Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A shocking experience!

Electricity is a very wonderful thing that makes our lives so much easier. It can also be a very bad enemy. You have to be very careful, because of how dangerous it is. Everybody has at least experienced static electricity and just that little spark can hurt. Well someone came up with a clever device to use this electricity to help subdue somebody. I'm talking about a tazer. It is a great device for law enforcement. After I finished the Academy it was time for tazer class. We had a wonderful policy that stated, you have to be to tazed to be able to carry the tazer ha ha. So I signed myself up so I could carry one. So I wanted to talk about my experience and also found some great information to explain how the Tazer works directly from . At the end of the blog is the video from that experience. I know some people will laugh and others will hurt just watching. If you have ever been through the experience it is very hard to laugh at I promise.

* the next illustrations and information came directly from 

"Electricity is a flow of energy, or more specifically a flow of electric charge within a conductor. That conductor can be a copper wire, or it can be the human body. Much like water flows through a pipe, electronics flow-through a wider. When we measure electricity, there are two key measures- voltage, measured in volts, and current, measured in amperes.

Voltage, which is also called Electro-Motive Force, is similar to the pressure in a water hose. The voltage provides the pressure to push an electric current through the wire.

In our analogy to flowing water, voltage is like pressure, measured in pounds per square inch. Current is the flow rate, similar to gallons per second in our water analogy.

By way of analogy, let's compare a waterfall to rainfall.. The pressure or voltage behind each droplet of water in the waterfall is actually a lot less than for each raindrop- because the raindrop is falling from a much greater height. So, the voltage of this waterfall is much less than for rain. However, the rate of flow or current for the waterfall is much, much higher than for the rain, which falls in small droplets separated in space and time compared to the continuous flow of the waterfall. Standing under the waterfall would certainly be a very dangerous place to be- much more so than in the rain. Similarly, being exposed to a high current electrical current- like the one out of your wall outlet, can be very dangerous, even at moderate voltages like 110 volts. Exposure to high voltage, low current shocks- such as a static discharge on a dry day, is far less dangerous. Static shocks regularly exceed 30,000 volts, yet they deliver very low amounts of electric charge, and there has never been a reported injury directly from the affects of a static shock, although there have been some secondary injuries from people who were surprised and may have fallen, etc.

When we think about electricity, the first turn to come to mind is usually volts. This is because our electric power grid is a fixed voltage system, and is rated in volts.   

However, when we talk about electric safety, the current in amperes is much more critical than voltage. For example, a Taser ecd has about a tenth of the peak current of a static shock.

So, if voltage is not the key factor in making an electric stimulation effective, why does the Taser ecd have a high  peak voltage?

The rainfall analogy is a very good one for a Taser ECD discharge. The drops of rain are separated by time and space such that the actual current workflow of water down from the sky is quite small.

A TASER ECD works by mimicking and interfering with your brains communication with the muscles.
Talking on the phone and static interfering with your call, making you unable to communicate with the person on the other end. Once the static on telephone stops, communication resumes, and there's no damage to the phone.

So, this naturally begs the question- if the Taser ECD output current is so low, how can it be effective in stopping a violent subject?

The answer is because the Taser ECD current does not rely on brute force, or on sheer power. Instead, the Taser ECD pulses mimic the electrical signals used within the human body to communicate between the brain and the muscles. The Taser ECD simulates the pulsed communications used within the nerves, and interferes with communication- like static on the telephone lines within the body.

Sometimes people will ask isn't electricity dangerous? The answer is- well yes, it can be. But electricity is actually necessary for life- we literally cannot live without it.

Electrical pulses control every thought we have, every breath we take, every sensation we feel, every sight we see, every sound we hear- every complex life process depends on these electrical signals within our bodies that occur billions of times every second.
The brain is like an incredibly complex conductor, leading a string section of incomprehensible complexity. As the brain uses electrical pings to simulate the nerves in a complex and highly coordinated fashion, consciousness emerges and neuromuscular control becomes possible.

The probes deployed from a Taser ECD carry fine wires that connect to the target and deliver the Taser into his neural network. These pulses delivered by the Taser ECD overwhelm the normal nerve traffic, causing involuntary muscle contractions and impairment of motor skills."  
* great information from and actually gave me a better understanding of how it works.

