Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Because if I were to embed the comic directly into a blog post then the whole thing would not show up.

go here

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December 24th 9pm, Eastern Standard Time

From here on in I shoot without a script /
See if anything comes of it /
Instead of my old shit /

Another year come & gone. Lets hope that this one is as interesting as the last.
Be well & be safe my friends.

there is no future
there is no past
thank god this moments
not the last

there's only us
there's only this
forget regret
or life is yours to miss

no other road
no other way
no day but today

Will i lose my dignity / i can't control
will someone care / my destiny
will i wake tomorrow / i trust my soul
from / my only goal
this nightmare / is just to be

there's only now / without you the hand gropes
there's only here / the ear hears
give in to love / the pulse beats
or live in fear / life goes on

no other path / but i'm gone
no other way / cuz I die
no day but today / without you

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Brief Essay

Musings On Why I Hate Christmas.
by MedicMatthew

Don't get me wrong. I love spending time with and being with my family but I despise the commercialization of the second most important event of Christianity.
The Baby Jesus was born today! Here, let us shower one another with loads of useless shit that we don't really need!!

Take the gifts out, leave the celebration and family time and I would be quite content. I hate shopping for others and trying to figure out what they'll like/want/use/play with and I hate receiving gifts. I hate it all. Lets all just sit around, eat, drink, be merry & get fat. Everyone will be drinking wine at my grandfather's tomorrow night. Would it be terribly wrong to go with a flask of whiskey?

Musical Goodness Part Deux

After taking a peek at iTunes I realized how much friggin music I have on this computer, and subsequently on my iPod as well.

Total Items - 4719*

Total File space - 20.5gb

Total Play Time - 13.9 days

*including music, audiobooks and podcasts

Friday, December 19, 2008

Musical goodness

While going through some things today I came across a stash of CD's that I had long since forgot about. Since I'm all about my iPod I've been ripping songs from CD to iTunes this afternoon. What has MedicMatthew been listening to today to you ask?

Garth Brooks
George Thorogood
Simon & Garfunkel
Dan Fogelberg
Mary chapin Carpenter
Alison Krauss
Red Hot Chili Peppers
John (Cougar) Mellencamp
Bette Midler

I'm a musical schizophrenic.

or maybe musical multiple personality disorder would be more appropriate.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

For Sale

For my Maine readers....

For Sale
FN Herstal Tactical Police Shotgun

12 gauge pump action
7 + 1 capacity
18 inch ported barrel
Collapsible stock
Interchangeable choke system
Dual aperture rear sight
M1913 mounting rail
Drilled & tapped for optics
Never fired
Still in the box & coated on packing grease

Contact via email for terms of sale - medicmatthew (at) gmail (dot) com

Friday, December 12, 2008

Notice to non-EMS System Medical Interveners

(Excerpted from page "Black 1" of the Maine EMS Protocol Book)


Thank you for your offer of assistance.

Please be advised that these Emergency Medical Technicians are operating under the authority of the State of Maine and under protocols approved by the State of Maine. These EMS providers are also operating under the authority of a Medical Control physician and standing medical orders.

If you are currently providing patient care, you will be relinquishing care to these EMS personnel and their Medical Control physician.

No individual should intervene in the care of this patient unless the individual is:
1. Requested by the attending EMT, and
2. Authorized by the Medical Control physician, and
3. Is capable of assisting, or delivering more extensive emergency medical care at the scene.

If you are the patient’s own physician, PA, or nurse practitioner, the EMTs will work with you to the extent that their protocols and scope of practice allow.

If you are not the patient’s own physician, PA, or nurse practitioner, you must be a Maine licensed physician who will assume patient management and accept responsibility. These EMT’s will assist you to the extent that their protocols and scope of practice allow. They will not assist you in specific deviations from their protocols without Medical Control approval.
This requires that you accompany the patient to the hospital, and that their Medical Control physician is contacted and concurs.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Confidential to the four bloggers whose advice I have sought out tonight:
I just realized my typo- should be FN Herstal, not FH.
Also, when I emailed you I may have forgot to mention that I've asked a handful of bloggers. I'm seeking advice from several sources.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Telling the Story.

Every person has their story to tell and woven in with the stories that uplift us are stories that bring us down; as with everyone my story is made up of both of these elements. There is a story of mine that not many people know about and I've wanted to get it off my chest for a long time but I have been reluctant to do so because I don't want my mother to find this post and read it and be sad. Recently I was relaying a part of the story to a fellow blogger and I told her about my reluctance and she said to me “I can understand that. But at the same time... Don't you think that someone out there might really get something out of it?" Sometimes it just takes that outside perspective to help you see things differently. Thanks Epi.


I grew up in a small Maine town; in this town there was not a whole lot to do, nor did the town offer much to its young people. There were about 5,000 people living in this town, the majority of the residents worked in one of two paper mills. It was a quiet life; it was a peaceful life; it was a nice place to grow up. But as I remained in this town I grew to realize that it was no life for me. As a young child I lived by my parent’s rules, their rules were based on the rules of their parents, and their parent’s parents. I always felt that I was the outcast amongst my friends. I was always different from them- I was the chubby kid. It’s not so much that my friends viewed me as an outcast; I saw that I was different from my friends. I wasn’t athletic, I lacked confidence, and I didn’t view myself as being as popular as my friends were. I was always accepted by everyone I met; yet somehow I was different and it would be years before I knew why.

I've always known that I'm gay, on some level it has always been there. When I was a kid I just didn't realize what my feelings meant. It took a long time to realize that the other boys at school didn't think the same way that I did. While other boys at school were developing an interest in girls I was developing an interest in the boys. Sure I found girls attractive and I thought less than pure thoughts about them on occasion because that is how society had conditioned me to be. As time went on I found that I thought about the boys more and more than I thought about the girls. By the time it came to graduate high school I did so without ever having been kissed and I remained this way for a couple of more years. Like I said, looking back I always knew on some level that I was gay; I just couldn't admit it. One Christmas Eve I was working in dispatch and watching, of all things, a marathon of the Real World on MTV in which one of the house mates was talking about his experience in coming out and accepting the fact that he is gay. It was that day, sitting in my truck at the end of my shift, after making sure that the cell phone was off and the portable radio was off so that there was no way in hell that someone could hear me utter the words that for the very first time I said "I'm gay."

This was the beginning of both my liberation and my downward spiral. I see now, years later, that this was the moment that set me free but at the time it opened a whole new can of worms. I decided right then and there that it was time to start the process and that I knew that I couldn't live in the shadows forever but the idea of coming out to others scared the hell out of me. What started as a minor depression devolved into a very large, deep depression. I was at rock bottom and I was suicidal. I had a plan. A rock solid, fool proof, no way to back out of it plan. Thankfully I just didn't have the time- there were too many things that I wanted to get in order first.

I was out driving around one day trying to clear my head and my dear friend Kalem paged me, I called him back and we met up and grabbed some ice cream. Kalem was one of the few people who knew that I was gay and he also knew I wasn't doing so well with dealing with it. He and I we sat and talked for a while and I was feeling better and before we parted ways he handed me a CD and just said "listen to track #4" I'm certain that he didn't know it at the time but that simple act saved my life.

I got in my truck and put the CD in and set it to repeat track #4 and I listened and I learned the words and I pulled over and I cried. I cried until there were no more tears. I cried until I couldn't cry any more and then I listened to the song again and it was then that I knew that I wasn't alone; that there were many before me who had been in my position and that there would be many more to follow. At that moment I knew that I could come out; I knew that it would be difficult, but I knew that it could be done. Over time I learned that if someone who I thought was a friend had an issue with my sexuality then they really weren't my friend after all. I learned that with each new person I told I became stronger. I started to learn who I was all over again.

The CD that Kalem handed to me was Melissa Etheridge's Yes I Am album. Track #4 is Silent Legacy. Almost ten years later and I still can't listen to this song without getting a little bit emotional.

I tried to find a decent video with this song on Youtube but I didn't have any luck, if you all are good maybe I'll dig my guitar out of storage and record one myself.


