Nov 2, 2009

Living a Life of Miracles

A wave of healing is sweeping the nation. It's not for high-profile ministers anymore. Anyone can do it, even you. Check out this excellent video and believe that God wants to use you to heal others.

Nov 1, 2009

Bill Johnson & Randy Clark on God's Presence

These men see miracles of healing nearly every day. What do they have to say about the presenece of God?

Bill Johnson - a Lifestyle of Miracles

Bill Johnson is interviewed on the 700 club about his perspective on making the miraculous a normal lifestyle.

Oct 31, 2009

Faith, Spirituality and Healthcare (Video)

This video is a brief discussion on the role of faith and spirituality in healthcare. It was produced by Global Awakening Films. Their video podcast archive can be viewed here.

Multiple Sclerosis Healed After 30 Years

This woman was healed of Multiple Sclerosis on Halloween night at Bethel church's healing rooms in Redding, California.

A Holy Ghost Story

On Halloween night, I thought I’d scare you with a ghost story. My patient Jim, (not his real name) was admitted with breathing problems and treated for pneumonia. He also suffered from gradually worsening pain and weakness in his legs after back surgery. During his hospital stay he developed respiratory failure and was intubated. The usual culprits like pulmonary embolus, sepsis and cerebral bleed were ruled out. Despite aggressive treatment, his respiratory failure worsened. He failed spontaneous breathing trials, and was given a tracheostomy. His diagnosis was ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). I was transporting him to a facility for rehab and long – term care. I was grateful they waited a few days for the transfer. My last vent patient still had fresh blood on his tracheostomy.

Jim appeared stable. He had all the usual lines and tubes attached but no IV meds running. This should be an easy transport. The only potential problem was fear. He was extremely anxious about the transfer. The nurse said she’d give him some Ativan. He also had a lot of chronic pain which earned him a Fentanyl patch. His med list showed a few other narcotics he took as needed, and just as many stool softeners to help move things along. The nurse said she’d give him some Dilaudid before the trip...Sweet!

I prefer it when anxious patients are well-sedated. Snowed into oblivion is even better. When I worked as a flight medic we had to institute protocols for mandatory chemical or physical restraints because of a few “incidents” we had in the air. I’ve had a few patients unexpectedly leave the ambulance…on the freeway. That's another story.

As I got my equipment ready, I overheard the RT taking care of Jim remind him of all the things Jesus already did for him to pave the way. She told him to trust God that everything would work out for the best. I love running into fellow-believers in the ICU. I joined in. Together we encouraged him. I told him the story of Scott Buzzell, my friend with ALS, who’s going to be healed. After tweaking the settings and getting Jim accustomed to my vent, we moved him over.

The first ten minutes were spent adjusting the settings on the vent, and trying to keep Jim calm. He was nervous; fidgeting and motioning to me frequently that he wasn’t getting enough of a breath. I’m a terrible lip-reader. I couldn’t understand what he was telling me. But his color and vitals were good, his CO2 was OK. He was as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I began to pray for the Holy Ghost to come into the ambulance and bring Jim peace. I prayed with him for the next 10 minutes and encouraged him to trust in God. The more I prayed the more calm he became. I kept telling him to let go of his fears and let God be in control.

I noticed he became very, very relaxed. Too relaxed…now he was unresponsive. I looked at the monitor His sats and heart rate were in the toilet. Crap!! I told my partner, “Pull over, NOW. And get back here.”

I checked his eyes…nobody home. He still had a pulse. As my pilot looked for a safe place to land, I disconnected the vent and grabbed the BVM sitting next to me. Our crash landing kicked up a few large rocks. Nobody got hurt. My partner asked what was going on. I gave him the lowdown. Squeezing the bag, I continued trying to wake Jim up. He finally opened his eyes and looked around, obviously confused. He had no idea where he was. His confusion lasted about a minute. Once I explained what happened and where he was, he was fine.

My EMT shut off the vent and helped me take the Velcro tie off the tracheostomy cannula, spin the adapter 180 degrees and reattach the BVM. I wedged myself between the gurney and the bench seat. My knees were already sore from crouching next to him so I could pray, but I didn’t care. My partner asked if I wanted another unit to help. I said no. We moved things around so I could see them better and told him I’d be fine bagging the rest of the way.