Whenever you pull the trigger on the tazer it automatically starts a five second countdown as soon as the prongs enter your body. I can say, it seems like a lot longer than just five seconds ha ha. After you go through it then everybody wants to know how it felt. It is really an intense pain that is hard to describe. I would have to say it felt like someone stabbed knives in your back full of electricity that locks up your entire body. After reading through the information it basically paralyzes you and at the same time you feel an intense pain. It is not anything that you will ever want to feel again. The other question I get asked is if I ever got to use it on anybody. I actually never got to inflict that type of pain on anyone else myself. Which makes the experience that much worse ha ha. I also remember showing this video to my therapist at the Shepherd Center right after my accident. They said I was the first patient that had ever been tazed ha ha or shown them the video. Yes, I am a very unique character.

Well, I know everyone has really been ready to watch the video at the bottom if you have even read the other parts of the blog ha ha. I just want to add a couple of notes to pay attention to in the video. If you watch it a couple of times you can tell immediately that even my feet locked up. Also, once I'm lying on the ground you can look closely to see the little electric spark on my back. They also were using alligator clips that connected back to the tazer so they can use it on several people for training. That allowed them to spread the clips further apart to have a better connection and it definitely worked. It also left little burn marks on my back for a very long time. Just pay attention to how my body locks up, and as soon as it's over I completely relax. I also just lay there on the ground after it's over for a little bit to recuperate ha ha. While it was going on, I thought it would be over as soon as they laid me to the ground but there was a couple of seconds left. That was the longest couple of seconds of my life. This video is from 2007 after I had gotten out of the Academy. So, I also noticed that I was looking pretty damn good if I say so myself ha ha. Anyways this is my shocking experience!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My dog Buddy!

giving buddy a ride shortly after getting home from the hospital
in my first wheelchair.
After being in the hospital for several months you are ready to get home. You want to be back in a familiar place again. You want to see all of your friends again. In my mind I was wondering how some people would react. Also, how is my little friend Buddy going to react. I know he is just a dog, but he is like part of the family. I was really afraid that he would be scared of my wheelchair. I also figured if I accidentally bumped him that he might not ever come around me again. Well, all of my fears were proven wrong. Unlike most people do, he still looked at me the same way that he always did. Which is usually him little telling me I'm hungry or I need to go out to the bathroom ha ha. Either way, I still love the little guy. So I decided to write a blog about him.

One of the first questions that you usually get about your pet is what kind of dog is it. I say he is a Cairn Terrier which usually gets that strange look on someone's face that they've never heard of that. I then say he is like Toto from the Wizard of Oz except he is blonde. I looked up some historical information about Cairn Terriers so that you can better understand their origin and some of their unique traits.      "Over 200 years ago, on the ancient isle of Skye, and in the Scottish Highlands the ancestors of today's Cairn Terrier earned their keep routing vermin from the rock piles (called cairns) commonly found on Scottish farmland. These early Terriers were highly prized and bred for their working ability not appearance. Such characteristics as courage, tenacity and intelligence, housed in a sturdy body clad in a weatherproof coat, armed with big teeth in strong jaws, were sought generation after generation. Gradually the breeds known as the Scottish Terrier, and the West Highland white evolved and were named. The cairn remain the closest to the original small working terrier, bolting the Fox, otter and weasel, sharing the meager fare of the crofters household. Today the cairn Terrier in America is a sensible, confident little dog, independent but friendly with everyone he meets. He may be found in an apartment, suburban home or on a farm. Alert, intelligent and long-lived, the cairn tends to remain active and playful well into his teen years, endearing him to children. True to his heritage, the breed still has very large teeth, large feet with pads  and strong nails (the better to dig with!), strong muscular shoulders and rears and a fearless tenacity that will lead him into trouble if his owners are irresponsible."

