Monday, July 12, 2004

Weight judgers

I spent most of the day sitting at a popular trailhead conducting surveys. It was hot, but I had my book and umbrella and some water to drink. I needed 100 surveys, but traffic was light and I only got about 20 if that.

A motorcycle pulls up and asks me if I was going to be there a while. I said most of the day unless I have an emergency and have to leave. He wanted me to watch his gear while he hiked the 3 mile trail. He decided to take his gear. But his motorcycle was quite an attraction most of the day because it was a diesel, German 325 CC old style one. It was pretty cool.

Ah, a big group of individuals. This should add some surveys to the list. I finished with the 4 adults when one of them said "there is this lady up the trail laying under a tree with her shoes and socks off. She weighs about 300-400 pounds and doesn't look too good". We have only one tree that will provide shade on this trail. I said thank you. I packed up my stuff, grabbed my medic pack, and radioed Opie. I told him we had a possible woman in distress on the trail, 10-300, and I was heading up. I would let him know when I arrived there.

I had about a half filled Nalgene bottle of water. Luckily for me and later for us the trail crew was working today and had two water containers along the trail. I am sure that every visitor passing took water from it as we did. I filled up my water bottle upon passing it and was with the patient within 15 minutes. She wasn't close to 300-400 pounds. She was more like 230, 239 to be exact. I give her credit for doing the hike because it is a brutal one.

The first thing I asked was if she was going to be able to get down on her own accord. She said yes, her husband and just went down to get more water. Those were probably the individuals who attempted to talk to me while I was in a mad dash to the patient. They only walked to the water jugs and then returned. I said I was going to give her some water and set my Nalgene bottle down to pull out the water bottles in my pack. She was already downing my bottle when I looked up. That concerned me because it said to me 'desperation'. I told her to drink it slowly because otherwise she would just throw it back up. I took her vitals and continued to monitor her. She said she had to get up because she had something else wrong with her that made her joints stiffen. She was trying to get up by pulling on this tree. Her grandson, who probably weighed about 40 pounds, said here grandma you can use me. Luckily she didn't because she would have pulled him over probably causing another injury.

She was finally ready to move so we started going stopping once more to fill up her grandson's water bottle at the water jugs. Within 10 minutes she had to stop again in the shade. I noticed her breathing had started to get kind of labored. She rested some and then was prepared to get going again. We finally arrived at the vehicle about 30 minutes after departing the tree. I made her sign a refusal of medical responsibility just to cover me.

But the moral of the story here is MEN DON'T TRY TO GAUGE WEIGHT!!!!

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