefinitely. The only silver lining is that classes start next Tuesday and I won’t have any work-related distractions. On the other hand, if I have to have surgery it’s going to require a little bit of fancy footwork on my part to not get lost. I’ll make it a point to talk to the two professors I have this semester (I had both of them last semester) and with any luck they’ll help me out.

Stay tuned.


TOTWTYTR said...

Sorry to hear about your injury. A co worker of mine did the same thing months ago and he's still not back to work. I haven't talked to him in a while, but I know he had surgery and is doing OT to get his ROM back.

As to the 400 pound arrest, since you didn't go into the details, I shouldn't comment. Not that that has ever stopped me. So, I'll ask, what if any, termination protocols you guys have?

That aside, I hope your injury is less serious than it seems and you recover quickly.

Walter Trachim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Walter Trachim said...

All I'll say is the crew on scene should have done the right thing and called in to talk with Med control about termination. I think the reason they didn't was because the family insisted, although I don't know that for certain.

You're question is valid. And I don't know all f the details myself as I got there late. But I suspect that may be what happened on scene.