In Praise of the Quarry Rescue Team / Red Headed Stepchildren / My Former Classmates

Hey ya’ll!!!!

Tonight was your last class. It’s been a long year, hasn’t it? God isn’t that the understatement of the century. We’ve been through hell together. I’m not there to celebrate with you, but I’m there in spirit. I wanted to say just how unbelievably proud I am of all of you.


God I’m SO happy for every single one of you.

So go forth, calculate that dopamine drip…Push that Adenosine….Clear before you shock… Live the dream!!!! (yes, that was sarcasm). YOU DID IT!!!

I’ll be rockin’ that glitter patch with ya soon enough. Keep the coffee hot.

Love you all,

Writers Block and Pure Evil

I have writers block. Actually, block is kind of an understatement; it’s more like a brick wall.

So in an attempt to get my creative juices flowing, I looked at some sites with writing prompts.

For today we have "Was there no one else to play with? Write about the meanest or strangest kid you ever met."

This is almost too easy.

I grew up two doors down from Ericka. We were best friends from the age of two on. We were inseparable. She was a year older than I. The first day of class when I was starting third grade, there was a new girl walking with Ericka and I to school. Her name was Stacey, and she was Ericka’s cousin. She and Ericka were in the same grade.

Stacey had decided that there was no way that a third grader was going to walk with them to school. “LEAVE US ALONE,” she yelled at me. I didn’t understand why this girl who I didn’t even know didn’t like me. I was even more confused and heartbroken when Ericka decided to start picking on me as well. “Four Eyes” and a few other juvenile taunts were thrown my way a few times. I started walking faster; they were a few steps behind me whispering.

Have you ever gotten that sick feeling in your stomach when you KNOW something bad is about to happen? This was the first time I ever had that feeling.

We had just passed a neighborhood bar. Stacey picked up something that I would later see was a broken pool stick and hit me across the back and head with it. I hadn’t seen it coming, but I knew something was going to happen. Her blow had knocked me to the ground.

My glasses had flown off my face. My back and head hurt but most of all, my pride was shot and heart was broken. My best friend had deserted me, and her evil cousin had just beat me over the head with a pool stick. I was angry at myself for being too scared to do anything but sit on the ground and cry. They were laughing at me still. I waited for them to walk several houses further before I got up and continued to walk to school.

The girl was pure fucking evil.

It took a few days for me to tell my mom about what happened, and when I finally did, she was absolutely livid. Maybe that’s where I get the “Scary Mommy Syndrome” that takes over whenever someone is cruel to my children. She called Ericka’s mom, who was similarly enraged and called Stacey’s mom. Both were made to apologize to me. It didn’t mean much at that point because whatever friendship Ericka and I had was over with.

Stacey only went to our school for one year, thank God. It would be another few years for me to get my revenge, if you can call it that.

The beginning of my freshman year. I was rounding a corner to go to lunch and I literally RAN OVER Stacey. Stacey, a sophomore, could not have been taller than 5’1”. Thanks to good genes, I was blessed with obnoxious height. I was 6’1” as a freshman. It took me a minute to realize who she was, and it took her even longer for the same. Her books and papers were everywhere. I helped her pick them up. She looked a little distressed. She apologized repeatedly for running into me. I believe she was a little scared. And I can type that with a big old smile on my face, even 16 years later.

America's Got Talent

This guy's amazing.

I don't normally follow these shows, but this guy just blew my mind. If you want to skip the autobiographical stuff start watching at about 1:15.

He won a cool million :)

A picture's worth a thousand words...

Well, here's a pic of Future Cardiologist's poor legs. It's not pretty, I have to warn you.

Dermatologist appointment is next wednesday. Someone cancelled so we got bumped up by a month :)

Hypersensitivity to Mosquito Bites

I'm just wondering if anyone reading has come across anyone with a hypersensitivity to mosquito bites.

My son's legs are straight out of a horror movie. I've been dosing him up with Benedryl, which made him (understandably) very tired, and then tried 10mg of Claritin (i probably spelled that wrong)... Neither do much.

