Sunday, November 1, 2009

Everybody's Little Boy

There he sat on the ambulance stretcher, a sweet faced, obviously scared, little boy. Bandages covered his arms and head, the painful consequence of an unopened glass door and an in-house game of football. A kid who didn't deserve this, a kid who's biggest concern should be what's for supper and when can he get a break from the rainy weather that put his game inside and not on the yard. This sweet face is now a jumble of emotions, fear and pain washing over him as he struggles to keep a "brave face" for the firemen and paramedics taking care of him before we arrive in our fancy flying machine, everyone efficiently performing their tasks, all trying to keep our composure and provide manly advice of, "Be a brave boy for your daddy," and, "Remember, your dad said be strong." Tough advice for a kid of any age to try and hold close, especially when your arms are shredded and it just plain Hurts. Tough advice to try and keep, especially when coming from your childhood Heroes.

My partner and I quickly worked to get a handle of the situation and explain to the boy what we were going to do on our way to the hospital. It's rare we get to fly a child who is conscious and completely aware of what's going on, so we take a little longer getting everything just right for him for our quick trip to the hospital. We explain how long it's going to take and that we really don't have to do anything more for him since the ground crew quite carefully bandaged his wounds and started treatment before we landed. I can' tell if there's any excitement in his eyes or not; helicopter rides are sometimes anxiety provoking in and of themselves, much less when you are Hurting and Scared, as was the case for him.

As we flew to the hospital, his eyes stayed straight forward and not taking in the scenery below as we covered the suburban landscape to the hospital. His questions were more about his Dad and when he could see him again than his own condition. "Soon, buddy, your dad is on the way to the hospital and will be there are fast as he can," I assured him. His composure breaks, his sweet little face becoming awash in tears as he looks at me and says, "I'm lonely without my Dad." In that moment I see my own son, who I hope never has to endure any Pain, much less the tearing of flesh and vessel this little one has on a rainy afternoon or the fear of being taken away in a magic flying machine feeling alone in the world. And then, as quickly as they came, the tears stopped and he set his shoulders, determined to have a brave face for his Daddy when he saw him next, in that uncertain way little boys have when they are Trying To Be Brave.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hey, I'm getting to be a celebrity (not)

Epi_Junky is a friend by way of Twitter and she asked some of us advice on gaining trust in EMS encounters. This post in her blog is highly worth reading even if I wasn't part of it. Take a gander!

I'm still here

I haven't been abducted, nor has rapture taken place (I hope it hasn't). I just haven't really felt led to talk about much here. That needs to change. Don't fret. Life is good. The kids are great and my wife is as wonderful as always.

I am late to my New Year's resolution to get into better shape, but I am attacking it with One Hundred Pushups, but have only done week one. Something about Rome and a day come to mind, but it's a step in the right direction. Any advice for an avid couch potato to get it together physically?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Some interesting perspective

Some friends of mine posted this in a discussion list I read, and I think it brings some simple truths to light. Now, to be fair, I don't necessarily agree with some of the name calling in the preamble, but there's a lot of wisdom here and if everyone would heed it (and not run behind their "blanket of offendedness", we all might learn a little and maybe turn our country back from our current course of handouts, both personal and corporate.

"We, the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help
everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid any more riots,
keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of
debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren,
hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense
guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt-ridden, deluded, and other
liberal Bed-wetters. We hold these truths to be self-evident: that a whole
lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim that they
require a Bill of No Rights."


You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV or any other form of

wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is

guaranteeing anything.


You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on

freedom, and that means freedom for everyone - not just you! You may leave

the room, change the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but the

world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.


You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver

in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer

to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.


You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most

charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we

are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of

professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of

another generation of professional couch potatoes.


You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from

the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health



You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap,

rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of

us want to see you fry in the electric chair.


You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat or

coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if

the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still

won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.


You don't have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in

foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience. We hate oppressive

governments and won't lift a finger to stop you from going to fight if you'd

like. However, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world and do not want to

spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a

military uniform and a funny hat.


You don't have the right to a job. All of us sure want all of you to have

one, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take

advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid

before you to make yourself useful.