Silent Legacy - Melissa Etheridge

Why did you steal the matches from the one room motel
Once they gave you answers now they give you hell
They will never understand they wonder where did they go wrong
How could you be so selfish why can’t you get along

And as you pray in your darkness
For wings to set you free
You are bound to your silent legacy

You’ve seen it in the movies and heard it on the street
Craving the affection your blood is full of heat
They don’t listen to your reasons as original as sin
Deny all that you feel and they will bring you home again

And as you pray in your darkness
For wings to set you free
You are bound to your silent legacy

Your body is alive but no one told you what you’d feel
The empty aching hours trying to conceal
The natural progression is the coming of your age
But they cover it with shame and turn it into rage

And as you pray in your darkness
For wings to set you free
You are bound to your silent legacy

You are digging for the answers until your fingers bleed
To satisfy the hunger to satiate the need
They feed you on the guilt to keep you humble keep you low
Some man and myth they made up a thousand years ago

And as you pray in your darkness
For wings to set you free
You are bound to your silent legacy

Mothers tell your children be quick you must be strong
Life is full of wonder love is never wrong
Remember how they taught you how much of it was fear
Refuse to hand it down the legacy stops here

Oh my child

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas...

This is the third year that I can not listen to this song without getting teary-eyed. I know far too many people who are in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. My brother-in-law is currently on his third tour in Iraq, hence why I can't listen to this without getting teary-eyed. And I figure that if I'm going to put it in this context then I shoudl share it with everyone.

Right now there are thousands upon thousands of American men & women in Iraq and Afghanistan. These are men and women who have chosen to serve thier nation and for that I am eternally grateful. So as we go about celebrating our holiday take a moment to think about those who can't be home for the holidays this year and in years past.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Made of Win!

Much thanks to Kal over at www.traumaqueen.net for this one.

The production value leaves a lot to be desired but I couldn't help but laugh.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Holy sh*t I actually won something!

I MedicMatthew have been notified that I actually frickin' won something. A new addition to the MedicMatthew armory- a Tactical Police Shotgun from FN.


Quick Details:
12ga x3 inch chamber
7+1 round capacity
18 inch barrel
Collapsible stock
Interchangeable choke system
35 inches in length
black finish

Monday, November 24, 2008

When did my demographic become so stupid?

Hear that? Off in the distance?

That is the sound of me losing faith in my fellow man.

What the hell happened to basic civics? When did people just sit back and absorb all that the media has spoon fed them? When did my demographic start considering The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. to be the news and not comedy?


H/T to Xavier for referring me to this.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Couldn't have said it better myself.

I love the passionate way in which Keith Olbermann speaks in his "Special Comments" on his show. Be it gay marriage or the loss of habeas corpus.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Please note.

When in the course of current events human discourse dissolves into partisan pissing contests amounting to "my party/theory/candidate/view/idea/cola/religion/news channel/favorite color is better than yours!" and when challenged your rebuttal consists of "neener neener neener" then it is time for you to please shut the fuck up, already.

And if you're going to quote my previous anti-Palin post in which I called her an "ignorant, vapid twit" please take into consideration that Mrs. Palin clearly exposed her lack of knowledge of basic government civics- this is a prime example of ignorance and vapidity. And also do me a favor and take into consideration my anti-Obama comments left on other blogs written by people who were far better at summarizing my feelings toward The Chosen One. I unfortunately am not about to cite these comments as I do not feel like trolling through hundreds of blog entries right now to find them. Also please consider that you have absolutely no idea whose name I selected while I was standing in the voting booth. Did I vote McCain? Did I vote Obama? Frankly I despised both candidates equally and think we would have been screwed with either candidate and that it was simply a matter of deciding in which way we want to be screwed. You may make your assumptions as to which candidate I voted for but you will probably be wrong and you will never know who I voted for and I plan on keeping it that way.

I will, however, concede that it was indeed childish of me to use the words "twit" and "airhead" in reference to Mrs. Palin and for that I am sorry; however I still stand by my opinion that she is ignorant. In regards to the matter of the recent election and in regards to all matters I certainly don't expect everyone to agree with my opinions just as I'm sure all of you don't expect me or the rest of your readership to agree with 100% of your opinions. But please, if you're going to make a statement then you need to be able to support it.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Conversation with EpiJunky

After reading Epi's post tonight

MM: *gasp* you weren't married in the church?
Epi: Shush.
MM: blasphemer!
Epi: Surely I am going to hell.
MM: heretic!
MM: oh honey, i'll be sure to save you a seat when I get there
MM: we'll live blog it
Epi: LOL
Epi: Absolutely.

Monday, November 10, 2008


So Marko recently challenged his readers to a little exercise: if you could give your 14-year-old self a brief piece of advice from your present self, what would it be?

I think that if I could offer a bit of advice to myself fifteen years ago it would have to be this: 1.) Yes, you've got mad vocal skills, but you're not going to be a rock star 2.) Seriously, you dig musicals, you're a Bette Midler fan, and you're oddly fascinated with that guy on the baseball team, YOU'RE GAY, and 3.) Won't worry, Mom & Dad won't freak out when you tell them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Absolute Grace


I'm not asking anyone to agree with my views. I'm not preaching my views. I'm not proselytizing. I'm merely recognizing an accomplishment. One thing that no one can deny is that the next President of the United States of America has mobilized millions of Americans into giving a damn. Here is to hoping that those inspired Americans will take an active part in their government and push for what is right and continue to teach the generations to come that indeed anything is possible.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dear blogosphere,

I am sick of your political rantings. I don't give a damn what your political leaning is. Please STFU.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I posted a stub a while ago and just have been slack in writing the post. Unfortunately when I wrote the stub I had this grand post in mind, but now that I write it it sounds kinda dull. My apologies.

The service I work at covers over 2800 square miles of Western Maine and today I was on shift at the centrally located base, the one that historically has been the crutch for the system. It was a beautiful drive north from the homestead, the fall foliage has more or less peaked and the leaves are starting to fade to dull colors and soon they will fall from the trees altogether. A routine check of the ambulance was completed and off we went to the hospital where I had the supreme pleasure of being an evaluator for a disaster drill. The event was overly unremarkable with the general conclusion being that we need to communicate better. Strange how this is a recurring theme but nothing is ever done to remedy the situation.

Early in the afternoon my partner and I returned to our base for what I hoped would be an uneventful afternoon. My shift was to end at 1800 hours and it would have been entirely peaceful but one of our northern crews was dispatched to pick up an injured hiker on a rough mountain trail and given our position in the middle of the county we moved north to cover their station while they were out. Now, these back country rescues can be short & sweet or they can be long & complicated requiring many people to help move the patient. Unfortunately this particular resue proved to be the latter.

The base that I was working at is about 35 miles from the homestead, while not a particularly long commute is is through some rather rural country. After moving north we were then an additional 20 miles northeast of our assigned base. I never really felt this way about the region before, perhaps now it has something to do with spending the last ten months living in the city, but there are days when the three northern bases each seem to be a remote outpost. Upon arrival at the northeastern base I felt a bit as though I were arriving at the basecamp of a remote operation.

Prior to leaving our base my partner and I stocked up on a few items we might need should we find ourselves off the road somewhere- cold weather gear, water, energy bars and the like. While moving toward this other base to cover we stopped at one of VERY few grocery stores to grab a bite to eat and then we proceeded to the base. We checked in with the rescue crew to see if anything was needed and then settled in for what we hoped would be a short time. Upon learning that in addition to the northeastern mountain rescue apparently the northwestern base also had a mountain rescue going on. This left my partner and I to cover the majority of the service area. Thankfully one other medic dispatched to the rescue was relieved of her duties by a medic with back-country/wilderness training, this allowed her and a firefighter to cover the northeastern base while I was able to move back to my base with my partner. Granted this was spreading the system a bit thin but sometimes you need to do what you need to do. Fortunately my base closes its operations at 1800 hours each day so because of this we were able to eventually free up more personnel to better cover the region, however shortly after 1800 hours a call came in and the other crew made up of my partner and the other medic responded to a call approximately 45 miles away for a patient bleeding from the face after a motor vehicle accident. Given that my base shut down at 1800 the other medic elected to respond with my partner and because of the timing I remained at the base with the firefighter.

We have some great first responder/QRS agencies in this region and we have a couple that are, well, less than stellar. The crew responding to the MVC was 30 miles in to their response when a first responder came over the air advising that the patient wishes to sign a refusal and that they, the crew of a Maine EMS licensed first responder service would be standing by waiting for the arrival of the ambulance. At this point I really wished I could be a fly on the wall of the cab of the ambulance to hear the profanity that I knew must be escaping the mouth of the medic, but she managed to gently remind them that they were more than capable of obtaining a refusal signature. Fortunately for me they were able to return to the base and I was able to go home only two hours after the scheduled end of my shift. By the days end I had racked up more than 175 miles just moving from one facility to another, not even taking in to consideration the handful of rugby related calls I responded to during the day. we cover a big area, we cover a very rural, we cover a rather economically depressed area. There are days when I love it and there are days when I don't like it so much, but still, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Please, make the pain go away.