I've had him initially in the Peds ER, followed by his Pediatrician, followed by the allergist, and now we're going to the dermatologist. Every single one of them has given me a different diagnosis. The one that makes the most sense so far is a hypersensitivity to mosquito bites.

I found out a few weeks ago that doing a search online for "Hypersensitivity to Mosquito Bites" is a bad idea for a worried mom.

I can't even begin to describe what my baby boy's legs look like. From his knees down he has LITERALLY a hundred scabs. Not a hundred mosquito bites. From my (limited) medical knowledge it seems like he gets hives, and scratches them until they bleed. I coat that kid in bug spray if he's out after four in the afternoon. I'm meticulous about it.

It's so bad that the poor kid can't start school in shorts because of it. Tonight I found toilet paper in the garbage from where he was wiping blood off of his bleeding legs. Apparently the loratadine isn't working. And at the tender age of seven he's so afraid of doctors that he wont tell me he's itchy. See my post about why you shouldn't lie to a seven year old for more information on that.

I'll post a pic of his legs tomorrow.

Hey, if Jessie Ventura can do it, why not Ted Nugent?

Ted Nugent might run for Governor of Michigan
By: Adam Tanner
Sun Aug 19, 2007 7:24 AM EDT

(Pic)- Ted Nugent responds to a question during an interview before a concert at the House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada August 11, 2007 (View Slideshow). REUTERS/Steve Marcus

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Ted Nugent is exuberantly excited most of the time, but he grows even more animated when asked if he ever tires of playing "Cat Scratch Fever," the 1977 hit he's played thousands of times in a 40-year career.

He shouts repeated obscenities, then picks up a guitar and plays part of both "Cat Scratch Fever" and his 1975 song "Stranglehold" with unbridled enthusiasm.

"When I get on stage, I know what it means to people, I know what it means to me. It's a timeless masterpiece guitar song, how can I not play that?" he said in his dressing room before a recent concert at the House of Blues in Las Vegas.

At age 58, Nugent still brims with teenage enthusiasm for hard rock music. He is also one of the nation's most outspoken gun and hunting advocates. And he is considering a run for political office.

Mixing the unbridled personality of actor Robin Williams with the vocabulary of an urban rapper, the father and grandfather still performs about 70 concerts a year in which his music stays true to his hard rock roots with a relentless beat.

"I haven't lost the energy but I have learned how to better and more efficiently channel it."

People close to Nugent confirm his manic ways. "He's pretty much that way all the time," said singer and guitarist Derek St. Holmes, who has played with Nugent since the 1970s.

A board member of the National Rifle Association, Nugent says he spends about 200 days a year hunting, guiding clients to places such as his Michigan hunting preserve, as well as Alaska, Africa, California, Colorado, Texas, and Canada.

He favors hunting many different species, including elephants, mountain lions and tigers, and only when pressed comes up with a few animals he believes should not be hunted, such as penguins.

From Detroit and known as the "Motor City Madman," he has performed nearly 6,000 concerts in his career and releases his 32nd album, "Love Grenade," on September 4, which sticks with the sex and rock formula.


For all of his wild-man antics, the politically conservative Nugent is talking about following in the footsteps of celebrities such as actor Arnold Schwarzenegger or wrestler Jesse Ventura, who won gubernatorial races.

"That would be beautiful," Nugent said when asked if he would run for governor of Michigan in 2010. "I have threatened to do so and I was sincere."

Some of Nugent's antics make even Schwarzenegger's past outspokenness appear measured by comparison.

"Michigan was once a great state. Michigan was a state that rewarded the entrepreneur and the most productive, work-ethic families of the state. Now the pimps and the whores and the welfare brats are basically the state's babies."

Nugent refuses to mince words and often uses a racial epithet to describe blacks that normally would mean political suicide. He says his embrace of the word reflects his respect for the black contribution to rock and roll and has another expletive for anyone who disagrees with him.

