Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hello All

First off, the rumors of my demise were greatly exaggerated. I did not die, become a Tibetan monk, or join a cult. I was simply lost in the jungle of studying for the MCAT (there's a summer goooooooone) and applying to medical school.

The long and the short of it: after 38 essays and 400+ hours of studying for the MCAT I was accepted into medical school. I'll be attending the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in my home state of Missouri beginning Fall 2012. (Ironic that my username used to me "WanabeMD" and I'm going to a DO school ay? More about that later)

Yep, 2012... I deferred for a year (and my parents ARE talking to me again finally). Why? I wanted to continue working for the Search and Rescue team- especially as short staffed as we are. I wanted to finish my research at the Neuromuscular Function Laboratory and I wanted to explore the mountain west for one more year before I bear down on the next umpteen million years of studying, boards, clerkships, interships, residencies, etc.

You can follow the adventures of my girlfriend and I here. Our goal is to hike, bike, run, and climb to at least one summit a week until we move back to Missouri.

I'm not sure if I'll post more SAR mission stories on here. I got in a bit of trouble despite my complete fabrication of hybrid patients. We'll see....

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Buried Alive, part 2

Wow.... this took a while to finish. Trying to get a paper written and its A LOT more work than I expected. First author though!!!!

So what was being buried alive like?
  • It was warm, honest to god- under the snow I was never really cold. I had some intermittent shivering but that's it. My core temp (which is usually a little high) never dropped below 37. Begin the alpine fat jokes now... I was only in a mid weight capilene and gore tex suit.
  • NG tubes SUCK. I gagged, and gagged, and gagged even with the nasal lidocaine, spray lidocaine, and lidocaine gel. I wish that upon no patient, ever. This reaffirms by belief about performing procedures on professionals before they'll do them on patients. I've been strapped to a backboard for 3 hours, had an NG tube dropped on me, had an epidural, and had venous and arterial catheters put in. I can for sure relate to patients a lot more.
  • Even sitting upright (think a snow recliner) in the snow, I still got vertigo. There were moments of confusion. I'm confident that if ever buried for real I'll have no idea which way is up
  • I couldn't move one inch and the snow was just boot packed around me. The avy debris I've dug through was much, much, much harder. SCARY.
  • I was under the snow for an hour but it went by really quick. I was bored, but I meditated and got through it. One guy pissed himself.... I was really happy I just didn't eat or drink that morning.
  • Once they dug me out I got really, really cold. As per protocol, I was placed in a hypothermia wrap for an hour while they continued to measure my vitals, etc. Once I hit the air (even in a sleeping bag, tarp, and sleeping pad), I started shivering violently. So violently that my whole body was sore the next day. The rewarming was the most miserable part.
  • It couldn't have been that bad... I went back and did it the next day =)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Buried Alive?

Not many words for now, just pics. But being buried was quite interesting.

Getting ready to be put under sans helmet. The wires you see are finger pulse oximeters, forehead skin temp probe, EKG probe, rectal temp probe, and O2/CO2 monitors.

Begining the burial.
Halfway under, the snow was packed hard around me so I couldn't move more than a cm. The heavy wire you see was my radio to the surface.
All the way under. Only 60min to go at this point...

They look nice and warm don't they?

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Headlights... no, not THOSE headlights

This callout still sticks in my head for a few reasons.

First, it was the first time a dead body bothered me. It was the first time I really thought about it once I was done, the first time I shed a tear about it, and the first time I dreamed about it. I still don't know why.

Second, the night was absolutely gorgeous. The kind of night that brings you back to alpine climbing again and again. This contrasted sharply with our mission.

Third, I LOVE my petzyl head lamp- but it is not enough light to ski by and is makes a true search in the trees difficult. Being a self confessed gear whore, I wondered what I could do about this.

When doing 24 hour mountain bike races, I have a really nice, light, bright light set up made by NiteRider. Two on my handle bars, one on my helmet and I usually run faster laps at night than I do during the day. I would love a similar headlamp possibility on my ski helmet.

There is a helmet mount already made:but it is intended for mountain biking helmets with ample open vents for the velcro straps. I'm planning to try epoxying it onto my Giro G9 ski helmet to see if it may be a viable option for holding a light. The battery pack would either go in my backpack or jacket. Anythoughts?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mountains Are My Home

First, check out my good friend and former roommate's blog:
Mountains Are My Home

He's a super talented rando racer, mountain bike racer, and all around good guy!
He was with me on one of my worst back country touring days ever (Tele, SURE I remember how to tele!), some loooooooong ass mountain bike rides (7 hours? no prob), and introduced me to Mate tea (for which I will always be thank full).

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Torture Test 2010

No callouts
More gear
Yay Christmas!
Home for Christmas and Santa was nice enough to bring me a few really nice pieces of gear that I will be beating the shit out of as soon as I get home:

Rab Mountainering Neutrino Endurance Jacket
  • 750 fill down
  • A giant freaking hood (I have it over my Giro G9 size XL ski helmet in this pic!)
  • 638g (on my postal scale)
Mountain Hardware HeavyWeight Gloves
  • Full leather palm... ohhhh yeahhhhh
  • Longer cuff than most "liner" gloves
REI Performance Headliner
  • Neck Gator
  • Full Balaclava
  • Pretty lightweight
All of which should come in handy during the upcoming cold days and nights on the snowmobiles and skis during back country rescues. Last year I didn't have a puffy with a hood, that made belay stations very chilly. I know some people aren't a fan of the hood, but I've wanted one for a while. Rab has started to become popular in the US with excellent recommendations on their gear from a few of my friends.

The helmet liner should be excelent as well. Considering the size of my head it seems like it'll fit under my climbing, skiing, ans snowmobile helm

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gear You Can't Live Without

I'll admit it, I'm a gear whore... unabashedly a gear whore. Luckily, I live in a house I work on rather than pay rent for so I have some extra money to buy gear. The whole being single with no kids thing helps too.

While I own a fair bit of gear (like a lot of us it takes up an extra bedroom), I'd like to think its because I'm picky with what I use. Hence, I'd like to begin a series about "Gear I Can't Live Without" based on my favorite packs, boots, ice tools, and other expensive shiny things I've tried to kill without success. Gear Like:

My Cold Cold World Chaos Pack

The La Sportiva Nepal Extreme Boots


Petzyl Gloves and Headlamp

That are always in my car ready to go.

Before I tear stuff apart one at a time, what have been some of your favorite pieces of gear? Anything you can't live without?