You know how sometimes, you feel like life is good, everything is moving along with minimal bumps in the road and you feel good about the direction your life is headed. Then there are other times when you feel like God is throwing nearly everything at you to see how you handle it? We are in one of those times, the not so good times. The times that really make you wonder what could possibly be coming your way after all of this crap to make it necessary to go through and even still, knowing in your head and heart that the things you’re going through right now are not nearly as bad as another persons journey is right now. That brings me to today’s topic that’s on my heart and mind.
I know I’ve talked a little bit before of my husband’s job, he works in a level 1 trauma unit in Phoenix. It keeps him busy and he sees all the usual things you’d think he would see working in a busy ER in a big city like Phoenix. He sees the really minor stuff like your average cold and flu type stuff to the really big intense stuff like heart attacks, car accident victims, gunshots, stabbings, domestic violence victims, and drownings. He has days that are longer and more intense physically, mentally, and emotionally than most of us can possibly fathom. He’s been physically attacked, scratched, hit, kicked, bitten; he’s had to wrestle, tackle, and fight off patients who are attacking him and other staff. He’s sat at the bedside of old people as they took their last breath so they wouldn’t die alone and he’s done chest compressions on patients long after there was no hope of bringing them back to life so their family would know they did everything they possibly could have to save them. He has cradled the bodies of babies who’ve died so their parents would know that their baby was being loved and cared for in that deep dark moment of their worst nightmare.
This week was one of those weeks. The ones that make you question why would anyone do that job? So many traumas. So many codes. So many mentally ill who had to be wrestled into restraints so they wouldn’t hurt themselves or others in the ER. That was just one day. He came home weary, just totally spent from his 12 hour shift. His body was tired and sore from wrestling a few patients into restraints, from doing loads of chest compressions, his feet sore from running from one room to another to take care of whatever was needed in that moment. But he got up the next day and donned his teal scrubs and headed back to the ER to do it all again…whatever the universe was going to throw their way. Just so happened that another trauma code came in, but this one was hard. Kids are always hard for people in EMS. Ask any cop, firefighter/medic/emt, or the staff in an ER. After 90 minutes of trying to save this child, they just couldn’t save him.
And then that team who fought to save that child and lost, had to carry on and go about the rest of their day treating countless other patients who don’t generally stop to think about what happens in other rooms in the ER. They have to wait in the waiting room for longer than what they think is right, so they cop and attitude with the staff…the techs, nurses, and doctors who are doing everything they know how to bring people back from the dead and you there with your cough, you think you have the right to curse, yell, demean, degrade, in some cases, get physical, or even in some other cases threaten the life of one of these people who are doing everything they can to hold it together and treat you and make you well….
So, tonight is going to be one of those nights when my husband comes home weary, with tears in his eyes and heaviness in his heart because they couldn’t bring back a little child to his mama. That mama obviously has it so much worse, but I hope she knows that my husband did everything he could and that his heart broke along with hers that he couldn’t save her baby today. So I’m asking you, please be kind and be patient the next time you find yourself waiting in the emergency room for whatever reason…be kind to the techs, nurses, doctors…you don’t know what their last patient was or what that outcome was, just know that if it were you or your loved one, they would be fighting their hardest to keep you alive too.