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BOSAHFOW

Itsmybirthday.

This is how my nearly 18 year old nephew says it in a nearly child like tone. It's only a birthday and 18 a big one at that but let's remember a few things:

1. I was born first. It's been MY birthday for far longer than yours. Please stop saying it's your birthday, it's stupid.

2. BirthDAYS are not week long reminders of that it's going to be your birthday soon, believe me we are all very keenly aware and are reminded often that your birthday is in May.

3. Rarely are birthDAYS week long celebrations of having gifts showered upon you or special considerations given. Please stop saying its your birthday for the two weeks leading up to the actual DAY.

4. MY birthday comes FIRST. On the calender you were born a few days (and many many years) after me so SHUT UP!

5. I do not ask for nor do I expect anything for my birthday usually. Especially non-landmark "tweener" birthdays. usually I TRY to let the day pass with as little fuss as possible. When I reach 45 I do expect booze and strippers (seriously I do) and to shoot a .45 hand gun. I also would like any other debauchery I can imagine in my sick mind that would involve various states of undress, altered levels of consciousness due to high levels of intoxicants ingested, women of questionable morals and being outside. I have 2 years to think on it but I'd like for THAT birthday to be just this side of awesome. I'd like more of the same at 50 if I make it. Or maybe I would like to be by myself out on the trail in some remote location in the US and then have the debauchery afterwards.

6. I have a long list of things I would like and actually dream over (new cell phone, new laptop, sunnto watch, being in good shape, Ariane St. Amour or Gina Carano) . Recently I ran across this:

mercedes-benz-unimog

I've said it before and say it again emphatically. Don't it make your dick bust concrete? It's the mercedes benz unimog. It's a fucking monster.

7.Really most of all I just want peace and quiet today. After working hard all semester that's what I want most of all. Will I get it? For most of the day I will at least.I probably should have went camping but the last several days have been rather rainy not good camping weather.

8.I do it admit it would be nice to have a friend call me up and treat me to a few beers at a bar and just enjoy some comradeship but meh...most of my friends in Georgia have either quit drinking or moved away. Smart on both counts.

It's a nice day and today on MY BIRTHDAY all I plan to do is sit around and read my book. I may go through my jump bag and reorganize some things perhaps watch an episode of "Justified" on the laptop. So fear not no booze or strippers of any sort of debauchery. Perhaps in a couple of years.

Thanks for reading.

Final entry on finals and college.

Buddy_Buddha_

In keeping with the theme for this set of finals "Pray for A's" I let buddy Buddha do all my talking. I just found out I aced my final history exam and made an A for the course. Even though I did not take enough hours this semester to be considered for the deans list I thinking making all A's in my classes is validation enough. I really wanted this because I needed something to prove to me that I belonged in college because I missed an entire year to help care for Pop while he was dying.

As always I am fighting the ghosts of my long distant high school past that tell me that I am stupid and will never amount to anything worth while. Pop would be proud as always and give me a slap on the back if he were around today. My lowest grades in college are two B's one in math which is not my strongest subject and the other in an english class where a professor did not grade fairly unless you were an athlete or an english major. I was neither and male so I got points shaved because of that, that's water under the bridge though.

If the professors and instructors enter my grades correctly I'll be looking pretty good for my nursing school application. All I gotta do is do well on my entry exams for nursing school. The goal is to get into nursing school on my first application process, keep your fingers crossed. So ends my final entry for school and about grades here. This blog now begins to evolve back into a cycling/manly blog as I indented it to be in the first place. I have a couple of other blogs floating out there now but I will not mention them here because I want to keep them totally separate.

I'll wrap up here because I have some errands to run today and gotta get outta the house pretty quick. Thanks for reading.

Just a moment

In keeping with this semesters theme of "Pray for A's" Buddy Jesus has something to say about my A&P grade for the semester:

Buddy-Christ-kevin-smith-70822_360_640

That's right folks I not only did well on the final exam (an "A") I got an "A" for the semester in A&P. I believe I was only one of 5 or 6 people who made an "A" in the class. It was a ton of hard work but more hard work is ahead. I cannot slack off now.

I made a decision concerning this blog. I decided to turn it back over to a cycling/outdoorsy type thing. If I have time this summer I'm gonna move this over to "blogger" and go from there. Eventually this live journal will be wiped clean with only a link over to the blogger site. I'm also going to split it all up and start a new blog concerning nursing school. The reason why is because THAT has taken over this cycling blog. Let's not forget this is "Bicycle Of Steel and A Head Full Of Weird" I won't link to that nursing blog here because I want to keep the two very separate. But if you email and ask nicely or an old friend or reader I'll send you a link. Don't worry I'll let both of you know what my final grade is for my history class but after that back to the roots of BOSAHFOW.

