It’s Christmas again

 

Well it’s Christmas time again. As usual I am on duty, so I wanted to just post a quick Merry Christmas to everyone who is on duty and riding a bus, truck, or squad car. All of you, thank you. Thank you for taking time away from your families, time away from your loved ones, to help the public. Thank you for taking the time to answer the calls from people who need us. All of you deserve all the thanks in the world, and so much more than we usually get. Please stay safe out there.

Those of you that are at home with your families, enjoy your time with them. We’ll hold down the fort till ya’ll get back. Give them all an extra hug and a kiss, as we never know what will happen.

And finally… MBN, thank you for what you’ve given me over the last couple weeks. I never pictured this happening, but I’m glad it is. It’s still too long till I get to see you, but it’ll get here soon enough :)

 

And if you want more Christmas posts to read, here’s some I posted last year:

Emergency Service Christmas Prayer

Last years Christmas post (completely written by me :)

And lastly, my Holiday Cheer post for last year

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Promises

I’m big on keeping any promises I make. In my eyes, if I tell you I’m going to do something, I wouldn’t consider myself much of a person if I didn’t do it. And to that extent, one of my promises to someone is getting closer to fruition.

I took my classroom Paramedic Final Exam… 196 questions, all multiple choice, with parts from every section of that giantass purple book. I finished it in just under an hour… I’ve spent the last two weeks going over every page of notes, every review and exam online. I’ve looked at books that aren’t required reading, some that I’ve been told are way above what I need to know (which of course makes me even happier to read them). All to be ready for this exam. When I finished, I was tempted to go over all the questions, just to double check. Then I remembered that I am much better at trusting my gut instinct than to question what I do.

To that end, when I finished, I made sure the Scantron was ready to go, and then damn near flung it at my instructor and walked out. I was so freaking nervous when I walked out. I spend time pacing outside and I think my first twitter was… wait, let me pull it up.

“Oh dear god oh dear god… 196 questions in just under an hour… Either I suck or I kicked ass… One of the two. Freaking out now!”

I was so freakign worried about it… I just don’t like tests, I get almost physically sick… and I almost puked afterwards. Oh? What’s that? What did I get on it? Well… my intructor that was testing us came outside to get me, and told me he needed to talk to me. He told me I didn’t do nearly as well as he’d hoped I would, and then showed me a score of 47. I swear my heart sunk in my chest and I felt like looking for the nearest cliff to jump off of. Then I noticed it said ‘Section Grade’. And I thought “Wait… there were 4, 50 question sections to that test” and I think he saw my face so he just started laughing at me.

Turns out…. 87% on the written final! I was so freaking happy I couldn’t get words out. Turns out I was also the highest written grade on the test :) Now I start the long process of clinical and internship shifts. Which my first 14 hour shift is in TX Saturday starting at 0800 or so. I plan on being done, tested, and raped by the state of NM and NREMT and be a TX, NM, and NR certified paramedic by the middle of Feb. Let’s do this shit :) Now it’s the fun part.

But first, tonight I get to have fun. I get to go to this beautiful girls graduation party tonight. She is graduating with her BS from a local university, and I figure I wanna spend time with her, plus it’s a chance to relax. I’m just glad I passed the final or this party would be a little less fun :p

Oh, and in other news…. Ya’ll know this yea has not been the best for me. And this holiday season feels rather empty for me as well. I was asked by a friend of mine, a medical professional that used to be quite active on Twitter under an older name, to help her and do a guest post on suicide prevention and recognition. I was flattered that Dani would ask me, and I said yes. It was a hard post to write, but it’s one that needed to be written. And in writing it, I think it helped me a little bit too. Ya’ll can go take a look here (click the image):

My guest post

For Some, Its NOT the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Part One

 

Alright, well I’m out for now. I need a nap before tonight :p That drive to and from TX sucks lately :p Ya’ll stay safe

(Late) Thanksgiving

I know I’m a couple days late for my Thanksgiving post… but that’s what happens when you work until midnight on Thanksgiving, and then go have your family thanksgiving on Friday. The joys of me, my brother, and my father all working sometime during thanksgiving.
My shift on thanksgiving was… eventful, to say the least. DOA, Drunk driver MVC, MI, CVA, hypoglycemic patient. But it was fun. We had a great crew on duty that day, and the supervisors cooked for all the road crews… Dear god did we have a lot of food

