Old Wife’s Tales You Will Find Handy

Don’t sing at the table, you’ll marry a crazy person:

That is an old wife’s tale that I had never heard of.

Now how could you use that?

Well, first you will have to have a kid, but not a senile hummer, at the table. You can’t do anything about Aunt Grace whose mind is seeping between the cracks, but you can say this to a kid.

Here’s what the kid will probably say: “What nut ever told you that, Mom?”

I found the above old wife’s tale at http://www.gardenplum.com/wivestales/

Here is another one: Never turn your mattress on a Sunday, or you’ll have bad dreams.

Say your kid wakes up in the night and says. “Mommy, I had a bad dream!”

“What was the dream, Honeykins?”

“I dreamed that a Cave Bear was chasing me while I was riding my bicycle down a hill pell-mell.”

“Oh! Go back to sleep, Honeydew. It’s Mommy’s fault. I shouldn’t have turned the mattress this morning while you were off to church with Daddy.”

I had a dream like that when I was a kid. I had a high fever that brought it down. I was tied to my bed and a huge lion was chasing me as my bed rolled down a hill. I woke up soaked in sweat. How horrifying!

Here’s an old one: Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

From my experience, this one doesn’t work, at least the early to rise part. That just makes me tired during the day.

Here’s another one from the above URL: To find out how long you will live, blow the seeds off the head of a dandelion. You will live as many years as there are seeds left on the head.

My suggestion here is that you don’t blow too hard. You will blow your life away.

Here’s a dandy for old folks like me from http://www.corsinet.com/trivia/scary.html An acorn should be carried to bring luck and ensure a long life.

I’m going right outside and grab a couple from the nearest oak tree. Now let’s see; how do you tell an oak from a cottonwood. I’ll have to get my Boy Scout Field Guide out and brush up. Maybe I should just look for a squirrel.

When I was a boy, we carried a rabbit’s foot from our belt or carried it in our pocket. That assured us good luck.

Here’s another one from the last URL: Seeing an ambulance is very unlucky unless you pinch your nose or hold your breath until you see a black or a brown dog.

I know this is true. My neighbor saw the inside of an ambulance recently and he died.

When I saw the ambulance I ran over to my neighbor’s fence where there are two big brown dogs that love to growl at me, God love ’em!

Here is a variation of one we used as kids: To predict the sex of a baby: Suspend a wedding band held by a piece of thread over the palm of the pregnant girl. If the ring swings in an oval or circular motion the baby will be a girl. If the ring swings in a straight line the baby will be a boy.

We use to do this with a ring or by sticking a pin in the end of a pencil and suspending it from a string. If the pencil swung transverse with the arm, it was going to be a boy. If the pencil swung in the direction of the arm, it was a girl. You could predict each child a girl would have using this method. It also worked on boys. I could have this all backwards. Calibrate your ring or pencil on a mother so you get the directions right.

Like I said, it works on boys and anyone who may have kids or has had kids. It always predicts the sequence. You don’t have to run out and find a pregnant lady. Try it on your cat.

I don’t remember if we ever proved that this would predict birth sequence but it worked on past history.

That is the trouble with predicting methods. Nastradamus was no good at predicting the future, only what has passed. The same is true of the Bible Code or the Gone with the Wind Code for that matter.

Let’s end this thing up with this one:

Monday’s child is fair of face;

Tuesday’s child is full of grace;

Wednesday’s child is full of woe;

Thursday’s child has far to go;

Friday’s child is loving and giving;

Saturday’s child works hard for a living.

But the child that is born on the Sabbath day

is fair and wise, good and gay.

Now to see what day of the week you were born on, go to http://www.travelfurther.net/dates/datesrus.asp

I was born on Monday. Well, you already knew that, didn’t you?

Bedside Manner

Can you remember what you thought EMS was before you had a job responding to 911 calls? I bet you were like me, you though that EMS was comprised of trained professionals that saved lives on a daily basis. Someone had better be dying or damn near close, for you to consider calling 911. I can remember breaking bones or being ill on numerous occasions, and my mother driving me to the ER in her makeshift mommy ambulance, a Dodge Caravan. We waited and waited in the triage area of the emergency room, not once did we think we should have called 911 for quicker treatment.

I remember the first time I did call 911. I was still a paramedic student, and my mother awoke one morning with a sudden onset of shortness of breath. Pulmonary embolism was the first thought in my head, and before I knew it my fingers were punching those numbers in the phone. I expected trained professionals and I got trained professionals. The paramedics had no problem being there, and if they did they didn’t show it. They moved with a purpose and treated my mother the same as if it was one of their mothers. They held her hand and they told her everything was going to be okay. I am forever grateful for that crew, thank you, wherever you are.

This post is dedicated to bedside manner. What do you consider good bedside manor? Maybe its different than what your patient considers good bedside manner, and its their opinion that matters.