The rest of the trip was a breeze. No worries about the vent settings. I just kept squeezing the bag every time he took a breath. His vitals remained rock solid. I love automatic monitoring. My laptop looked at me with a silly grin. We don’t do paper reports anymore; it’s all electronic. I hadn’t even started yet. It’s nice to get your charting done early, sometimes it doesn’t happen. I didn’t care about anything right now except getting Jim through this crazy ordeal without another incident. Here’s your Kodak moment; two grown men holding hands, praying in the back of an ambulance flying down the freeway at mach 2.

Something happened to Jim while he was away for those few minutes. When he came back, he wasn’t afraid, not even slightly anxious. No fidgeting, no fussing, not a wrinkle on his brow. He was perfectly at peace and wide awake. He seemed like a different man. Later that day I wondered what happened. Why did he suddenly check out? My first thought was that he had too much happy juice in the ICU and it caught up to him. It’s certainly possible. But if he was overmedicated, why did he suddenly become alert within a few minutes? And why was he suddenly at peace? Was it because I was bagging him?

I think something else happened. I’ve never experienced this, but stories about it are common. As I prayed for the Holy Spirit to come into the ambulance, I encouraged Jim to lean on God and trust him with everything; to let go of every fear and rest in God’s love. It was at this point when he became unresponsive. I think maybe he had an encounter with God. I hear a lot of stories about people who leave their bodies and travel in their spirit to hang out with God for encouragement, instruction or other divine business. They often come back with a new perspective on their problems. I hope to meet Jim in the future and get to ask him about the trip. God has ways of putting those people in your path. If I do I'll let you know what happened.

I hope you have a safe Halloween. If you get a chance, pray for someone. Maybe they’ll have a Holy Ghost story to tell, too.

Oct 29, 2009

Praying for Young Women

Praying for people isn't always a smooth road. My daughter and I run into problems from time to time. She's glad I developed a lifestyle of praying for people. She really likes it when I pray for her and some pain is healed. But she's a little creeped out when I want to pray for her friends. Many of her friends in high school aren't into God or religion and have never been approached by someone who wanted to pray for them. She pretty much asked me not to pray for anyone at her swim meets this season. I love my daughter. I see God doing a lot of things in her life. I give her a lot of grace; being a teenager isn't easy.

This week I had an opportunity to show her how prayer works and challenge her fears about it. My daughter has a friend on the swim team who needs healing. Her problem is a stress fracture in her foot. She's been hobbling around on crutches for a month or so. Swimming is OK, but walking is difficult. My daughter and I talked about it and she wasn't comfortable having me ask her friend about prayer. I respected her wishes...for a while. Her friend doesn't have much of an awareness of God, so the question of divine healing causes concern. What if you ask and she says no? What if you pray and she doesn't get healed? Won't it give her more reason not to believe? Teenagers are concerned about how others perceive them. We covered all the concerns she had. I tried to be sensitive to them and for several weeks I put it out of my mind. This was in spite of the fact that I believed I had a word of knowledge about her healing. When my daughter first mentioned the injury about a month ago, I could swear I heard God say, "I'll heal her."

This week God opened the door. As I went to pick up my daughter from swim practice, the girl with the injured foot and a few friends were waiting in the parking lot. I got out of my car and approached them with a big smile. I asked how practice went and talked about the upcoming district meet to build a bridge of relationship with them. I asked my 'patient' about her foot. She filled me in on the latest scoop from her doctor. I asked if she liked hobbling around on crutches. She said no. I suggested maybe she didn't have to. She asked what the alternative was. I told her about a few miracles I'd seen and suggested hers might be the next one. I told her I'd like to pray and ask God to heal her. She said, "go ahead". I didn't really ask for healing. God told me a while back not to beg, but to command healing, so I commanded the foot to be healed. The whole process took about 10 seconds. I told her I wanted to hear about it at the next meet. My daughter and I left; she was all smiles on the way home.

A few days ago was the last dual swim meet of the year. It had been re-scheduled twice. It finally arrived on a day I was off duty, so I went. Halfway through the meet I was surprised to see someone I knew. She's a member of the opposing team. I first saw her last year at one of the home meets. Here's what happened that day. I saw two girls pass in front of me as they walked to the locker room. They were holding hands, one was being led by the other. I immediately noticed something was wrong with the second girl's eyes. It was obvious she couldn't see very well. Immediately as I began to wonder about her eyes and if God might do something, I saw the words "I will heal" flash before my eyes. Later, I asked the team-mate about her friend's eye problem. She told me she's nearly blind and though she's been treated numerous times, there's no procedure to fix it. Her limited vision means she'll never be able to drive or do a lot of things most of us take for granted.