What? Srsly? I have to suppress the urge to jab an ice pick into my ears every time I hear this woman speak.

No you ignorant, vapid twit, that is NOT the job of the VPOTUS. You will not be "in charge of" the United States Senate. Article 1 of the Constitution clearly states "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided." And that is something that Dick "Personification of Evil" Cheney has done only eight times. VPOTUS can preside over floor debate in the senate, but that is usually done by the president pro tempore and often done by first-term senators.

And for all of you out there who whine and bitch about how she is inaccurately portrayed by the main stream media, please, take off your tinfoil hats so you can hear better. The woman is just plain flat out stupid. We would be better served by Forrest Gump than this ignorant airhead.

h/t to the Angry Black Bitch for this one.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Awesomest. Headline. Evar!

h/t to Marko

Also, Marko pretty much sums up my thoughts on the folks doing their best to win me over to their particular brand of dark side

Friday, October 17, 2008

Super Awesome

Just go and read here at Atomic Nerds.

Warning, many F-bombs are to be found in the above linked post.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


My name is MedicMatthew and I'm a swing voter.

I'm sick of this election. I want it to be over with, but most importantly with the end of the election I would like to see the end of the chronic asshattery that we have been plagued with for the past few months in the blogosphere. Whining and bitching about something that you have no control over does not bring about a favorable result, it just makes you look like a complete twatsicle. There will always be a group of people kept down by the government I just have to decide which part of my life do I want suppressed. Do I want to vote McCain and keep my guns but be left with the patriot act allowing the .gov the ability to know everything and anything about me or do I want to vote Obama and maybe sorta possibly kinda have the issue of marriage perhaps sorta laid out on the table if and when the table may or may not exist all while the man decides that my guns are eeevil and must be regulated.

So, I'll break it down to the issues that are important to me and what I think of each candidates stance.

Running Mate - Obama, but only out of ignorance of Biden
McCain- Palin is to out & out stupid as Cheney is to the personification of evil
Obama- I honestly don't know enough about Biden.

Iraq - Obama-ish
McCain- Oh HELL to the NO
Obama- Meh, not so much either. You can't remove the only stabilizing faction from the region and expect it not to fall to shit.

Healthcare - Meh
I can't say I really agree with either of them. Frankly, I'm all for natural selection. Its all about triage folks, there are three rules to healthcare 1.) people die 2.) you can't change rule #1 3.) Shit happens. We, as healthcare providers will do our job to save your ass, but if you can't afford the best & the brightest then it really isn't my problem.

Gun Control - McCain
McCain- yes.
Obama- Get fisted, cocksmooch. You have no actual facts to back up your argument that guns are eeevil

Economy - meh
we're all generally screwed either way.

Trade - Obama
McCain - dead fish on this issue
Obama - wants to renegotiate NAFTA to include labor & environmental issues to level the playing field for American workers

Same Sex Marriage - tough call as I believe it is a states right issue, but I don't agree with Obamas semantics, though I do believe here he will be the lesser of two evils
McCain- is in favor of same sex marriage being a states right issue, but supported a same sex marriage ban in his home state.
Obama- while Obama is the better option here I still don't completely agree with him when he says that marriage is a religious bond and domestic partnership is a legal agreement. We live in a democracy, not a theocracy. Yes, marriage is a religious bond sanctified by the church and domestic partnership is a legal agreement, if this is the case then we should stop the practice of state issued marriage licenses and change them to state issued domestic parnerships.

Immigration - Obama, again the lesser of two evils
McCain- grant citizenship to the 12-20 million illegals in this country? Fuck. No.
Obama- wants to Improve border security; Increase the number of legal immigrants; Crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants; Enable undocumented workers to voluntarily pay a fine, learn english, and get in line for legal citizenship; Fix the immigration bureaucracy; Provide additional economic assistance to Mexico

Patriot Act - Obama, I can support him more than someone who wants to blanketly invade my personal space
McCain- voted to extend the patriot act.
Obama- fence sitter

So who will I vote for?
I can honestly say I have never had the opportunity to vote for a candidate who I strongly believed in. Again I find myself having to decide who is the lesser of two evils on the biggest issues. When it comes down to individual liberty I'm honestly not sure which way to go. Obama is willing to leave me alone and grant the equality of marriage. McCain is willing to not fuck with the second amendment, but at least he leaves same sex marriage as a states right issue. I really do wish that the candidates would speak their minds instead of pandering to what they think the average American wants them to support.

I also have to consider the fact that I genuinely hate Sarah Palin and probably wouldn't piss on her if she were on fire. What kind of mother can you be for your children as VPOTUS? She has a 17 year old daughter who is pregnant who is seriously going to need a mom in the coming months and she has a small child with down's syndrome. As someone who believes in real family values the only option for her that I could respect would be for her to finish her term as the Alaskan governor and be a mother to her children.

The more I think about it the more I want to find a cabin in the woods, miles from civilization and just have the opportunity to be left the fuck alone.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Stub, post to follow later

The service I work at covers over 2800 square miles of Western Maine.I'm on shift today at the centrally located base, the one that historically has been the crutch for the system. First thing in the morning I had to report to the ED as an evaluator for a disasater drill. When that was done we moved north back to our base. Shortly thereafter the call goes out for a mountain rescue so we shift north farther to cover that base, unbeknownst to us there was a second mountain rescue going on in another base's district. Crews were split, people were moved and here I sit. Assuming I don't end up on any other calls I will have travelled 176.5 miles from home to work and back again with several stops along the way. This isn't a great distance as I've done one way transfers longer than this, but the remoteness of the region lends an interesting air to things.
Anyhow, when I'm better rested and have don't have the threat of being called out again I'll post a better record of the days events

Friday, October 10, 2008

Gaining Ground

The Connecticut Supreme Court rules 4-3 that the state can no longer bar same-sex couples from marrying!

We're gaining ground little by little, but we're gaining nonetheless. And for if any of my four readers here have an issue with same-sex marriage I have one piece of advice: Don't marry someone of the same sex. If you honestly believe that my right to get married would somehow degrade the sanctity of your own marriage then you are too stupid to reproduce.

The statistics are a couple of years old but per the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics:
Marriage rate is 7.5 per 1,000 total population (50 states & DC reporting
Divorce rate is 3.6 per 1,000 total population (46 states & DC reporting)

That's 48% folks.
Sanctity of marriage: ur doin' it rong.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Things that make the BP go up.

This started out as a comment over at ER Stories, go read it, come back and then you can read my rant.

Ok, back to the original post. At what point did we lose sight of the fact that this patient's condition was not an emergency that necessitated the use of resources of the emergency department.

To borrow from Johnnie & Roy...
"Let me explain something to you about paramedics. We respond to emergency situations, life threatening situations, you know, like dying."

Pain in and of itself is not an emergency. Pain can be an indicator of a medical emergency, but the presence of pain itself is not an emergency. Also, take into consideration something else that society has lost view of- sometimes life just sucks and we experience pain. Put things in to perspective for yourself, you're in pain in the comfort of an American hospital with the resources available to make you feel better despite your ability to pay. Life could always be worse. You could be laying in pain on the battlefield with half of an appendage missing and legitimately wondering if you're going to survive the day.
While I'm ranting let me add that obesity is always someone's fault. Ya know what, I'm fat, it is my own damned fault. Unless you are being tied down and force fed those Ho-ho's & Twinkies then obesity is your own damned fault. And for fuck sake, do not blame your fatness on a medical condition, if you had half a brain you would take control of your own health and combat that medical condition that caused you to pack on the pounds. It all boils down to responsibility folks. Take responsibility for yourself and shut the fuck up already.
I am so sick of whiny cry-babies, suck it up and get over yourself.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ms. Palin, you see there are these four rules...

Why is her finger on the trigger?!?

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

I'd be asking the same question if it were Barack Obama in the picture, but we all know he wouldn't pick up a gun to begin with, so if you're going to call this biased, then please, suck it.

And so it begins...

A few weeks ago I wrote about my great concern with moving back and working again in the community in which I grew up. It only took two shifts at this station for me to encounter a patient that I know. While it is very nice to hear a husband say to his wife "Oh thank goodness its MedicMatthew that's here!" and it warms my heart to know that I'm able to provide some level of comfort to people with my presence, lets hope this doesn't become a trend.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Oh how I love The Daily Show

From last night's episode 09/30/2008
Yeah, I know it is a wee bit biased, suck it.