Heavy duty weapons decorate the stage during his concerts and at his Las Vegas performance he condemned Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Long a critic of drugs, Nugent wrote a recent opinion article for the Wall Street Journal condemning the widespread drug use during the Summer of Love in 1967. He drank just cold water before his Vegas concert.

Nugent still embraces the carnal part of the sex, drugs and rock and roll formula and peppers his concert dialogue with a word describing women that many find offensive.

He described the availability of sex earlier in his life like this: "It was like when carp breed. You walk across the stream and they are ... splashing in the shallows. Just jump in."

Now Nugent says he is a one-woman man, living with his wife and youngest son in Crawford, Texas, near President George W. Bush's ranch. Life is "peaceful, barbecue every day, a lot of school activities with my son Rocco, a lot of charity work."

Although Nugent appears younger than his 58 years (he says freshly hunted venison meat is one secret to longevity), loud music for decades has caused major hearing loss in one ear.

"The ear's not too good, especially with background noise. That's a small price to pay," he said. "Believe me the journey was worth it."

I got bored...

...And set out to cartoonize myself. Here's the result.

Yes, I'm wearing Mardi Gras beads. :)

The Infamous Blue Screen

OH Blue Screen of Death... Why do you vex me?

I hate computers. Seriously. Looks like I'm building a new one pretty soon.

I'm taking submissions for ideas on how to put this one out of it's misery.

Courage and Letting Go.

I was reading a post on DNR's somewhere (I'll be back with the link when I figure out where I read it initially, sorry...) when I started thinking about courage and how courageous it is to let a loved one die.

Let me go back a few years.

Almost nine years ago I got a phone call from my father. My Grandmother, who I hadn’t even known was ill, was in the hospital. In the Step-Down unit. His voice was shaky. “You need to come up here and see her. I don’t know what’s going on.” He said. My Dad had never sounded so vulnerable, so terrified. His tone frightened me to the point that I jumped into my car and immediately drove across town to see her.

Grandma was sleeping when I finally found her room. I wasn’t at all prepared for what she looked like. She was on a monitor and a number of other machines. I had zero medical education back then; I couldn’t have told you what any of the machines were save the EKG. I had to sit down in order to take it all in. It had only been two or three weeks since I had last seen her, and she looked fifty pounds heavier. Her “perma-tan” as I had called it, the permanent tan she had as a result of being a farmer’s wife, was now tinged yellow. When she finally opened her eyes, the bright twinkle that I had always loved was gone.

She was dying. Her organs were shutting down.

My Grandma’s two sons and a good number of her 12 Grandchildren spent the next four days sleeping in a waiting room on uncomfortable benches, watching hospital TV, and taking turns visiting with a seldom conscious Grandma. We didn’t know what was going on. The Doctors and Nurses were fantastic, unfortunately we were just too emotionally fried to absorb what the experts were trying to tell us. We were held together by my Grandma. The Glue of the family. She was a crazy, obnoxious, loud mouthed, rednecked, tractor pulling, farmer’s wife. And we worshipped the ground she walked on.

Now she’s dying. And we have decisions to make. And up until four days ago we didn’t know she was ill.

It was my Father and Uncle who came to us in the waiting room.

“We want everyone to be a part in this decision.” My Uncle had said.

I’ll never forget it. HOW COULD THIS BE HAPPENING? She was fine! SHE WAS FINE!!!! Just a few days ago SHE WAS FINE! Now we have to make a decision on whether or not to let her DIE? Her body could survive for awhile on life support, but she wouldn’t be the Grandma who would tease us incessantly. Not the Grandma who would yell at us for playing in the damn Soybeans. Not the Grandma who LOVED to play Euchre, who LOVED to watch us sing karaoke. Who LOVED US!

For some reason, I have no idea why, my cousins were looking to me to be the voice for “The kids”. I wasn’t the oldest. I had no medical education… What the hell did I know? My Uncle was a mess. My Father was even worse. He was showing up drunk to the hospital.

Grandma was not Grandma anymore. And nothing was going to fix her. We couldn’t be sure if she was suffering or not. We knew what her wishes were, even though she hadn’t made them legal. She did not want to live like this. She made that clear to my Father and Uncle the day she was admitted to the hospital. We were terrified. It was not a decision we wanted to make. I’ve never been so scared in my life.