Gonna be a LONG busy day today so I'll keep it short. thanks for the support and reading.

Studying

What I would have written about.

Usually I would go into great detail about one of the strangest days I have ever had at BCH. About how quite by accident I ran into one of my fave nurses “Hooch” and how awesome she is not only as a person but at the job as well. Normally I would tell you how a friend is going to be a resident at BCH in a few months and how I sent pics they posted of the upcoming first years to them.

I would also go into great detail about how some racist interrupted my study lunch in the cafeteria to pick me to vent about the population and neighborhood that surrounds BCH the citizens of which I serve. How I barely controlled my anger towards this jackass racist and told him to leave. I’d LOVE to go into great detail about that. It’s an episode that left me totally freaked out so much so that I spent the rest of the day talking about it to nearly anyone who would listen, IT-WAS-THAT-STRANGE.

Then I would’ve gone into a grand vent about how once again because I am only a tech at BCH, how I get talked down to even by people I have worked with for years. About how this veteran nurse I’ll call “Three-peat” (because he says the same thing 3 times in a row) made for dangerous conditions in our area and got angry with me when I questioned his methods. How I was told harshly “Don’t question me and never question nurses, because you don’t understand the system you’re only a tech.” I would also say that I normally would have fought that battle happily but let it drop instead because I realized I was making a tough situation worse. Three-peat wouldn’t and in classic three-peat style said the same thing three times over. Then I was later justified in my observation about conditions when a patient had a serious problem and he had to scramble to get to the patient.

I would go into a long vent about how again despite years of experience and near top tech seniority at BCH (now sharing that distinction with a couple of other techs) I am on the outside looking in, once again because I am after all just a body to some folks there, that I should blindly obey and not say a word, in a system such as that is VERY dangerous to everyone, patients and care givers alike. I normally go on and use this as another example to inspire me to hurry the fuck up and get my degree so I can get out of BCH’s E.D.   I would also lament that this entire episode exhausts me and makes me question any intelligence that I have and wonder aloud if I will ever rise above the position I have now AND wonder if it’s worth it. In the same vein I would begin to wonder if moving back to Colorado would be worth it after reading this:

Denver Post Article

Then I would go on about how I need to study then lament on the wonderful weather outside and how out of shape I am. How I am getting very self conscious about it and just plainly feel unattractive. I would go on about how now I just want to be alone because I feel so stupid and gross. I’d wrap up there in a state of melancholy but soldier on towards my goal wondering again if it is worth going through the hassle.

I’d write about all that shit but it’s the last week before finals and probably the last time I am going to write for a couple of weeks because I have so much studying to do and on top of that another required BCH education module I have to get done on the same week of finals. 

So to my two readers or anyone else who stumbles across this, I’ll be back in a bit I just have a great deal of work I have to do.

Post Script:
After some thought I am now suspending this blog. I am not only very busy but I have found that this is a tremendous distraction at times. I feel now that this serves no real purpose except to focus my frustration into one spot and then I dwell on it for awhile. I get little if any comments which means little to no feed back and if this even matters to anyone at all. I suppose I am just tired of this career that seems to be going no where maybe I will follow someone's advice and quit BCH. I may even leave medicine altogether and for good this time. Nothing I do there matters and as evidenced by yesterday, I am not valued as a team member. I have always been the low man on the totem pole and it appears that I will continue to be for long time. I am sticking my neck very far out there by writing this blog and for what? A chance to get called into an office and lambasted, fired, have my certification taken away and my future jeopardized.  My greatest fear is that I get my RN license and I will land right back in the same spot I am trying to get out of now. I am by no means young, I just want and need to know that I'll get out of this insane cycle eventually. Trouble is there is no way of knowing. I just want to go forward somewhere in my life and it seems like the same pattern and cycle happens time and time again. I have many things to consider. For those couple of people who read this thanks it's much appreciated. Stay tuned I may return over the summer break. Perhaps if I wrote about celebrities, kittens or puppies... Thanks for reading.

And a bad finish.

