Friday, November 30, 2007


After a very long night and day of driving I've finally landed in Pittsburgh, its Friday night and it is too late to unpack my things so Kalem and I are in a hotel for the night. We stopped just before the New Jersey / Pennsylvania border at a *lovely* little motel and slept for a few hours because we were both completely exhausted. So after four hours of sleep and lunch at Panera we were back on the road and by the time we got to Somerset we realized that it was going to be too late to move in to my new place, so after poaching wireless internet from a hotel in Somerset I booked a room at a decent hotel in GreenTree on On the way to the hotel I picked up my friend Justin and he stayed with us. It was really great to see himand it was interesting to see how he and Kalem interacted. I wasn't worried about it, I was just curious as to how it would all pan out.

Ryan G is still upset about not being able to help me move and it seems I can't get it in to his head that it isn't a big deal. He hurt is back and isn't able to sit in the car for hours on end, but he and his partner will be coming out to see me in early February so that will be good. There's also a chance that Ryan E. and Kalem will be out in early January to go to a Rufus Wainwright concert with me here in the city. Still no word yet on whether or not I'll be home for Christmas but i'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Here I go!

The trailer is packed, the Xterra is loaded, now its time to say goodbye to my parents and cry my way to Portland to meet Kalem. Please, leave love, remind me that I'm doing the right thing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Good Riddance

Okay, I know its kind of corny to post song lyrics here but I'm doing it anyway
My good friend Ryan E would turn up the radio and make me sing with him whenever this song came on in the car. I said bye to him tonight after our last sushi dinner before I move and like a dumbass when I got a little teary eyed I pulled up this song on the iPod and sat in my car and cried. I have been blessed with a handful of *very* good friends and I can only hope that they know how much they mean to me

Ryan E for being foolish with me and reminding me to not take myself too seriously and for being the most accepting person I have ever met.

Ryan G for always being so supportive, for keeping me sane when I've been going crazy and for feeling bad because he can't help me move because of a back injury (its okay Ryan, it really is).

Kalem for helping me to realize that no matter how rough life can be at any given moment that it can only get better and for showing me the light during a very difficult time in my life and for helping me out at the last minute to take an 800 mile road trip to help me move.

Marian for everything. For late night trips to LL Bean, for midnight runs to Denny's, for wandering car trips singing Rent and talking about how fucked up things can be some time.

Anyhow, back to the song lyrics, after I finished writing them out here I decided that it would be much more therapeutic to just go get my acoustic and sit in the garage and let myself cry.

Green Day - Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Leave it to a move to remind you of how much stuff you own. Over the last few years I've only tapped in to a handful of my resources- primarily clothes since I've been living with my folks. I've managed to forget how much computer gear & kitchen stuff & home decor I own. I find it to be a little daunting when I realize its going to take more time to pack up all of my stuff, but I also find it to be a relief because it means there's less stuff that I have to buy. Either way, its a colossal pain in the ass. I hate moving.

On a positive note I've solved my relocation assistance dilemma. My good friend Ryan was originally supposed to help me move, but because my move in date has changed and because he is now having back problems (go figure, a paramedic with a bad back!) he is unable to help out so now my good friend Kalem is going to help me move. Kalem and I haven't had much opportunity to hang out lately so its good that we'll get to take this road trip together. It will be a long drive and it'll be a bit of work unloading the trailer and unpacking my stuff but I will have good company and that makes it all the better.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

I have to work today, on a holiday, but I don’t mind. Just like everyone else in this world I often forget that I have so very much to be thankful for. I have my health, my family, my friends. I have shelter over my head and food in my belly. I am immersed in love.

Today is my last day at my job. At 7am I leave this place for the final time and I have a week off before I move700+ miles away from my family and friends. I have a new job, in a new city, albeit one that I have lived in before, I have a new adventure waiting for me. Life is good for me. I may be apprehensive, I may wonder if this move is right for me but I know that once I’m settled everything will fall in to place. At the same time I am thankful I am also a bit worried, my brother-in-law will be returning to Iraq soon. I am thankful that he is who he is and I am sure that God will allow him to return home to his family, but still, I can’t help but be worried, but I am optimistic and my hope is that his recent promotion will mean more time in safety and less time earning more bronze stars.

I typically don’t have any problems expressing myself, but today the words won’t come to me. I am thankful for all that I have- for family, for friends for health, for safety, for love, for opportunity. The world is before me and it is mine for the taking.

My hope for this holiday is that you have many things to be thankful for. My fellow bloggers have already expressed their thanks- EmergencyEmm, WhiteCoat, Matt G, ShadowFax, Scalpel, my hope is that you have a means of expressing yours.

Be well & be safe,


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My bad-ass brother-in-law

This article ran in the Denver Post the other day as a profile of my brother-in-law, 1st Sergeant Rick Tufts. Recently when a friend asked "Does it make you feel good when someone tells you 'Thank you' or does it matter?"
Rick looked him in the eye and said "It's my job, its just a job. I do this so my son won't have to. You don't have to thank me."

