Sunday, August 14, 2011

Retired or not, duty calls

Yeah, this must be a record for me posting- 2 blogs in 2 days. But I figure this one was worth telling. It just goes to show that you may be retired from your chosen career, but you never know when you'll be called back into action. Case in point: last night.

Last night was a full moon (I think). And having worked in the medical field for 20 years, full moons mean crazy stuff is going to happen. Yup, it sure did last night. Amidst a wicked thunderstorm, our neighbor across the street called. It was after 8 pm and we were all in line getting showers for the night. Hubby answered the phone and told me our friend got home from a long trip, took some pills for back pain and was now having a rather serious allergic reaction- anaplylactic shock- a very BAD thing when you live a long ways from medical help. Calling 911 in a rural area like we live in usually means help is 30+ minutes away. All the EMS are volunteer and have to be called in to get the ambulance. 30 minutes is life or death (usually death) when it comes to a reaction like that.

So, hubby grabbed his medical bag and dashed out into the storm. He jumped in our Gator and went across the street (they live up a pretty steep hill). He worked on our friend for maybe fifteen minutes, giving him what antihistamines he had in his bag, and wasn't having any success getting him to come around. He came back home and informed me that he needed my help. It would be up to us to get him the almost 40 mins to the local hospital. Needless to say, the Prius became an emergency vehicle.

I was in the back seat with our patient, my job was to monitor him and relay info to hubby, who was trying to make a land-speed record to the hospital through some of the most twisty, dangerous roads in eastern KY. I kept our friend coherent and made sure he didn't pass out and stop breathing. Mind you, each minute that ticks by with someone in shock just reduces their chance of survival. Even calling for Life Flight probably would have taken longer. Tick, tick, tick...

--Yes, it was still raining and lightening all the way there. We had to dodge a few deer and stray dogs, but we made it safely to the ER of St. Josephs's in London. It was the closest hospital we knew of and had the most direct route. BTW- there is NO direct route to anything in the back woods of KY. He was admitted, given some steroids to help with the reaction, and admitted over night. He also has heart problems, so it made it even more scary because he was complaining of chest pains as well. Sorry, the Prius just isn't kitted out to handle cardiac emergencies, so all we could do was cross our fingers and hope he made it. I have no clue how fast hubby was driving, and I probably don't wanna know.

Normally the country life is pretty sedate. But when you live so far out in the middle between nothing and nowhere, and an emergency happens, any and all skills you may possess can and will be used to hopefully rectify the situation. I'm pretty sure if we weren't there to help, our neighbor would've died. EMS probably wouldn't have been able to get there quick enough, and hubby's initial treatment might have been what helped extend our "golden hour" to get him to a hospital.

We finally got home about 2 am. Just as we were finally getting to sleep- one cat decided to start a fight with the other. Needless to say, the perpetrator got tossed out into the dog crate on the porch for the night. Then, promptly at 6 am, the alarm goes off. It means there are horses, dogs and cats all wanting to be cared for. Staggering out of bed, we met their needs and then took a long nap. I hope tonight is not as crazy as last night--although more thunderstorms are expected...

Until next time my creatively obsessed friends.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Country Life

Yes, I know I've been amiss about blogging. But when you RETIRE you think life will get easier. Not so in my case. Moving from a small house in NJ to a 100 ac farm with 2 houses has become an odyssey in life. Every morning (yes, 7 days a week) it's up a 6 a.m. Then I stagger out, feed 3 grumpy horses, stagger back in and eat my breakfast. After doing the dishes, I pull on the muck boots, turn out the horses (weather permitting) and then muck out stalls. Then it's on to farm chores- which could be anything ranging from picking up rocks, doing laundry, pulling weeds, moving hay, mowing grass, cleaning up the pond, catching minnows, and a host of other things. Then, in the afternoon, the horses are brought in, fed, then we eat dinner, and about 8 p.m. they get mucked out again before bed (who wants to sleep in a shitty bed?). Then I get a shower and collapse in bed- just to do it all over again the next day. Yes, the hours are long, but in time I figure it'll be rewarding- especially if we can sell some hay!

No wonder I've barely had time to get the third book in the Dragonslayer's series edited and back to Joyce. I'm hoping to have it out at the MWSA conference the end of Sept. Fingers crossed on that one.

I can't say country life is right for everyone, but I seem to be making a go of it. A trip into town (London, KY) becomes a real treat, especially if we have lunch at the Big Boy. Hmm, the simple things in life matter more now. A nice dinner is a trip to McKee and a catfish platter at Opal's diner. A day of shopping is Super Walmart. And for the farm side of shopping- Tractor Supply. Flea Land and the Livestock Auction provide other outlets of entertainment. I haven't watched TV in over a month, and I really don't miss it. I will say finding a good rock station on the radio is a challenge- you are well reminded that you're living in the Bible Belt with all the country and christian stations, but we have manged to find a couple oldies rock stations that come in pretty good up in the hills.

As far as amenities goes, we got a sturdy roof over our head (the leaks have been fixed), food in our bellies, and 100 acres of beauty to gaze upon. Internet isn't too bad- DSL, and we do have a house phone (no, it's not on a pole outside the house-- but we are looking for one!). We have indoor plumbing, and nice central heat and air. So I don't exactly consider this roughing it.

The end of September, I'll be heading to Pittsburgh for the MWSA convention (Military Writers Society of America) and hopefully will be picking up an award for Project: Dragonslayers. I hope to meet lots of people and do my best to get my name out there. I got lots of great stories wanting to get out of my brain, it's just finding the time in between running the farm to get them down. But I'm sure this change in life will settle down and I'll find time. I'm not really concerned with sales- although I won't argue them! Getting the farm up and running cost us over $71,000 in equipment. Yeah, some book sales would help out.

 Well, until next time my creatively obsessed friends...


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