Wednesday, March 31, 2010

No Good Deed Goes Unrewarded March 2010

Got up before dawn this morning
to take a friend to the clinic
for his surgery.

Being up before dawn reminds me way too much of work! 

However, on the way home I stopped at
the Jocotepec malecón to see what dawn would look
like from the west end.

As the sun rose majestically over Lake Chapala
I got my reward.

 I believe I will do this more often!

The late great Waylon Jennings
Come with me, come with me
Feelings free, come with me.
We'll get on a cloud, babe, ride it high.
Say hello sun, as we sail by.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Shameless Plug For My Book March 2010

A few years ago, while I was still working as a paramedic,
I wrote a book and a continuing education program 
for EMS, firefighters, doctors and nurses
called Emergency Medical Spanish.

I went to firehouses and EMS agencies and taught my students to run 
911 calls and converse with their patients in Spanish.
Nothing fancy, just situational Spanish classes.

When I moved to Mexico, I continued the program here.
Cruz Roja Chapala was kind enough to allow me to use their classroom
and welcomed the students who were mandated to volunteer in the 
clinic and on the ambulances as part of the program. 
The students loved it!
They brought suitcases and duffel bags full of recycled
medical supplies and equipment for Cruz Roja.
It was a win-win.

Then came the 3rd edition, Emergency Medical English,
 which was the book written in reverse, 
to teach Mexican paramedics to run calls in English.
The paramedics and nurses at Cruz Roja Chapala
have been taught the program.

In two weeks I will be working with the Jocotepec
firefighters teaching them the program so they
can be more comfortable with their
English speaking patients.

Recently I wrote the 4th edition - written for the patient!

 Information on this book is available in the right
hand column.

Additional editions:  
Emergency Medical Spanish - For English Speaking Healthcare Workers
Emergency Medical English - For Spanish Speaking Healthcare Workers
are also available for purchase over this blog in Ebook format.
$12.00 US

A portion of the sales of these books will go to 
Cruz Roja Chapala Delegation.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mexican Cell Phone Debacle March 2010


Mexico, in it's eternal wisdom and optimism,
has decided that since narcos, extortionists, and kidnappers use
cell phones in the planning and commission of crimes. . .
it makes perfect sense to mandate that by April 10th
every cell phone in Mexico must be registered 
and each registration must contain the phone owners
CURP number as well as their PERSONAL information.

A CURP number is the equivalent of a US Social Security number.
Mexicans are issued their CURP# on their birth certificate.
Foreigners don't have a CURP number but must get issued one
in order to register their phones. 

There's a fly in this ointment.  
No, there's a whole herd of them.

According to my newspaper, The Guadalajara Reporter,
after this date, users who have not registered their phones
with the 
National Registry of Cell Phone Users
may have their service suspended.

There are four cell phone companies here in Mexico 
and 83.5 million cell phone users.  
Of that 83.5 million phones, only 38 million have been registered.
Those would be the phones belonging to the cartels, no doubt,
as they most assuredly rushed to comply.

The Reporter goes on to say that if the remaining
45.5 million phones do not get registered,
and are subsequently disconnected on April 10th, 
it could mean that the service providers would lose
243 million pesos — EVERY DAY.

(Psssst, the numero uno World's Richest Man happens to own 
the biggest cell phone company in Mexico.)

This situation is being compared to the effect that the
Swine Flu had on the Mexican economy!

Ooooh, here's a fly. . .The GR goes on to say that CURP#s
have been found to be duplicated!
And, this could make it difficult for the comparison of data and 
might result in the wrong persons having their cell phones 
suspended due to systematic inconsistencies.
Ya' think?
Nevertheless, they say, despite these irregularities Article 64 
of the Federal Telecommunications Law stipulates that all 
cell phones must be registered.

Now for my personal experience regarding complying
with this law.
In my usual fashion, when it comes to burro-cracy,
I wait until the laaaaaasssst minute to make sure that 
it MUST be done and no one was 'just kidding'.

I called a friend of mine in the cell phone business:
¡Hola, amigo.  Hey what's this about registering our cell phones,
do we really have to?
Si.  He said.
Are you sure?
Si, but just bring in your phone and I'll help you do it.
Ok, cool.  Thanks.  Do I really have to have a CURP#?
I don't have one.
No problem, you can use mine!!!

I rest my case.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm. . . March 2010

There is a produce man at the Mercado Corona
in Guadalajara who has a nifty trick.

He can toss coins into his change bowl
from a couple of rows away using this technique,
and he rarely misses.

