Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Finished Day 11

My ride along was mostly uneventful today. We transported 3 patients classified in California as 5150, which basically means that they were on an involuntary phychiatric hold. In any case, it was interesting to see how things work on a BLS bus. I did get to take vitals on 2 of the patients, which was an experience. There will likely be many more opportunities for me to do so.

Tomorrow we have our practicals. That is basically running through scenarios and demonstrating that we can follow the correct medical procedure. I'll be glad when it is done, since it's a little stressful.

I'm getting homesick. There's something magic about 10 days. I always tried to keep my mission trips under 10 days, because if you went more than that strange things happened. I just completed day 11, so I am hoping for the best for day 12, 13, and 14.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Tomorrow morning is my chance to do a ride along in an ambulance with a crew from AMR. I'm very excited about it. My shift starts at 6am, so needless to say I will be in bed at an early hour tonight.

Class is still going quite well, and my grades are staying up there! The instructor told us that we could certainly pass the NREMT certification test if we do well in the class. That encourages me, since one of the first things I'm going to do next week is take that exam. My life is full of exams lately, what's up with that!!

I'm going to bed.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Psalm 139

For some reason, I felt very discouraged today. I was reading my nightly portion of at least 100 pages in my EMT textbook, and decided that I needed to talk to the Lord for a minute. He reminded me that I had not done enough of that lately.

I told Him, "Lord, I'm discouraged. What am I doing here. Am I doing what you want me to do? Have I missed the boat somewhere?" There was more, but that's the gist of it. I went to open up my Bible, and a piece of paper that I had put in the back cover fell out on the table. It was Psalm 139:

Psalm 139 (NLT)

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!

19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
your enemies misuse your name.
21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Enough said.


Today I successfully treated a trauma patient who had fallen off of a bull and was kicked and stepped on. He had a compound fracture of his left femur, and flail chest also on his left torso. I did on-site stabilization, got him on a spine board, and did a rapid transport to the closest hospital while I did a more focused examination and monitored his vitals.

OK, so it was a mock scenario, but it was cool. Hopefully, I'll be able to really help someone in that kind of situation soon. Of course, around here it's more likely to be a redneck who was run over by his 4x4, but who knows.

I seem to be spending a lot of time in classrooms lately. Probably should get used to that, huh.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Good grief! There is so much to learn, but today marks the end of EMT boot-camp week 1! What a whirlwind. I'm getting about 5 hours of sleep a night and attending about 6-7 hours of class and 4 hours of skills labs each day. Regardless, this stuff is fascinating. It's amazing to see the complexity that God has woven into our human bodies and how they react when damaged. It reminds me of what an awesome God I serve.

The labs are very cool. Today, I learned how to utilize a Kendrick Extrication Device (KED) for extracting a stable patient with possible spine injuries from situations like vehicle collisions. I've included a couple of pictures of my team, "the red team", practicing the use of the KED.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Altered Mental Status

Today was a difficult day for me. We learned about patients who present with what is called an "altered mental status". This is a valuable assessment tool for EMTs and can apply to a wide range of medical issues ranging from trauma to medical events or conditions. Of course, this is one of the indications for strokes.

You probably know, my Dad passed away from a massive stroke last August, so it was very strange to learn the signs, symptoms, physiology, and treatment for someone who has had a stroke. I remember the doctor asking him a bunch of questions over and over, which I now know they were using to determine his level of consciousness. If I am recalling it correctly, once they asked Dad: "How old are you Mr. Sims". "47", he answered (he was 57). "Do you know where you are?" He couldn't really answer that one. "What year is it?" He said something like 1968. "Who is the President, Mr. Sims?" To which he boisterously replied, "GEORGE BUSH!" As weird as it sounds, that will be a good memory of Dad, because I saw HIM in his answer. You just had to be there and know him to get that. Maybe you do get it.

I still miss Dad as much as I did the first few days after he died. I suppose I always will.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

You're My Boy Blue!

Our class's official motto has become, "You're my boy Blue!"

