Home > Dispatches >Daily Dispatches 2022 > Daily Dispatch #139

March 21, 2022: Morning Until Night

The sun now sets briefly – it’s up when I get up and up when I go to sleep. We have exactly one month now for daylight gain, then it’s all downhill again. Yes, I obsess about this. I need the light. Right now I am looking out the bedroom window. The leaves on the trees are a bright green. The smell of the cottonwoods is now fading, but the dandelions in town are in full bloom.

The past few mornings I awoke to bright light streaming in the windows, and of course I could not get back to sleep. I, knowing that additional sleep was a lost cause, arose and dressed and began the morning routine.

Ranger on the gas shed

Today I went to the first of a two-day first responder recertification class. It is being taught by Dorothy Adler, who taught the wilderness responder course that I took with her in 2019. This was right before our last pack trip. Time doesn’t fly. Rather it flops around like a chicken with a broken wing.

Dorothy said I could take the course for free. It was too good an opportunity to pass up. So cancelled another engagement, which was to go to another book-related event, the Wasilla Museum block party. I’m also passing up (tomorrow) a BLBP finance meeting.

Of course, this was a good decision making on my part. I am outclassed by my classmates, all of whom make their living by guiding or running outdoor-related businesses. They have all somehow kept current with wilderness responder theory and practice. Not me. This became woefully apparent today when we did the second of two scenarios. I was the wilderness responder. My patient had a messed-up ankle.

My thinking was that he should keep his hiking boot on, otherwise his foot would swell up and he would not be able to walk the 1 ½ miles from the back to the front country. My patient, who has lots of experience with such things, said that it would be best to take the shoe off, examine the trauma site, make an assessment, put the shoe (and sock) back on his foot, and the elevate and put ice on the ankle.

The latter is new protocol – used to be that getting the person to the trailhead was the main priority. Now it seems to be to give the patient time to rest up before heading out.

The patient explained all this to me. My analogy was that of playing tennis. The patient lobbed the ball in my direction, and I barely got it back over the net.

I wish that I could say that I chose to play dumb. The truth is, about such things, I am dumb. In fact, I am dumber than a box of rocks. I did not, like my classmates, talk the talk. Nor did I walk the walk.

This went on all day. Now tomorrow we do this again. Then at the day’s end take an exam. I wish now that I’d have time to study for this. In fact, I want to study. However, darkness is closing in, and it is the end of my day. Just hope that I don’t fail.

Next: 140. 5/22/22: Shifting Gears

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