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Daily doings in the land of The Time Sink
So where do I get off with the attitude and the religious stuff?

Billy Graham once said, "I've never seen the wind; but I've seen the effects of the wind."

In the spring of 1973, I was working out of a remote fire station north of Coalinga, California. I was training under an older captain who'd worked in this desolate place most of his life. We rolled up to a motor vehicle accident on an overcrossing to the brand new stretch of Interstate 5 that had just opened on the west side of the San Joaquin valley. The captain had some first aid training from his Navy days; I had some from my time on the fire department at the college. We didn't need it. It was hard to tell where the damage from the other vehicle stopped and the efforts of the locals pulling the vehicle apart with their four wheel drives and winches started. No matter; there was a young lady with broken bones and a baby with a shattered skull.

"Not much for us to do here, Dan. We just wait for the ambulance to take them into town..." "When the kid's heads feel mushy like that, they don't live too long."

That's how life was back then. No oxygen on the rigs; EMTs were still on the horizon; paramedics were a TV show. Mortuaries ran the ambulances; it was just easier economically.

Another call, from my last shift before I reported to paramedic school not quite two years later: Again on I-5, in an area where the road rises and passes through hills. ...and where vehicles that roll down the ravine between the lanes won't be seen until the morning sun rises enough to glint off some metal. ...or broken glass. Three people this time. One dead; a young lady still alive, but barely breathing; and a young man who was almost conscious, laying in a pool of gasoline.

The next Monday, I started medic school. That afternoon, I saw the young lady again. ...in the ICU. She made it another day or two. I saw the young man when we toured the burn unit. It seems that gasoline had been in close contact with his skin for a long time. I think he made it a week...

...and that's the nature of devastating critical injuries.

As a medic I became much more interactive with patients and their care. My group was the first turned loose in our county. ...and we were on the radio with the docs who trained us. One team...

...and you'd start to notice things. Like how an entire family was wiped out by a drunken driver. ...and how much you sometimes drank after some of those shifts.

...and how sometimes nothing would go right on a call. Like that impossible to get IV line getting kicked loose by someone during a cardiac arrest call...

...and you'd wonder "Why???"

...or the times when some random set of circumstances kept family or friends from notifying you in time to do any good. ...and all you could say was, "I'm sorry."

...and wonder, "Why?"

Then you learned that sometimes it wasn't such a good thing to attempt a resuscitation, especially when the body you brought back didn't have a person within it anymore. ...and those 'random sets of circumstances' maybe became a blessing.

...and you'd wonder "Why???"

...and then there was the day the elderly lady across the street from the firehouse collapsed. No pulse, no respirations. ...and you went for it anyway. ...because that's all you could do. You do your job. ...and she makes it to CCU. ...and lasts long enough for her sons and daughters to make it in from out of state. And when they send her home to die and she calls you over and says, "Okay boys, I've seen all my kids; next time, please do nothing..."

...and you didn't wonder as much.

...and life goes on and you win some and you lose more. ...and you just deal with it.

...until one of those 'random sets of circumstances' puts a flight nurse on your rig one Saturday morning. You've worked together on the bird and she wants to see what it's like out on the streets.

...and the call comes in for a patient with a "heart attack". It's in an area covered by fire service medics, so normally a Basic Life Support unit with EMTs would roll for transport. But today, the BLS coverage is eating lunch and the boss sends you, "just to let them eat". ...and you roll in to find a patient in frank pulmonary edema, likely secondary to his congestive heart failure. The first-in medics are ready to transport, but they want a line in him first. You may even use their rig as it would cut some time off the call. ...and the lady runs over from around the corner.

"Come quick, he's fallen and can't get up!" ...and it's decision time. You're not essential to the first patient's care. ...and it's okay with the charge medic to go check this guy out. So you grab some gear 'cause you'd rather lug stuff you don't need than need stuff you didn't lug. ...and head over with your nurse and the Fire Captain.

...to find a man in full cardiac arrest.

With Kathy along, you can suspend some rules and work from standing orders. Which is a good thing, as this guy is throwing all sorts of rhythms at you. The Captain is doing CPR as you and the nurse ventilate, defibrillate and medicate. ...and the neighbors gather round. You send one as a runner to get your partner and ambulance and to let the crew on the other call know you're tied up.

After a very interesting resuscitation, you get the patient to the emergency room. ...and you clean up. ...and head back. ...and get some lunch yourself.

...and you think how lucky you are that Kathy was along; things were moving faster than radio orders could have followed. ...and how you're glad Larry sent a medic unit on the call.

...and you wonder.

Later that afternoon, you do something you never do: you follow-up on a patient. Hey,he's made it to the floor! "May I speak to the nursing station handling Mr. Jones, please?"