Child of the 80's?

Thanks to Chris Leavins over at Cute With Chris for this one. I am *totally* going to find & scan a school picture of me to submit to this blog.

Hell to the yeah.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Since all the cool kids are doing it....

You are a

Social Liberal

(65% permissive)

and an...

Economic Moderate

(50% permissive)

You are best described as a:



Saturday, September 27, 2008

Well sum'bitch

There's a hurricane warning for Maine, something that we haven't seen here in 17 years, which means that I was 12 when Hurricane Bob left ten people dead and $2.8 billion dollars in damage. Hurricane Kyle is expected to touch kiss the Downeast coast of Maine tomorrow evening.

Considering I have tomorrow off I think it might be an ideal day to head to the coast, not to swim of course, as the North Atlantic starts to get a bit chilly this time of year and the surf gets pretty nasty when there's a storm a comin' but it does make for quite a show to see the surf and maybe a pretty picture or two if I'm lucky.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just something to ponder.

I'm turning comments off for this one. Regardless of your political leanings, just bear in mind that perhaps experience isn't a prerequisite for greatness.

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Things Not To Say In Front of a Patient

Prior to leaving my job in Pittsburgh to come back to Maine my coworkers and I started a list of things never to say in front of a patient. This of course has been edited to remove the profoundly foul things that might enter an EMS providers mind. My apologies in advance to the nurses. I'm sure you're a talented, dedicated, capable individual, but it seems that every nurse that shows up on a scene that I'm at just wants to flaunt their vast lack of knowledge of emergency medicine.

1.) You’re going to feel a little prick (followed by) here comes the little prick.
2.) Did you take the whole bottle of pills? Well why not?
3.) Here’s the gun, here are the shells, we’ll be back in five minutes
4.) It’s his first day
5.) I’ve never seen that before
6.) Here’s your sack, ma’am
7.) Do you have a gag reflex?
8.) Does he normally look like this or does he have some kind of disease?
9.) Would you describe your diarrhea as explosive?
10.) We should be okay, there’s a home health nurse here.
11.) So tell me, when was your last bath?
12.) Have you ever been told you suffer from epiglottal turbulence?
13.) That doesn’t look right.
14.) This is my partner Steve, but his nickname is HandJob
15.) Does the guy with teeth know any information?
16.) Oh you’re a nurse? Great, hold this
17.) That’s a goofy looking kid.
18.) Do I really have to touch him?
19.) (without knowing for sure if she's pregnant) How far along are you?
20.) You shouldn’t smoke, you should shoot heroin
21.) There’s shit everywhere!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Avast, me hearties!

Yarr matey, ye best be celebratin' today or you'll be walkin' the plank for forgettin 'bout International Talk Like A Pirate Day

Thursday, September 18, 2008


At my old full time (now part time) employer the director posts little tidbits of news on his page on the company website. Usually these are notices about new policies, or construction updates and the like. He also posts notices when new employees are hired. Now, I'm wondering if he realizes the Judy Garland/queer culture reference contained in his notice given the fact that I'm gay. (And yes, everyone there knows I'm gay)

And, we welcome back MedicMatthew who returns from Pennsylvania with his ruby slippers ('you can go home again') intact.

Just couldn't help but chuckle when I saw that this morning.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Home again.

Well, it appears that my timing was spot on for moving out of Pittsburgh. Apparently the remnants of Hurricane Ike have left many without power. More importantly the move allowed me to attend the wedding of a childhood friend, Jill. When I was a kid Jill's brother BJ was my best friend. We had absolutely nothing at all in common with each other- he was the jock, I was the band geek- yet we were the best of friends. Prior to this weekend the last time I had seen him was in November, just before I moved to Pittsburgh; prior to that it had been years. This wedding weekend was the perfect reminder of why I have moved back to Maine- this is where my (extended) family is. I enjoyed living in Pittsburgh. I had fun, I had a good job and I worked with some great EMS providers but it just wasn't home.

Life in Maine is a bit different from most of the rest of the country. Our winters can he harsh, our landscape is beautiful, our natural resources are amazing. I come from a rural part of the state where farms have remained in single families for generations, where there are mountains named for their residents that have been there since the 19th century. I am a fourteenth generation American and a seventh generation Mainer.

This is home.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Wow, I have been such a slacker about posting lately. With the relocation and all that it entails I've been a bit busy but I promise to have something up soon.


Thursday, September 11, 2008


This morning I awoke at 8am to the sound of a hammer striking a nail, the house being worked on again by my father. I looked out to see blue skies and felt a slight breeze coming through the window just as I had seven years ago. For all of the things that change just as many stay the same. September 11th is a day we must never forget.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Day One

Thursday afternoon Mom arrived and we ran some errands around the city and went to dinner downtown at a restaurant at PNC Park. Today we spent the day packing & cleaning. The U-Haul is loaded up, tomorrow morning we do a final cleaning of the apartment and then we hit the road. I fueled up tonight before checking in to the hotel. We're starting out this trek with 145,600 miles on the Xterra. We're hoping to be home tomorrow evening, but we'll see how the weather holds out as we catch rains from the last remnants of the storms from the south.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A test of what the heart can handle

As a result of a certain chain of events I am moving back to Maine later than I had initially planned and because of this the job that I initially wanted is no longer available. But as with everything fate has a habit of dropping things in our lap and another position has opened up with the company I used to work for at a base in the community that I grew up in. But before I can express my concerns I've got to share a bit of a back story....

Several years ago my parents were on a vacation on a road trip to Florida. I was still living at thier house at the time and I was sitting in the living room browsing the Internet at about 1am. The scanner was on and I heard the tones go off for the local ambulance service, the very one that I happenned to work for. Normally when I'm at home I have the scanner off. I was working as a dispatcher at the time and on my off days I liked to not have to listen to what was going on in the town and in the county, but this particular night it was on and after hearing the tones I wait for the address. I heard it and jumped out of the recliner.

An ambulance had just been dispached to my grandparents house for a female in her 70s who was short of breath. I knew that there was no way in hell my grandmother would have my grandfather call an ambulance unless something was seriously wrong and so I grabbed my personal jump kit, my radio and ran through the neighbors backyard to my grandparents house. I found my grandmother laying on the porch, she had gone outside for some fresh air because she wasn't feeling well, my grandfather had gone to check on her and found her like this. The long & short of it is that my grandmother wasn't feeling well because she was in heart failure. Pink, frothy sputum pouring out of the mouth, look of terror in her eyes when she saw me heart failure. In my heart I knew that it was already too late. When the ambulance pulled up I yelled to them to grab the suction & the oxygen and to just get her on the stretcher and in the truck- no time for dicking around with much else. I left my grandmother in the hands of the crew on duty and went to tend to my grandfather and explained that she needed to go to the closest hospital tonight because she was very, very sick. As the second crew pulled up I sent them to the first ambulance to assist and when they opened the door I saw a glimpse of my colleague doing chest compressions on my grandmother.


I had been in EMS long enough to know that it was over, but I was still in denial. I got my grandfather situated and ran back to my house to get some shoes and to bring my car over to drive my grandfather up to the hospital. I called my sister and I called the hotel my parents were at. The crews left and I pulled the 2nd ambulance into the driveway and locked it up so it would be out of the way & secure and I then drove to the hospital, stopping to pick up my sister. My aunt met us there and when I walked in through the ER doors the medic on duty just came out and said "I'm sorry, Matt" and hugged me. I had to explain to my grandfather that his wife of over 55 years was dead. I made phone calls to my other sister, I called my parents and had to tell my dad that my grandmother had died. I don't remember much about the rest of the night other than I finally wound up at home, sitting alone on the living room floor crying with my guitar in my hands singing a Melissa Etheridge song - Talking to my Angel

Don't be afraid
Close your eyes
Lay it all down
Dont you cry
Cant you see Im going
Where I can see the sun rise
Ive been talking to my angel
And he said that its alright

I don't remember much about the next few days. My parents made it home, my sister drove up from Massachusetts and my aunts were constantly checking on me. My family was concerned that this event might cause me to not want to work in EMS any more but I think that it helped to cement my desire to continue my EMS education.