In keeping with the BOSAHFOW's theme in these last few weeks of "Pray for A's" well friends you better start rubbing your rosaries because well...the pic below describes today's exam:

Holy-Facepalm

I really thought I had studied enough. I followed the exact same pattern I have had for the last two tests where I made "A's" Today I fear I fell well short,I know I know I've said this before. Feel free to roll your eyes at the screen. I got spoiled last two tests and took for granted the gift Dr. K gave me in grading my exam on the spot. Today I fumbled around because I did not know the material as well as I thought I did. I sat in there and hacked away at it until he just told me to turn it in. I went through the pattern of "Uh oh I don't know this." to "Oh I KNOW THIS!" to "I truly don't know this."  so many times I lost count. I took SO long that Dr. K told me rather cheerfully "Sorry man ya gotta wait until Monday for your grade."

I did not do a face palm there in the room but I certainly did in the hall way. Right now if the ex-girlfriend is reading this she's probably thankful that she does not have to listen to this at all. I can hardly blame her, I feel like a small time basket case. I feel like I am just wrong, wrong, wrong. I'm on pins and needles until at least the lab test on Monday. Now with a work day on Saturday and the final lab test on Monday I'm just shaking my head, I'll keep plugging away I have near 3 days to prepare. It won't be like the muscle test but heavens the spinal plexus is a fair amount of info.

Needless to say the next two days I was going to be on campus ANYWAYS so I'll just drop by his office just in case he's there to see my nervous system debacle. I'm so not happy right now. Like I said I hate being this way. If I did not think it was important I would not fret over it so much.

I'll spare you guys the internal dialogue I have going on right now. I'm trying to have some humor about it.

On a better lighter note I did get to ride my bike for a little while across campus. The bike did not get screwed with and it was fun those 5 maybe 10 minutes I rode. I rode as a time saver to study more because of an hour commitment I made for the challenge course. All the climbing types turned out so we could help with the challenge course during our open house. It was fun for that hour, I was thankful for the break.

I need some good news because well the last few have been rough here. Thanks for reading.

Difficult start

It seems lately that I am getting up earlier and earlier and earlier. I got maybe four hours sleep last night, I'm in serious need of a prescription sleep aid. I can't blame it on caffeine because I had ONE cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional energy drink cause I have not had one of those in a bit. It's just latent worry that rousts me out of the bed at 0330. Which unfortunately is the pattern before tests in my A&P class now. I studied for  3-4 hours yesterday and all weekend. It's the pattern now where I say it just does not feel like it's sinking in. I say this before every lecture test and go through this feeling of being down. I really do not enjoy this, I guess that it does not help that the beautiful day we had to climb yesterday was very frustrating for me.

I'll admit that I'm far from being the best climber in the class. I'm firmly in the middle of the pack in that regard, quite possibly more towards the back of it. I know I have not been able to climb or be outside for a majority of the semester and it shows. Any flexibility that I have had is gone, it feels that any progress I have made has totally disappeared. I make myself feel better by saying that I'm at least out there trying and that if I'm patient with myself that I'll make progress. The instructor had new routes put on the wall. I'm really happy about that it gives the class more options but it seems for me now I cannot even get off the ground. I was attempting a 5.9+ route yesterday and barely could get off of the ground. I felt like I plugged away at the beginning of the route forever. My class mates did their best to help me but I got frustrated by my failure. Last night my right great toe and ball of my foot was VERY sore from standing on a small pinch to get the route started. I was very stiff and could not even get my left foot to smear properly. This morning the foot is better but my fingers are all arthritic and stiff. I can type but S-L-O-W-L-Y. Usually climbing brings me a small sense of relief in the battle of the pre-test blues, yesterday not so much. Yesterday it brought negative introspection and barely contained frustration.

I know it's not the end of the world and it's a very small set back that should not register at all. It resonates though and taps into a part of my personality that I hate, the part that tells me I ain't worth a shit. That I am a poor physical specimen and stupid (both things that I was told in my early years that really stuck), that any reason I have gotten anything from trophies to good grades is because I get lucky and I'm a good at guessing. I know it's just mental horse shit but I gotta deal with it writing here helps me with it. It also does not help that I feel intensely alone in all of this, when I was younger I felt I had older folks to turn to and they'd steer me in the right direction, I was right mostly. Now I'm older and I find that I feel like I got no where to go with this situation. I remember that sometimes you gotta be your own hero.

Just a few entries ago I posted about the warthog being my spirit animal. It sounds all like new age hippie tripe. If you said it to me up until I posted that I probably would have asked you to keep your crystal in your pocket and please don't put that damn rock on my forehead. As I think on it more and more it seems to be the case. The warthog is in the mud doing it's best to drag it's ugly ass outta the muck as the gazelles who seemingly get every brake and are endlessly helped and encouraged run on by. It's easy to help the gazelle you get an immediate result, the warthog though you gotta be patient with. It sucks sometimes, especially when you try your ass off and get a negative result.