That night I had a vision. Around midnight, I woke up. God showed me an image of the girl with the eye problem. It was something like watching a short video. In the vision I saw bandages being placed on her eyes and the the words "three days." I asked God if this indicated her healing and He said, "yes". I wrote a note explaining what God had told me about her condition and the fact that He wanted to heal her. I hoped to give it to her at the district meet last year, but she wasn't there. I gave to her coach, who gave it to the girl. I haven't seen her since that day.

(Fast forward about a year) Now she's standing in front of me. I introduced myself and asked if she remembered the note from last year. She did. I recalled the day I saw her and what God told me about healing her. She was a little excited, but confessed, "I'm not religious". I smiled and said it didn't matter, God still wanted to heal her. I asked if I could pray with her. She said, "right now?" I said, "yeah, now."  I took her hand and spoke what God put on my heart. I asked Him to bless her in every possible way and restore her vision. It was short and quiet. I didn't want to make a scene.

On the drive home my daughter said, "I saw you praying with the girl who has the eye problems." It never occurred to me she may have been watching. I was busted. But she didn't give me a hard time about it. Everyone in my home has heard me talk about this girl and her healing for a year. She knows I have a tremendous burden to see her vision restored. She may have sensed it was by divine appointment that the last meet of the year was postponed twice so I could be there and finally pray with this girl. My daughter was glad I prayed for her. I think her fears are being resolved. That's good, because I think she may be following in my footsteps one day.

The last story is about one of those everyday things that became an encounter with God. I'm fortunate to go to a church where the pastors are real people. They have cell phones. They answer them when people call. I can even send a text message and they reply to me. I like that. I even harass them on Facebook and they give it right back to me. I haven't attended this church very long, but for some strange reason I feel like these guys actually care about what's going on in my life. It's the first church I've ever attended where I have direct access to leadership. They don't have secretaries or a layer of people insulating them from the flock. I'm still a bit shocked by this.

We get together about once a month or so for coffee to get caught up on things. Today I was with Dennis Teague, Bill Coultas and Matt Evans. Dennis is the primary pastor, but does a lot of missionary work overseas. Bill functions in various leadership roles in the church . Matt is a friend who has fun going out in public and watching God do miracles. He writes the blog about awesome and bizarre God stories listed on this page under "My Blog List". These guys love to pray for people.

As I ordered coffee and a sandwich I noticed the young woman taking my order was wearing a sling on her arm. Inquiring minds want to know...."So why are you wearing the sling?" My usual line of questions revealed a rare condition; she has no connective tissue in her shoulder. The ligaments, tendons and cartilage are missing. Bone on bone. That must hurt. She said she was scheduled for another surgery in a few weeks. (Not if I have anything to do with it) I watched as she made my coffee and rang up the bill with her one good arm. And my heart began to hurt for this sweet person. We had to do something.

I got back to the table with the guys; a group of men who collectively have probably witnessed over a thousand miracles of healing. Dennis and his son prayed for a guy years ago who was raised from the dead. I told them about the gal who took my order. I asked them to join me in praying for her. It was like asking a golden retriever to go after a floundering duck. After eating lunch and engaging in some heavy duty vision-casting we asked our waitress to have the injured woman come to our table. When she arrived I introduced our panel of experts and shared with the guys a few things I'd learned from her while she took my order. I asked if she was looking forward to the surgery. She said she'd do anything to avoid it. I asked if we could pray for her to be healed. Her eyes lit up with excitement. "Yes, I'd love it!"

We had her step a close as she could to the table, all of touched her hand or part of her arm. We prayed in our own way. She was deeply touched that a group of strangers would bother to see her need and intercede for her. With tears in her eyes she thanked us and promised to tell us the results when we came back.

It isn't hard to pray for people. OK, it's a little slow getting started. And at times you won't feel like doing it. There will always be doubts and excuses. I'd encourage you to push past all this stuff and look for people who have a need for healing. Take 2 minutes and build a quick bridge of trust. Take 20 seconds and pray for them. Leave the healing and the relationship issues in God's hands. You'll probably never regret praying for anyone. You'll always regret it when you don't.