And that is missing almost all of the meat that was fixed. Calls were spaced so we all got some down time, which was very welcome. And I believe we had at least one person from every uniformed agency in our county that showed up to either eat or BS with our crews. I forgot how much fun it is to hang out with your fellow uniformed personnel even on a holiday. And it looks like I’ll get another chance to do it this year, as I start a 36 on Christmas this year.
And since this is Thanksgiving post… I figure I might say what I’m thankful for… and to be honest, this is a hard year to be thankful for anything. But I know I have to think forward.
The main thing I’m thankful for this year is my family. My father, my mother, and my brother. They have all helped me out this year more than I ever thought I’d need. But even if I didn’t say I needed something, they seemed to know it. They’ve been a rock I’ve been leaning on to get through this year.
Also my family at work. The service I work for doesn’t have the best reputation in the area, but our crews work hard, know what they’re doing, and we are much more tight knit than the larger services in the area. I’ve made some incredible friends since I started down here, and I know I’ve always got the support of a lot of people there, and I have a lot of people I work with that are pulling for me to finish medic school.
Oh, and I’m thankful to be nearing the end of my journey to become a Paramedic. I have a couple more weeks of classroom (final is on Dec 15!) and then 4-8 weeks of clinicals and internship… I plan on being done by the end of Feb if I have any say in it at all.
I’m also thankful for all of my blog, twitter, and tumblr friends for helping keep me sane this past year, both before I moved back to NM from TX, and after everything happened in May. Ya’ll are the most amazing people I have ever talked to, and I hope to meet a bunch of ya’ll soon at either Expo or Today.
I’m thankful to someone that I never thought about until recently. I’ve been talking to a girl… an incredible girl. It’s amazing. I’m thankful that I can feel the way I do about her at all. Right now we’re just friends, but I wanna see how things play out.
And lastly… I’m thankful that I get to go to work every shift, and get paid to do something that I would gladly do for free if I had to. I love my job and my career choice, and I love being able to make even a little bit of a difference in someone’s life. So everyone, thank you for everything you’ve ever done for me.
This is the first post of many I’ve got bouncing in my head. And with medic school finally slacking off a bit, I shold get some more posts done.

Ow

I’m still alive, I promise. Although with how I spent last night I was wishing I wasn’t. Have you ever noticed that medical providers are the worst patients? Well, I know I was last night until they could get me to stop throwing up and ease my pain a little bit. Fast forward to about 6 this morning and I’m told that I have an even bigger gallstone than they’d seen the last time. Guess one of the things on my list to do is try to eat better and eat more regularly.

So… because of that I missed class this evening. I’m still feeling like crap. But I’m getting better. I’m gonna try to make that long drive down to TX tomorrow to make it to Friday’s class. I hate missing time in class for stupid stuff like this. But I have gotten some homework done today. It’s trauma sessions in class this week and next week, then we have a weekend PHTLS course which sounds like a lot of fun 😀

But I also keep getting distracted by CoEMS (FRN.tv) Seat at the Table which does me no good getting things done :p But hey, I’m still expanding my education. Just not quite in the way my instructors even think in. Or the majority of my classmates for that matter.

All of you CoEMS/EMS2.0 types out there reading this, any tips on how to get instructors to acknowledge that newer information than our text books is out there?

Well anyways, I’m gonna go read again. I’ve got about 3 quizzes to get done before tomorrow. And I’m really hoping I’ll even make it down there tomorrow for class. At least the new car is fun to drive.

Ya’ll have a good one. Class then 36 on a bus 😀

Three months

Has it really been that long? Some days it feels like lifetimes ago. Others it feels like just yesterday. You’re always on my mind hon. It hit me this afternoon when I was getting off duty what day it was. I got pulled aside by a supervisor and asked if I was ok.

I was exhausted, it had been a long 24 hours running calls. But I didn’t know why he was asking me. We started talking and he mentioned it being a few months since he heard, and it all clicked. He was talking about you. He was asking how I was dealing with everything. His son knew you too. Hell you had met him and took great pleasure in laughing at me when I finally realized I went to HS with his son!

