Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One of the Best. Books. Ever

I have never compiled a list of my favorite books, but just finished one that I will call One of the Best. Books. Ever. 

This book is just plain awesome. There is no other word for it.


I have never laughed inappropriately so hard in my life.  In fact today I bumped into someone in the library who also just finished it and her daughter confirmed that she also laughed inappropriately while reading it.

This books is AWESOME!  But seriously, my raving about its awesomeness is not necessarily going to explain why this is one of the Best. Books. Ever.  So I shall explain.  It's a sort of biography/memoir of the odd interesting life of Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess

For anyone who actually reads my blog who doesn't actually know me (although I'm not sure if anyone who doesn't know me actually reads this blog), I work part time as an emergency dispatcher.  I have on occasion said that when I'm at work it's like getting paid to be entertained.  I've also said that there is no way I could ever make up the kinds of stuff we end up dealing with at work.  My imagination is just not that great people!  I am no longer stumped, amazed or awed by the incredibly strange and bizarre things that people do.  Which is why Let's pretend this never happened is so amazing. It's funny, made me laugh, and I was not  frightened amazed by all the interesting things that have happened in her life.



When I was dispatching full-time one of my co-workers and I started a journal, called "Only in Durham".  We listed all the really, really, bizarre stuff that would come in.  I have no idea if this journal exists anywhere anymore, but Jenny's chapter on The Dark and Disturbing Secrets HR Doesn't Want You to Know is right on the same page as the crap interesting things we had to deal with every day.  Yes, the chapter was so fun I took a picture of it.

I think this book is so cool I put it on Pinterest.  Read the book.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Things happen for a reason and that's how I diagnosed duck itch

Ever have one of those why do things happen they way they do kind of conversations with yourself?  Like, if you hadn't gotten stuck in that traffic jam you would have been at the store too early and missed the unannounced 50% off sale that started 2 minutes after you walked in the store?  Okay, that only happened to me once.  But this was one of those kind of days.

I'm visiting my mom, who lives in apartment at my sister's.  So we're kind of visiting everyone.  Except my sister and 3 of her boys are at camp all day.  We had a rip roaring thunderstorm with hail blow through that afternoon.  My mom doesn't like to drive in bad weather, so I offered to drive my niece to her doctor’s appointment.  She was having some sort of allergic reaction to bug bites.

The doctor seemed stumped, was calling for referrals, and was joking about crazy bugs in NH.  Um... hello? we don't have crazy bugs in NH.  I'm visiting in CT.  We all have the same bugs.  But then suddenly it hits me, I remember a conversation I had with a friend this past winter about taking the kids to visit them up at Lake Winnipesaukee to go swimming.  And she had said, No, we'll come to visit you at the beach and I had said why?  And she had said Duck Itch.  So out of the blue, at the doctor's office I say "Hey, maybe it's duck itch" and the pediatrician looks at me like I'm possessed strange and tells me never he heard of it before.

Now I have to add in here that everyone at this doctor’s office was either carrying a laptop or pushing a cart around with a laptop on it.  But somehow, even surrounded by this wealth of technology, I was able to google duck itch and bring up pics to show the doctor on my droid, with a crappy signal, before he was able to look it up on his laptop.  Okay, I'm so not going to spend too much time trying to figure that one out.

This is duck itch. The pediatrician
liked the term "Swimmer's Itch"
much better.


Anyway, that is how without having seen it before in real life, I was able to diagnose duck itch.

It’s a bacterial infection from the parasites in duck poop.  Yeah, I know… yuck!  But it can be somewhat common in lakes and ponds near the shoreline where the water doesn’t circulate as well.  You can read more about it on the NH StateParks website.

Update: I posted a more researched post on Duck Itch at my new Coastal CPR & First Aid Blog

Friday, July 13, 2012

Just how long is a First Aid CPR AED course?

Every now and then I get a call from someone who seems surprised by how long a class is.  Today was no exception. 

A CPR AED course is about 3 hours long.  It can run shorter if everyone is renewing their card or if it is a small group.  Since I teach both AHA and ASHI I find the full course is about 2.5-3 hours long.  Renewal courses that I offer through the ASHI program can be as short as 2 hours.

A First Aid or Pediatric First Aid course is also about 3 hours long.  Sometimes I plan on 3 1/2 hours for a class if I know the group is large or if it is a first class for most of the group.  The AHA video has a lot of information on it and I just can't make it play any faster than it is supposed to.  With the ASHI program I do a mix of video, lecture and scenario-based practice.  But still, it takes time.  Even if everyone is renewing their cards there are key topics I am required to cover and have participants practice.

So you can guess that a First Aid CPR AED course, covering both First Aid AND CPR AED can be anywhere from 4-6 hours long.  Shorter if it is a refresher or renewal course, longer if there are folks who have never taken a course before.

I guess I should not be amazed when someone calls and tells me that they need a course for their staff, the person who used to provide their courses is no longer teaching, and ... they did the entire First Aid CPR AED course in 2 1/2 hours.

Part of me wants to say.... maybe that's why they are not teaching anymore.  But I don't.  It's just not worth it.  Instead I have to explain why the course is as long as it is.  I give them lots of info, how much it will cost, how to schedule a class with me and sometimes some dates that I am available to teach.  But I know they probably won't call back.  All I can think after the call ends is that you get from the course what you put into it and what is provided to you.  What can you learn about adult, child, infant CPR AED, choking and first aid in just 2 1/2 hours?  Is there time to practice any of the information provided?  For the staff who needs this for work  & state licensing I question how well prepared they will be to handle an emergency in the workplace when they've not been provided with enough instruction and practice to know what to do.