Oct 26, 2009

Training For a New Level of Healing

It's a little over a month before God pours out the Holy Spirit on Olympia. The voice in the night warned me to stay here and wait for it. I expected to hear news of revival in other areas by now and thought that was why I was told to stay put. Perhaps the revival will begin here. If you're not aware of the message I'm referring to you can review it here.

I've had so many dreams in which I'm praying for people to be healed. God keeps hammering away at this issue. The coming revival must be a move in which we're going to see a lot of healing miracles.  Right now I'm in training. I hope you are too. I had another dream on October 23rd. This happens to be one month before the date that God said my friend Scott would be healed of Lou Gehrig's disease. I know He said it would happen  November 23rd, but I don't know the year. Please pray for him to be healed this year.

In the dream I was with another medic who looked like a friend named Kevin from AMR. We seemed to be working together as partners in King County. There was a new set of protocols he was teaching me about. We had a patient with a dislocated shoulder. He showed me a (mysterious - non-existent) device we put on the patient that immediately reduced the dislocation. We didn’t give the patient anything for pain, or even start an IV. It happened very quickly. The medic seemed very confident and comfortable in this new approach to treatment. I can only interpret this as God’s way of illustrating a new thing He wants me to do. The county we worked in was King County -  symbolizing this is a Kingdom of God thing. Healing severe orthopedic injuries in the rig is way outside my comfort zone right now. How do you explain to a base station Doc that you just reduced a dislocated shoulder with prayer and want to leave the patient at home? Never done it, so if God wants me to do it without soiling my uniform pants,  I need some training. I'm glad He's able to run me through a few practice scenarios in my dreams. Funny thing about God's practice scenarios is, I never fail!

The dream scenario was about learning a totally new set of protocols. A set means plurality. As in, there are many new things God wants me (may I say us?) to do. The shoulder reduction is just one of them. Who knows what other amazing miracles God wants to show us in the future. I've had several visions about resurrections....come ON! You know you want to see at least one!! Well then start praying for it. Ask God to make you one of the people who will show his wonderful works in the coming revival. And seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness - everything else you need comes as a result of that.

Colon Cancer Healed

This story was aired by channel 7 news in Spartanburg, South Carolina in April 2009. The patient, Bill Pitts was completely healed of stage IV colon cancer. His doctor had no medical explanation for it, humbling suggesting it was probably God.

Angel Visits Girl in Hospital

This is a news story from last December aired on WFMY news (Channel 2) in North Carolina.

Oct 25, 2009

My Friend Katie

About a month ago I transported one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Her name is Catherine; she goes by Katie. She gave me permission to tell her story. I picked her up at St Clare hospital in Lakewood, Washington. She came to the ER with nausea, vomiting and symptoms of a general illness. Her white blood cell count was off the charts. She was being transferred directly to the University of Washington with a tentative (new) diagnosis of leukemia.

She seemed tired during the 45-minute trip. I decided to let her rest. She slept some, but tossed and turned trying to deal with the symptoms while lying on the narrow gurney as we bounced down the freeway. Five minutes before we arrived, I woke her up. I told her I believed God would heal her of this disease and asked if I could pray with her. She began to get tears in her eyes, which made me begin to cry. We spent these few minutes holding hands, asking for God’s healing power and love to be poured out upon her life, and crying.

What amazed me about this woman? It was the boldness of her faith. Here she was with a new diagnosis of leukemia and with firm conviction she spent the rest of her time with me declaring the greatness, love, mercy and goodness of God. That’s something I rarely see. She’s become a great inspiration to me.

Katie said one of the nurses tucked a note in her sheets before we left the hospital. We searched the ambulance but didn’t find it. She was disappointed, but I found it the following day. I wanted to give it back to the nurse. That was a bit tricky, because I wasn’t certain who she was. God led me to her. When I told her about the trip, we both began to cry. She’s going to give the note to Kate in person when she sees her again.

