It’s Thanksgiving

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Take the day and try to relax and enjoy time with your family. If you’re on duty, like me today, stay safe out there and I hope you can get a chance to stop and sit down for a meal today. Thank you for giving up your holiday to serve your community.

This is a hard Thanksgiving for me. It’s the first one where I’m out of the state that the majority of my family lives in, and since I’m on duty today I am not able to go home for the holiday. And to top it off, the one I was hoping would be moving with me when I came here has pretty much cut me out of her life. But oh well. I’m here, and I still have things that I’m thankful for.

One of the biggest things I’m thankful for this year is my family. They’ve stood by me and have been willing to help me in any way that I’ve needed this past year. And I’ve definitely needed the help too. When I was getting frustrated on the job search, they were there to talk to, when someone I truly cared about disappeared from my life suddenly they put up with my moodiness and moping and pushed me to try and put it behind me. They gave me hugs when I needed them, encouragement when I needed it, and kicks in the ass when I needed the motivation.

And by family, I don’t just mean blood family. I also mean the people who have become like family to me on Twitter and in the #CoEMS/#EMS2point0 movements. @msenginemedic @shell1972 @EMTGoose @EMTDani @MsParamedic @enginemedic @emtmikey, and lots of others I’m forgetting,  plus people like Linuss and Lucid from over at my favorite EMT forum. Ya’ll really mean a lot to me and thank you for being here when I need someone.

I’m also so incredibly thankful to be working again in the field that I love and being given another chance to get my life turned to where I want it to go. This job has opened up several doors to me, including a chance to go back to school and try again for my medic cert. Working out here will be incredible experience, and when I move on to continue my education I’ll always look at it fondly for the chances it gave me. And this service has done it’s best to invite me into their little family with open arms, and it helped since I was a stranger moving here with no idea about anything in the area.

I’m grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned this year, even when at the time they seemed like they were the end of my dreams. I kept getting told everything works out the way it does for a reason, and I’m hoping they’re right. I’ve learned a lot this year, and I’m not the same person I was back in January. We’ll see if these lessons keep me from making the same mistakes I have in the past.

And lastly… Little one, despite everything, I’m happy that you were in my life. I wish you the best of luck with everything and everyone. You showed me what I want in life, talked to me in my darkest times over the summer, held my hand when I needed it when I visited you. You are still the one I think of the absolute most of anyone, and you probably will be for some time. I still love you and wish things were different. Good bye.

Well, that’s enough for now. I’m sitting in the station for now doing nothing, my partner is upstairs still asleep from last night (He’s on a 24, as am I, but I switch off partners at 1800 and he gets off). Later today we’re going to one of our medics house for dinner, and it’s going to be pretty much the whole department there. Should be kinda fun.

Stay safe everyone, and enjoy today.

Long long week

What I saw on my GPS when I got back to my apartment

The above is slightly scary. I just got back from a week long trip, and unfortunately it just made me more frustrated than I was when I left.

I left early on Monday morning to start the 7-8 hour drive to a small town in NM, a little south of the big city. That drive was horrendously boring, as all drives through NM north of Las Vegas are. I actually had a radio so it wasn’t too bad, would have been better if my A/C had been working though. Made it to my parents place and then went to see how my grandmother was doing…

That’s where it started to get bad. Like I’ve said in a previous post, it’s a horrible feeling when your grandmother doesn’t know who you are, even worse when she recognizes your twin brother, your identical twin brother!, but not you. My grandmother that I knew and loved doesn’t really exist anymore. The MDs are saying she had two CVAs (one of which led to the earlier fall in which she broke her hip and wrist), and are predicting a third that they’re not sure she’ll recover from. Right now she’s doing better than they ever thought, since she’s feeding herself and talking and being semi coherent… I feel bad for saying this, but it still feels like she’s already gone even when she was sitting right in front of me.

I spent Tuesday trying to go to the DMV and get my truck registered (just in case I luck out and go out of the country for a year on a job, I wanted it registered in the town my parents live in with one of them on the title). First their system was down, then I found out that recently NM instituted a statute saying that if ‘gift’ is written on the title you need a signed and notarized paper from the person you got it from. I couldn’t get that so the truck stayed unregistered.

Wednesday I spent the morning hanging around town waiting for my brother to come down from the city so we could load up a couch, bed, and entertainment center in the back of my truck and get it to his place. That wasn’t too bad actually. And when I got to the city I got to see one of my old partners and we hung out for a while watching movies.