Any idea how he does it?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

WHAT WAS THAT! March 2010

What was THAT!!!
Was it the car keys??????  
Sounded like car keys!!!!

It WAS car keys!  
I see them!
I see them!

Can I go?
I wanna go!
I wanna go!

NO.  You can't go.

Why not?

You can't go, Mags!
It's hot.
You'll be stuck in the car!

I don't care.
I wanna go!

You're really leavin'.
And I have to stay home. . .
. . .ALONE.




I can't stand it.
You can go.
Get in the car!


 I knew she'd cave.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Father Was An Ambulance Chaser - Part 2 March 2010


It didn't take long, working as an Emergency Medical Technician, and doing 
only Basic Life Support, to realize that paramedics only haul patients

 . . .whereas EMTs have to carry them UPSTAIRS!
EMTs are often called by the hospitals
to return patients to their homes upon discharge.

Not only the patients, but the gurney they lay on, all the flowers and plants,
books and magazines, balloons and clothes they accumulate while in the hospital.
This fact alone was enough to get me looking at paramedic schools in the 
San Francisco Bay Area.

I chose the Stanford University Prehospital Care Program in Palo Alto, CA.
I interviewed, tested, auditioned, was accepted, and began
2 years of absolute hell.
I memorized algorithms, drugs, treatment protocols, anatomy and physiology, 
and endured daily testing followed by weekly exams.

Every one of us turned into stress monsters and
we lost about 25% of the class before it was all said and done.

This was followed by months of clinical training in hospital ERs, 
Labor and Delivery, The Morgue, and any other venue they could find which would 
provide a broader and richer educational experience for us.

This was then followed by months of internship on an actual ambulance with real paramedics.

Interns are expected to: 
  • Run every call and be excruciatingly critiqued afterward (WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!)
  • Carry ALL the equipment (airway bag, EKG monitor and defibrillator, trauma bag, drug box, C-spine) on calls - think mule
  • Monitor and answer all county radio traffic (Rescue 30 copies, county, show us enroute to the freeway for the man strolling through traffic saying he's Jesus)
  • Clean quarters, stations, ambulance and restock (vacuum, mop, wax on - wax off)
  • Not snore (snoring interns got pummeled by skanky coworker boots)
  • Cook (gourmet meals that would inevitably be eaten cold hours later)
  • And spend every downtime minute studying (In the event your Preceptor-From-Hell might wake you at 4 AM to have you recite every pertinent piece of information regarding Atropine Sulfate)
I had the great and good fortune of doing my internship with a local 
Marin County Fire Rescue Squad where they treated me like a princess. . .

. . .and I learned how real paramedics do the job.

  • Passing the state EMS testing processes
  • Getting everything licensed and certified
  • Getting an actual paramedic job!  OMG!
  • Jumping through yet more county hoops
  • Yet another qualifying 5-call process.
  • First day on the job - just shoot me now.
 All cartoons are the brilliant work of the funniest paramedic
in the business - Steve Berry

Monday, March 8, 2010

Of Zoos, Meters, Nevilles, and "Day All Axt Fuh You"! March 2010

As a top studio band in the 1960s and '70s, the Meters recorded seminal New Orleans Funk.  Art Neville fronted the band, bringing his talent, keyboard, and occasional vocals to their songs.
  One of my favorite tunes of all time is their rendition of a trip to the 
New Orleans Audubon Zoo:
To enjoy them and the zoo click above link! 

But Wait!

We just came back from the Guadalajara Zoo
and there is a bit of a resemblance!

Don't miss the Guadalajara Zoo if you are in the area.
It is fun, a bargain for the price, the animals are well cared for,
and even the food was good!

See for yourself:











This little pink elephant was sound asleep on dad's shoulder.  
By this time I was wishing for a shoulder to nap on too.

Many more animals and very attractive displays
than I could ever post here.
The only animal enclosure I was not impressed with
was the home for the elephants.  
They are dear to my heart and I was a little
dismayed at how small and barren it was.
Not to mention how utterly boring it must be for these intelligent beings.

The Guad Zoo is big and well designed and has wheelchairs
for those who would have a hard time doing it all on foot,
and big blue porpoises on wheels for kids to ride in.
Also trams and trains, ramps and pathways, 
all in all I thought it was very user friendly.

We found at least 4 restaurants that were clean and with tasty food
and each one had a different menu.  Snack shops abound.
Prices were very good.

All in all, it was a fine day for me and my pals!

Great lyrics.