It just caught me by surprise. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy, trying to stay motivated onto my goals. Trying to be that man that you always thought I was, even when I had doubts on it myself. I’m trying my love, I really am.

Over the last week or two, I’ve been having doubts. Doubts that I can complete this paramedic program successfully. Doubts that I will survive the coming months at all. Doubts about whether I even want to suvive it. But after talking to him, I realized, like I have in the past, that you’d want me to push on.

I wish you were going to be there to pin on the new tag at work. I asked my boss about a name tag, since my old one from TX finally broke a pin. They told me that they never had any intention of ordering me one that said ‘Intermediate’ on it, because they knew I would get my medic and just need a new one in six months or less. And they have a tradition there. When an EMT gets a nametag that shows their new certification level, they get ‘pinned’

Think of it like military members getting new rank pinned onto their shoulders by their loved ones or fellow service members. Usually a wife or girlfriend or your coworkers do it. I was so looking forward to you doing it, to be honest. But since that is not going to happen… I am so thinking about asking some of the people most important in my life to do it. My parents and your mother and O’ceana. It would mean the world to me for them to do it. And it’s something I think you would like.

People were right. For the most part, when I think of you now, the hole in my heart feels a little shallower, a little easier to deal with. It still hurts, it will always hurt, but it’s getting manageable. I’m never going to ‘get over’ you sweetheart. But I can now look at the picture of the three of us and not feel like I’m going to just crumple to the floor.

So… three months? That’s three months of not seeing you more than I thought I could take. But with your help watching over me, and what I know you wanted of me, I can try to keep pressing on. Smile down on me, little one. I love you. Until that day when I can see you again

“The Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from another”

 

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And with that closing line one more little rant. I don’t care what the bible says about the verse I have tattooed on my arm. I don’t care that it’s not truly about love, but a warning of keeping a truce or the consequences. I don’t believe that story. I believe there is a higher power or three. She was similar in beliefs to me. So I take the MizPah verse at face value of just that one line. and in that manner, it suits everything perfectly. To be honest, if you’re insulted that I take it that way, there’s the door. I’ll add spikes to the outside so you better step quickly through.

Intense

Whoa… I really meant to update this thing earlier than this. The last few weeks have been intense. Right now I’m sitting in Santa Fe NM covering a 22 hour shift on an IFT ambulance. I’m about to take a break from everything and try to take a nap. I’m so short on sleep right now it’s probably almost dangerous.

So, how’s everything going? Not too bad overall. I finally saw the inside of my apartment on the way back from class early this morning. Was nice to sleep in my own bed, if only for about 3 hours. The past few weeks have shown me it’s gonna be a long few months, but it will be so worth it to get pinned as a medic.

Speaking of class. I’m almost all the way caught up finally. I started 3 weeks late and have been doing both the work assigned as we go and all the stuff I missed. Luckily it’s a lot of review for me. Right now my average is hovering at about 92% and I am regularly getting told to shut up in class so someone else can answer. I’ve finally decided that I’ll just keep my mouth shut unless I have a question or am called upon.

We are working on airway right now, and we actually had a former flight nurse teach our class last night. She was probably the best instructor we’ve had so far in this program. But then again, she went into much more depth than most instructors think we ‘need’, and since airway and cardiac are my two favorite subjects I’m not going to complain.

We also go to play around with IVs for the first time for some people in our class. I was 3/3 live sticks, and 0/3 for anyone actually getting a stick on me. I told them I was a harder stick, but no one believed me. I did get asked to help with showing people proper techniques for IV insertion. IT actually is showing me that I like instructing. I’m seriously wondering about when I finish my BSN, going for a secondary BS in education.

But pretty much the class is going well. We were given some bad news that we can’t start any form of clinicals or internship rides until almost the first of the year. IT’s gonna be rather annoying because of the long commute, but I’m thinking about volunteering for a VFD district in Las Cruces area just so I can have a place to crash for free and get some more run volume. Yep, my life is revolving around EMS until I get my medic, there’s just no other way to work it and still have money. Hell, my schedule this last week has had me sleeping in my 911 coverage area at one of the spare bases instead of having to drive back to the city and sleep, then turn around 6 hours later and drive down to Ops to pick up my classmate and make the drive to TX.

So… yea, that’s just a quick update. There’s more I wanted to write about but for now I think I’m gonna go take a nap. I’ve got more homework to do still.