So now I am returning to Maine and I am applying for a position in the same community that I grew up in. This past winter my grandfather was out snowblowing the driveway, he put the snowblower away in the garage/basement and decided to start a fire in the wood stove while he was down there. He got the fire started and as he was walking away he slipped and fell. He was unable to get up and no where near a phone and so after a few minute he realized that he had to get upstairs to a phone so that he could call for help. My 80 year old grandfather pulled himself across the basement floor, pausing to drink melting snow from the snowblower because he was so incredibly thirsty. He got to the stairs and somehow managed to pull himself up the stairs one step at a time until he got to the top. He then pulled himself across the floor to call my mother. My mother went over but before she left the house she called for an ambulance. Once again my friends and colleagues responded and transported my grandfather to the ED with a fractured hip. Given that he spent so much time on the floor he also developed rhabdomylosis which is not a good thing when you've got some minor kidney disease to begin with.

So, back to my current situation. There was a lot of talk about how it must have been comforting to my grandmother to know I was there with her when she took her last breaths. And now I'm applying for a position in the community that I called home for so long and I can't help but wonder if this turn of events is part of a greater plan. Does this mean that I'm supposed to be there when my grandfather dies too? My grandfather is now 81 years old with renal failure, diabetes, obesity & hypertension working against him. I don't know if I can do it a second time, especially if I am the responding medic.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Last week I put an ad on Craigslist for my loveseat & recliner- I just didn't want to take them back to Maine with me.

Titled: Ask Yourself....
Do you often find yourself wondering where others will sit in your home? Do you worry about having enough furniture space to accommodate potential visitors?

Your worries are over. I have for you a love seat and recliner that I do not wish to move back to Maine with me. Perfect for a college students apartment, hell its perfect for anyone's apartment. Love seat is blue in color, the recliner is a pale red though right now it has a brown slip cover on it. One or both of these items can be yours for the one time, low, low asking price of.....free. Just take them. It isn't so much that I don't want them, I just don't want to move them back to Maine with me. They didn't cost me a thing so I'm not too concerned about giving them away.

Apparently this ad worked, because I just had some guy come over with his room mate and pick them both up. Now if I could just find someone to finish doing all of my packing I would be a happy man.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Things we know.

Head colds / allergies suck balls

Packing / moving sucks goat

Packing & moving with a head cold sucks goat balls.

I'm congested and feeling crappy. I'm packing up (most) everything in my apartment to move back to Maine. I hate packing. I hate it with the burning passion of a thousand suns (read: a lot). Every time I move the list of essentials gets pared down a bit more.
Computers, clothes, cameras? Yes.

Text books for classes I haven't taught in five years cuz, hey, ya never know when I might want to revamp my lesson plans? Not so much.

Wish me luck. Or Ativan. Yeah, lots & lots of Ativan.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


As we all know there are times when a scent can trigger a memory- the odor of something once familiar bringing back memories of a time past. I was lying in bed just 10 minutes ago, dozing peacefully when an all too familiar scent jarred me from my slumber and caused me to dive out of bed and investigate its origin.

Prior to becoming MedicMatthew I spent 10 years of my life as a volunteer/paid-call hose jockey. Anyone who has spent any time in a fire house knows the scent of bunker gear exposed to smoke. The scent becomes almost pleasant after a while, a calming, comforting reminder of the brotherhood of the fire service. When one is lying in bed in their apartment, years after having been involved in the fire service and this scent wafts into thier nose to stimulate thier olfactory system the first thought might be "there must be a fire near by, my inner whacker must look out the window to investigate." Upon realizing that the scent only comes from windows with window fans blowing air into the apartment the next thought might be, perhaps it is just because the fans are sucking in the air quicker. When the final thought is "SWEET MOTHER OF HOLY F*CK THE SMELL IS COMING FROM THE FANS" one's oh-sh*t-o-meter kicks in to high gear as they move through the apartmen to shut off all fans, unplug them from the walls and evaluate them each as a source of heat.

None of the fans are hot, but they each smell like bunker gear that is long over due for a washing. I don't forsee them getting plugged back in any time soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Now, I'm not a cranky person, I'm really not. But when I place an order for an item on the morning of the Monday the 18th and request next day delivery, I would expect that the item would be delivered by the 20th at the latest. This is not the case.
First, I would think that since the order has been divided into two packages that Dell would be able to provide me with information in regards to both packages and let me know that both of them have shipped instead of letting me know about one of them.
Secondly, I would think that since the items originated at the same place and at the same time that the pig fuckers at DHL would deliver them at the same time instead of putting them on two separate delivery trucks. One package, a 2gb SD card was delivered on time, the other item a Garmin Nuvi 250w has not been delivered and no one at DHL can tell me why.

I am not a patient man when it comes to having new geekery delivered.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


So, I just posted something on Craigslist for the first time. Let see if I get any takers.

Monday, August 18, 2008

NH Liquor Store

Marko's Monday Search Term Safari this week is brought to us by the letter X and the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission. The New Hampshire State Liquor Commission operates a liquor store at pretty much every major route that crosses the NH/ME border and so it's a required stop on the return trip of any Mainer venturing down to New Hampshire or Massatwoshits simply because the liquor is cheaper and there is no sales tax in New Hampshire. Another reason that these liquor stores are so wonderful is because there are things available there that you can't pick up at a liquor store in Maine. Things like Everclear and plum sake.

I was sitting at this great Japanese restaurant in Portland, Maine one night with a friend enjoying our sushi when we asked our waitress, Cathy, where they get their plum wine. She told us that they get it at the NH liquor store and so we figured that after dinner we would take a trip to Portsmouth and pick some up, this was a Friday evening and we weren't sure of how late they were open and when calling 411 netted us no results we thought "who can we call that would know how late the store is open?" after about five minutes I realized that the only person I could call was my sister in Colorado who hasn't lived in the area for the past fifteen years.

Wow, I just re-read that and realized how incredibly f'in lame it is. I'm sorry that I haven't posted anything lately, it seems that ever since I set up MS Outlook to download RSS feeds for all of the blogs that I read I don't actually log in to blogger to see who has updated their blogs.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

LODD Update

It looks like the family of Alan Parsons will be spared having to sit through a trial for the drunk driver that took Alan's life in July of last year. Chris Boutin has plead guilty to charges of vehicular manslaughter and aggravated operating under the influence. Now lets just hope that the plea deal doesn't let him off lightly

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

In which I inadvertently scare the crap out of some punk ass bitch

While sitting in my kitchen yesterday evening cleaning my rifle I heard a loud thump against my living room window, much like the sound of a bird flying into a window. I went to investigate and found that some punk threw a tomato at the window of my apartment, my second floor apartment, with enough force to make me jump. Now, when I got up to check things out I just did so and carried with me whatever I had in my hand, so the little shit that threw the tomato just saw my 6'3" 290 pound frame silhouetted in the window holding a rifle & scope. Needless to say he ran like a little bitch and it wasn't until a couple of minutes later that I realized what he must have seen when he looked up.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot

This one makes my patented "Seriously, What The Fuck-ometer" go sky high. I live about 60 miles northwest of Somerset County, Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed on September 11, 2001. I have driven by this site several times and I seriously need to stop the next time I'm in Somerset. In my RSS feed today I find this article from WPXI News. Anyone who knows me knows that I am all for tolerance and acceptance, I’m gay, it’s kind of our thing, but to think that someone would design a memorial to the victims and heroes aboard Flight 93, a terrorist act carried out by Muslim extremists, to have so many references to Islam is deplorable. It is a giant crescent with a star on a tower that points to the site of impact and it just also happens that the star and crescent are in line with the holy city of Mecca. Seriously, What. The. Fuck.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Back when I was a dispatcher I had a habit of chewing on plastic pens. They were my pens, I didn't share them with anyone, no one else had to deal with my chewed up pens and I didn't have to deal with anyone handling pens that would eventually end up in my mouth. I know it is a gross habit but it was my habit and it didn't affect anyone else. When I started working in EMS I started carrying metal pens in the nifty little pen pocket of my uniform shirt. I think it just looks more professional than having an el-cheapo pen sticking out of my shirt pocket. Well, today I came in to work and forgot to grab a couple of pens on my way out the door so when I got here I snatched up a couple of the freebie pens from one of the local air medical transport companies. I was taking some notes a few minutes ago and caught myself chewing on a plastic pen. A plastic pen that someone most likely used on a call at some point. A plastic pen that could have possibly come in contact with nastiness from a patient. I'm done gagging and I want to know, can I gargle with a 1:10 mix of bleach & water, because honestly, after swigging Listerine I still have that unclean feeling. *shudder*

F*ck. Me. Running

So, the New York Times reports that Exxon Mobile has once again earned record breaking profits in the second quarter of this year. Profits are up 14%, up to $11.68 billion, thus topping their own record of $11.66 billion achieved in the fourth quarter of last year.