We anguished over our decision for a few hours. I’ll never forget sitting down with my cousins to talk about it. No one wanted to say it, but we all thought it best to let her go. Someone had to go tell “The Adults” what “The kids” thought. Once again, my cousins looked to me.

Grandma held on for another day and a half. Several of us were able to hold short conversations with her when she was conscious. She wanted to go home, she said, to be with my Grandpa. When it was my turn to go see her she was already comatose. All I could do was cry and pray to God that we were making the right decision. I held her hand, and tried to talk to her. All I could do was cry. My Dad had to come into the room to drag me out.

“Go, eat.” He ordered. My cousins and brother were heading down to the cafeteria. I joined them.

No one was particularly hungry… Not for food anyway. We were able to sit down there as adults and talk. I remember my baby brother asking if he could smoke in the cafeteria. For some reason we all found this hysterical. So much for trying to be mature about things. The Responsible One didn’t see the humor in it. We were still teasing him when a Nurse came to our table.

“Kids, you need to come back upstairs. Your Father’s need you to come up.”

My cousin Dan asked her point blank if our Grandmother had died. The Nurse nodded.

Five of us ran to the elevator, two of us chose to run up the stairs, five flights. The elevator was taking too long. Finally the doors opened and we stepped on. No one was talking. We watched the floors light up as we passed them. One…Two…Three…Four… Five… The doors opened. Dan and Doug, who had opted for the stairs, were waiting for us. They were sobbing.

She was gone. She died while we were making fun of my brother. She was gone.

We were able to go in to her room and pray, say our goodbyes…

We, as cousins, as kids trying to be adults, did the best we could. We were still young and still wanted our Grandma to be okay, to come home and cook us some of that awful soup she prided herself on. We wanted her to yell at us to quiet down. We wanted one of her infamous hugs that seemed to squeeze the breath out of you. But we were brave. We knew what had to be done. Our Grandma was precious. We didn’t want her to suffer. We wanted her back, but we wanted her in peace more. We acted as Adults. We were as courageous as a bunch of teenagers and young adults could possibly be.

It takes courage to let someone go.

NYC EMS: The dangers of MRSA in your ambulances

NYC EMS: The dangers of MRSA in your ambulances

I was over checking out NYC EMS when this particular blog smacked me in the face. I'm guilty of keeping a very clean squad, much to the annoyance of some of my coworkers. THIS is one of the reasons why.

A million thank you's

To everyone who stopped by and left comments. And to Kyle J. for pointing out that I didn't have comments enabled, even if I didn't see the post until yesterday. (Hey, from time to time I'm a little slow!) And also to Ambulance Driver who just rocks.

I'm feeling a little better and considering beginning my letter writing campaign.


God only knows why I'm so excited over finding the little box that wasn't checked :) It's the little things in life.

Uhm... Okay...

How come my readers (both of you!) can't post comments?

I don't know what I have checked wrong, but I'm working on it.

Just another day...

Being out of school, while unbelievably depressing, in a way has given me a chance to breathe.


She Who Rules The House is stirring. I talk her into going back to bed with promises of Dora The Explorer. She's not really awake yet anyway. She joins Mr. EpiJunky and I in bed.

Something is poking me. I growl at Mr. EpiJunky and threaten his manhood. I realize Mr. EpiJunky is gone to work and it's actually my angelic little girl poking me with the remote control to the TV. "DORA...DORA...DOOOOORRRAAAAAA" she yells.

Dora is chastising Swiper. She Who Rules is in her happy place, eating cheerios. The Future Cardiologist is getting lazier by the day and is still in bed, probably dreaming about EKG strips. I check my emails.

It's quiet. It's too quiet. I investigate.

While my mild-mannered son has a future in medicine, my two-year-old has decided tattoo artist is more her style. She found two markers and drew all over herself in the five minutes I was distracted. I let a four letter word slip. She promptly repeats it. "What did you DO?" I ask.
"I dont know" She answers. She Who Rules the house has now become my tattoo'ed, lying, cursing two year old.