Lets do this

Well… What would you do if your service offered to send you through medic school right now, for free except for gas money. Well, mine did. What do you think I said? I said yes. I’ll be doing what some in TX call a ‘completer’ course. The joys of being a TX EMT-I. Downside? It’s in TX. I will have to drive down 2-3 times a week to El Paso TX to do my classes.

The next four months will be intense… But I want that gold patch, and I will get it this time 😀 But I’ll be so poor while doing it, that I’m seriously tempted to add a donation button to my Ramen Noodle fund.

My schedule will be similar to the following: Class Tues, Thurs, and Fri 1800-2200. 36 hours a week working at my service so I can have money. 12-24 hours of clinicals or internship a week (luckily I can do ambulance shifts at my current service). Maybe 12-24 a week at my second service… Oh, plus it’s 4 hours drive one way to class. I never thought I’d get myself involved in class like this, but it’ll be worth it.

If for no other reason than I keep my promise to her about pinning on that disco patch. Oh and I’ll get my NR and TX EMT-P certs as well as my NM one.

Overdue

Ya know… I’m pissed. And it’s about time I posted a rant. It’s my blog afterall, so I’m allowed to rant. So here goes.

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0

You nailed it, we’re so fucking impressed. You must be the most incredible person for having a brand new EMT-B card, one that the ink isn’t even dry on yet. But, there’s a few things you need to know, and things that you need to learn quick before I toss you out of the doors of my bus while we’re traveling down the freeway.

1) I don’t care if you are older than me. Yes, I might be a young EMT, but I’ve got many times your experience, and I am the higher licensure on the truck. Keep this in mind. It means if we’re treating a patient, what I say, goes. Don’t you fucking DARE look down on me for only being 23.

2) Quit your whining. No our job is not all traumas. It’s not all code three returns to the hospital. It’s not anything like the TV show ‘Trauma’. Get those thoughts out of your damned head right now if you want to survive at all in this job.

3) Speaking of trauma… Another thing you need to stop, right fucking now, is thinking I’m an inferior EMT just because I prefer medical calls to trauma calls. Trauma is easy; Keep an airway, plug the holes, splint the breaks, stick em with IVs. Rinse and repeat. I actually prefer medical because I have to THINK. Once you get some experience, and some education, you’ll see that medical calls can be some of the most pucker-factor inducing calls you might run in your career.

4) I swear to god, if you EVER repeat the comments you told me about suicide attempt calls, I will end you. How would you like it if I made those kinds of comments to your mother, sister, wife, girlfriend, daughter, brother, son, or father? Really? You wouldn’t like it? Then keep your damned mouth shut! And yea, I don’t like those calls. You don’t know what the fuck I’ve dealt with in the past two months, and you most likely never will, because I don’t deem you worthy of personal discussions with. Yes, SI calls affect me. No, I don’t like running them. But yea, I enjoy talking to the patients, trying to help them, even if it’s just holding their hand and telling them things WILL get better. Helping them is a way of helping me heal myself.

Those are just four things. I’m tired right now or else I might keep going. Count your blessings you are still breathing, and keep in mind that if you ever draw my truck to work on again, you will learn to control your damned mouth. You might be older than me, you might have more life experience than me, but from what I’ve seen you deserve no more respect than I give to my average ETOH bum on the side of the road (which admittedly is more respect than you seem to give them, or me). To me, respect is earned, not freely given. And with what I’ve seen, you have a long long way to go before you get any from me.

Keep one thing in mind. EMS isn’t about saving lives. It’s about caring for people. Caring for people is the majority of our job, saving lives is something we might be lucky enough to help with a few times in our career.

Yay updates

Well. It’s been a couple weeks. In that time I’ve had two interviews. Heard back from both of them… Not good news. I’m still stuck in NM for the time being. But I have at least one more testing, most likely three, in the same part of TX that I did the testing with MCHD EMS. One for a VERY rural service which makes me happy 😀 The other two are right on the coast of the Gulf, so that would be fun.

I’m also looking into classes at CNM for this fall just in case I’m still here. Looking into Chem 1, Bio 1, labs for both, and Intro Psych, plus maybe one other class. It’ll give me something to do, plus I need them for RN school anyways.