"Hello, this is Ed Jones; who did you say you were again?"

...and you wonder,"Why???"

4/27/2001 12:07:45 AM

Any thoughts on that?
Thursday 4/26/2001 11:44:29 PM


So where do we go with the continuing story? ...now that the Author has thrown us another curve?

Maybe a couple of places...

One interesting thing is how the communities are responding.

When I worked the streets, it was common to see people ''written off'' when they were listed as 'terminal' or 'end stage'. There was often a 'disconnect' of sorts from relatives and even close friends, partly because they didn't know what to do or how to handle themselves when someone gave them that type of information.

Here, I see people reaching out to help, with prayer and good thoughts and links to spotlight the The Journey to Home.

...and I see warmth and compassion.

I see poetry and prose.

...and the Daynotes community with Kaycee banners popping up on site after site to link the story of Kaycee and Debbie's trip to the ocean...

I see people helping each other. With support and information and with things that have helped them get through hard times.

...and I can certainly do no less.

Warning: strong religious content ahead. If you don't want your sensibilities offended, click on through.

You see, the problem we're facing isn't just Kaycee's; it's also ours.

I hope and pray Kaycee is more mentally comfortable in her journey than most. Yes, there are things she wants to do. ...and people she doesn't want to hurt. But she's seen the door swing wide once or twice. ...and she's had some time to think.

Hey, it's still not over.

But, she knows where she's going and how she's getting there. ...and she has time, however short, to carry out an agenda. ...and she has one of the strongest women in the world along to help out.

What about us? We'll miss her. ...and her stories. ...and her poems. ...and her photos. ...and her KCut-ups.

A lot...

...and we're worried about it now. ...'cause we got that message the other day.

But, ya' know? It's not over yet. ...and we're not privy to the time frame.

...and this chapter in Kaycee's book isn't finished yet. Heck, we don't even know if this is the last chapter!

So while you're waiting. And pondering Questions, take a moment to look over here. There are only a few pieces up. ...and you may recognize a name or two. No two authors are from the same denomination; but you'll see a consistency in the writings.

We talk about "Why?" ...and "Asking". ...and "Acceptance". ...and "Leading".

...because some will ask, "Why?" ...and receive no answer.

...and some will ask, "Should we pray?"

...and for that, the answer is simply "Yes". Pray for Kaycee and Debbie and their journey and for healing. ...and for one another, that we may be at peace as the story unfolds.

...and don't kid yourselves: this story isn't over yet. There's still a tigger ready to /pounce in that heart. ...and a loving mother to care for her.

...and all of you out there to help make things go well.


4/26/2001 12:56:48 AM

Any thoughts on that?
Wednesday 4/25/01 12:45:48 PM

I have no words...

The Road To Home

I do have prayers...

I guess I'll let Randy speak for me while I absorb things...

4/24/01 1:57:26 PM

Any thoughts on that?
Tuesday 4/24/01 1:48:35 PM

Thoughts and prayers time, gang!

Susan's grandfather is a candidate for hip replacement surgery. At 100 years young, he could use a little Help.

Y'all gather round now...

4/23/2001 11:34:31 PM

This one hits me on so many levels....

Perhaps more people should start wearing thongs. It might not affect the implementation of the underwear police, but it would certainly assure that a lot fewer people would be getting their panties in a bunch.

We'll blame Patti for getting John started, but I don't think that one has to do with lack of sleep.

4/23/2001 10:19:38 PM


How deliciously politically incorrect! But straight talk is like that. ...and when you take on someone's cherished, established, institutionalized beliefs you can get a lot of heat.

Fine with me; let's throw some more fuel on the hypocrisy of the institutions!

4/23/2001 9:16:36 PM


I just confirmed I report for Federal jury duty in the morning...

4/23/01 4:44:31 PM

The Weather Report...

For those of you who are following the temperature swings here in the central valley...

...where they are now confirming two tornadoes within a few miles of our place when things were so crazy Thursday and Friday evenings.

...and where Shelley was so cold Saturday, she had a fire going when I came home from teaching.

The question now is whether we'll hit the nineties by tomorrow or if we'll have to wait until Wednesday...

4/23/01 9:46:51 AM

Any thoughts on that?
Monday 4/23/01 9:37:57 AM

Oh, yeah...

One last thing before I flip the page: apologies to those I owe email to. ...and comments. ...and abuse <g>. I'll get to you as soon as I can.

In the meantime, if you need your blood pressure adjusted upward, check out Amber this coming week; it looks like it's payback time...

4/22/2001 11:37:13 PM

There went the weekend...

Well, that didn't work out quite as planned. Heck, I didn't even get that picture of Daniel up that Shelley asked for.