Maybe I put off an air that I don't need the help, it gets old having to grind it out endlessly in every endeavor. Any peers that did give me encouragement are now gone from the job or on the other side of the country and in classes I come off as a "Class leader" and have been told so which really backs me into a corner. I'm unsure,I'm doing the best I can, I can't tell folks that sometimes like now I feel like I'm hanging on by my fingernails.

In my time at Rural College I have yet to meet another middle aged male EMT trying to get his ass through college. In fact males in pre-nursing are rare and gonna be more rare once I get into the nursing program. There is one other guy in my A&P class now and I can barely stand him, he's stoned all the time and is a gazelle making great grades on everything at every juncture. I'm jealous of it, I'll admit it. I've tried to talk to him to see if he has a passion for the job but he comes off as a jerk. Another example is a nursing student in the climbing class "taking a break" from nursing school. I've tried to talk to him as well. I get a smart ass stand offish treatment from him, he tells me he wants to do trauma at a local hospital that is known for it's underpowered ED.A far cry from serious trauma. How do I know? Because they transfer all their remotely serious patients to us at BCH. I'm a near bottomless well of info on that shit but I'm the "weird old guy." Prance on gazelle I say prance on. I keep my mouth shut because I don't want to develop a reputation as a trouble maker, it's a small campus.

Where does it leave me? Well it leaves me scratching my beard (heavens I need to trim it some) and looking in the mirror again at some unholy hour in the morning making things alright so I can get on with my day. The warthog keeps slugging it out.

Now in this longish entry that has gone on here brings me to what I originally wanted to write about. As April '13 starts to wrap up so comes finals. My last full semester at Rural College at the end of the semester I spoke of the finals shark. This semester without professor cloy's underhanded sand bagging of grades and no math on the schedule I have crack of making all "A's" this semester. I desperately want an "A" in A&P and carry a 4.0 into the application process especially in sciences. I have a chance at it. Just give me the slimmest of chances and that's all I need. This semester my theme is "Pray for A's" :

BluePrayforA"s
(Please pardon the horrible paint job, many apologies to the original artist)

As I have been told a shit ton here in my time growing up in Georgia and I'll paraphrase here "The deity of your choice only helps those who help themselves." I could not agree more. As my small group of readers (yeah both of you) know I have worked hard this semester. I'm obsessed over my A&P grade, it's cost me a relationship. I figured that I'm carrying a 97.5 in the class now with 3 tests including the final coming up. Gotta make at least an 80 on each of those tests to keep that "A". In history I gotta carry a 75 in the final for an "A" there and climbing I was told I had an "A" in there, but I'm nervous still about it. It's far from sewn up yet.

I'll get not as much time to study today as I'd like. I agreed to help out with the challenge course today for the campus wide "spring carnival" I'm only going to spend an hour there belaying folks or whatever but it's a fair walk from the library and time today when it comes to studying is not a luxury, so I'll be bringing my city bicycle to school to quickly cruise over to the other side of campus and back again after my obligation. There is little if any bicycle commuting on campus so I'm naturally reluctant to leave the bike locked up anywhere there but honestly I'm silly about that shit, I've left that bike locked up at some really rough places over the years. I'm not too worried.

Join me if you will grab the closest religious artifact, chose your deity and follow me for this semesters BOSAHFOW's "Pray for A's"

Thanks for reading.

Tragedy

As an occasional runner and an EMS type with hopes of being a student nurse then eventually a registered nurse one day, the events in Boston yesterday makes my blood run cold. Let's face it on any scale this is a horrific tragedy the scope of it I think has not hit us just yet. By now we have all seen the video of the explosions and pics of the immediate aftermath. Really I just don't know what to say, I'm at a loss for words. The best I can say is my deepest and most sincere sympathies are extended to those affected by this attack.

I naturally think of the patients when such a thing happens. For the ones who lived through the explosions have many months and years of hard fought recovery ahead of them. My thoughts are also on the people who were killed in this awful event, it's always a shock to deal with an untimely death. But to deal with having a loved ones life torn from them in such a violent manner is one thing that is beyond my realm of thinking. Death is a tough thing to deal with I cannot imagine how hard it is for the families of the patients and dead victims to have to deal with it.

bostonflagmourn

Then of course I think of the EMS types and those who were working the trauma bays, ORs and now ICUs who are working to help these folks recover quickly and heal. As we go forward these quiet professionals have wrapped up their shifts and are decompressing from the events of the day. Now in the early morning hours is when most are awake from maybe at best a fitful nights sleep. These are the folks who saved lives with their education and training who have kept the death toll mercifully low. These professionals you won't hear much from if at all. Just as the victims, patients and their families are dealing with this horror they too are doing their best to make it through the mental quagmire that follows these events. My heart goes out to all the people of Boston.

