Come sit with me, let's visit

Come sit with me, let's visit

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Today I get to ignore the texts on my phone. I have had the pleasure of ignoring these texts for months. Though, I can tell which Supervisor is having a bad day with absences. Or lots of transfers.

I remember answering them, most of them. And putting on a uniform and going to work. A "Sasquatch" is a drink that I found here in town: five shots of espresso, with steamed cream. Took me 6 hours to drink it, but it was gooooooooood.

I have the fourth pair of boots that I bought for this job in my closet. They are breaking down on the inside. That's usually the part I loose on boots. My feet go in, my feet come out. I have ruined three zippers that lace into boots. I had one pair of boots that the zipper didn't fit quite right, it was too long. I kept the zipper in there anyway.

Wash the truck, patient care, unit checks, wash the truck, endless paperwork, clean socks, take a nap, wash the truck, what are we watching?, standing by a wall in a hospital, trying not to get run over by techs, waiting for a bed, washing the truck.

OH! and lets not forget the armchair quarter backs, 'you shouldn't have...' and 'why exactly did you do this...'. The quality assurance review "you forgot to....." eh, piss off.  "Why did you give Dopamine to an obvious stroke patient?" Because I called the doctor at the receiving facility and told him that her blood pressure was dangerously low and if I didn't she may have been dead by the time I got there (she lived, boys and girls, that one managed to live). "Why didn't you cancel the helicopter on this patient? The volunteers said he was fine." He wasn't fine, he had a heart rate of 160 according to the volunteers on scene. And he was stabbed six hours ago. Did you hear that his vital signs bottomed out when they landed at the hospital? Yea, he barely made it TOO surgery. But he lived, so no, I did not cancel the helicopter based on volunteers information.

I work, and miss school concerts, sporting events, the night before the dance. I work and I miss guiding a young girl to woman-hood. I work and I don't have energy for my son, who needs me. The pager, or the phone goes off and I put on my boots, with their broken insides and their over-sized zippers. I work, and missed most of their growing up. I took care of someone else.

I sleep on sofas, on lumpy beds, in smelly rooms, and in the front seat of the ambulance, with my leg leaning on the steering wheel.

I eat fast food, hot dogs that have been on rollers for God knows how long, just as long as the grease is still lubricating the rotation. I eat dried fruit, nuts and drink caffeine, not enough water and the occasion fruit juice. I eat cookies, I have eaten my weight in cookies.

I've been cussed at by patients, family, cops and the occasional fire fighter. I've been cussed about, and would probably have enjoyed most of that, had I been a fly on the wall. I nearly got arrested once for assault on a police officer, but the reason I shooed him off my patient was a closed head injury he was certain was drunkenness.

I have held hands. Hands of the pained, the birthing, the dying, the family. I have given hugs and held small children in my arms who were very frightened and barely comforted by my presence. I have held badly damaged hands in mine, removing large stones and sticks from them, so I can run water over in the injury and bandage this expressive hand my way. Your hands are so important, expressing love, hate, art, and great gestures. Injured hands are my weakness, they gross me out.

I love my job. I found myself in amazing places. In upside down cars, on rocky coastlines, in a tree, going through a house window, kneeling on the floor in a strangers bathroom, standing in a foyer bigger than my living room, afraid to touch the ornately carved banister. Silver Streamlines so small that I can smell in patients infection from the door. I love my job.

I love my boots. They make good sounds when I walk, soft and rhythmic like a quiet heart rate. They fit my small feet and make them look bigger. I feel strong and powerful that I can heal others. I feel very sad a small when patients die that I tried to save.

I love my job. I hate my job.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said Valerie!