Saturday, October 29, 2005

Dry Aged Steaks

Got to work, checked out my equipment, went to bed. At eight-thirty the tones went off, and I didn't get back to the base until almost two. I was only working eight hours as I had my best friend from Boston coming down for the night to grill steaks and drink beers.

The first call was for chest pain -- a ninety-one year old lady who lives alone. She was very nervous and kept trying to delay getting on our stretcher. She wanted to get a different pair of slippers, she wanted to make certain the back door was locked, she wanted to show us her meds in the kitchen herself, she wanted to call her son. Her heart rate was going around 150 in a sinus tack. Once we finally got her in the ambulance, she calmed down and her rate came down into the 80's. I've brought her in before and she is always ghard to get to go.

The second call was for a person unresponsive found by her daughter who came over to visit. It was either going to be a diabetic, a stroke, or a code. As we came down the hallway of the elderly housing facility, we could hear the AED's telltale sound: "Check for pulses, if no pulses resume CPR."

She was laying on the floor in the kitchen right by the front door. She had foam on her lips. The officer doing CPR told me she was very warm. I intubated her, tossed some epi down the tube, then got a line and gave her some IV drugs. She went from an idioventricular PEA into an accelerated PEA to vifib. I shocked her twice and then we had a rythmn with pulses. The capnography reading went up to the high twenties. I hung a lidocaine drip, gave her some fluid and we brought her in. She was still holding her own when we left.

Her family had come to the scene and were crazy with concern. I stopped on the way out the apartment door and gathered them around and told them her condition was very dire, we had her heart back beating, but were still breathing for her. I told them if they wanted to say something to her now, she might be able to hear them. Just take a quick moment, then we had to be on our way. They told her they loved her, and squeezed her arm, and then we were off. At the hospital, I happened to walk by the family room where they were seated, and our eyes made contact. I saw they had started to rise to say something to me, so I stopped and went in and talked to them for a moment, asking if the doctor had spoken with them yet. He had, they said. I said my thoughts would be with them. They all shook my hand and thanked me.

The next call was for a thirty-nine year old woman with chest pain for two days who said she felt like she had pulled a muscle. The pain increased on movement and deep breathing. She had good vitals and was a sinus on the monitor.

My relief was there when I got back, so after restocking and inputting my calls in the computer, I headed out, stopping at the new healthy foods supermarket that had just opened in my town, where I bought two dry aged New York Strip steaks, some big Idaho potatoes and zucchini. At the liquor store I bought several 24 ounce Coronas for me and 24 ounce Beck's for my friend.

We had a good night, drinking beers, playing music from our old drinking days (mainly Southern Rock -- Marshall Tucker, The Outlaws, Elvin Bishop, Commander Cody, Little Feat with some Johnny Cash thrown in) and catching up.

It was good to have some time off.

No work tomorrow.