I’ve been praying for Katie’s healing with my wife. We asked a few friends to join us through a prayer ring on Facebook. I’m convinced she’ll be healed one day. But even if she isn't I've made a new friend. Praying for people has many different outcomes. At times it's a healing, other times is an encouraging moment for someone who needs it. Sometimes a lifelong relationship begins. You never know what will come of it. Here’s Katie's story from the two e-mails she sent me:

(Oct 7th)
Hi Dave,
I don't know if you remember me, but you took me from St Clare's to UW Seattle by ambulance at the beginning of September.  I had been diagnosed with leukemia.  I am getting better every day, although I am still not back at work.  Perhaps I will be able to return next week or so.  My blood levels are becoming stable and I have so much love and prayer surrounding me that I know I will be fine soon.
As I was saying my prayers today, I read the following and thanked God for you and all I have met.  I thought I would share it with you. 
"All your movements, your goings and comings, controlled by Me. 
Every visit, all blessed by Me. 
Every walk arranged by Me. 
A blessing on all you do, on every interview.
Every meeting not a chance meeting, but planned by Me. 
All blessed.
Not only now, in the hour of your difficulty, but from this time forth and for evermore."
You remain in my prayers.......God bless,  
Catherine Picard

(Oct 14th )
Hi Dave,
While my given name is Catherine and some people do use that name, others call me Katie, a nickname given me by my father.  
Your response to my e-mail was humbling to say the least.  I am now back at work, although my hours are very varied.  I would love to see you again and give you a great big hug of thanks.  If the nurse at St. Clare's wishes to contact me, you are free to give her my e-mail or phone number.  I have often wondered what the Lord had to say to me in her letter, but He must have thought I would need the words later rather than at the time. Of course you may tell or post my story to anyone where and with whom you think it might make a difference.  We are all here for the same purpose, to bring each other to the Lord.  However, if you have a prayer network, I will ask that you also include my mother and father.  My father has Alzheimer's rather badly.  My parents live in California and my mother is without much of a support network.  They need prayer more than I.  
How are your friend with Lou Gehrig's disease and his family doing?  They remain in my prayers also.
I look forward to seeing you again.  I'm sorry I missed you at Fred Meyer, but I am back now, hopefully full time.  My days off are usually somewhere in the middle of the week, although that changes with the company schedule.  I am difficult to contact at home as my hours, as I said are so varied, but you may call and leave a message or e-mail me at any time.

In Christ,  Katie Picard

Oct 23, 2009

Just Not Myself - Reacting to Error

Yesterday was a nightmare...I never saw it coming. (some prophet, huh?) This post is from the point of view of the guy I turned into while driving to work yesterday. It's gonna sound different because I wasn't myself yesterday. I'm glad crap like doesn't happen every day.

I arrived at work 20 minutes early - that's weird. I'm never early. Wait - let's back up...

I woke up at 4:15am and couldn't go back to sleep. There I was wide awake...what the heck? After 45 minutes of staring at the ceiling I got up, made coffee and logged in to Facebook.

(fast forward)
When I surveyed the parking lot, I noticed my shiny new rig idling and the mechanic outside talking on the phone...Crap! This is not good! Darin (the Sup de jour) gave me the bad news.
Time for an oil change.

Well, it could be worse. Oil changes are quick, Glen can do them in less than an hour - so maybe we'd only be in a back up rig for a short time. I can deal with that : )

Clocked in, coffee in hand, we were told to line up for H1N1 vaccinations. I seriously thought about bailing on it - I haven't had the flu since I played with pterodactlys in the sandbox....but I caved in. (I hate peer pressure)

After milling around for 30 minutes and not getting close to the front of the line, dispatch told us we had an interfacility call...crap! Darin tossed us the keys to the POS back up and told us yesterday's crew moved all our gear over last night...should be good to go....honest.

My partner rolled his eyes in disgust...the seat-belt light glowed dimly, while the engine quietly slept. Crap!! Someone left the battery switch on. Darin told us to have the mechanic (still talking on the phone) to give it a jump. We advised dispatch of the problem, they called the hospital and delivered the news of our delay. 15 minutes later we're under way...late.

We're not used to running late. We usually arrive early, the paperwork isn't ready, the patient isn't ready and no one's called report to the receiving facility. We can bank on 20 minutes of boredom. Sometimes I do 'hot laps' around the hallways, praying for random patients or irritating the nurses with bad humor. The nurse behind the desk was on the phone getting her butt chewed out by the doc who was doing the procedure on our patient. She promised him we were loading him and about to leave. She gave us a quick report, tossed us the paperwork and asked us to hurry as politely as she could.

I did everything on the way - the 5 minute transport was just long enough to get a couple sets of vitals, an EKG, a quick history and ask the patient what was going on. He was very helpful, and even mentioned that the urologist who was doing the procedure called him on his cell phone and bitched him out this morning for not being there earlier. They set up the transfer for last night, because the procedure was slated for early morning, but they rescheduled the transfer. The irate doc called the staff and the patient and threatened to cancel the procedure. Just amazing, I love people who act that way.

