Friday, August 04, 2006

All these things that I've done

Yesterday was bittersweet. My last full time day as a Paramedic. Starting Monday I will be full time at the Trauma Center as an EDT. I will be controled and watched. I will have lost most of the autonomy I have become used to on the streets in exchange for the air conditioned controled choas of the ER. My official last day has come and went uneventful. We ran no calls, saved no lives. We only left the station one time to go cover another area while the whole system ran calls but us. The EMS gods, you could say, smiled down on us. However I did ask for one thing my last day and didn't get it. I wanted one last Kick Ass, Balls the the Walls trauma. I wanted blood. I wanted guts. I wanted to launch The Fucking Bird and land that bitch in the middle of Bohicket Road. But alas, disapointment again. How sick do I sound? But in the four years I worked for my system, I have never had to call for the heliocopter. I have RSIed, I have tubed a man with no face left but his eyes staring up at me, I have cardioverted . I have paced. I have given every drug we carry with the expection of Dopamine and Mag Sulfate, I have used all my training. But I have never been the one to call for the Bird. Thats all I asked for. But no, we did nothing. I watched CSI DVDs all day and read my Anderson Cooper memoir.

I remember my first day as a little green EMT. Coming from the same ER Im leaving the EMS world for. I was scared shitless. I hit a fence in the learning to drive the ambulance. I got cussed at and spit on. My first patient that I was alone with in the back of the box was a man with ABD discomfort secondary to drinking moonshine. Really, Moonshine. He made it himself. In downtown no less. I broke a Morphine vial my third day, resulting in hours of paperwork and drug testing. I got us lost on the way to the hospital with a full arrest my forth day. By the weeks end, I was ready to quit. But was convinced that everybody's first week is awful by my Senior Crew Cheif. My second week was better. I got my first tube. And I was able to ffind the hospitals without getting lost. I knew how to make people move to the right with the siren and airhorn. I was getting the hang of it.

Two years later, I graduated from Paramedic School. I had my card and my patch and I was ready. By then, I had already had my scary trauma, The Cyclist. I learned to deal with my new power. I was given a new partner who lacked all common sense. One that would leave me alone with patients that were literally dying. So It would just be me, a cop, and a couple of fire guys. My first patient as a Medic was a symtomatic bradycardic that was agonal and was going to die at any moment. But I saved her. I, Me. With a cop bagging her and me trying to figure out the pacer...and my partner no where to be found. But It was fine, I tubed her, paced her, and got her to the hospital alive, where she was cathed 15 minutes later. I shooked for hours after that. Then yelled at my partner to never under any circumsances leave me alone with a dying patient. I must have scared him because he didn't talk to me for at least a week. I can be very scary. Really, I can be.

Not long after that I birthed my first baby. It was gross and amazing at the same time. She had a very healthy set of lungs on her.

Then came the I can't get an IV or do anything right stage. I had a death. It wasn't my fault, the heart was just done. Broken beyond repair. I did everything I could, gave all the right drugs, did all the right things, but it was futile. He died anyways. Right in front of me. That took me a while to get over. But It was then I learned you can't save everybody.

I love this job. I love being a Paramedic. But, it come to an end, for now. Once I finish my fist couple of weeks at my new job, and start school, I will pick up a few shifts here and there with EMS. I will not forget this time in my life. I am 26 years old and have seen life and death. What more can I ask for...But LAUNCH THE FUCKING BIRD, DAMNIT.


Maria said...

Those 4 years you spent will always be with you. I haven't worked as a nurse for 16 years, but the short years I did are very very vivid to me, very powerful to remember. I even wrote a novel about my experiences in nursing school. (Not published. It's sitting in a box in my closet in several college notebooks and on some virus-infected floppies.) It will alwyas be prescious to you. Good luck in your new job!

chucker said...

I have enjoyed "riding with you" and hope you keep blogging us as your life takes a turn.

You're a caring person and write well about interesting stuff.

Best of luck.