Well I’ve led you through many of my interests and so called adventures. As you must have found out by now I am always tacking off in a different direction with no real direction. A impulse or idea captures my imagination and I’m off prusueing a new interest.
In high school ROTC one of the subjects that caught and held my flights of fancy was First Aid. I studied my ROTC manual until I had every thing it offered memorised. I knew how to apply pressure dressings and how to effect a fireman’s carry. I learned how to use two cartridge belts to create a sling to carry a individual on my back leaving my hands free for weapon use. I actually excelled on the tests. I could fashion and apply splints to sprained or broken joints. I knew about sulfa powder to restrict bleeding and tourniquets. My interest carried on over to the Marine Corps and absorbed all they had to offer.
After rejoining the civilian life I still retained my first aid interests. When I began my excursions into the surrounding mountains and deserts of Southern California I was probably one of the most prepared backwoods men around. I always had a extensive first aid kit on board. First I bought the best available, then finding them falling short on supplies I built my own loads into ammo cans and sturdy little suit cases. Damn looking back I suppose if I had had the knowledge I could have preformed minor Field surgery.
Then at about the age of twenty-five I started donating blood to the blood bank (which latter I was able to have transferred to my Dads open heart surgery requirements) I discovered The American Red Cross first aid classes. I started out with the basic first aid then intermediate first aid , then advanced first aid. After completing these I enrolled in first aid instructor training. Lord after that there was no place else to go. I even thought for a while to quit factory work and become involved in the medical field in some capacity. However I never found something that really called out to me, so remained as a labor who eventually was able to retire with a descent pension.
My interest in the human body still called. So over the years I probably put together every model of the human body available. I have stored away in the garage my visible man and woman, the take apart human heart, and the skeleton bones of the hand. I at one time had the full sized human head complete with break away brain and skull, with two brown eye balls. It unfortunately fell from the rafters and broke into a number of small pieces. I have full color plastic charts of the human body, circulatory and skeletal system. And of course Grey’s Anatomy in my library.
Every time I have had a test on my body I have requested to watch as much as I am allowed. I have seen my heart valves pump on sonograms. I watched the probe go through my heart on two Anagrams. and watched as they did isotropic surgery on my left knee. That was neat it was in color and a small tumor was found in there and I watched as the nibbler chewed it up and it was suctioned out. I have seen my skeleton anterior and posterior laying head to head in a nuclear test. I would love to have a copy to that one framed on my wall. My wife disagrees with that idea completely.
In 1987 I got the bright Idea at the age of forty-eight to take a EMT class at Cerritos College. I was the oldest my younger class mates were all in their late teens and early twenties. Part of the training consisted of me spending three eight hour shifts in the emergency room of the local hospital and three eight hour shifts in three different ambulance teams.
The emergency room was a eye opener I participated in every thing from helping to stitch the testicles of a three year old boy to several code blues. I met some really dedecated young people there. One of the most heart wrenching was the parents who barley spoke English who brought in a baby wrapped in a blanked who was already dead. And the two young children boy and girl who had been abused by their step-father. There were the sad and funny ones in the same hour, the true emergency’s and the frivolous.
I found riding the ambulance the most interesting. I rode with two young Mexican men who I tend to call boys but they were truly men. These kids were truly committed. My eight hour shift stretched into ten hours because we could not get back to the station. One house we went to was so crowded with dressers it was unbelievable, there was less than twenty-four inches down the hall way to the bedroom. They could not get the gurney past the front room. The woman was large and old, these two kids would not let me help because they were in fear of me hurting my back. They rolled her onto two heavy quilts then rolled up the sides for grip’s one actually walked across the bed to lift her to the hall and down into the living room. It was amazing to me. We rolled the whole ten hours. These guys worked twenty-four hour shifts catching a nap when they could. They told me of one ride along who was a young woman, on their first call they responded to a freeway accident. A sheet of plywood had fell from a truck and went through a windshield taking off the top of a woman’s skull. The girl left and abandoned any thought of being a EMT. The other two shifts were not as interesting as the first. But I gained a tremendous respect for these people who do this job for barley over minimum pay.
Well I think I’m getting a callous on my butt from sitting here and it needs a little TLC so gotta go.