Is this what I wanted?

The other day we were out and ran into an old teacher of mine. And by old, I mean like 7th grade… For perspective I graduated HS 8 years ago. She was saying something about what I had wanted to do back then. And then she asked what I do now. When I told her I was a paramedic (which honestly, as much as I hate advertising that fact, I’m proud of what I do for a living) she had this shocked look on her face.

It makes me think about what I wanted back then. I was gung-ho to go into the military, or to do some kind of engineering. Something that sounded ‘fun’ to me back then. But a lot of crap happened in high school that started to change my perspective. And then I was involved in one of the most life changing events that I’ve had, I almost died in a motorcycle accident at the end of my Jr year of HS. That killed any hopes I had of joining the military. ¬†And whether I wanted to admit it or not, probably made me consider a career in public safety.

I remember when I decided to become an EMT. I was an explosives engineering student at the school of mines in my high school town. But even though I was just a couple miles from home, I had way too much fun. I thought that college was one big party, with more time spent offroading and shooting guns than actually attending classes. So I was informed that I needed to take a semester off. To figure out what I wanted to do (also read: academic suspension). So I moved to ABQ, for what I thought was going to be a semester, and enrolled in a class that sounded like a lot of fun. EMT-Basic at the local community college.

The class was fun. It was interesting. And full of the usual war stories and ‘hero’ rhetoric. But at the time I didn’t know any different. And at the time I was hooked. It sounded so fun, so exciting, like I would be making a difference. And then I did my ambulance shift for class. I was hooked even more.

That was 7 years ago. In the time since I’ve come to love my career field. I’ve invested an untold amount of hours and money into pushing myself to be better, to do better for my patients.

And now with where I work (which is another post coming up all in itself) I find myself with an abundance of free time. And I think back on where I thought I would be, and where I am now. And honestly, I am rather happy with where I am. I feel like I do a job I belong in. I feel like, now, I can make a difference. It took a long time and a lot of effort to get here. And I can honestly say I’m proud of it.

But now I’m at a crossroads as well. I want to go on to more. And I have a decent amount of free time at work. So I decided I’m going to bridge over to nursing with an ADN from Excelsior College Nursing Program. Afterall, I’m happy, but I don’t want to just rest on my laurels and get stagnant.

Onward to bigger things. Hell, maybe one day I’ll have some bigger fancy letters after my name.

 

 

Also. New banner! Lol after saying for the past 2 years I needed a new one.

Code Blue, Code Stroke,… Code Green?

Recently, a group of EMS providers and First Responders have come together to make something that is near and dear to me. I present to you, the Code Green Campaign! There has been much talk recently on social media about suicided in first responder circles. Including a medic who committed suicide at his station and his partner attempted to work him. And there has been talk about the stigma that surrounds our profession and others like it about asking for help.

The Code Green Campaign is trying to break those stigmas. Please everyone, check it out. I don’t want to lose any other brothers or sisters, no matter what patches or uniforms you wear. I have lost someone very close to me once before and don’t want to go through that before. Mourning bands are not something I want to break out on a regular basis.

On the site, there is a list of resources geared just to us, the first responder community. There’s stories from other providers about their own issues and problems and how they took it on. There’s even one from yours truly that has been submitted. It’s a great idea, backed by a great group of people.

Even if we can just save one brother or sister from taking their own life, it would be worth it. But please spread this around, give it as much publicity as you can. We need to cut out the stigma that comes with asking for help. After all, we are all taught that our safety comes first. That includes unsafe scenes and unsafe mental states. Take care of yourselves people!

-TJ