We're not in Kansas buddy! You're a tan color, and in Mississippi ha ha.
I remember whenever we first got our little dog. My mom and brother came back from the flea market with a little furry creature. He was born on October 6, 2002. They got him around Christmas so he was only a couple of months old. Buddy was so little he could not even make it over the brick step coming into the house. As he started to grow he started to chew up everything. Once he got big enough to be able to jump to the couch he was like a little mountain goat. He would crawl up to the top of the couch and lay down. This also allowed him to chew up new things. I remember we had this little stand that ran along the arm of our love seat. I didn't think anything about leaving my new pair of Oakley sunglasses laying on top of this stand. I came home later in the day to find my new sunglasses chewed to pieces by my little furry friend. I was so furious, but I couldn't do anything to him. He just had that little puppy face going that melts your heart ha ha. He would've had no idea why I was whipping him if I had done that anyways. He was just going through this puppy phase. Luckily, his other love was just for socks ha ha. He eventually gave up his chewing addiction. Another addiction that he has is going for a ride. If you rattle keys then he will go crazy wanting to go somewhere. If you even mention the word go then he gets super excited.  Once you get him inside the car then he has to be in your lap so that he can look out the window. The one place that he does not want to go is the veterinarian office. He is an only child and he is not very good around other animals.  He starts to hyperventilate it seems as soon as you pull into the parking lot. My mom actually was given some puppy Valium for him to take whenever he goes to the vet ha ha.  But the majority of the time his riding experiences are great. My dad drives a diesel truck and he will let Buddy ride with them to eat. They leave the truck running, if it is too hot or cold.  He is a very spoiled dog. Another word that you can say to drive him crazy is bone. He has this specific treat that he loves that are called Greenies. They are supposed to be healthy for his teeth and they are shaped like a very small bone. It is like crack to him ha ha. It is a good way to get him to come back in the house sometimes when he isn't listening to anything you're saying.

I have talked about some of his favorite things, but now, I will focus on some things he dislikes. He cannot stand getting a bath. If you say the word bath around him he will tuck his tail between his legs and put his head down. Whenever he gets a bath he bolts out the bathroom and jumps on the couch to dry himself off. Then he goes to dry his head off on the rugs. He is super hyper the whole time. I have a video of it that I will put at the bottom of this blog entry. It is absolutely hilarious. He is not a big fan of water. We have put him in the pool before and he immediately swims to the steps to get out of the pool. He is also terrified of thunderstorms. He will follow my mom around every step that she makes. He just starts to shake. One time during a storm he actually got into the bathtub. He will also make his way to my dads room and get under his bed. Sometimes he wants to go out when it is raining and I will open the door for him. He will turn right back around and come back inside. If no one else is here when it is storming then he comes to sit next to me.

I used to come home from Oxford back to my parents house for the weekend after working 12 hours on a Thursday night. I did that so I could sleep all day Friday, and not worry about driving back. I could always hear Buddy barking whenever I pulled up. I would play around with him for a little bit before I got into bed. I would always just about start falling asleep when my door would pop open. I would look to see who it was real quick and I couldn't see anybody. It was Buddy coming into my room, wanting to play some more ha ha. He would come to the side of the bed and start scratching. He was ready to start the day, and I was ready to sleep ha ha. I used to get out and run with him until he would just about pass out. I would take off running and he would chase me around the yard ha ha. He has done some crazy things as well. My mom told me she was outside with him one time and he snuck up on a bird. He actually caught the bird and killed it. I know that is terrible. I was just amazed that he caught a bird. If he spots a lizard then he will do his best to catch it. He does not give up very easily. I have actually seen him catch one. But if he doesn't, he will look in that area for a long time. You just about have to drag him back inside. He has also killed spiders inside the house before. Then he rolls around on it after he kills it. Very strange habits, I know ha ha. But it explains some of the heritage of his breed. They were bred to kill small vermin. I bought him a toy duck from Wal-Mart that quacks like the real thing. He absolutely loves those to death. I will run over the duck with my chair and start dragging it. Buddy will chase me all around to get the duck from underneath my chair. Whenever he finally gets it he goes crazy. He starts swinging the duck around ferociously ha ha. It is hilarious to watch him. You can make the duck quack, and throw it to play with him until he wears out. Which he is getting older, and that doesn't take much these days ha ha. We have went through several of those ducks.
Buddy and his duck in the background.

