Thursday, May 29, 2008

Drunk Flying Baptists

Things have finally started to pick up. I worked a 36 hour shift last weekend and we actually did a flight. Old drunk fisherman out on the boat Memorial Day weekend. Drank ALL DAY and then started to have some shortness of breath. By the time he made it to the hospital he was in full blown CHF with a side of dehydrated and hypotensive as crap. We were called at 0-dark-30 to pick up this charming individual and fly him to a more appropriate facility that had cardiology services. He was given a shitload of lasix but had put out very little and the doc had no idea why. I wonder if it had to do with the fact that his pressure was in the shitter and his kidneys weren't getting perfused? Just wondering.....

A 25 minute flight and a little dopamine seemed to do the trick. He was screaming for a urinal as soon as he was offloaded. He's gonna have one hell of a hangover.

My last shift was the best yet. My partner and I had breakfast in the cafeteria and were visiting in the ED when the pilot radioed us for a scene flight. We hauled ass back to quarters (swearing that the corned beef hash would not be far behind) and launched for parts unknown for a completely unknown situation. The report we got was as follows: 40 year old male fell off a roof, positive loss on consciousness, open skull fracture with gray matter visible. FYI: that is a great freaking flight! We got to the scene and the "roof" belonged to a huge baptist church on which our dear friend was drinking and fixing the roof. I did a quick once over, got report from the ground crew and my partner and I got to securing an airway. Yes, I finally got a tube in the field... AND I got it on the first attempt. That was an incredible feeling.

Once loaded we flew back to my trauma center.... intermittently yelling the F word into the poor (mormon) pilot's ear. We pretty much yelled fuck the patient, the aircraft, our equipment, the radio..... anything worth yelling FUCK over. It was pretty damn funny. The IV tubing was tangled (fuck), our pulse ox wasn't picking up (fuck) , the capanography cable was twisted around his legs (fuck... how the hell did that fucking happen?) Fuck Fuck fuckity fuck. All in all the flight didn't go that badly, we just liked saying fuck!

So our religious buddy drank about 6 beers between 7am and 9am (when he fell). He had an open skull fracture, a head bleed, an avulsed area that bled all over my partner's lap (yes, fuck!) multiple neck fractures and a fractured clavicle. Ironically, he will probably be ok.

We did one other flight that was the "Anti-Fuck" flight. Everything went well, no complications. Either way, I am starting to feel more like a flight nurse and less like Eber and Roper watching movies in our quarters. By the way... we watched "There Will Be Blood." Didn't really like it.

Am flying tomorrow and then off on vacation in Hatteras for a week with the family. Even the Mad-dog gets to come. Wrigley will be staying at the ultra plush pet Holiday Inn as she cannot be trusted to go on vacation yet. Maybe next year.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Flying and Flinging

My first shift back flying was actually a pretty good one. The medic is known for being slightly on the anal/obnoxious side but he was leaving for vacation at the ass crack of dawn so he was in a pretty good mood. We sat in a painfully long staff meeting.... (in the ER staff meetings are at 7am so day and night shift can be there. Usually they follow the kind of night that makes you want to run like hell outta that place. Nights will stay until we fall asleep, or until the bullshit gets too deep to stay! There are enough people there to make a covert exit.) since a flight base is pretty small, 3 medics, 4 nurses, pilots and mechanic you HAVE to be there and must have a damn good excuse to leave. So we sat, and sat and sat. 6 hours later we were just settling down when we got a flight. ICU/ICU transfer of a young guy (32) who had end stage renal due to uncontrolled hypertension and now had started to poop out the ticker too. For 32 let me tell you.... this guy looked like SHIT!!! So we got everything ready and just when we were gonna pop him on the stretcher and roll....."I gotta make a boo boo."

First, I seriously don't understand an adult male calling a BM "boo boo." There are so many other ways to put it.... BM, crap, shit, dump, "go to the boys room" (thats the cop for ya!). So we/me had to get buddy up onto the bedside commode and sit there while he did his "boo boo." I mistakenly though my "boo boo" days were over after the ICU! I was actually worried that his vitals were going to take a shit (haha) and that we were going to be working the famous toilet bowl code. Buddy actually made it off the commode in about 10 minutes and we pack up and were on our way. No issues and one hell of a pretty flight.