Other than that, nothing really major going on here. Still trying to take things day by day. But I have noticed something a lot more than I had in the past. These are some photos I’ve taken recently

I’ve never really noticed cloud formations like this all that often until recently. Until I lost Sade. Now I see them all the time, and every time I do, I get a little feeling that she is there watching over me and this is her way of letting me know she’s there. And it is her way of making sure I keep my promise about taking pictures. Each day is still hard, but all I can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Well, I’m out for the night. Gotta take some uniform jackets to the supply house tomorrow to get velcro added to the sleeves for patches… Then make some more phone calls to finalize testing details in SE Texas. Lets hope these go better than the last two interviews I’ve had.

Memories, and new beginnings?

I’ve never like Albuquerque, not since before I moved here for school. When I left last March for Colorado, I thought that was it. I swore I’d never willingly move back to Albuquerque. But somehow in the course of talking to you the NEXT March… we agreed to find a place together in Albuquerque, and I would have been so very content to stay here for the next 18 years with you if you’d have had me. That’s when it hit me. You were what was missing the first few years here. Even staying at your parents (which I’m still so very grateful they put up with me :p), being with you felt like home. You were my home, the place I felt the safest. The place I felt most comfortable. The person I loved being with so much.

Now Albuquerque is a bunch of memories, of things we did. Of places we visited. Unfinished plans that we made together. Albuquerque feels empty to me now. Worse than before you, it’s now a black hole that seems content to suck out any happiness or wanting to do anything. This is not my home any longer.

I guess that’s why when this hospital district offered me the opportunity to come out and test, I took it without a second thought. I knew you would have been ok with it. That’s why I bristle a little when people accuse me of trying to run away from my problems here and run there. And to be honest, that thought gave me a panic attack on the drive back today.

For a little bit, I didn’t know why I was doing it. Was I really running away? Or was I doing it because it’s something I wanted? Because it’s something I thought would be the best idea for me? I really didn’t know. That made me feel horrible. Then I thought about it. Both of us loved travelling, granted you hated TX, but we both had plans to move as much as we could. And this would really be a good opportunity for me. Maybe I’m doing it for a little bit of all of those reasons? But you know what, if it’s better for me in the long run, who cares right this second why I’m doing it?

But that means I need to try and put some things behind me. Sweetheart, losing you is something I’m still having a hard time dealing with. I listened to a song on the way home and these were part of hte lyrics

“I don’t wanna not remember
I will always see your face
In the shadows of this haunted place
I will laugh
I will cry
Shake my fist at the sky
But I will not say goodbye”

That’s rather how I feel towards you. The last month I’ve gone through so many emotions… Gods know that there have been times I’ve been so very pissed off at you. Pissed that you left me alone here, pissed that you wouldn’t talk to any of us, pissed that you were gone. Pissed in general. But it reminded me too that I wouldn’t have been anywhere near that mad if I wasn’t in love with you.

What I can do, though, is remember the memories. Remembering you so many years ago, walking into the interview for that trip with me. I saw you back then, braces, frizzy hair, and all, and it was like something inside me clicked. Like my heart went “Oh! Hi! I’ve been waiting for you!”

And that trip was amazing. I know you had some rough spots during it, and so did I. And I’m sorry I ever took it out on you then. But we enjoyed each others company so very much. And I loved squirelling a smile out of you when you were in a bad mood. It helped my mood so much too. And then  when we got home… This blushing little girl, so cute and innocent looking, walking up to me and kissing me on the cheek, then walking away. You left me standing there breathless and staring. I still smile when I think of that memory.

Then we had some bad times. I was dating the one-who-will-never-be-named (yes she is that much of an evil bitch that she would give Voldemort a run for his money) and she took great exception to the fact that I might have been falling for someone that wasn’t her, or that I was even talking to someone that wasn’t her. So she took it upon herself to make sure we’d never talk again… and for several years we didn’t. I remember spending hours trying to find you online, looking for any sign of you. And come to find out you were doing the same thing to find me.

