Thursday, March 24, 2016 -- Blizzard Workload



So I've decided to give this journalistic approach to chronicling life's events another go. I used to do this almost religiously, years ago, and I have -so- much appreciation that I did so. I can as near as possible travel back in time when I read those, especially the run on Xanga during my early/late high school years and slightly beyond, and relive the moments so much more clearly than I could if I had left them to fallible memory alone. It is a truly beautiful thing, the thoughts and feelings in the moment solidified into written exploration such as this. I'm not proud of myself for having drifted away from it for so long, but here I am eager to scratch a new narrative beginning into the concrete walls I have built around myself among the unfortunate circumstances that have played out since this was last a solid effort.

The history in-between will be an update of its own; I won't delve into it right away. I just want to chronicle the past couple days.

We had a pretty gnarly blizzard yesterday morning, which apparently set a Cheyenne record for snowfall for the day of March 23rd, 2016. My coworker Kelly had, the night before, agreed to pick me up for work, as my Camaro was unlikely to have much luck if it snowed more than a few inches. As it turned out, we had a full-blown blizzard situation declared, and various places around town, including the Warren AFB itself, had already declared themselves closed. Nevertheless, we endeavored to make it to work, and he eventually called me saying that he was here.

But he wasn't “here” in the expected sense, as some poor woman was stuck in the snow trying to get uphill out of the neighborhood. So I was to trudge through the knee-high snow several buildings down the street to where he was stalled, while he tried to turn his Honda around in the meantime. Once I painstakingly got there, pant legs partially soaked already, it had become obvious that the best route was still forward, unfortunately blocked by this stuck woman who had failed in finding her way uphill the way she was facing. So we got out, collectively pushed her free of her snowy prison, backwards, and wished her a fortunate journey. Returning to Kelly's car, we found that it had in the effort, itself, gotten stuck in the snow. So I returned to the blizzard conditions outside to attempt a rescue effort, helping to move his Honda from one snow-sinkhole to the next, at least three such mighty attempts before I was almost entirely physically exhausted. Thank goodness a neighbor came up to us and offered help, and with this assistance we pushed the Honda over the final snow-obstacle and as he let it roll down the hill, unwilling to stop again, I thanked the neighboring helper and jumped into the passenger seat as it continued to pick up momentum. We made it the rest of the way to the hospital without incident, although our boss expressed his disappointment at him arriving to work before us (he lives a ways out of town where there is even less care given to road conditions).

The rest of that day went rather predictably, although, at lunchtime, being Wednesday, we had begun trading turns bringing in “Crockpot Wednesday” meals where we take turns preparing a dish for us all to enjoy. For whatever reasons, Kelly did not bring his with him in the morning but planned on traveling and swinging by his house to bring it to the shop around noon. Unfortunately, he got stuck in the snow on his way to pick it up and sorrowfully informed us that he would not be back in as he had to get lifted the rest of his way home.

The rest of the day went typically, and another coworker was gracious enough to give me a ride home. Assuming the roads would not be cleared away enough for my Camaro to have a safe ride, she agreed to give me a ride to and from the next day.

The next day, Thursday, she picked me up and we signed in to work. As it happened, it was only her and me present this day, the other three technicians all having requested days off, for Spring break with their kids and Kelly's visiting mother needing a ride to Denver International Airport. So we powered through, having to go throughout the entire hospital updating the configuration settings of all Spacelabs DM3 vital sings towers needing an IP address change to accept this upgrade. We split up, with the help of two Spacelabs reps and one IT tech helping as well, and stepped into every patient room with such a unit to update the IP address. Once the main building was completed, Andrea and I were tasked to visit the two outside buildings which also had DM3s, the “East Campus” and the “Davis Hospice Center”, where we had success (Davis Hospice had three units) and not so much success (only one of three units at the East campus would cooperate).

We stopped at the nearby Bread Basket for lunch, had some light chat, and headed back to the shop. Not long after returning, my boss informed me of a problem he had gotten a call about, where a bipap ventilator (Phillips Respironics V60) had had its patient circuit removed by the patient themselves, presumably to his/her death. The department wanted an extraction of the error logs of the unit involved, although it had happened overnight and the staff had not isolated the unit in question (WTF?!). So all I had to go off of was a starting time for treatment, and the approximate time of the removal of the tubing (roughly 21:05 hours). As of this writing, I have looked at the “significant logs” of five different units and have found none that match the timing windows. It's a wonder to me that the staff would not have isolated this particular unit, having resulted in the death of a patient, but apparently such ideas can extend beyond the thought processes of nurses and technicians in the business of the day. So we'll see what I might be able to uncover tomorrow, if anything. I certainly hope something useful can come of it.

So that's a couple days' worth of events, as my life is unfolding these days. It's been a long time, I know, but I'm eager to begin at least some sort of chronicling again, akin to the days where I began this sort of thing on Xanga back in the day (oh man! The memories!!). I'll delve deeper into the thoughts, for sure. As a sort of hesitant return, this I hope will serve well as inspiration for myself, and, I can only hope, interest in those who have subscribed either on here or follow closely enough on Facebook to care to click into it.

More to come. A new beginning. A release of pent-up thoughts ready for an outpouring -somewhere- and where better? It will be a nice exercise. The writing bug has been itching at me for quite some time and I've been ignoring it. I'd like not to ignore it anymore.

Anyway, more back-history to come, as well as the present newer developments, I will try and keep a more steady mindset devoted to this.

Posted by Eli Stanley | at 6:37 PM

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