I did manage to blade; and I did get one or two other things handled...

...but I came into the weekend behind the eight-ball of time. ...and never recovered. Shelley mentioned my perhaps leaving the teaching gig... Man, I'm echoing Al's feelings! It was so nice to have the last two weekends off. ...and I really didn't want to go back. But, once I was back rolling again...

...until late afternoon. That's when my legs started to show the strain. You see, I'm not one of those ''sit down and read'' types; I'm more of an ''up and about'' people who scrawls on the board and moves around a lot to help keep people's attention. ...and it wears on me.

Saturday, I came home and just passed out. Sure, some of that is because I was up late Friday night (some class prep; some web work) and up early Saturday with the cat deal. Heck, Shelley had to wake me up so I'd be coherent enough to give her shot...

But that's been the story most of this semester: coming home exhausted from teaching. ...and enjoying my time off way too much on the days Lee has the class.

Problem is, I can already see myself giving the lectures next semester. ...and not watching the boys play soccer. ...again.

Yeah, the bucks are good. ...but so is life.

So. How to cut something like ten percent of my gross income. ...and still maintain my withholding (we just got whacked by Uncle Sugar).

...a few less CDs? No upgrades for a longish time? No impulse buys?

No matter... Shelley and the boys will probably appreciate that extra night every week. ...and those Saturdays.

Maybe I could just teach a computer course every so often...

...and those classrooms are carpeted!

4/22/2001 11:31:37 PM

I'll be with you shortly...

Hope springs eternal <g>...

4/22/2001 12:13:22 PM

Any thoughts on that?
Sunday 4/22/2001 12:12:12 PM

Congratulations are once again in order!

Whoooeee John! ...and you think your email link is ''erratic''? Let me tell you about this thing called sleep! Oh, my; how much more interesting life will be from now on...

...and interesting indeed is John Vogt's home remedy for post surgical discomfort. I mean, I knew about things like mentholatum on the chest for a cold, but I always thought of mashed potatoes as food.

Then again, if she's not hungry, and it makes her feel better...

4/22/2001 12:05:14 AM

Any thoughts on that?
Saturday 4/21/2001 11:16:46 PM

Sheesh, what a week...

...and it's not quite over: I still have tomorrow's class to handle.

I have literally pages of notes for both of my sites, but I haven't had the time or the freedom to just sit down and relax enough to post.

I have great hopes for tonight. But just in case, a special thanks to John of Loony.org for his exploding cows post; earlier today, that one hit the <reset> switch in my brain, just when I needed it!

4/20/2001 8:11:10 PM

Any thoughts on that?
Friday 4/20/2001 7:58:17 PM

I declared Wednesday to be a draw...

...and then lost the post.

So I think I'll just pack it in and start over.

After all, Friday is just a few minutes away...

4/19/2001 11:46:58 PM

Any thoughts on that?
Thursday 4/19/2001 11:44:11 PM

Another story...

John Vogt's wife Kathy had surgery earlier today. On his site, he'd expressed some concern about hospitals. I wrote him and included a story from around 1976 or so...

4/18/2001 10:27:49 PM

Oh My Gosh!

Hi there!

Here: have a seat... Sit down and spend a moment.

No; not long... I know you have to leave. But it's just so good to see you.

How have you been? I've been getting glimpses from time to time. ...and John was kind enough to send along a recent picture. That was cool.

...and the glimpses were intriguing. I wanted to drop by and get details on one that I wasn't sure about, but I thought maybe I'd ask in another venue. Maybe the coast, if that works out. ...and if not, no matter; a little mystery is a good thing.

How's the not-so-little one? Still growing from what I saw last.

How about Chris? Still way cool? Gotta be!

...and the new gig? How's that working out? Those people and their lifestyle hasn't gotten into your head too much, have they?

Hey, enough with the probing questions from me. You been following things in the community? We've been doing okay. Well, other than the tree thing. ...and the car-impound thing. ...and the--- Ah, no matter; everything's been turning out alright.

...and over on Daynotes, that pack of alpha males made it through a rough time when some fangs were bared. It worked out though; it seems these net communities can be very strong. I think that's a good sign.

Well, that's enough of me monopolizing your time; there are a few others around that probably want to say "Hi!" for a moment.

Listen, if you can stay for a while, that's way, way cool; but if you need to head back, that's cool too.

Just let us know how you're doing from time to time...

4/18/2001 7:32:13 PM

There are days in the business community...

...where I want to get my Clue x 4 and start swinging.

Thank you...

4/18/01 1:55:11 PM

Any thoughts on that?
Wednesday 4/18/01 1:52:45 PM


Copyright 2001 by
Daniel C. Bowman