For some reason (or many reasons) I have spent most of this week in the medical unit at the Incident Command Post, which is a fancy name for fire camp. Ironically, our med unit is set up in a Special Ed annex at the Entiat School, which is equipped with all of the comforts of home for me and my buddy Christy, who is here as a medical unit manager trainee. The SPED room here in Entiat has been entirely taken over by fire maps and radios and stockpiles of medical supplies, gold bond, cough drops and oxygen kits. It's an odd mix of both mine and Christy's professional worlds, life skills picture flash cards and counting charts and division medical assignments all mashed up in a confusing vortex of color and detail that would make any preschool teacher have a seizure. The students have a little garden bed in front of their classroom, and right now there are towering sunflowers just beginning to bloom - kind of like the ones I planted with Eddie would be, if I hadn't killed them of dehydration. My boss Steve is insistent that all the flowers must be named and labeled and monitored for adequate flourishing, since apparently we are lacking human patients (this is a good thing, no?).
They're saying this might be the last day I am bouncing off the walls of this room, which is good, since I am kind of running out of ways to cure my boredom (again, a good thing?) and the willpower to avoid the 3000 delicious cookies that my Aunt Lynn sent for us to gorge on. I need a hike. I am entirely lucky to be working with one of my besties (Christy) and my husband, and other Concerned Individuals who are aware of the back issues that I am having (oh, BTW, my MRI last week identified advanced degeneration, particularly in the L5/S1 area, as well as Stenosis [narrowing of the space between vertebrae] and nerve displacement, which as far as I can tell, is due to the stenosis.), and are handling me with kid gloves, which is really awesome for my body but somewhat damaging to my pride. Again, I need a hike. And probably another snicker doodle.
The beauty of being stuck in camp is A)air conditioning B)wireless internet C)proximity to a flushing toilet, all things at which one simply CANNOT turn up ones nose after trying to find someplace to cop a squat in a treeless, dusty wasteland in front of 347 men of questionable moral integrity (mostly referring to my paramedic partners)(you know who you are). Also, I have all day to take a shower - which sometimes doesn't happen for days on end when I am stuck on the line. All in all, it's a pretty good gig.