Don't ask me why. It's probably sleep deprivation.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Exam One is Done

We had our first exam in EMT Boot-Camp today. Everyone looked tired, with blood shot eyes and big cups of coffee. I was right there with them.

I think I did well on the test. It's going to be a long week and a half! It'll be worth it, though.

Everyone please pray for Jamie and the kids while I am sequestered away learning!

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Today was the first day of my experience in EMT boot-camp. We spent the day getting certified in CPR for healthcare professionals. It also included some very basic life-saving skills. We'll get deeper into that in the next 2 weeks I'm sure. I highly recommend that EVERYONE get CPR training, especially if you have kids. The American Heart Association certification is what you will want. Just click here to find a course near you.

I've got a LOT of reading to do tonight (about 170 pages)!!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Off To School

One of the things that I am doing to prepare for application to medical school is Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification. I'm signed up for a "boot camp" in Cali, which runs 12 hours a day for 14 days. That is, not including hours of study each night. I also get some ride along time in an ambulance! Supposedly, I can get my NREMT certification for EMT-Basic afterward. I know one thing: I'm committed and will learn absolutely everything that I can. My goal is to be able to work in an ER or on with an ambulance service in Gwinnett county while getting some pre-med coursework under my belt. It should be interesting.

I'll post more updates when (and if) I get the time!


Why do I do these kind of things to myself?

I mentioned a few entries ago that I was going to do the "Run the Reagan" half-marathon. Well, I did and it was an awesome race again this year. Unfortunately there is more to the story.

My buddy David and I had just finished the porta potty drill, and were headed to the start line when we hear the announcer say “about 2 minutes left”. Then I heard him say something about race numbers. Have you ever had one of those moments? Realization hit me, and I looked down to see NO race number on my running jacket. I LEFT IT IN THE VAN a quarter mile away. I told David to go on without me and took off. I ran all the way back to the van, put on the number, ran back to the start. You know a real friend when you brain fart at a race and they stand and wait on you for 4 whole minutes so they can run with you. You're a good man Dave. We started 4 minutes late, but it was cool. Not just in a L.L. Cool J kind of way, if you know what I mean! Actually, the temp was quite nice after about a mile.

Stuff like that'll keep you humble.

Friday, February 16, 2007


It's done! I completed the GRE today. Didn't do too bad, I think. (1240; 640 Quantitative, 600 Verbal) I suppose that is good. All I know is that it is above what I needed for the pre-med program that I am applying for. Like Forest Gump said, "One less thang."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

In Class

Thank the Lord for wireless access! It makes the day go quicker (I think) when you have an all day Church History class on a beautiful Saturday. I studied diligently for our exam this morning, and it went quite well. One goof up -- I figured out I had the wrong textbook! Luckily, history is basically history. I ordered the correct text, and no harm done.

Instructor's back, I better pay attention!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Still Busy, Can You Believe It?

You'd think that I'd be a lot less busy now that I'm not working a full-time job. Yeah, right! That's not a bad thing, though. I would certainly go more crazy if I didn't have things to occupy my time.

I'm taking "Church History" at LRU this semester. The good thing about that is I LOVE history. So far, the reading is absolutely fascinating. I have the textbook in my "Currently Reading" box to the right if you are interested. The only bad thing about the class is exams. Argh! If you want to read a really intersting story, look up Charles Martel ("The Hammer") and the Battle of Tours. Good stuff.

One of my other current challenges is knocking off the cobwebs in my brain when it comes to standardized tests. In particular, the GRE. Surprisingly, I remember a lot of math, and my vocabulary is quite good. However, I still have a lot of work to do! Many hours of study so far, and many more to come. Click on this link to see how much you remember; you may be surprised.

Even bigger than these challenges, is trying to figure out the finances of providing for our family and attending a pre-med program, possibly full-time. Please pray for us in this. I know the Lord is going to take care of everything, it would just be nice to know how! That makes me think of a scripture I read last night:

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith. (Hebrews 11:8-9a, NLT)

Lord, give me the faith of Abraham!

That's all for now. Many blessings, everyone.