Now we ask ourselves what do we do in light of such an event? Aside from sending our condolences, thoughts and prayers to the people of Boston we may feel powerless to help. This is not the case. Naturally you can donate money to the Red Cross or any number of funds that help the patients and victims of this tragedy. The money helps but there is more to it than that.

One thing as we see over and over again unfortunately in our great nation is that we never know when or where an event of such a terrible violent magnitude will happen. Donating blood would be a good next step, someone some where can use that blood and you never know who could use it. The next would be to empower yourselves, in order to do that step it takes time. To empower yourself to means it takes training taking a couple of evenings or a weekend after your job to take a basic CPR and first aid class would be a keen idea. If you are trained you are no longer a bystander in such events you are a first responder. Finally the boyscout in me says "be prepared". For the lay people out there after you have been trained run out and buy a nice fair sized off the shelf first aid kit. Just don't throw the thing in a closet or the trunk of the car go through and get to know it, do that every couple of months and keep doing it. Often the people who are right there when an event happens will be the crucial link into saving a persons life, friends and readers in these times YOU could be the person who saves that unknown persons or loved ones life if you just have a teensy bit of training.

For the professionals I say keep up your training keep learning and if you are the type to keep a jump bag in your vehicle make some time to go through it to make sure you have what you need. Take care of yourselves and remember gone are the days of being the hard as nails stoic EMS type or Nurse. Talk it out with your peers there is nothing wrong with a bar stool or tail gate debriefing with a fellow understanding pro.What I'm saying is be there for each other.

So the day after what do we do now? Live life and carry on. Also, tell the ones you care for that you do in fact care for them because you never ever want to miss that chance to do so. Again my deepest and most sincerest sympathies go out to the fine people in Boston. All of us in the nation are thinking about you.

Thanks for reading.

Somethings you just can't teach.

As Big Rick said once in his thick Mississippi accent back in the "old country" after seeing a nursing student struggle at the bedside with a critical patient "Somethings I just cannot teach, like thinking on your feet." Well it's been well over a decade since I heard that and it's stuck with me. Keeping a clear head when things have seriously gone to shit is just something you have or don't. It's not just new EMS types or nursing students who I've seen struggle with this I have also seen highly trained docs with years of experience after their residency have probs with what is catch phrased as "critical thinking skills". Pressure, TRUE pressure not the bullshit we all make up in our heads changes EVERYTHING. Another notable Big Rick quote was "Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you." Big Rick was great like that with his southern wisdom.

This morning I ran across this article:

Eleven year old does CPR on his Mom

This kid is awesome! Not only was he able to be calm enough to call 911 but got directed through CPR then had enough presence of mind to help find info that helped EMS treat his mother. I wish I could say that I was this calm under that kind of pressure when I was eleven. You can try to train it out of people heavens knows that's what residency for docs is all about and to a small degree what EMS schools try to do as well as nursing schools. One of the points is to expose you to the job and put you under a degree of pressure so when then time comes (and brother the time will come) that you can stand up do your job and maybe just maybe have a positive outcome for your patient. Watch Surviving the Cut sometime and I think you'll see what I mean when I say exposure to real pressure.

Rural College's nursing school has as one of it's pre-reqs for entrance is passing a critical thinking skills test. I dread this test because well let's face it's not gonna be anything like a horrendous night with a truly sick patient where what the team does really count. It's not PRESSURE it's just faux pressure. Not that I'm not taking it seriously but it's just another hoop I have to jump through. I suppose to the unskilled student of a typical nursing school applicant, this faux pressure is as close as they can gauge this intangible without someone being seriously hurt, killed or putting the applicant through years of nightmares and intensive therapy. Either on paper or in real life the shit ain't easy.

Or as I like to say "Some days you're the hero and some days you're the goat" Heavens knows I have had more than my fair share of experience in being the goat. It's something to think about. Most of all a big thumbs up and a hardy slap on the back to this eastern Washington (state) kid. Hang in there kid I think you may have a career in an emergency department or on an ambulance when you grow up.

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Originally this was all about cycling. It has evolved over the years to my work in EMS, moving back to Georgia from DenCo. It has followed me through the beginnings of being a middle aged college student and caring for my dying father. Soon this blog will evolve again back into a manly/cycling place.

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