With such an increase in profits you would think they could at least buy you dinner before f*cking you over at the pump each time you fuel up.


In other, non-hypertension inducing news, after being completely unable to find the installation CD for MS Office after buying a new laptop I found a heckuva deal on the Small Business Edition of MS Office 2007 which makes it super easy to subscribe to RSS feeds in Outlook to have all the bloggy goodness delivered right to me every day so I don't have to go out and check blogs and find out who has put up new posts. Yay me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Flying Egg

Some people buy boats, some buy RVs, as for me, well I can see one of these in my possession sometime in the future when I have a few bills paid off.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

An Introduction

Let me introduce you all to someone interesting. When I was a child my mom had a friend named Ginny. Ginny had two children, Jon & Miranda. Miranda was a year younger than I and though we really didn't associated much through our school years we shared a few common interests. Years after graduating high school in the small town that I grew up in I slowly began to find that there were several other LGBT folks that I went to school with, though none of us were out at the time. Here is where "Miranda" enters the stage again. Out of the blue I got a message on Myspace from a guy named Kyle, turns out that Kyle is an FTM (female to male transgender), who was born into the body of the kid I knew when I was young- Miranda. Translation- Kyle is a guy, was born with girl parts yet identifies as male and as such is living as a guy. Don't question it, don't leave ignorant comments about trans issues because they won't be tolerated here.

Anyhow, Kyle is currently living in Hollywood making his living as an English teacher, however he has decided that teaching really isn't his gig and has decided to pursue his MFA in poetry at a school back in Boston where he received his undergraduate degree. Now, when you live in a major city on the west coast with mass transit and don't own a car and you need to move yourself, your four dogs, and all of your stuff to the east coast how do you do it? Well, you buy a 1973 Dodge RV and pack all your stuff inside it and drive it across the country! This should be an interesting tale and definitely one that I'm going to keep track of and you too can read about it on Kyle's blog.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Randy Pausch

I just finished watching the Randy Paush 'Last Lecture' video once again and after doing so I came across another video. This is the speech he gave at this year's Carnegie Mellon University commencement.

This one is only six and a half minutes long.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch

Thank you, Randy Pausch, for showing us what is truly important in life. Be at peace, sir.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Lesser Known Side of MedicMatthew

I sit here in my apartment in Pittsburgh listening to songs that I haven't heard in years yet when I hear the music and the lyrics I'm immediately brought back to where I was almost fifteen years ago. Sitting with the rest of the choir at St. Rose of Lima Church, Ted's fingers dancing effortlessly and flawlessly across the piano, Debby at the lectern, Marcel & Dave to my right, Marty and Chris to my left, Mary, Chrystal, Sherry, Emily, Debbie & Don in front of me. Our voices blending together in harmony, the lyrics flowing from our mouths, rising up and leading the congregation in song. If I close my eyes I can still feel myself there; I can feel the love and peace from my friends; I can feel the warmth rising within me; I can feel God.

I want to go back there and I wonder what it would take to bring us there. Ted is gone now, passed away just a couple of short years after he stopped playing for the church. Don & Sherry left long ago, ousted by a priest who didn't see eye to eye with them, Dave & Debby moved out of the area. Mary went off to college, Chrystal left the next year, Marty & Deb divorced a few years back, Marcel has been sick off & on for the past few years, Emily is just recently married and living in Germany now. Our lives have taken us all in very different directions yet I know that if they each were to hear the music they would be brought back to the same place that I am and I wonder if it would even be possible to get the choir back together again to catch up, to sing together and to let our voices blend.

Mary and I keep in touch, and I hear from Chrystal every now and then, Emily just left for Germany, I know Don is the superintendent of a Catholic school back in Maine and Sherry is still an OR nurse, Chris still cuts my hair every now & then but I have no idea what the rest are up to. Maybe I'll try to find out.

Gather Us In – Marty Haugen

On Eagles Wings – Michael Joncas

You Are Mine – David Haas

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gluttony & New Computers

The time came recently to replace my laptop. The trusted, reliable Gateway CX-2618 Convertible (notebook/tablet) PC was having some issues. Basically the outlet on the laptop itself where the power cord plugs in was getting a bit squiffy and it would lose power if I didn't hold it in just the right position whilst standing on my head with the planets properly aligned.

I contacted the fine folks at Best Buy as it is still under the extended warranty but I would have to send it out to their repair center and be without a computer for six weeks. Six weeks during which time I would surely lose my mind so I've decided that I'm going to essentially use the old one as a desktop computer and buy myself a spankin' new laptop. I like it. Its red and pretty and sweet mother of jeebus it is so much faster than the old one.

Every now and then I like to go to a restaurant by myself and sit and people watch and enjoy the meal. So after picking up the new laptop I decided to do just this. There were three tables around me in the little section that I was in and each table played host to a different pair of people. Table 1 was a pair of older women, probably in their mid sixties that sat and ate rather quietly. Table 2 was a married couple in their forties who proclaimed that they had too much food and were stuffed and made casual conversation while dining.

Table three is where things were interesting. This was a couple in their late twenties that appeared to be on a first date. Quite possibly a blind date. The woman was sitting in a booth so that she was facing me and her companion had his back to me. She was well dressed and spoke clearly and enunciated properly when she ordered her simple meal with a salad with an iced tea. Then it came time for the gentleman to order.

"How many motzuhrelluhs come to an owduh?"

"I believe there are six to an order."

"Whut? You mean you don' know? I'll take an owduh of duh motzuhrelluhs and tha fried calamaras. How many ravolis come wit an owduh?"

"Sir, there are eight to an order."

"Ok, I'll have two owduhs of the ravoli and a chicken parmezan wit no sketti and can I gits some fettuhchinis alfreedos as well?"

"Would you like a side of the fettuccine alfredo in place of your spaghetti with the chicken parm or do you mean a full order?"

"Bettuh make it a full owduh, the one wit da shrimps & scallops in it."

"Will that be all?"

"Yeah, can I have a bowl of dat 'talian weddin' soup? Oh and can you brang me a full pitchuh of the Mount Dew, a couple glasses ain't gon' be 'nuf."

Shortly after her salad and his appetizers and salad were delivered to the table He announced "I'll be right back baby, I gots to go piss" and he got up and walked off.

The woman looked mortified and as soon as he was out of earshot I asked her if this was a blind date and she said that it was, they met through an online dating service and had just exchanged a few emails. I asked her if she wanted to get out of the date and had her give me her cell phone number. As soon as her date got back to the table I got up and went to the rest room and called her cell. As I was walking back to my table she set 15 dollars on the table to cover her order and as she was walking away from hers while her date was bitching "Where you goin' baby? I thought we was splittin' tha check fity-fity." She looked at him, told him to get bent and walked out. I'll be damned but the guy sat there and ate his entire order and hers then ordered two pieces of cheesecake for dessert.
This guy ate
1 order fried mozzarella sticks
1 order fried calamari
2 salads (his & hers) with a total of five sides of blue cheese dressing
1 piece lasagna (the woman's entree)
2 orders of ravioli (16 total served in an alfredo looking sauce)
2 pieces of chicken parmesan
1 full order of seafood alfredo
1 bowl of Italian wedding soup
2 pieces of cheesecake
2.5 full pitchers of Mt. Dew!

Surprisingly this dude wasn't a blimp. He was about 6'7" and big, but not fat. I shudder to think of how many calories he had in that one sitting


Back in Maine I worked in a rural EMS system that relied heavily upon the dedication of its employees to deliver the best emergency care available. There were employees who lived throughout the 3000+ square miles that we covered and if a truck had to come from another district to answer a call then on occasion an employee would first respond if in the area and had the resources to do so. One particular evening had the system somewhat taxed and units spread thin when the call came in for a man down not breathing. Since there was only one unit available for this call and I was on my way home and about a mile up ahead was one of our bases so I figured I’d pop in, grab a jump kit & head over to meet the truck that was about 15 miles out from the scene.

I pull up in my vehicle, get out and walk in to the apartment building to find two of the towns newest police officers doing CPR on an elderly gentleman half in the bathroom and half in the entry way of his apartment. We pulled the man into the room to have some more space to work and I had one of them continue compressions while the other was applying the AED. A quick analysis of the rhythm by the machine advised that the patient was in a shockable rhythm and a stack of three shocks were administered. I proceeded to intubate the patient as the ambulance crew came in with the rest of their gear. We proceeded to work up this patient and while doing so the other paramedic informed us that he saw the patient two days prior when he was in the early stages of heart failure and refused treatment and transport despite being told by said paramedic that he would certainly die if left untreated. Despite our best efforts and our box full of ACLS tricks I can safely say with 100% certainty that the patient today has the most stable of cardiac rhythms- asystole.

