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.

Sh*t My Husband Says…

I have talked about my husband several times on this blog and I know I’ve mentioned he is a firefighter turned ER tech. My husband has been in the Emergency Medical field all of his career and it is absolutely the right place for him to be. I’ve never seen anyone do what he does with the amount of care and compassion that he gives to every single patient.

Several of you have asked to know more about him and what he does for a living so we thought it would be fun for me to sort of interview him and post it here, so that’s what we’re doing!

Me: What made you decide to get into EMS?

Him: I had always grown up loving the lights and sirens, but I had a teacher in high school who was also the manager of the pool I worked at my first paying job. He also was one of the founding members of the ambulance service in Mount Vernon and he was the first one put the thought in my head of actually doing something in the EMS world.

Me: What is your favorite part of your job?

Him: I’d be lying if I said anything other than I’m a trauma junkie. I love the adrenaline rush of a trauma coming in and knowing that there is someone who needs serious help, right NOW.

Me: What is the hardest part of your job?

Him: Trying to be in as many places as I’m asked to be all at the same time.

Me: What are some of the craziest things you’ve seen in your line of work?

Him: Well…many things placed both, front door and back door men and women that shouldn’t ought to be there and somehow get ‘lost’. The craziest things are actually usually the family dynamics and ethnic stereotypes that play out and prove themselves to be more correct than not a lot of times.

Me: Do you think you have had a positive impact on the people you’ve taken care of?

Him: Definitely. From being able to easily get things out of kids noses to sitting with an old lady while she dies because none of her family has been able to get there in time. I have had to take care of kids who’ve died and while I may not have had an impact on the child, I try my hardest to take care of the family because they lost that child and even in death they are still a child not just a body.

Me: What would you tell someone wanting to go into EMS?

Him: Here in Phoenix I would tell them to go somewhere else where EMS is more respected. Unless you are a firefighter whose shirt says ‘city of…’ you are looked down upon by many. In general, having come from an EMS system where I knew the people I was taking care of the most rewarding part of that was the fact I knew that I could help the people who called for help but also the people who called knew me and trusted me to help them.

Me: What would you tell people coming into the Emergency Department?

Him: The ER is not like the deli. You do not get seen based on who gets there first. Don’t feel bad or get pissed because you have to wait to be seen by a Dr. Instead feel sorry for the people who are rushed ahead of you. The fact they are going first means they are potentially much closer to death than you are.

And there you have it! More information than you probably wanted to know!

Periwinkle’s Big Day In The ER

Periwinkle went on another adventure today with the hubby, P-wink as hubby now calls her got to spend the day in the ER. Here are some photos of her exciting day!

Getting ready for work in the locker room…

Working the Trauma Desk…

Joy Ride…

Cruising The Halls…

Manning the phones…


My Night In The ER

Ok, so this is not exactly the post I envisioned coming back with, but oh well.

For the last 4 days I had been having a pain in my chest (around my heart) that I thought might have been just from sleeping wrong or even just indigestion. It was hard to take deep breaths but I was ok with shallow ones. Then yesterday afternoon it started to hurt worse and I was even having trouble with shallow breathing. Also the pain was extending down to my shoulder and upper arm. Last night after Sean put Hannah down he came out and I told him what was going on and since he works in the ER and sees this kind of thing everyday I was hoping he would tell me it was just indigestion or something. Wrong. He was very concerned because all the questions he was asking and the answers I was giving did not indicate a small problem.

We called my mom to come sit with Hannah and we left for the ER. Luckily there was no wait and they got me right in to a bed. They took blood, started an IV, did an EKG, chest xray and then we just had to wait. The first EKG was abnormal – mild heart attack. They ran all sorts of tests on my blood to check for heart disease and everything came back fine for that. He also thinks there may be a tiny blood clot. They did another EKG right before releasing me that came out normal.

I was released after 1 am with the instructions to come back to the ER if it gets worse. I am on drs orders to rest, take baby aspirin and follow up on monday with my doc and then get a referral to a cardiologist for a treadmill test and other heart testing.

I am still in a lot of pain when I breathe otherwise I feel ok. So if I am not posting as much, this is why. I am still really uncomfortable and of course – kinda freaking out. I will keep everyone posted after I see my doc on Monday.

Any positive thoughts and prayers would be much-o appreciated!