I mentioned earlier that I worried after getting home from the hospital that he might act funny with me being in a wheelchair. He just acted like he had not seen me for a long time. He was also very excited for my mom to be back home. He is a very big Momma's boy. She stayed with me in the hospital every day, and for the two months we were in Atlanta. One of the first things I wanted to do was to ride him around in my chair. He didn't mind it too much, but it wasn't long that he wanted down. Eventually my left arm got strong enough to be able to pet him again. Having him around has been so therapeutic for me. Whenever you have to depend on somebody for so much it's very nice to have him depending on me for some stuff. I had an automatic door opener installed in my new room. I hit a button on the side of my chair to open the door. It didn't take long for Buddy to realize I could let him out ha ha. He will come to my room and give me that look. Sometimes he will walk up to me and stand up on my feet, staring me in the eyes. I will pop the door open and head outside with him.I also still tried to get buddy to chase me around. I would take off in my wheelchair and he would chase after me just like he used to. It brought back some very good memories. The history lesson was correct whenever it mentioned cairn terriers having a fearless tenacity. Buddy will chase after anything no matter how much bigger the animal might be. I let him out not too long ago, and he went around to the front of the house. I rolled around and immediately noticed a very large black lab at the end of our driveway close to the highway. We have a very long driveway, and we live on a very busy road. I was hoping he would not see the dog, but he did. He took off in a full sprint after the dog. So I took off at full speed in my chair after him. It was a very funny site if anybody would have seen it. I went through the yard as fast as I could and was bumping all around in my wheelchair ha ha. I hopped up onto the gravel driveway over a little bit of a hump and I believe had a couple wheels in the air for a second. I finally got close enough to him and was yelling enough to get him to stop. I got in between him and the highway. He listened to me, and I got him back towards the house. He is a very funny character.  He has also never been around other animals, because he is an only child. There have been other people bring their small dogs around him inside the house. He cannot handle it at all. He starts to hyperventilate and act all crazy just like when it rains. He also acts like he is scared of the dogs which are usually smaller. He will come to my room and get behind my wheelchair as a barrier I guess ha ha. So its really weird how different he can be.

Well, just how I've mentioned that I watch out for my dog all the time. He has also watched out for me a few times. There have been a couple of times when I've woken up needing help and my first options were not working. I have yelled out help me buddy and he started barking which woke somebody up to come check on me. He always barks whenever somebody pulls up out here even if I don't hear them pull up. So I get an opportunity to check out who is here sometimes. So we really watch out for each other. I can usually tell if there is something wrong with him. I will check to make sure he has plenty of water. I always see if he has a tick on him or not. There are even some times that he acts funny and needs a bath. So I say go get in the tub and he will go jump in. I always try to save a piece of food for him to eat. He is so spoiled that he will not eat his dog food without some kind of real food on it. But that's not his fault because we are the ones that spoiled him ha ha.

I could talk all day about my little friend. He has really been a blessing to me. It's amazing how close you can get to your animals. If you are looking for a great dog I would highly suggest a cairn terrier. They are so much fun and loving dogs. If you have been injured they are not the best service dogs, but will make a great little companion. Having a pet can be so therapeutic that it's hard to even describe. He gives me a great excuse to get outside on days that I just felt like staying in all day. It's hard not to get cheered up looking at his little poor face that he makes looking up at you. Especially whenever you watch him running around outside. He is a big part of the family. I wouldn't trade him for anything else.

* I added some pictures of my little friend (which he is a little chunky and overweight ha ha). You will notice my feet in the pictures, because I took them with my phone.
* The video I mentioned in the blog is at the bottom. It is very hilarious. I highly recommend you take the time to watch it.

Back whenever it was cold we put him in a T-shirt  that I bought for him a while back. It is a Harley Davidson T-shirt. He is not very fond of wearing them.

Looking at my mom while I was trying to get a picture of him looking my way.
Finally there is that precious little face. Ha ha
Buddy laying out by the pool ha ha.
It was extremely hot and he keeps laying there. You can see he his tongue hanging out and every thing ha ha. His little chunky self can't take the heat very long.
just sitting there like a human being ha ha

he turned around to survey the backyard
he just comes and passes out in my room sometimes ha ha.
his little bed in the living room