Shortly after we terminated our efforts with the blessing of our medical control physician his daughter arrived on the scene. We went through our usual routine of explaining what happened to her father and she reported to us that her father told her that the medic informed him that he would most certainly die if left untreated. While we waited for the funeral home to retrieve the body and for more of her family to come to be with her she asked a handful of questions and as I was turning to leave her in the company of the on-duty crew so that I could go back to the ambulance base and write my run sheet she turned to them and asked with complete sincerity “Well, is there anybody I can sue?”

I know this woman was grieving and that people tend to say things that they normally wouldn’t mean in such situations but seriously folks, wtf?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cantankerous Old Goat

I’m a nice guy. I really am. I may be foul mouthed but absolutely never with patients and even in the face of verbal assault and an insult to my mamma I remain the epitome of composure. When a patient gets mean with me I have a tendency to be so sickeningly sweet and nice to them that it makes my partner want to vomit while if the patient could hear the voice in my head they would hear a string of cuss words that would make a sailor cringe.

The other day I was called out for a male in his 60s with abdominal pain, after a five minute response we roll up to the house and see a man, wearing no shirt, standing by a car in the driveway. I grab some gloves and make my way to him to find the man is not wearing pants either. He is just standing there in his once-white tighey-whities, diaphoretic and looking like crap. My partner retrieves the stretcher and we place the patient on it and lay a sheet over him up to his chest to offer him some level of decency while we move him to the ambulance. I’m assessing the patient while my partner gets a set of vitals and I start an IV. This is when the fun begins. The patient lets out a disgusted sigh and says “.let’s just go already” and I explain that we aren’t going to spend more than 10 minutes on scene and that as soon as my partner gets up front that we will start moving toward the hospital. I had already asked the patient for his permission to start an IV and he granted it but when the needle penetrated his skin and he yanked his arm back while barking at me “Ow, that f*cking hurt!” I decided that given his rock solid level of stability and that my assessment leans toward thinking that this is more a case of lonely old man than an acute illness I again ask him if he would like me to start the IV or if he would like to defer it. He opts to defer by saying “well you obviously don’t know what the f*ck you’re doing.” I took a deep breath and thought of shiny, happy things and continued my assessment. When I got down to asking about recent bowel activity and dietary changes he looked up at me and informed me that I ask too many questions and that I should just do my job and drive him to the hospital. That blew it.

“Pull over and hand me the phone” I said to my partner.

“What are you doing? Why are we stopping?”

“Well sir, you’ve obviously made a mistake. It seems to me that you want a taxi and not an ambulance and given the great cost difference between the two and for the level of service that you demand I would think that a taxicab would be much more economical.”

“You’d better fucking learn to treat people with some respect young man! I’m the patient, you do what I say!”

“You sir, are the one who needs to learn some respect and understand that I have a job to do and that if you call 911 seeking my services I am going to do my job and that includes a whole hell of a lot more than just driving your miserable ass to the hospital. Now do you want my services or not?”

“Fine.” He grudgingly says as he thrusts his arm at me to start an IV.

Upon arrival at the ED I meet his daughter who asks me if he was difficult and proceeds to explain to me that he’s been a “cantankerous old goat” for the past few months.

Blogroll Addition

Meta_Rev, the husband of my very good friend Marian has taken to writing a blog. I haven't really had much opportunity to hang out with & get to know Meta_Rev but what I do know of him he is a pretty interesting guy. At least Marian seems to think so ;)

Meta_Rev describes himself as a 35-ish year old man who doesn't sit still. He is an ordained Minister, a supervisor in a machine shop, and a Registered Maine Guide. He is currently working on his PhD, and he's a down to earth and funny guy. As he says "In other words, a one-of-a-kind enigma!"

So, go on now, give him a read.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Humor, the great stress reliever

H/T to WhiteCoat for providing the muse for writing this post.

It is no secret that to work in EMS you’ve got to have a great sense of humor and a somewhat thick skin. In addition to the people that make our jobs worthwhile, we are often subjected to the worst that humanity has to offer- death, despair and stupid drivers who somehow manage to not see the flashing lights reflecting off of the street signs ahead of them but also fail to manage to hear the siren of the approaching ambulance despite being in a convertible with the top down. Perhaps my road rage will be the subject of a future post.

Anyone who is going to be in EMS for more than 10 minutes must learn to adapt and cope to almost any situation. It takes a lot to shake me, it really does and I tribute that to the fact that I have an excellent support system of coworkers, colleagues, family and friends. Just as every school room has its prankster and class clown, every ambulance base has at least three and I will admit to at times being one of those three. AD put up a list quite some time ago of EMS pranks and I must thank him for his inspiration and for perking up an otherwise dull day at work on occasion. At my current place of work we mess with each other and embarrass one another and it is all in good fun. I can honestly say that despite the nicknames, colorful language and occasional name calling that flies around the base that I have never been offended or insulted by these guys. They really are great and I will miss them terribly when I move back to Maine in a few short weeks.

Camaraderie with your coworkers makes it easier to survive the day and that camaraderie is often what leads to the jokes and pranks played on one another. We have frequent fliers who tend to use certain expressions all the time like “I have a fever, you need to take me downtown, cuz that’s where my fever doctor is” said in a gravelly, cranky, old lady voice. When you work in a region with specialists in every field imaginable it seems like the patients come up with any reason to see the specialist of their choice at any of the 26 hospitals that we routinely transport to. And, yes, there actually are 26 hospitals in the greater Pittsburgh region that we deliver patients to. Then there’s the phrase from a middle aged gentleman who sustained a head injury years ago and resides in a local nursing home, he will often say “You’re/He/She/That’s/They’re f*cking gaaaaay” so of course this phrase gets picked up by the EMS providers that transport him. My coworkers who used to say “That’s gay” all the time have curbed its usage since my arrival, but when I mention going out to a specific club or going on a date one will jokingly say “Dude, you’re f*ckin gaaaaay!” And I usually reply with “Thanks for pointing out what I’ve known for years, asshat.” Its just another typical day at the base that turns into a competition of farting & dick jokes, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

Now, despite then fun & games that go on around the base I do feel it necessary to add one little caveat to what I’ve written here. The joking can be misinterpreted and there are times when a joke gets taken to heart and someone is offended or hurt but may not say so and there’s a great article about this very subject over at emsresponder.com.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday Weigh In

I'm not posting the WWI every week, but I decided to weigh myself today and was pleased with what I found. So, without further affair here are the latest figures.

Starting Weight - 317.0lbs
Current Weight - 291.8lbs
Difference - 25.2lbs
Weight Lost - 7.9%

Who wants to touch me?

I said who wants to f*cking touch me?!? :-)

Urban Wildlife Interzone

I live in the city and work in the suburbs, so as I’m on my way to work driving outbound the rest of the world is driving inbound. So while driving to work this morning I noticed a few things about my fellow commuters. I witnessed some dipshit multitasking on his way in to the city. He was shaving, reading the newspaper and talking on his cell phone all while “driving.”

The other day I also realized that I hate the fact that I have to go to a park to find green space. I live in an apartment building- the back yard consists of the concrete pad where the dumpster rests and where the Port Authority light rail commuter train cuts through my neighborhood. The front yard consists of a sidewalk. The other day I saw a wild rabbit hopping down the sidewalk and I wondered “where the hell does it live?”

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dearly beloved, we gather here to say our goodbyes...*

In the past couple of weeks three bloggers have decide to take a break.

First it was ERNursey, then MonkeyGirlRN, and now Marko the Munchkin Wrangler. That makes me sad. May they all find the energy to revitalize their personal lives to make up for what blogging has taken away from them. Here's to hoping that maybe someday we'll see them back.

On a happier note, White Coat linked to me in a recent post!

*Sung as the character Mark Cohen from "La Vie Boheme" in RENT

I've said it before and I'll say it again- I'm a whore for site hits!

Back to Work

Today was my first day back to work following my back injury a week and a half ago. I'm quite sure that if I had another day off I would have lost my mind. I have been so damned bored since I've been out of work.