I don’t imagine that you respond to true emergencies for the entire length of your shifts. If you are in a system like mine, most calls are for a matter of comfort, not a matter of life or death. How seriously do you take these calls? How do you tell these patients that they should not have utilized 911? I am going to provide a few good tips on this subject. Most may seem like common sense, but sadly we aren’t always surrounded by the commonly sensible.

Its not your emergency, its theirs.

I believe that statement says it all. These patients don’t have the training you do, and may have no idea what is happening. Indigestion may feel like a heart attack. A little nausea may make them think they have the Swine Flu. These patients may be scared and will probably need a little reassurance from you.

Now you may have just picked up your juicy burger and had it an inch away from your mouth when a call for a sleepy granny came through. These people have no idea how hungry or sleep deprived we are. Aren’t you being paid? Although we often have to work through our breaks, think of all the times you have been paid to sleep or eat. It is tough sometimes not to be upset, but it is even tougher to defend yourself for being unprofessional on a call.

It isn’t our place to tell them that they shouldn’t have called. It is our job to tell them when they should call.

You don’t want to scare people out of calling 911. Most often, they thought about calling long before they actually did. Telling them they shouldn’t have called will only make them angry. Imagine taking a patient in to the hospital and the physician telling you that you should have gone somewhere else. Instead of blaming the patient for your lack of sleep, use this time to educate. Make the patient aware of their possible risk factors, and give them advice from a medical professional. Let them know of different reasons to call 911. This passive approach may in fact decrease the less-needed calls. If they are under the impression that going by ambulance will get them seen quicker, correct them. I often offload my cut finger patients in the triage waiting room which has to leave them wondering if they should have called 911. I’m not punishing them, just opening their eyes. The patients that should be seen faster, are seen faster, no matter how they get there.

They are our customers.

We aren’t salesmen at a dealership, but we do have something to sell. We have to sell ourselves and our service. If you wonder why EMS doesn’t get the due it deserves, its because of customer service. Public relations can and will determine the outlook of our organizations. When you are called upon, respond as you should. Greet the responsive patient, and get on a first name basis. Use a calm and reassuring voice. These two things will help you build a personal relationship with your customer, and you better believe they will want everyone to know how great their experience was. They will also want everyone to know how horrible their experience was, if you make it that way.

What would we do if it wasn’t for all the less needed calls? My agency could cut resources by at least 50% if we only responded to true emergencies. I like my job, and I will take anyone and everyone who would like to go. Even though it isn’t the best use of resources, most agencies have built up their resources for such call volumes. I’m not saying that I advocate misuse of emergency services, but I am thankful for my job. Take from that what you will.

For the matters of comfort, make them comfortable! If the lonely old lady needs someone to talk to, listen to her. If someone is complaining of pain, treat their pain! If they are cold, cover them up. If they have a headache, speak softly. If they are dizzy, for God’s sake, don’t walk them to the truck. If the only treatment you provide is hand-holding on the way to the ER, be the best hand-holder there is. Treat every patient as if you would want your loved one treated, and you will never go wrong.

We are professionals, and we should act that way. Our patients expect that we will know exactly what is wrong with them and be able to treat it appropriately. Don’t prove them wrong.

Balloon Regrets Fleeing Little Girl’s Hand

Mason, OH

It was a fun day at the Kings Island Amusement Park for little Marina Collins and her family. She had ridden the Tea Cups, taken a train ride on the K.I. & Miami Railroad, and a fun splash down ride in White Water Canyon. Marina ate hot dogs and cotton candy. And her mommy bought her a pretty blue balloon that she tied around Marina’s wrist. It was turning out to be a day that kids dream about. After a long day at the park, the family walked to their car. Then Marina’s joy turned to tragedy.

Marina, curious about what would happen if she untied the balloon, found out. Within seconds the balloon went sailing into the air. Marina screamed. Her father, an ex-Navy Seal, jumped as high as he could, but it was too late. The balloon was at least 30 feet in the air at that time. “Someone call 911!” shouted another park-goer. Police and an ambulance were on the scene within minutes. “There was nothing we can do at this time. That balloon has enough helium to stay aloft for 3 or 4 days. I feel bad for the little girl. It’s a hard lesson to learn,” said Sergeant Fuller of the Mason Police Department. Marina was inconsolable at the time. She was brought to the ambulance where she was given Valium and a Juice Box.

We asked local balloon psychologist, Dr. Barbara Betters why these instances keep happening. “These balloons really have no kind of life. They get inflated with helium and chained down by a string. The truth is that these balloons will do whatever they can to escape. If they get a chance to make a break for it, they will. They are very narcissistic, very full of themselves, and think they will live forever. They don’t realize the trauma they can cause some of these children.” The deflated balloon landed on a farm 2 days later in the neighboring city of Forest Park, 12 miles away. When the balloon was asked about the incident, it said, “I just had the irresistible urge to take flight. I didn’t mean to upset the little girl. I just wanted the chance to live. But thinking about it now, I wish I could have spent some time getting to know her. Now I feel just empty inside.”