And So Begins My New Life

Join me as I embark on a new life and new career in Funeral Services.

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Location: Southeast, United States

I'm a Funeral Services graduate embarking on a new career. I graduated high school in 1981, served honorably in the United States Navy from 1982-1986, been married since 1986, and have one son. I've relocated to a new state and have begun working in my chosen profession of Funeral Services, and I've never been happier.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Embalming Work

Today we received a total of three calls. Two were direct cremations, but one was a ship out, so we had to embalm. I was tasked with raising both femoral arteries and injecting the legs. I worked largely unsupervised, which is easier for me, as I don't have someone standing over me watching every little thing I do. Just leave me alone and I'll raise the vessel. And I did. I raised the left vessel, then injected it, but the cannula started sliding out of the artery. I tried to clamp it down, but I was too late and it popped out. When I tried to re-insert it, I tore the lining of the artery, called lumina. I didn't know this until I began injecting. The fluid came gushing back out and the leg started swelling at the injection point. I stopped injecting and decided I would leave the left leg alone for the time being and raise the right vessel. While I was trying to find the artery, I tore a vein and the incision site immediately filled up with blood. To me, one of the worst smells in this job is decomposing blood. Right in the middle of trying to blindly find the artery in a pool of stale blood, I get sent out to pick up one of the other calls. When I returned, I went back to work. First, I immediately found the right artery, then I went back and looked at the left leg. I had inserted the cannula improperly and ruined that section of the artery, so I extended my incision and inserted the cannula further away from the bad section. We injected both legs successfully, and afterwards I returned to the right leg, located the damaged vein and tied it off to prevent excessive leakage at the incision site. While I started off disappointingly, I'm pleased to say that I went back and took care of everything solo.

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