Thursday was kinda the same, saw people I hadn’t seen in a while. I had crashed at my brothers so I was in the city already. I decided to pay my old hospital’s HR dept a visit since I applied as a unit clerk and as an ER tech. Was told that since I left on very good terms with them, getting back on should be easy compared to someone they didn’t know. So here’s hoping for the tech job, even if it does mean moving back to Big City NM.

Friday was the most annoying day I’ve had in a while. I took my brothers Mustang and headed down to El Paso TX… Now I know why Texans disown that damned city. Was supposed to go down there to do ETI and IV practical tests since the state of TX won’t take my NR practical results (more in a sec on that). I was also supposed to get my fingerprints done. Well, fingerprints got done but nothing else did. The tester I was supposed to meet with called in sick at the last minute, and no one else in the entire city that could test ALS skills was available. So that was a wash.

We did however figure out that while TX won’t accept NREMT-I/85 practicals for TX EMT-I cert, there’s no reason they shouldn’t accept NREMT-P practicals, since it covers everything and then some. I happen to still have my medic practical results and I’m going to be calling TX on Tuesday to try and sort this out. I assume they tuned out the word ‘medic’ when I told them I had a set of NREMT practicals that should meet their requirements… since it is odd that an EMT-I/85 would have done the medic practicals, I can’t really blame them.

Oh, and Friday before I left for EP, I sent her the letter I’d been working on. Now she hasn’t mentioned it at all and I haven’t been able to get a hold of her by calling, we’ve just been texting as usual… so I’m not sure what’s going on now. And the situation is too complicated for my liking :(

So now I’m back at my apt (not really home, but my cat and my bed are here) and about to crash. Night all.

Oh, here’s a picture I took on the way home… Yep, rain almost the entire way.

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So we’re now moved pretty well onto wordpress, and I must say I like it more than blogspot :) Lots more options to do what I want, and it seems a little more stable.

So, what have I been doing lately? Well it’s been a long week. I’ll take it day by day to start with

Monday I had an interview and testing session with Pridemark Paramedics. Got there about 15 minutes early and there were already 4 other candidates there. They had us give them copies of our MVRs and then put us in a big conference room to take their written test. By the time everyone was there we had 9 candidates total (3 medics, 6 EMTs) there to test and interview.

The written test itself wasn’t too bad. A lot of simple stuff on it, even if the wording on it wasn’t the best. But I’m finding out that that’s pretty standard on employment pretests. A couple of the questions didn’t really have a good answer, so I did just as my instructors have always told me. “When in doubt choose C!” No, really though I just picked the answer that was the least wrong out of the ones presented.

The ‘practical’ portion wound up being nothing more than a verbal scenario. They wanted it a little more detailed than a lot of places, but nowhere near as detailed as I had to learn for the NR oral boards. It was a simple down and out scenario in an office building. I’m sure most of you can come up with some ideas for that but it wound up being one that I’ve actually ran in real life several times. Yay for D50.

Lastly was the actual interview. I didn’t think that I did too badly, but some of the questions weren’t what I was expecting. It wasn’t quite like the ACA interview by any means, but still different.

So got home from that feeling pretty confident on everything. They told us we’d hear back from them within 48 hours.

Tuesday dawn a nice pretty day up here, but any happy feeling evaporated pretty quick with a phone call from my mother. All it basically said was ‘your grandmother’s not doing good, the hospital called us and told us she most likely won’t make it past tonight.’

Great way to kill a day huh? I was told not to make it the 8 hour drive south since they weren’t sure I’d get there in time anyway. She didn’t want me coming down and possibly killing myself in the attempt to beat the reaper. I felt, and still feel, horrible that I didn’t head down and ignore my mother.

That day the only thing that kept me sane really was my friend who I’ve mentioned a few times before. She kept texting and talking, trying to keep me distracted and from dwelling on what was happening. Keep me from dwelling on what I couldn’t have any impact on.

I’d said it on Twitter and I’ll say it again here… As ridiculous as it sounds, I felt like if I had been there, there was something that I could have done. Something that the MDs and RNs there missed. I hate being on the sidelines and not able to influence the course things are taking, especially when it involves medical and my family.

Wednesday, my grandmother was still hanging in, but had spiked a fever of 108. They ran a CT and found that she had had a stroke in her ‘temperature regulation area’ according to the MD through my mother. He didn’t want to go into any more details with me since I wasn’t there and he assumed being 22 I couldn’t understand what he meant (have I mentioned that I hate some MDs?). Nothing was breaking the fever and none of her meds were working for anything at that point.

Thursday morning the fever broke finally but she was in a vegetative state. No reaction to anything. No change for Friday either.