You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you

have the right to pursue happiness - which, by the way, is a lot easier if

you are unencumbered by an overabundance of idiotic laws created by those of

you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I've been running around in a state of denial about my pending (looming?) 40th birthday and it doesn't really make much sense when I think about it. I can't reasonably expect that God is going to allow me to stop the clock and remain "39 forever" or some such nonsense. Besides, I think immortality (or delayed maturity) is nothing more than a recipe for loneliness and despair as the world would pass me by and I would feel out of place and that's never a fun thing to consider. As I see it, God has gifted me with the perfect life and I am appreciative to Him for even allowing that small gift to cherish. "Perfect, how can any life be perfect?", you might ask. I will tell you why I think my life is perfect:

I have a wife who, despite my many flaws, still loves me and cares for me even on my worst days. It has been her support and strength that has guided me on a far less destructive path than the one I was on before I met her. She is my world and I owe her nothing less than my heart.

I have two lovely children who I know offer unconditional love to me and aren't quite too old to not let me hug and kiss them and share silly stories and secrets while spending time together. Watching them grow into intelligent, grace-filled beings is one of the most joyous things I will ever experience.

Despite a pancreas and thyroid that are mad at me, I am healthy, clear minded, and strong enough to play and work and do things that I enjoy. I really should do more with that...

I am surrounded by friends and family who love me and don't consider some of my crackpot ideas and occasional mood swings as deal breakers. It took a long time for me to find most of these friends and I slowly came to accept these people aren't nice to me simply because of some ulterior motive. I missed a lot of opportunities for lifelong friendship in my younger days due to my ego and arrogance; it's a good thing I started growing up not too long ago so I can appreciate those that are around me.

I have a satisfying professional life that gives me the opportunity to explore many different challenges. Although I am a little obsessive about work and the hours I spend working, I love the fact that I wear many different hats in the workplace as I never seem to be bored when I'm there.

I have seen the relief on a parent's face when I have been able to resuscitate a drowning child as well as felt the savage heartache when I haven't been able to save a child whose injuries could not be cured. I have lived through emotional highs and lows that only those that work in EMS and medicine can understand and feel strengthened in the fact that God has allowed me to seek His comfort in those times that I felt overwhelmed. I am fulfilled by the challenges of computer systems and the intellectual stimulation of learning something new every day.

That's really only a very short list of the things that define the perfection I see in my life. It's probably an arrogant or naive statement to call my life "perfect", but it's the only one I have on earth and I am pledged to make it the best one I can. Maybe in 40 more years I will be able to still judge this life as perfect. Stay tuned!

Psalm 40
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

4 Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods. [a]

5 Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but my ears you have pierced [b] , [c] ;
burnt offerings and sin offerings
you did not require.

7 Then I said, "Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll. [d]

8 I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart."

9 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips,
as you know, O LORD.

10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth
from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD;
may your love and your truth always protect me.

12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.

13 Be pleased, O LORD, to save me;
O LORD, come quickly to help me.

14 May all who seek to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.

15 May those who say to me, "Aha! Aha!"
be appalled at their own shame.

16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation always say,
"The LORD be exalted!"

17 Yet I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, do not delay.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What's in a name?

Trying to sort out what to put in this blog has been a bit of a challenge for me as I'm not certain that I have anything of real interest to say about myself. My lovely wife does a fantastic job of discussing our family and her experiences here, GreekGrits, so I don't know that our family life will be a big part of what I share, but there will be some of that. Jon Acuff does phenomenal work discussing Christian life at his three blogs, most notably at StuffChristiansLike, but I am a Believer and my faith will be a part of what I use this space for as well, but that is only part of who I am (a very important part, but one of many). I do a lot of different things, so I suspect that there will be an "eclectic" combination of thoughts and images collected here as we move along together.

As for the title, Pertinent Findings, here is my thought. In medicine, we are taught to use our assessment skills to sort out what is wrong with a patient. This is called "diagnosis". As part of establishing said diagnosis, we often use pertinent positives and negatives to arrive at a differential determination of what may be wrong with someone. For instance, if you tell me that you are having chest pain but no shortness of breath, the pain is a "pertinent positive" and the lack of breathing issues is a "pertinent negative", helping me make a better plan for treating your discomfort. Physical findings, signs and symptoms, educated guesses, and sometimes pure dumb luck help guide the hands of medical people worldwide. Doesn't that inspire confidence?

Didn't expect a medical lecture, did you? I mentioned pertinent findings as an illustration of how I look at the world. I keep an open eye and (relatively) open mind to the things that I encounter and I use the positive and negative aspects of what I see as a way to guide my decisions and to assign value. Sometimes this works to my advantage. Sometimes.

Your results may vary.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Getting Started

Okay, I broke down and started one. Happy? Now I've got to figure out exactly what to say in this thing.