Here it is, the first week of my new life, and here I sit, bored, unsure of myself with restless hands and blaring music. Here, where my son isn’t, where my husband doesn’t exist, in a cozy little world that I have made. People say, “Write. Put it out there.” and I mean to, but I can’t somehow. I don’t have it in me. I look at an empty page and I see flashes of light, places where good, meaningful things aren’t.
Am I reparable?
I’ve been spending a lot of time with Ramona lately. In fact, we just signed on to be full time partners. it’s a good move for me; the possibility of working with some people on the road makes me cringe, and I’m avoiding confronting other people, so full time with my bestie works, its ideal in fact.
Ramona is a natural at EMS. Its amazing to be in the presence of a natural, I’ve been in EMS for five times as long as she has, and I am in awe of her every day. I base my medicine almost exclusively on my ability to see an emergency from the doorway, and also my knack for putting people at ease. I have never conquered the book smart side of anything. I’m quick witted and a bit of a firecracker, but, as I’ve said before, I carry the protocol book around for a reason. I’ve also encountered very few people that get both sides of this amazing job. Most folks are people wise or bookish. Some people have years of experience that leads them to expertise, but few are truly answering a calling, and not just answering dispatch.
We learn from these naturals. I have watched Ramona hear important things, absorb them, and use them appropriately. One morning as she was teching an 80 yo f that we talked out of thinking she was having a stroke-and rightly so, because she wasn’t-I heard her ask the patient, “how do you feel now compared to when I walked in the door?’ I was blown away by her ability to boil the situation down to the root of the problem and find a way to verbally assess her patient in clear, easy to respond to fashion. Its not always about recognizing a rhythm from a 6 second strip, it about seeing what’s in front of you, about responding to your patients’ needs. I’ve learned how to recognize ability and skill in fellow providers from Ramona. I’ve learned that not all new basics are created equal, and I’ve appreciate the way influencing her encourages me to take advantage of teaching moments that I have typically let pass with my little brothers and sisters in EMS.
But that’s not all this kid has given me. I’m now a ‘Beth’ to someone, I’m someone’s big sister in EMS, its an awesome responsibility and it makes me consciously think every day how I can be better at my job, how I can be better for my patients, and how I can make my workplace somewhere that I can imagine myself retiring from.
And she keeps me grounded…about these personal things (read: failures) that have been going on in my life. I say X (where X=stupid statement about above stated personal situations) and she immediately comes back with Y (where Y= ‘stop talking like that you moron.”). This Ramona and me work thing, this night time thing, it’s the one reason I’ve been able to keep going throughout all of this. Missing my son, wondering if I’m making the right choices, being in the grip of crippling heartbreak, it’s all held together by the fact that I am proud of the difficulties that I’m enduring to do what I think is right for myself-and ultimately right for my little guy. Its so easy sometimes to make decisions in an emergency, its so easy to find the lowest common denominator of things that make sense and can be handled, just airway, or just circulation, and if you never get past the ABCs, you’re still alright because that’s the heart of it. In life though, there is no lowest common denominator, or if there is, its vague and without clear cut rules that govern it. Be Happy. There’s the goal, make it happen, you have a lifetime. But really, a lifetime isn’t that long. The controlled, but frantic rush of a sick patient passes in an instant, and so does the time we have on this planet to be happy, to love each other, to leave a legacy. I have trouble being told to wait, to be patient, but no guarantees applied. I get anxious thinking about waiting to be happy, when the wait is assured and the happiness hasn’t been tried on for size. I feel that controlled, but frantic rush with life. I’m paddling my ass off under the surface, I’m trying to get there, to be happy, but its all relaxed duck above the water. The waiting game. It certainly wasn’t made for this humble blogger. I’m in a rush, in a rush to find out what my life is going to be, in a rush to put the past behind me, in a rush to get to the next call and let Ramona amaze me, in a rush to see my son, in a rush to have a guarantee. That’s just the thing though isn’t it? There are no guarantees. If there were guarantees, nothing would ever take my breath away…