After that transport we hoped to go back to the barn and switch out of our pre-Cambrian meat wagon. No such luck. We went to the west side instead to cover another rig's area. The brilliant idea to do a rig check hit my partner. We found the portable and main oxygen tanks bone- dry....Nice. A call to dispatch and we on our merry way back to the barn. We changed out the empty tanks and moved our gear into our normal rig. Our shiny new one had a couple of gallons of new oil waiting to be broken in.

My partner is a good guy. Sometimes his thorough-osity irritates me. (Don't ask if that's a real word) His inspection of the portable o2 tank on the gurney? Stone cold dead. Crap!

It was just the beginning.

We found 12 pillows stuffed under the bench seat. I'm not sure how the guys on the other shift party, but apparently the feathers fly when they get excited. We had (as usual) one backboard - without straps. The garbage can in back was bloated bag of refuse, spilling it's vile contents on the floor. We found no de-fib pads in the monitor and no idea what our predecessors planned to do if they had a code. There was a key broken off in the door of the main o2 compartment. This is becoming legendary. Braun, in their infinite wisdom switched to a spring loaded lock cylinder last year. All the new rigs come with an exciting new "feature". If you don't jam the key all the way into the lock and properly depress the spring mechanism, the key snaps off when you turn it. We've broken off about a dozen keys on our rig alone. Finger pointing is at an all-time high.

Our second patient was...'interesting' We were told by dispatch she lived on the 3rd floor of an apartment complex that had no elevators - only an outside stairwell. They were sending another unit with us to help carry her up the stairs. On scene we were warned by the nurse that she was demanding, controlling, pushy, refused to have male nurses in her room and 'fired' some of the female nurses during her short stay. Our informant added this gem to the rap sheet; "she was no stranger to narcotics". YAY!

I broke out a bottle of Rico Suave aftershave, lit a few candles and sauntered into her room - determined to win her over. It worked...she feel in love with us. We had a fairly decent trip with one irritating exception. She had a beautiful vase of flowers (lillies) that we brought along. In carrying them I somehow got orange pollen all over the front of my uniform shirt. It remained there the rest of the shift. About a dozen people were kind enough to ask what happened. I rolled my eyes in disgust.

Coming out of the hospital with the patient, I shook my head in unbelief. Some nucklehead from AMR parked his rig 4 feet behind ours. How the heck were we supposed to load our patient. Don't their gurneys need the same loading space ours do? The EMT shot me a look and asked if he should back up. I said, "I don't know, what do you think?"

Our next transport was a bariatric. Thankfully, it only required us to swap out gurneys. We grabbed the 'wide load' bed and put it in the rig. My partner's obsession with oxygen bottles continued and (drum roll, please).....the tank was empty. The gurney had no pillow and no blanket. A microscopic exam of the mattress revealed every bacteria known to man. Who knows if it had been cleaned in the last month. Our frustration went into high gear. We cursed the lazy worthless slobs we worked with who couldn't manage to do a single friggin' thing right. Dropping off our (very nice) bariatric patient at dialysis, we maneuvered the wide gurney into the room. A nurse poked her head into the room and sheepishly asked if we wanted help. I said, (a bit sarcastically) "I don't know, what do you think?"

(Warning - rant ahead)
OK...we have a bariatric patient. That means they're around 300 lbs, minimum. A lot are 400 - 500 lbs. Some are over 650 lbs. Why does a nurse think for one minute we're going to refuse lifting help? Get your butt in the room and help us! It's a constant source of irritation for us... people who can't or won't do heavy lifting. We pretty much stopped asking for lifting help at the dialysis unit a long time ago. All we every got was attitudes and excuses. A lot of hospital floors are the same way. People disappear every time a large patient shows up. We come to their floor and like cockroaches when you turn the lights on, people scurry for a hiding place.

