Friday, January 26, 2007


Several years ago, before I joined the Emergency Response Team, an effort was initiated by the volunteers and management for our company to purchase Automatic External Defibrillator devices for all of our buildings worldwide. The lifesaving ability of these machines is unquestionable, however the process stalled for 6 years due to management blunders and funding concerns.

Just over a year ago, new management was finally able to push the project through to approval. Our company's buildings and ERT Leads on our West Coast and Southern US campuses received these critical devices, and this past Wednesday, one of them was placed into action.

An employee at one of our Southern US buildings suddenly collapsed at his desk. He was not breathing. He had no pulse. The ERT in that building sprung into action, performing CPR and attaching the AED leads to his chest.

One shock. Two shocks. The AED reported that a third shock was not advised.

He had regained a pulse. The ERT continued breathing for him.

The fire department arrived twelve minutes after the initial call, due to the remoteness of their location. Since brain cells die after 4-6 minutes of lack of blood circulation and oxygen, it is undeniable that the quick action of the ERT, and the application of the AED, saved this man's life. Had there been no onsite response, he would have been dead upon arrival of the fire department.

This morning, he was breathing on his own, and although still in a medically-induced semi-coma, was able to smile at his wife. He never would have had that chance without the team's intervention.

The years of arguing, researching and pushing for these lifesaving devices were difficult, time-consuming and stressful.

This makes it all worthwhile.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Young at Heart

Last week, walking into Carl's Jr. with Danny, a family was walking out at the same time. I held the door for them; kids, parents and then the grandmother.

On the way past me, the sweet grandmother said,

"Thank you so much. Not many teenagers these days do that."

I turned 33 last month. I feel much better about it now.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Please Use Air Freshener

Said by a coworker on his way to a meeting he was vehemently against attending, in a conference room directly beside my cube:

"I hope there is a toilet in the conference room so I can take a sh*t."

Great. Where's my nose plug ?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Public Service Announcement

If you are carrying a laptop bag, purse, big binders and a coffee, and happen to be wearing high-heeled boots, it is best to take the elevator instead of the stairs.

Taking the stairs could result in a nasty fall, including a dislocated shoulder.

It took two doses of morphine from the Fire Department paramedic before our patient could stand up and walk down one flight of stairs to the stretcher, with firefighters supporting her arm.

I'm sure she'll take the elevator from now on.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

What ?! Part II

When I first saw the $145 price tag on a set of floor mats for my car, I said forget it. Why spend that kind of money on floor mats, that only will be stepped on by passengers' dirty shoes ? I could spend my $145 on much more useful things. Or so I thought.

My friends, awesome as they are, were not in agreement with my reasoning.

Jeff mentioned that he had spent a similar amount on the floor mats for his most lovely Nissan 350Z. Rick simply could not understand why I wouldn't buy a good set of mats for my car. And Rakesh nailed me to the wall with his simple but eloquent statement:

"And how much did you spend on the car again ?"

Peer pressure got the best of me. Armed with a generous birthday/Christmas contribution gift from my good friend AJ, I purchased the floor mats. Not the simple (read: boring) ones from the dealer, but custom mats with 330ci embossed on the driver and passenger sides.

Were they worth it ?

I dare say they were.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Double-Edged Sword

I hate prednisone.

Hate it, hate it, hate it.

The ER doc put me on a seven-day course of this steroid to prevent any further asthma attacks. While this and the various other medications I've been taking have done the trick, I've barely slept since then.

Oh sure, I was able to catch 2-4 hours at a stretch every night, but it was always a fitful sleep, tossing and turning, constantly awakening, staying up for what seemed like hours before finally drifting off again. For seven days straight.

The medication wired me during the day as well, so much so that I didn't need to drink coffee the entire week. But I didn't sleep, either.

Two days ago was my last dosage, and last night was the first night prednisone-free. I slept 11 hours, barely moving, and still feel like a truck ran over me this morning.

It's going to take some time to catch up from a week of no sleep. And, I'm at work today, so I'll have to find my concentration somehow.

Time to get more coffee.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Common Sense Part II

This is in response to Yusuf's comments on the previous post regarding brain activity and the effects of certain foods and nutrients.

I hear what you say, and I am sure that your experience is how you described it. And of course there is scientific evidence that does state that certain foods (including fish) have a positive effect on brain function. According to this article, DHA, a main component of Omega-3 fatty acids, is an important component of childhood brain development. The major natural sources are fatty fish and organ meats.

The article also points out that Omega-3s can be obtained through supplementation, such as fish oil capsules or vegetarian DHA. So Yusuf, if you're ever inclined to stay away from fish for a while, try taking the supplementation and let me know how that works out for you. I think you may find that your cognitive function will remain the same. :)

Getting back to the original issue, the parents of the 2-year-old child in the emergency room that night were justified to be concerned about her allergy to fish, and the possible effect on her brain development. Even so, they acted in a reckless and irresponsible manner by intentionally and deliberately giving her a food that they knew she was allergic to. The risk to a child's life through an uncontrolled introduction of a known allergen far outweighs any possible benefits of that action. And since other sources of DHA are available, it is not necessary to even attempt to acclimate her to her allergy in such a way.

Children of that age are completely dependent on their parents to provide for them a safe and nourishing environment. Deliberately and intentionally causing an anaphylactic reaction to attempt to acclimate a child to an allergy is a danger to her life. Even with the myriad of advice from all sources, a parent's basic common sense must always prevail.

For that little girl's sake, I hope it will.
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