Later that night we got a call to do an organ flight. With those we will fly to the receiving hospital (where the organs are going) pick up their appropriate transplant/recovery team and fly them to the donor hospital. The transplant teams usually arise from teaching hospitals which are pretty scattered out here. So after a 35 minute flight we pick up the two HUGE cardiac recovery guys and fly them back. The heart guys are cool because they get in first, grab the heart and get out pretty fast (we waiting a little over an hour) The poor liver and kidney guys have to wait around til the heart guys are done. So we flew a heart back with us. I was dying to look in the cooler and see it, but that would probably be bad form to do so! Our total flight time for this was about 4 hours... so I was fucking tired when we touched down at 7am.

So last night, to blow off some steam the cop and I went to a friend's house way out in the country. She lives in a nice neighborhood with some land so we can have a bonfire, live music and lots of food and people. It was so much fun to see everyone. The cop and I took the jeep since it was such a pretty day, and left the top off which was even better. When we went to leave we noticed that the faceplate from his radio was missing. On closer look it was the faceplate, 4 CD's (2 Buffett, Jason Aldeen and Kenny Chesney) about 14 dollars out of the glove box and (?!?!?!) half a bag of gummy bears that we were snacking on during the drive. The cop had the sheriff's department take a report so insurance will cover the radio. Who the hell steals that stuff? Its of very little value and, I'm sorry, but the folks out there weren't really country/buffett fans. So we had an unfortunate ending to a pretty good Spring Fling day.

I will mention that I am being sent to another base for the month of June. The idea is that I will get more flights and up my experience lever there. Where we do 1, maybe 2 flights a day this base can do between 4-7 and June is their busiest month. I hope to have lots of good stories during June!!!

Friday, May 09, 2008


My absence has a fabulous explanation. The cop and I celebrated our first anniversary on May 2. He gave me a beautiful Tiffany necklace and flowers (roses and calla lilies). We dropped the puppies off at their respective sitters and headed out to a great seafood restaurant downtown where we could eat on the patio filled with spring flowers and people watch the freaks on the street. Very reminiscent of The Grand Cafe in Key West (also a great restaurant, we ate there on our honeymoon). After dinner and a great bottle of Va sparkling wine we went home so we could get up at the ass-crack of dawn to go on vacation. For our anniversary I sent us on a cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

We have both cruised before..... and if you want to be alcohol-soaked and party (not us) then that's the place to be. If you want to stay on the peaceful, relaxed side, hang in the adult pool at the back of the boat and do some great snorkeling (us) then it was also perfect. There was only one wine drenched evening that included formal night and a trip to the casino that the cop doesn't remember (fortunately we only had $20 cash and were too drunk... or laughing too hard to remember the ATM card). We snorkeled an area called Cemetery Reef in Grand Cayman and it took the cop about 30 seconds to declare that we are coming back. We tend to use cruising as the litmus as to where to go again and where to check off the list and keep looking. My favorite picture of that day is here:

That would be off the side of the catamaran. The water was a beautiful jade-green and the fish were incredible. We saw a stingray bury himself in the sand and huge parrotfish that swam right up to us.

Cozumel was exactly what a poorer area would be. We were yelled at, approached and followed by every store owner out there. We tried to walk to Margaritaville but a weird old Mexican guy in a Yugo cab kept following us, so we decided to hang our on the pier and wait for our snorkel trip to leave.

All in all it was a nice break. I could have done without the drunks all over the boat, and the very loud people in the room next door. We also had to eat dinner at a table with 3 other couples. They found out what we did in casual conversation and wanted to hear stories. The cop didn't feel like talking much about work.... and very few of my stories are appropriate for a dinner table with strangers. Its nice to be home. I fly again Sunday and its supposed to storm ALL DAY! Welcome home short nurse!