Oh, Wednesday I found out from Pridemark via email that I was not selected for the job, but that they would keep my app on file for later if they found a job that matched my qualifications. Nothing still head from the middle-east company, and no good news from any other job fronts that day.

Thursday I found out on Acadian’s website that it shows ‘Schedule interview’ for SE TX. So hopefully that’s a good sign.

So it’s not been the best week I could have had. I’m planning how to get to FL for what we’re assuming is going to be my grandmothers funeral (she has DNR/DNI signed and wishes no extraordinary measures, and my family and the staff is honoring those wishes), along with probably needing to get to OC TX and maybe Baton Rogue LA for interviews. I’ve also been making plans to go ot TN and visit her for a few days. I have something I really need to tell her and I’d rather do it in person.

And on to her… it’s amazing how perfect she is and she doesn’t realize it yet. Every time I tell her that I know she can do everything she’s up against she just acts flabbergasted that I’ve got any confidence in her. One of the nice things is she doesn’t think that she’s perfect, she knows she has flaws, but at the same time she thinks those flaws make it so no one wants her.

She told me that she really wants to stay with me wherever I move to (right now as just friends since I haven’t told her anything), even if it is TX. She has told me many many times how much she hates TX and yet she’s willing to move down there to be around me.

Well, I’m done for now. I’ve got a few more apps to finish and send out.

Who I am

I had a friend over on Facebook tell me that I needed to update my little bio slot… Currently all it says is, “I’m me… Nothing more.”

Now, I think that spells it out pretty well. But just so she has some clarity on the subject.

I’m addicted to medicine. I love helping people and learning how people work. Especially in the realm of emergency medicine and pre-hospital medicine. So much so that my goal is to make it to medical school and become a medical director for an EMS service.

I have horrible luck with women. I thought I was not in love with anyone when an old friend walked back into my life. My ex-fiance just got married, one of my best friends from HS I never talk to, another ex is moving to CO to live with her boyfriend, and another old friend I’m falling for big time. But of course I could never tell her that 😛

I love learning. Yep, part of it ties in with the above, but not just medicine. I love learning about engines. I love learning how to do new things. I love school.

I’m not the brightest about keeping my mouth shut. It’s gotten me into trouble more times than I care to count. I say what I think, and the brain/mouth filter usually has some pretty big holes. Part of that is why I’m not a Paramedic right now. It’s also why I have made some people pretty upset with me in the past.

I love working with my hands. Yet another thing that attracted me to medicine. And why I love shooting and working on vehicles. There’s something comforting about knowing that I can do things that others can’t with my hands.

I love shooting. Paintball, photography, real guns. Doesn’t matter. Shooting things relaxes me and blows off steam.

I love riding motorcycles. I feel so free while riding. It’s like I was meant to travel like that (pity I haven’t ridden in a while). Racing them is also pretty damned fun.

I am very competitive. I like to win, and I make no apologies for it. I put 100% into everything that I do with my life, and I expect others to as well. I don’t want to win just because someone is feeling lazy that day. I want to earn it and want to feel good about winning.

I love reading. I will read anything and everything, down to the labels of my shampoo while I’m showering, just because. Books and I are old friends and it’s a friendship that will never fade.

I am fiercely loyal to the people I love. Friends and family. If you hurt someone I care about, there will be problems. If someone I love needs something, I will do it to the best I can, with nothing asked in return. Do not slander my friends and family in front of me, I would not do that to you.

I love music. I believe life should have a soundtrack, and that’s why I listen to music as often as I can. Sometimes I wish that music would start playing at the appropriate time in my daily life.

And lastly. I am an EMT. I am proud to be one. I love helping people. It brings so much other things that are a part of me to the front. I want to become a medic, and I plan to as soon as I possibly can. Even if it means that it’s time to live on Ramen for a year.
I want to make a difference in the profession I love so dearly. It’s given me a purpose when I needed one. Given me hope for what I can do to make a difference in this world. Given me drive when I was sorely lacking.
EMS is one of the noblest professions out there. I don’t just mean the trauma and cardiac arrests, either. Those are important to what we do, yes, but not the most important. Our most important task is to be the safety mechanism for so many people. We are the ones who see what is actually happening to someone in their life. We are advocates for the people who need it the most, when no one else will step up to fill in.
I believe we are due for a change, which is why I believe so strongly about EMS 2.0 and am proud to support it and #CoEMS. I believe we will come into our own. It just takes the dedication and love of people like @AmboDriver, @MsParamedic, @CKEMTP, and everyone else out there that supports what we are trying to do.

In short. I’m me. Nothing more, nothing less. I have never cared if people like it or not. I make no excuses for myself.