I remember the first day I saw you again. It was after you and my mother realized who each other was. I came down from ABQ for just a chance. We called each other when I got on campus and left my mom’s office. And in a typical Zita moment, and Nate moment for that matter, I look ahead of me and see someone talking on the phone… making arm motions that looked very familiar. I asked you what you were doing and you told me walking. I was smirking to myself the entire time, and I asked you to turn around. God, seeing your face for the first time in years was amazing. You had just gotten even more gorgeous and grown up from that little girl I remember. The smile on your face when we both realized we’d been on the phone with each other from about 20ft away is still one of my favorite memories.

Remembering how you smiled at me this past Valentine’s day when I surprised you with flowers at your parents. You were always so hard to surprise because you hated them and tried to get all the info you could before it happened. That’s why I’m amazed that me and your mother managed to pull off me sneaking by without you knowing. The happiness you had on your face when you saw me walk through the door was amazing, and then the surprise and smile when I handed you flowers. I was hoping that flowers to you on V-day would become a normal tradition with us, the first time I’d ever enjoyed that day at all.

Or how a month or two later when I walked into your parents house again on a mini-vacation from TX. I had been working up the courage to ask if I could kiss you on that trip, so can you imagine how surprised I was when the first thing you do as I walk in is kiss me on the lips, kiss me very soundly? Heh, I think it was almost a repeat of the airport and me just standing there. You smiled so sweetly and just giggled at me. That was the turning point of us becoming an ‘us’ even if we didn’t want to admit it to anyone.

Those are just a few of my favorite memories of you and me. And kind of why I think I might be running away from ABQ… there are memories of you, of us, of all three of us, everywhere in this state. And I really am having a hard time dealign with it. I still wake up and expect to be looking into your gorgeous hazel eyes, or hear you giggle at me whenever I do something stupid. I miss your gentle touch when I’m upset, and boy, lately, I could have used that wonderful touch so often. I miss just being able to cuddle you to me when you were upset. All in-all… I miss you honey. Miss you so much that the pain makes me want to curl up into a ball and stay there.

I think what really gets me… is that we didn’t really have a chance. We were good together for the short time we had, and it kills me that I’ll never know how we would have turned out. I think it would have worked, but now I’ll never know… and that, to me, is one of the things that makes this so hard.

So, yea, maybe I am running away. But I’m also trying to move on. You would want me to move on. You’d want me to become a better man. You knew of my love for EMS, and you told me shortly before I lost you that you could never tell me you wanted me to give it up. So here I go. I’m trying to get on with one of my dream services (the only one I can get on with as an EMT-I as opposed to a medic). I’m trying to become that man you would be proud of. I’m just hoping you keep watching over me. Keep visiting me in my dreams, for that’s the only way I can see you now, and gods know that I miss you. I still think of you every second of every day, and I can’t see how that will change any time soon. But for now I just need to keep pressing on. Keep trying  to push forward. It’s what you would have wanted for me. and it’s what I would have wanted you to do if the situations would be reversed.

I know I still can’t tell you goodbye. Like I said earlier, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to tell you goodbye. But I will not, cannot, ever forget you. You’ll stay in my heart forever. And I think you took the best part of me with you when you left, so at least you have some company. Until I see you again lover, watch over me and help keep my dumb ass safe when I do something stupid.

“The blackest night must end in dawn, the light dispel the dreamer’s fear.”

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So… I just got back to NM last night. I left NM on sunday to go to SE Texas to test for a large hospital based agency. From everything I have heard, they are in the top three services in the state of TX and they’ve always been one I wanted to work at. But man it was a long drive. 15 hours or so from here.

The hiring process consists of a written test, three practical tests (airway incluiding pedi and adult ETI, vital signs, and LSB), an interview, and a PAT. I passed the written with an 88%, passed all three practicals with only one retest (vital signs?! I think I just got nervous and started counting my own pulse), and had a great time on the PAT. It was actually a very fun PAT, and one of the few for private, non-fire EMS that I’ve seen that has you do a full course, not just a stair test. The interview I think I did ok on too. Now I just have to wait till Friday to hear if I got the job or not. If I did, orientation will start on July 18th.

And it’s not just orientation. They run a 3 week academy followed by 4-6 weeks riding third before you’re released as a probationary crew member under a mentoring medic.  I love the idea of the way they do new hires. So… fingers crossed that I’ll get the call once I get off duty on Friday. I go in for a 36 down here in ValCo tonight. I’m hoping I’ll have a resonably busy shift.