Friday, December 3, 2010

Got a Combitube for Ya

All---

See this thing right here?

That is a combitube.  Within the two to six weeks or so, I will be licensed to stick one of those down your throat.

All the way down.  The parallel black lines you might see on the neck mark the part that will be at your teeth.  The balloons?  They'll be deflated when I insert the tube, and then I'll blow them up.  100cc's in the upper, 15cc's in the lower.

Look comfy?

Not to me either.  I have intense claustrophobia and a strong gag reflex.  I'm horrified at the thought that someone might put in combitube in me sometime.

Here's the thing, though.  You know when we use a combitube?  When you're not breathing and you're unconscious.  As in, if we don't do it, you will die.   So, not only will  you be glad a combitube was inserted, but, in the heat of the moment, you don't even know it's being done.  You'll have more pressing things to worry about.  Like just hanging on and fighting for your life.

Why am I  talking about combitubes?  Besides being a fun peak for you into my EMS side, there is another point here.

Sometimes, when you're perusing the blogosphere or reading articles or going to seminars or chatting with your writer friends, you will run into some downright depressing news and some stories that seem dark and daunting.  The publishing world is full of challenging, poltical, and downright brutal situations.

Reading about them can be like looking at the picture of the combitubes.

Thinking about facing them in your future as a writer can feel like thinking about having someone insert a combitube down your throat.

But here's the thing.  It's not happening to you now, so save the stress for another day.

And you know what?  When it happens it will hurt like mad.  Knowing about it now helps, because you know that writers come out on the other side of their challenges all the time, just like patients arrive at the hospital alive and well with a combitube. So when it happens, and it hurts, you can know it's survivable.

Plus, when it happens, no matter how it hurts, and how uncomfortable is, you have more important things to think about.  Fighting for your life.  Or at least for your writing.

It's a big, scary world out there, but there are people who will help you, whether you're not breathing or just trying to publish your book.   And hundreds and thousands of people have been through it before.

.Nevets.

10 comments:

  1. Those are some seriously freaky gizmos, though glad to hear they're lifesavers ;)

    And great points about saving the stress and having people to help you out :)

    Rach

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nevets - what exactly is your role vis a vis this combitube? Is it some kind of hobby? Wouldn't you be better of just sticking to your writing?

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's a pretty great analogy, there. I had a tube up my nose and all the way down to my stomach. Yuck! Taking it out was even yuckier. But I survived.....

    I think it's awesome you're learning all this stuff, btw.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Anne - :-D

    @Rach - They are definitely freaky gizmos. They're pretty wonderful and mind-blowing the way they work, too. Easy way to ensure you get breath into a person's lungs rather than wasting the air in their stomach or whatever.

    @Frances - haha In some ways, I often do think I'd be better off sticking to my writing. It would be better for my productivity for sure. But, my bill-paying job wears my spirit down pretty aggressively, and until a day in the future when I can make something close to a living wage off my writing, I need something to help me feel like I'm doing something a little more meaningful and satisfying. So I volunteer with the local county ambulance unit. It's about two nights a week. This past few months I've also been taking classes to become a full EMT (basic-level pre-hospital care medic).

    @TWC - Yeah, I've had the long tubes in and they're no fun. I think in a pinch paramedics can insert those, but as an EMT I'll only do nasopharyngeal airways, which only get into the throat from the nose. And surviving is great! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, those things look freaky. They look so different on TV. But, although they might cause claustrophobia, I know it's good when I'm not breathing. Might not like the feeling when I'm conscious again though.

    CD

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Clarissa - Yeah, they're freaky. If you regained consciousness, we'd pull that thing right out. It's only necessary when you can't breathe on your own.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I understand now. When I stop breathing, I will be published. It all makes sense at last!

    Seriously, congrats on the mad tube skills.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is excellent! It's true that it is difficult, and depressing, and maddening, and very very very scary. But it's something you just have to go into almost blindly, I think, or some people would never go and never realize how wonderful it is, too. It's good to breathe. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Tara - The nice thing is, when do you stop breathing and get published, I can throw in a tube and start ventilations at 15ml of oxygen, bag-assisted. Then you can breathe again and it doesn't undo the publishing. It's a great system.

    And thanks. :)

    @Michelle - haha It is very good to breathe, both literally and figuratively. :)

    ReplyDelete

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