1st Sgt. Tufts is a local boy turned decorated soldier who is soon to return to Iraq for the third time. It isn't something that he wants to do, but like he says its part of his job. Despite it being part of the job I know it kills him to be away from his family- Rick is the type of man who would do anything for his wife & son. Over the years my sister has adapted from the role of soldier's wife and now to the role of 1st Sergeant's wife and she and the rest of her & Rick's extended family couldn't be prouder of his accomplishments.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Items remaining on the Pre-Move To Do List:

Sort & pack kitchen
Sort & pack computer gear
Sort & pack clothes
Sort & pack books
Sort & pack bedroom
Take the Xterra to get checked for a road trip
Mail the f*cking lease agreement
Obtain Medic Command Authorization
Visit with my sister, brother-in-law & nephew when they come to visit
Party like its 1999

*sigh* I just want to be there NOW.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Linky Lovin & Shameless Self Promotion

Well, I ranked lower than Ambulance Driver but I'm really not surprised.
While I'm at it, a quick note about AD, it was his blog that got me to reading several other blogs which finally resulted in me creating this blog. Sadly, I can't remember how I got pointed to AD's blog. Anyhow, go give him a read and if you like what you see buy his book so he can buy that double wide he's had his eye on for some time.

EMS Gear

Peter over at Street Watch: Notes of a Paramedic wrote a post which prompted me to write a little post about the gear we carry. Now, there are some out there who carry everything, *including* the kitchen sink into every patient's home on every single call, all the time, no matter what. Then there are others who walk into a patient's home with nothing but a smile on their face.

I'm of the train of thought that not every patient needs *all* of your resources every single time and that 98% of the time you're safe with carrying in the bare essentials. How many times do you carry gear into a patient's house only to carry it out unused? I know some of you out there are crying foul - "But Matt, what if you're dispatched to an old lady not feeling well only to find out that its that one call where grandma fell down the stairs because she was in a diabetic crisis and now she's got an open femur fracture and you can't do a spinal rule out and while your partner is getting gear she goes into cardiac arrest?" Well, after I stop laughing I'll manage the patient with the contents of ParaMedical Matt's Quick Pack (tm).

My Quick Pack is made up of the items that can get you through the first five minutes of patient contact while other resources are on the way from your ambulance parked outside.
Contents are held in a spiffy LL Bean belt pack that I usually end up slinging over my shoulder.
  • Gloves
  • OPA's
  • NPA's
  • Bleeding Control
  • BP Cuff
  • Stethoscope
  • IV Roll (20g, 18g, saline flush, extension set wrapped in a 4x4 & veniguard & secured with a tourniquet)
  • Refusal forms
  • Vicks Vap-o-Rub (for self medication when encountering things that smell bad)
If I suspect that we're walking in to a chest pain or respiratory call then I'll bring in O2. Our primary job is to get patients to the hospital and initiate care, anything that we accomplish while going down the road is just an added bonus, and yes I will say that IV access, 12 leads, & medication administration all do fall under the category of "added bonus." I too was once an eager probie ready to single handedly save the world from itself and I carried with me every sparky new tool that I could fit on my belt and I carried everything into the house with me, but I have since learned that all I really need to carry on my person are a watch and these Healing Hands(tm) and a pen- I am useless without a pen, even if I'm not writing anything down, I have to know that I have a pen immediately available to me.

So, I'm curious as to everyone's thoughts on this matter. Anyone? Bueller?

Such a slacker

I'm trying, I'm really trying to post here more often. Things have been crazy lately. There is absolutely nothing in this world I hate more than packing and moving. But it is a necessary evil at this point if I'm ever going to make it to Pittsburgh on time.

On a positive note, I've just realized that Ribeye over at RagingServer has linked to me! He writes some really great stuff about being a server and dealing with all the bullshit that the consumer flings at him. Personally I would have told a lot of these customers to F*ck off and of course I would be fired. I'd love to go eat in the restaurant he works at some time or just shadow him at work. Anyhow, give him a read and tip your servers!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Gratuitous Linky Lovin'

I was getting my daily dose of blogs today and found that ERnursey has a great post titled Politics Explained over on her blog. She is among those that I read daily and she's definitely worth a read.

~Paramedical Matt

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Remembering a Colleague

This slideshow was put together by one of my colleagues here in Maine. This summer the Maine EMS community was rocked by the line of duty death of Lieutenant/Paramedic Allan Parsons.
Allan was tending to a trauma patient on an interfacility transfer when the ambulance he was in was struck by a drunk driver. Allan was killed, his partner Arlene Greenleaf suffered several major fractures and has spent considerable time both at regional trauma center and in rehabilitative care. I believe that the patient that was being transferred also sustained additional injuries as well. Even now when an ambulance passes by the crash site you can hear a quick yelp from their siren as they pass. Our little way of saying that we will remember always. If anything was learned from this tragedy it is that the Maine EMS community can rally together and support one another in a time of crisis.