I swear to ban all markers not marked WASHABLE from my house. Where in the hell did she find those markers anyway?

The bathwater running wakes up Future Cardiologist. He pokes his head into the bathroom and says his head hurts. I direct him to the couch and let him know I'll be out there as soon as I finish scrubbing down his sister the tattoo artist.

I let the water out of the tub. 90% of her artwork is removed from her face, arms, and legs. I turn my attention to Future Cardiologist who clearly is feeling ill.

My son has children's Tylenol on board. My daughter is as clean as she's gonna get. Where'd that coffee go?

I now *heart* coffee. WHEEEEEEEE!

The Playdough is out and Future Cardiologist is *gasp* not at all interested. He hasn't moved from his spot on the couch and is begging me to turn the TV off. Then he tells me his neck hurts. Wannabe Medic Girl is in full force. Where's the damn thermometer?

Temp is 100. His head hurts, his neck hurts, and he's lethargic. I have him put his chin to his chest. He can do that easily. No, it doesn't hurt any worse when he does that. He's a little dizzy. I call his pediatrician.

I realize I gave him the wrong dosage of Tylenol. Half as much as he should have had. I give him the other half. I curse myself for being an idiot.

Okay, he's up and bouncing off the walls. No more headache, fever, or neck pain. I curse myself for being a hypochondriac. I pour another cup of coffee *gag* and relax while my children make a mess of monumental proportions. I decide the MoonSand must go away. I distract them with popsicles and toss the MoonSand and accessories. I vow to invest some more money in Playdough.

Lunch is served. PB and J's all around!

She Who Rules is down for her nap and none too pleased about it. Future Cardiologist is playing on his computer. I decide to do something constructive and get my Medic textbook out. I start to cry, put the book away, and play with photoshop for awhile.

Somehow the house is still quiet. She Who Rules is having a small snack, Future Cardiologist is reading a book, and Mr. EpiJunky made it home. I would normally be preparing for the hour commute to class, instead I'm watching Judge Judy. I have the same half tank of gas in my car that I put in there last week. I can't tell you the last time that happened. I don't have to drive 85 miles an hour with all the other maniacs. I don't have to spend money I don't have for gas. I get to be home for dinner.

I'll get that damn Glitter Patch yet. One way or another. At least in the meantime I can take a little breather. Enjoy life a little more. Think I'll go swing on the front porch for a bit. It's gorgeous outside.

A little drunk, with no apologies.

Yes, EpiJunky is a little drunk. And I'm going against all that my Mom taught me and putting it in writing. For the whole world to read. Okay, so for both of you who regularly read my blog to read.

Tonight, with less than four weeks to go in the Medic program, I was unceremoniously "booted" from the class.

I hurt my back sometime last week... I can't even pinpoint the day or time it happened. All I know is it started to hurt on Tuesday (as in Tuesday July 23rd as opposed to Tuesday July 30th.) By the time my brother's wedding rolled around (last friday) it was unbearable. The following day I forced myself to go to the ER as I could barely walk. Whatever I did, I did it right. 10+ days later and I'm still suffering and resorting to laying flat on my back on the hardwood floors when I attempt to sleep.

The reason I'm out of the program? I'm only allowed 4 absences per module, and with the two I had this week thanks to my back, I'm at five. Hell, I can barely take five steps without my back spasming, let alone drive an hour north, and participate in class. I can't belive i'm in this position.

I'm not suicidal, but I'm definitely feeling pretty sorry for myself at this point. I have to repeat (and pay for, I'm assuming) the entire third Module. I don't have the money, and... Well, hell, I don't have the money. Everything I've gone through over the past year, all the time spent... All the time spent.

Okay, I need to get back on the horse and ride on. This is not the end of the world, right? I did pretty crappily (is that even a word? according to blogger, no) this Mod anyway. I'll figure out how to get through this and end up a better Medic for it, right?


For both of you reading, I'm sorry for whining. I just need a hug right now.