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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why I No Longer Work As A Medical Professional

If you've read the blog since I began writing, you'll know that for 17 years I worked in the ER of a local hospital as a respiratory therapist and why I voluntarily left the profession. On several emergent occasions, I'd blank out on important things necessary to save a patient's life. For instance placing the patient on airway life support and forgetting to plug in the ventilator (some of you call it "respirator"), drawing arterial blood, looking at the lab values and blanking out on how to adjust the ventilator in order to improve a patient's breathing. Something I'd done for 17 years in less than a minute.

As these things became more frequent, and knowing about dementias (both my parents had Alzheimer's and I carry the gene for one of its causes) I decided to see a neurologist, and after several MRI's, lab work, MMPI and other testing, it was decided I had Alzheimer's Related Dementia. I decided to quit my job before I killed someone.

If you're new to the blog this capsulized history will help you understand what's going on with me.
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Today I was digging around in some old textbooks and found a copy of an old multiple-choice practice test I had not taken, so just for hell of it. Out of 25 questions, I scored 80%! Isn't that great????

No, it's not. Why?

Because this was a written test and I could take my time thinking about the answers. You can't do that in the ER.
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Please remember to click on this icon to help feed unwanted pets in shelters across the USA.

The Animal Rescue Site

Thanks,

Bill

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Remember that accident I caused last April, which almost killed me and two other drivers, but luckily injured no one, and which is the reason I no longer drive?

Well, guess what?

I'm still not over it.

I think about it every single time I get into the car with Dondra to go to my doctor's appointments and the few times we go to the supermarket or post office together. At those times, I usually take my Kindle and read or play word games on it. I'm nervous as a cat at those times, and if I weren't reading or playing, I'd have to lie down on the back seat. Anything to keep me watching the traffic and keep my head down. I absolutely do not look up, because my sharp intakes of breath when I think I see an "impending" accident make D nervous and piss her off.

That is also the reason I stay at home a lot, unless she takes me to the track or the gym - a very short ride. I estimate that out of 7 days, I am at home at least 80% of the time - I just have no desire to be in the car unless I absolutely have to be. I do go outside, sit in the swing and play guitar, but that's it.

Is it the dementia that's keeping me so fixated? Don't know, but the three anti-depressives aren't helping with that, so I'm planning on going back to counselling.

I'll let you know how it goes.
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Please remember the animals and click to feed.
The Animal Rescue Site
Thanks,

Bill

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day One Of The Improved Format

Hey Everyone

As promised, here I am on the blog which has been set to "invitation only". Some of you have already been invited and are ready to read, and some have not. These are folks who haven't followed the blog in some time, and some who are no longer followers at all, so it will take some time to build the readership again. But no worries, at least this way I can control who reads and/or posts here.

Thanks for hanging in there with me (I started this in 2008) and I'll continue to keep you informed as to any changes.

Welcome to all the new "kids".

Thanks and please remember to click and feed the animals. It's free!

The Animal Rescue Site
Bill

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

As Promised: The Story About My Short Time As A Communist Youth

Sorry. Been a while, hasn't it, but there's really nothing new except to tell you that my good friend and co-editor of this blog, BillDL is recovering nicely from abdominal surgery and D and I are very pleased about that! He's been hurting a long time, and actually knew what was wrong with him before his doctors did. My favorite Scot is a genius!

Oh yeah! Speaking of Scotland, I looked up the Craig Clan tartan, and that thing is beautiful! I'm planning to buy the material and have Dondra make me a klit.
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And so, on to the story.....

When I was about 8 (I think - gotta check it out with my uncle Bernd) I spent some time with my German grandmother who lived in Communist-occupied East Germany. Since there wasn't a whole lot to do in the Summer, I was asked if I wanted to join a youth organization (much like the Boy Scouts here) called The Young Pioneers. "It's fun!", I was told. And it was. But my time in the organization would come back to haunt me as an adult. More in a later paragraph.

So we went to classes, went on field trips, learned to sing (Russian songs) and I was given a parade drum to play in the YP marching band (probably because I couldn't sing at the time).

It was a good time, but little did I know I was being indoctrinated into the ways of Communist doctrine. That was what the classes were for, I later realized.

Did I say they were like our Boy Scouts? Oh yes! They even had the same motto: "Always Prepared".

The Pioneers were a little like the Hitler Youth and have a long history dating back to the "October Revolution" fighting on the side of the Bolsheviks.

So anyway, I was proud to wear my white shirt, shorts and blue neckerchief (the more advanced Pioneers had red ones) and playing my snare drum and learning all about an ".....economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members." (Wiki)

During the time I was with my "Oma" I got the measles (German, of course!) and it was a Russian doctor who came to our house to treat me. The town we lived in (Zeitz) had A Russian camp and my uncles and I used to go there to beg for bread at the window of the kitchen. The Russian word for bread is khlyep (pronounced "kleb") and was pretty much the only Russian word we knew. The cooks were always generous, and since there were three of us, we all got a loaf.

My Oma and her children were dirt poor and lived in a "courtyard" kind of apartment infested with rats. I could sometimes feel them crawling around on the bed I shared with my uncle J├╝rgen.

So anywaaaayyyyy..... I don't remember how long I stayed (again, gotta check it out), but I reckon it was long enough to learn how to beg and steal. Oh yes! My uncles and I used to walk to a local farmhouse and steal eggs until we were caught. We also stole sugar beets from the backs of trucks. We were hungry and my Oma's pastries or biscuits she received as part of her pay at a local bakery weren't enough to fill our bellies, hence the stealing.

Yeah, okay, we were caught and our punishment was to work on a farm picking lettuce and beans off the acres of land. Sometimes we had to seed. It was tough work, but we were always given a very good lunch and a dinner to take home to the rest of the family. Our farmer understood times were rough all over and he had a lot of empathy for us. He was a very kind and fair man.

So now you know this. Do I think Communism was a bad form of government? Well, it must have been, because it no longer exists, and I love living in a Democracy where you don't have to watch what you say for fear of being sent to a Gulag!

Okay. Fast-forward. I eventually left East Germany, much to the dismay of my Oma and my uncles. We had come to consider ourselves a family, and although I didn't much like being poor. We all made do. I hated to leave them.

Skipping ahead to 1970. I was 20 and had flunked out of college (I took correspondence courses while in the service to pass) and my number came up for the Draft. My son Jason was only 5 days old and I couldn't leave D with a brand new baby, so I elected to join the United States Air Force. This got me a 90 day delayed enlistment, so I could settle things at home.

Finally reported, got sent to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio (home of our Alamo) and took basic. After basic I was given orders to report to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to serve on a SAC (Strategic Air Command - defunct now) base as a police officer....... BUT... I needed a Secret clearance, and that was when I was confronted with my time in East Germany and my membership in the Young Pioneers.

No idea (to this day) how they found this out, but they did, and I was questioned intensively for about 30 minutes. "Are you now, or have you ever been... and the Lincoln Brigade. All kinds of stuff, but they were finally satisfied and I received my "Secret" (not TOP Secret) clearance.

And there you go. I served my time honorably and was proud to do so. Questions? Ask.

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Please remember the unwanted pets and click below to feed them!

The Animal Rescue Site

As always, thank you for reading my blog!

Bill