We have a few EMT's working for us who request an extra unit to assist in lifting when the patient weighs 175 lbs. Two people who can't lift a patient that weighs 175?? No, I'm not's becoming a lot more common. Why are these people even doing healthcare? EMS isn't for everyone. Maybe you like the lights or the drama. Maybe it's driving fast. None of that matters. The job involves lifting and carrying people who are disabled. Some are very big. If you need help every time because you can't or won't lift someone, you're a liability. There are other jobs that don't require heavy lifting. Perhaps you'd be better suited in one of them.
(End of rant)

Coming out to our rig, we noticed a shuttle van parked behind us. Yes, we were parked in the shuttle loading area. I'm sorry, but I think ambulances qualify as shuttles, even if we don't have a wheelchair lift. The shuttle was parked exactly 5 feet off our rear bumper. As we approached with our gurney, a woman materialized out of thin air. She introduced herself as the supervisor who was training the new shuttle driver. She sweetly apologized for his park job. Her smile gave away something of what really happened. (at least in my bewildered mind)

(10 minutes earlier) She explained to the newbie, "The ambulance needs exactly six feet of space to unload their gurney. They are not a shuttle van and thus they have no right to park where they did. Do you understand? Good, as you park the van, I want you to leave exactly five feet of space between our vehicle and theirs."

I waited for my partner to go back inside and get the signature he forgot. Sheesh! The shuttle van prepares to leave. I can't believe what I'm watching in the mirror. The van has at least 50 feet of room to back up before they leave. Instead, the driver cuts the wheel away from the curb and creeps forward in his attempt to merge. He crawls within a couple inches of my rear bumper...I can't watch, I close my eyes and brace for impact.
He clears my bumper without hitting me. I'm simply amazed. Stupidity reigns in the heart of men...I just want to go home.

I call dispatch and remind them I need my flu vaccine. They send us to the barn, I snort the vaccine up both nostrils and quickly leave as the stuff drips down the back of my throat...yum.

We get a call to the homeless shelter for a dude with a massively swollen arm. Been like that for a month. Had a DVT a month ago...looks like he still has it. He tells the fire guys his story, they relay it to us. We begin the drive...6 blocks to the hospital. Vitals are good, sats are great. On the way the guy decides to add a few more pieces to the puzzle...diabetic, CVA, heart problems...yada yada. We check his sugar - almost 500...thanks a lot for sharing, pal. I can just hear them now...why didn't you start an IV?? Why didn't you blah blah blah?? 30 seconds to arrival.

Call the ball...

We did our best to tell the story we had so far. But the dude kept changing it. He told us he was taking insulin, but told the nurse he wasn't. Then he told them he wasn't taking his coumadin or any of his medications. He tossed us under the bus. My partner rolled his eyes with disgust once again. I told him don't worry - he's gonna change the story again when the doc sees him and make the nurses look like idiots. If he sees someone else like a specialist, the story changes again. Guys like him make a career out of telling everyone a different story so we all look like morons.

On the way out the door the nurse asked us if we checked out his breath sounds. "Wow, I've never heard such junky sounds in my life, what did you guys hear?" My EMT informed her that our stethoscope was missing an earpiece and a bloody eardrum awaited anyone who used it. I went in a different direction. I thought the lifters in the engine needed adjustment based on the loud tapping sound I kept hearing in the background. I don't know, maybe we should have started him on Levaquin.

The end of shift was fast approaching. Just when I thought the nightmare was over, we had one more problem. Some dingleberry parked a back-up rig in our spot. We have numbers for our rigs stenciled on the ground in front of the parking spaces. It's management's way of bringing it down to the 3rd grade level of personal accountability most of us operate at. But apparently it's too complicated for some. I fetched the keys, once again trying to fix a problem created by lazy mope. To my dismay, the back-up rig (a different one from this morning's fiasco) wouldn't stay running. It turned over, but when I let go of the ignition key, it died. Maybe I could back it up, holding the ignition key on and grind the starter to a burnt lump of metal! Crap!

I went inside & broke the happy news to the supervisor. He rolled his eyes in disgust. 15 minutes later the offending unit was extricated from it's wrongful location and I backed my rig in. Thank God for the end of this day. I didn't pray for a single patient. I did feel like strangling half the people I work with. I prayed that God would never again let me suffer through a shift like this.

I asked God what happened today. The answer is this: I gave a co-worker some advice the day before about reacting to the situations around us. Today I was given an opportunity to walk out my words of advice. It wasn't easy. The advice came from a man I respect greatly; Bill Johnson. He said (paraphrasing) "If you react to error, you won't arrive at truth, but another error. As long as error is your starting point, you're going to end up going in the wrong direction. We are not designed to react to error - but to respond to truth."

I spent an entire day reacting to the errors of other people. It frustrated me to no end. I could have chosen, as I often do, to seek God's truth in every situation and respond to it. Today I chose to react instead of respond. I hope I never make that mistake again.