So, a couple of months ago I had a call that just irritated the crap out of me. This dude in his 50s has his wife call 911 at 0630hrs with a complaint of "unable to sleep." We roll up to his house, and I'm doing my assessment and the patient reports "I can't sleep, I ache all over, my doctor put me on Prozac and I took it for 12 days but it didn't work so i stopped."
So, naturally, I asked, "Did your doctor explain to you that it can take up to four to six weeks for the Prozac to start working?" And of course the patient uttered back "Yeah, he told me that, but its been 12 days already, I should feel better right?" At this point my EMT-B partner decides that this one will go BLS "Sir, where are your shoes? Lets go."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ya know...

I fueled up on the way home this morning and I thought to myself- if they're not going to hand out lube at the gas pumps then they should at least give you a reach around. Mother. Fucker.

Tamalanche Update

Since Tam linked to me in one of her posts my Sitemeter jumped significantly. In the 24 hours following the link I received a 4400% increase in hits. In those 24 hours I received 528 hits.

Thanks Tam!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Think someone needs a vacation?

You know your coworkers are a bit touched in the head when one of them explains that "Once, just once, I'd like to get a body bag out of the ambulance, secure a heroin OD inside with just the arm sticking out, start the line and push the Narcan then stuff their arm in and zip it up and when they start thrashing around I'll open it up and say 'Holy shit dude! We thought you were dead!' Just once..."

Yes folks, these are the people I work with.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Holy Sh*t!!

Mad props, yo, to Tam over at View from the Porch for linking to me!
Because of her my Sitemeter stats are gonna be all skewed. In the approximately seven hours since she linked to me, my blog has seen the same volume of traffic that it normally sees in four months. FOUR MONTHS!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Finding Matthew

When I moved to Pittsburgh I had grand intentions of going to work in the suburbs, getting my PA EMS teaching certification, going back to school and living the city life. While I have gone to work in the suburbs, I have also spent most of my time outside of the city and well, I haven’t been teaching and I haven’t gone back to school. What I have done, though, is accomplish what I truly set out to do, and that is to prove to myself that I could move back here and make it. I have been here for eight months and in that time I have learned that I am a country boy, not a city boy. I have discovered what is most important to me and that is the love of my family and friends and that I do not like being hundreds of miles away from them.

Since moving from Maine to the city I have exercised my Second Amendment rights, I have gone off-roading for the first time- as my sister puts it, I’m doing things backwards, most people move to the country to do those things. But in doing these things and exploring a new region and learning what I have learned about myself I can now say that for the first time ever I actually feel like an adult. My mindset for the past few years has been as though I were trapped in my early 20s while here I am just six months away from my 30th birthday.

For a long time I have believed that love is never lost and time is never wasted so long as you learn something about yourself in the process. It is this philosophy that has allowed me to live a life without regret. Surely there are things I would have done different, but I don’t regret the choices I have made because they have caused me to grow as a person. So while I may not have gone back to school and I may not have started teaching EMS here in Pennsylvania and I haven’t exactly been living the city life, I have accomplished something greater, something that I truly needed to do without even realizing it- I have found myself.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Odd Dream

This morning I awoke from an interesting dream. I dreamed that I was driving along and passed an empty parking lot and saw an ambulance, its doors all open and in the parking lot was a lone EMT tending to a patient. I went about doing the things I needed to do and on my way back through later the lone EMT and patient were still there and I stopped. As I approached I saw the patient lying supine on the asphalt being tended to by this hot pregnant EMT who explains that she is working alone due to short staffing. I nod as I do a quick assessment of the situation and turn to look at the EMT and say "EE? What are you doing here?" and she replies "OMG, dude, MedicMatthew?!?"

Then I woke up. So yeah, I dreamed that EmergencyEmm was working in Pittsburgh by herself.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Holy Catfish, Batman! Scalpel links to me. I'm speechless.
Dr. Scalpel, I bow unto you. < /genuflect>

Now, I think if Nurse K linked to me as well I might get so excited that I'd probably pee myself a little bit.

Queerin' It Up

Normally I don't post "gay" things here. This isn't an LGBT blog, this isn't an activist blog, my queerness doesn't have a whole lot to do with what I post here. But I love William Sledd of the Ask A Gay Man series.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ivy League?

According to my sitemeter stats for this blog I've had regular visitors from the following ISPs -


If my blog is among the regular reading of any Ivy League student or faculty there is something to be said about the quality of higher education in this nation and that is that it is going to sh*t.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Oh, I Almost Forgot....

While leaving the pharmacy after picking up my prescriptions on the way home from work I noticed next to the usual handicap parking spaces and the "expectant mother" parking spaces, which, by the way I think are a crock of shit, just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you can't walk to the store from a regular parking space. EE, your thoughts? I noticed "Hybrid Car Parking Only" spaces. Give. Me. A. Fucking. Break. Even if I drove a hybrid I would refuse to use these spaces, in fact I want to borrow someone's ginormous, jacked up, pickup or SUV and park it right in one of these spaces and leave it there for the day. If you're a holier-than-thou douchebag who is actually going to use this space don't you think you should really be parking at the far end of the parking lot where the entrances and exits are so you don't have to worry about burning any more fossil fuel by driving down the length of the parking lot? For this one little bit of ass-hattery Giant Eagle can suck it!

On How My Weekend Sucked.

Not too long after leaving the party Saturday night I was at the base and we were contacted by the shift sergeant from the PD requesting us to check out a prisoner in custody. It had been a pretty routine night for us, we hadn't gone on any calls yet and hadn't exerted ourselves so it came as quite a shock when as I was walking across the parking lot I felt a sudden, sharp, incapacitating pain in my low back. I was unable to move. I managed to shuffle myself in to the PD and upon getting a refusal signature from the patient managed to shuffle myself back out to the ambulance. My partner drove us back to the garage at which point I got out of the passenger seat and into a chair. The pain would not let up and as I was unable to move I decided to go to the ER for treatment.

While being triaged and my nurse (also and EMT and married to one of our paramedics) asked me about my pain all I could think about was Scalpel's pain scale which I couldn't exactly recall from memory but now that I review it I was correct in assigning it to 7/10 though there was no groaning as in 6/10 but there was heavy breathing through clenched teeth and there were also slight nuances of 8/10 (trembling). I requested to be conservative with pain management but when the IV Toradol didn't work the doc, who is also one of our medical command physicians, came in and said "the Toradol isn't going to be enough, how about some Dilaudid?" And with that he ordered 1mg of Dilaudid and after about 30 minutes of being in the hospital I didn't care any more about the pain in my back, well, as long as I was laying still I didn't care. When I had to go from the ER bed to the x-ray table I cared. I cared a whole hell of a lot.

So now, a day and a half later, I'm sitting in my apartment on my bed in the only position I can get comfortable in waiting so I can call occupational health to get an appointment. Needless to say my weekend has sucked.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tonight I Got a Lesson In How the Other Half Lives

Now, I’ve known since I started working here that there is big money in the township; as evidenced by the number of multimillion dollar homes. I don’t know what the average annual salary is in this town but I do know that it is far more than what this paramedic makes. Tonight I’m working a short shift- just 16 hours. When I came in I was informed that in one of the townships that we cover we had a standby event due to a fireworks display.

Apparently there is this gentleman who lives in the township who owns a rather successful local company and every year he puts on a party for his employees and this year I just happened to be on duty for it. The owner of the company lives on this big estate here in the township; we pulled up, parked the ambulance and were immediately directed by the gentleman and his wife to the tent where there was quite a spread. There were people milling about, eating, drinking and generally being merry. We were happily dining at the well catered event when the lights in the field were turned out and the firework started. Last night I drove up to Mt. Washington in Pittsburgh in the hopes of finding a decent vantage point to both watch and photograph the fireworks, but after realizing how long it would take me to get down off Mt. Washington and back to my apartment I decided to pack it in and just head home for the night (besides the weather was overcast and wouldn’t have made for good photos). After seeing this show I don’t feel so bad about not seeing the fireworks in the city last night.

I grew up in a small town in Maine where the annual Fourth of July festivities were pulled off on a relatively small budget; this private party had a fireworks show that surpassed any that my hometown had ever been able to pull off. The price tag for this little shindig had to be well in to the six figure range and there had to have been at least three to four hundred people in attendance. I’m moving back to Maine in a few months and was thinking that I might take a trip back here next year with some friends over the Independence Day weekend- maybe instead of fighting traffic I’ll just crash the party.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Since its been a couple of weeks since I've stirred any sh*t I thought I'd direct yinz over to AD's article on ems1.com regarding the FF/Medic clusterf*ck The latest installment is part two in a series. Also, while we're on it RogueMedic also had a post on the same topic not too long ago.

I'm sorry for the lack of original posts here folks, i've just been too busy with work and preparations for moving back to Maine.