Oh, I don't know

Firstly, some new pictures. Pictures that will more quickly describe what I have been up to in recent weeks than my slow updates will. Camping in PA, visiting Fallingwater, attending world championship horse pulling, mediating at Walden pond, visiting Maine, biking, kayaking, and butterfly stalking.

I have been busy lately and I start my new part time job this Tuesday (and there is much rejoicing.) I'm back on the 911 side of things in a hospital based chase car. And by chase 'car' I mean an F250 Super Duty extended cab that is totally pimp. Hopefully, as my available hours become more numerous, I can eventually leave my current job completely.

Speaking of the current job, I received one of the best greetings in the history of private ambulance transports: “We’ve cleaned up most of the blood.” Ooh, thought I, this has to be good. The patient was actually bleeding from their trach site. (the place where a permanent breathing tube is inserted into the neck) This is certainly not normal, especially as they had already suctioned about 300ml of blood from her airway. Blood was literally flowing from the incision site. The scariest part was that somehow this was not even classified as a Paramedic call. Well, it was a fun change of pace to actually do some skills and take a patient that really needed care.

Google search term of the week: “is work better than school”

Upon reading this, my initial thought was "Dear God, NO!" I reminisced about the awesomeness that is college. I would actually still be there if it weren't for the basic need of making money instead of spending it.
But, work can be very good too. Fun and educational, just like school. But who am I kidding, no one loves work. At least not like they loved school. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the utopian society that we created at school. Alas, time marches on and it becomes clear that one cannot live on rice krispie treats and Chinese food alone. Besides, super nerds like me will still hit the books, even after graduation.

Oh yeah, Kitty says 'hello' and 'give me some treats, human!'

Minor Details

Now, I love nurses as much as the next EMS provider (and I mean that), but sometimes they have their moments (as do I). We went for an OB call where the patient had apparently broken her water. She was only 17 weeks, so altogether a sad story. We arrived and the nurse was blatantly relieved. She was rushing me out in a faux polite manner, and her report consisted of the following. “XX year old female, 17 weeks, PROM, fetal heartrate confirmed on ultrasound, vitals are...(gestures to monitor), no contractions, estimated due date is in the paperwork. Any questions? Great.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa, lady. I asked a litany of questions and got hasty answers. The best of which came from when I asked if she was dilated. “Well, I didn’t do the exam so I don't know, but it doesn’t matter if she’s dilated, as she’s going to be induced anyway. So...(gives a look of how this question can be of any importance whatsoever and why am I still there asking pointless questions)”
“Right, but she’s not going to be induced in my ambulance.”
“(long sigh) Well, I can get the doctor if you’d like.”
“Yes, I would like that very much, thanks.”

The Best Medicine

It has been a rough last few months for me. A string of unfortunate and sad things have been the theme of the summer, beginning with the ending of my engagement in June.
From the start, everyone asked me what they could do to help. The answer was almost always nothing, as merely their asking was a comfort. When my minister asked what the church could do for me I told him: “Tell me that God is sad too.”

I have experienced a whole mess of realizations recently and I am going to pawn them off on you, dear reader. I don’t want to be preachy, and I know that this entry has no particular order, but I just want to get my thoughts down and maybe help others in the process.

I have been constantly wondering ‘When can I be over this? Is there a prescribed length of time?’ Unfortunately, there is no magic balm, nothing to make you go to bed sad and wake up feeling normal. There is no elixir to take the hurt away. Everyone says that the best remedy is time, but I have learned that it cannot be time alone. It is not just a matter or staring at a clock, counting days until you feel like yourself again.
Over the months, my sadness has been mostly replaced with anger, which I claim to be better. But the anger is beginning to undermine me. I have been trying to let it go. Although, it is proving difficult as I can’t seem to forget or forgive.

I came away from a recent encounter with the good feeling that the only person who has power over me, is me. I discovered that my sadness exists not for what I had but for what I thought I had.

After my epiphany while kayaking at the end of August, I turned my Claddagh ring back around; quietly offering my heart to someone else. Someone to take care of me, to go out with, hold me tight, to be my playmate. Someone that I can take care of, and give all of my love to. I feel like I have a lot to give.

Unfortunately, I feel that the trust I used to give away like candy is now damaged and in short supply. I’m not quite sure yet how this will affect my future relationships. I think that I will be more calculating and careful and a little more realism will be peppered in with my optimism.
I have recognized that I will never be the person I was before and abandoned the goal of returning there. Instead, I replaced that goal with the hope that I can become a better person than I was before. When we lose the desire to improve, we cease to exist.

Just because the worst is over, doesn’t mean that the rest isn’t hard.

Thanks to all of those who have been there for me when I needed to talk, to be distracted, to be left alone. Friends and family who asked how I was and then actually waited for an answer. Thanks to kayaks, and bikes, and nature. To aching muscles, mindless movies, and the internet. Thanks to my excellent coworkers as willingly or unwillingly, they listen and talk. They cheered me up and gave me good days when unbeknownst to them; I really needed it. Thanks to good music. Artists old and new, songs angry and sad, have acted as my therapists.

No, the cure cannot be time alone. It turns out that the greatest healer of life’s sorrows is life itself.