March 2008

As you may recall, last April I totaled my car into a tree in my driveway.


My FD plate was right in the line of impact; you can’t even see it in the above photo. I took it off the car, hammered it flat, and put it on my new vehicle when I got the truck in July.

Last Tuesday, the FD gave me a shiny new tag. It’s a little different than the old one… I mean, besides the lack of dents.



I came down with some food poisoning Saturday night. I had eaten some greasy thing from one of my regular greasy food places around 21:00… Just about the time daylight savings time springs forward, I woke up feeling not quite right; quite undigested. I stayed in bed for another half hour or so, then realized I was going to have to vomit. So, I got up and made my way to the potty.

Thus, I was standing over the potty in the firehouse having just vomited when we got toned out to a tractor-trailer accident on the interstate. Conveniently, I was okay for the next thirty minutes or so; long enough to get up on the interstate, find the accident (dispatch had the wrong location), and determine that we were not really needed.

I had to assess the driver and have him sign off on the ‘refusal of treatment’ form in the back of the ambulance; the nausea started coming back and I found myself wondering if I would be able to make it to the door if I had to. The driver didn’t seem to notice my discomfort, though, and I got through our interview okay. Lt. Greenie and I were forced to wait for an eternity before the state police released us to return and I was not sure I would make it. We finally returned to the firehouse and just in time, too; I barely made it back to the potty before my dinner tried to escape, with some success, from both ends of me.

After some time, I went back to bed for a brief moment before we were toned to take an emergency transfer from our local hospital to the regional big hospital. I dragged myself out to the bus; Greenie drove up to the hospital. I went in and started to get the details of the transfer from the nurse; after a bit, I realized that I was not going to be able to provide care for the patient. I apologized to the nurse (one of my very favorite nurses at that hospital) and went and got Greenie. Greenie readily agreed to tech the call and went to get the details from the nurse. We helped the patient onto the cot and the nurse gave me a handful of emesis bags.

I drove the twenty-two miles to the regional hospital with an emesis bag in one hand hoping that I was not going to have to pull over. We got to the hospital; I got as far as the emergency department and realized things were imminent. I got the stretcher into the room, apologized to an understanding Greenie, then ran off. I hung out in the ED staff potty for a while.

When I got back to the ambulance bay, Greenie had already put everything back in order in the truck. I thanked him (restoring the truck is usually the job of the person that drove) and suggested that maybe I would ride back on the cot. Greenie readily agreed but I was really joking; I rode back in front. We got out onto the interstate before dinner reasserted itself; luckily I had my emesis bag in hand.

I must say, using an emesis bag is really much more pleasant than hanging over the potty.

Greenie drove on while I heaved into the bag. The smell was overpowering; I opened my window but it was still nasty. Of course, if it was nasty for me, it was worse for Greenie; they weren’t his insides. I apologized; he said that it was nothing, “When you’re sick, you’re sick.”

I asked him to pull over; I got in back, threw away the bag, and got a towel to blot my brow. I got back in front and we drove off. I was okay for long enough to make it back to the firehouse before exploding again; it seemed that I felt fine for thirty minutes or so after each bout of vomiting.

Due to mismanagement in our town, we can only afford two FF/EMTs on duty at night these days; I really didn’t have a choice other than to go on the two calls. A third FF/EMT was due on at six, though, so I asked Greenie if I could go back to bed. He agreed and we decided that I would sleep for a while and go home if I didn’t get any better.

I slept for several hours, then got up and went out to the dayroom. Lt. McClown was the third FF/EMT for the day; he showed concern and sympathy for my well being. I hung out and chatted with Greenie and McClown for a while, then got up and vomited again. When I returned to the dayroom, McClown suggested that I should take advantage of my window of opportunity to drive home. He helped me carry my stuff out to my vehicle and got me on my way.

I got home and went back to bed, sleeping almost constantly for the next fifteen hours. This morning I woke up feeling almost okay.

One of the old saws regarding Emergency Medical Services is that EMS stands for ‘Earn Money Sleeping’; this weekend I earned money sick. Great fun.

Various forums including Slashdot and Fark are reporting that Gary Gygax has passed away. No details, but the named sources seem legitimate.

“I would like the world to remember me as the guy who really enjoyed playing games and sharing his knowledge and his fun pastimes with everybody else.”

Thanks, Mr. Gygax. You gave me years of entertainment.


There’s this well-intentioned but probably poorly-considered web site that will allow you to easily create your own ‘Bama buttons.

Sure, this one’s lame. So’s the candidate.