Thanks to all that have helped!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Redneck Tested, Medic Approved

Well...I have somehow managed to break my prosthetic. I'm thinking that Otto Bock should hire me as a crash test dummy. I've had my prosthetic system since March and in that time I have broken the foot 6 times and now the prosthetic knee itself. They could send me new ideas and I'll put them through real world testing. Put a big stamp on the side "Redneck tested, Medic approved!"

So now I have to wait for a "loaner" knee to be sent to me. I'm on a list and have no idea when it will get here. My prosthetist is going to try to get them to speed up the process and get it here quicker. Later in the week I should be getting my new foot (as I said, I broke the other several times) . It's been a trying week to say the least. I have made the decision to move forward and start applying for paramedic positions, with the dream of starting sometime in October. I'm absolutely terrified of getting back on the truck. So many variables to contend with that I haven't had to think about, but still I'm excited at the prospect of getting back at it. Hopefully later this week I can tell you the problems have been solved and I'm up and at it again, until then I will be using the broken leg and moving a little slower. Hey, adapt and overcome right.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Farewell to LMEMS

Today was my last day as a paramedic for Louisville Metro EMS. Not the way I had expected this day to come. In 2006 when I first moved to Louisville, I had expected to make this service my home for the next 20 years. As it turns out, that is not to be. I have seen many life altering events during my course as a paramedic there, I just had no idea that my own life altering event would be the one that would finally close this chapter. As I look back I have many great memories, a few bad ones, but overall I have had the opportunity to watch amazing paramedics and EMT's take care of patients in a way that should not be possible with the equipment we had, or with the hours we had worked. To have a crew be as sharp and on their game on their 3rd sixteen hour shift in a row as they were when they started that shift 48 hours ago. I am, and forever will be, proud to have been called a Louisville Metro EMS paramedic.

The reason for my departure is two-fold. Louisville Metro Government was gracious enough to extend my one year off work date from May to Aug, in this time period I have grown by leaps and bounds in my ability to use this prosthetic as it's supposed. Yet, I am still a month or so away from being able to function on an ambulance. Second, they offered to let me fill out the ADA paperwork again, with the caveat that I have an "exact date of return to full duty." This was not possible. There's no way to know when my muscle will have the strength I need it to, and any date placed there would be guesswork at best.

That being said, I will forever consider Louisville Metro my home. I am just moving on to another chapter in my life, and will be returning to work in the near future for another ambulance service. The Prosthetic Medic will ride on.

Thank you all for the support during my recovery, I'm sorry I couldn't make it back there, but I know that you all will work hard to make LMEMS the service it deserves to be.

For my readers out there that stayed through that Obituary of Employment past, I do have some good news. I was able to see the rough cut of the Otto Bock commercial that will be on their website in the near future. It looks great and I can't wait till I can share it with you all.

Going tomorrow to start working on getting stretchers in and out, as well as hopefully going for a bike ride with my step-son.

Prosthetic Medic

Monday, September 17, 2012

Webcast and Exercises

Last night I had the honor of being a guest on the 1-801 Union Webcast. Had a great time and got to chat with Sarge John Broyles and the Fossil Medic Mike Ward. If you're interested in hearing the interview you can listen or download it at this link

The opening of the webcast is a discussion on the new educational standards of becoming a Paramedic and the so called "Zero to Hero" programs. These programs advocate skipping spending time on the street as an EMT-Basic and straight into Paramedic. 
The second part of the interview was John speaking to me about my injury, amputation, and recovery effort. It's worth a listen, you can also catch the webcast on every Saturday at 2230 Central Time. 

I also have to thank my high school football coaches. After doing some research I found a list of exercises employed by the military to help get their amputees back on their feet. Turns out, they use a number of the exercises I hated back in high school to strengthen the muscles required for walking. Things are going well, I feel like my walk is improving, I'm learning how to use the leg on uneven terrain, and I found that I can jump...somewhat. 

I'm going to speak with Kentucky Prosthetics about making a few changes to the prosthetic, hook it up to the computer and make a few changes there, and possibly a few changes to the socket itself. I'm learning what I like and dislike and how these small changes make a big difference. I'll let you know what changes are being made and how progress goes. I will be back on an ambulance before this year is out. The sooner the better, just have to keep plowing forward. 

Before I wrap things up tonight I need to ask a favor of you...I'm tossing the idea around about attempting to write all of this in book form. If my story has helped you, inspired you, or you simply have an idea about what I should cover or what you would like to know please let me know. Thanks again, 

Prosthetic Medic

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Leaving Home... of now the date has been set. I will be departing from "my current employer" on September 20, 2012. I have the chance to have my MD fill out another set of ADA paperwork but he would have to give an exact date that I am able to return to full duty. That is perform my job functions as I did prior to my injuries. The issues I am having is that I am close to being able to return to duty, but I have found out that getting my body used to the increased energy consumption due to the amputation has been much more strenuous than I expected. I am going to have my PT doc fill out the paperwork and let them decide my fate. I have to admit that the Metro Government has been very helpful and I hate to leave behind such great coworkers.

To the hundreds of people that I have worked with over the years,

If I do not return to "my employer" then it has been an immense pleasure to serve the people of our city together. I have had the opportunity over the past 6 years to work with some of the greatest EMT's and Paramedics that Kentucky has to offer. Our service has seen it's ups and downs over the years, there have been no shortage of scandal, and yet through all the adversity I have seen the street crews step up and handle any situation time and time again. I have nothing but respect for each of you and hope to see you build that service into the pillar of the EMS community that it can become. I will miss working with all of you, and no matter where I go, be it EMS or some other avenue, I will always considers my home and family to be with all of you. I hope to see you all again, I may be wearing a new uniform, but I will always be proud to have served next to you.

To everyone on the blog that has supported me through this endeavor, I am not giving up on getting  back on an ambulance. I am closer now than I have been, progress may have slowed, but I count any progress as one step closer to my end goal. For now I am going to continue to work on being a good spouse and father, and work to show my children that no matter what life hands you, if you are determined you can overcome it. I owe it to my boys to beat this adversity and show that I am just as able now as I was then. I will continue to update everyone and let you know what the outcome of this current situation is, as the details become available to me. I finally have found peace with the fact that it may be time to move on to a new chapter in my career, but I will not give up on my dream. I was raised with 2 major fundamental values; 1.) Can't never could do nothing, so can't is not a part of my vocabulary. 2.) If you have to fight to achieve your goal, then you're moving in the right direction.

So, with that I will update you on another day as I learn more. Thank you for supporting me and I am eternally indebted to all of you.

The Prosthetic Medic

Sunday, September 9, 2012


It's amazing how the little things in life can give you a glimpse of how wonderful life can be; even after a life changing event, a small amount of normalcy can set your path back straight. Friday night I was able to get out in the front yard and throw the football around with my 2 boys. I can't run yet, can't jump, well...there's a whole list of things I can't do yet, but I was able to pass and teach each of my boys how to throw a spiral.

Just this little action reminded me of what I'm going through all this for. I used to think I was working so hard just to get back on an ambulance, while that is still the end game, the real important thing was the memory my boys have of learning to throw and catch a football with their dad. It's these moments that mean more to me than anything I have accomplished as a paramedic. It's wonderful to start feeling like I'm about to have a major breakthrough and start my life back up.

As for a life update...Kate is doing very well. Baby Liam is 23 weeks now and is growing as expected. Both our boys are doing amazing in school. I'll update some more later....