Emergency Medical Technicians

I have first hand knowledge of being an EMT.  I used to be one and for the most part, I really enjoyed it but it is hard, sad, rewarding and sometimes dangerous work.

I have been kicked, punched, spit on and called everything but a child of God.  I have had my hair pulled so hard that it left a knot on my head.  I have had people try to grab equipment out of my hands.  I have had to get out of my ambulance and threaten a driver if they didn’t stop following me.

People are frantic and desperate when somebody they love is hurt or dying.  Some of them watch too much television and think the magical phrase “clear” will bring somebody back to life with one shock.

As an EMT, some things make you laugh.  Some things make you wonder what the hell somebody was thinking.  Some things make you so incredibly sad, you wonder if you will be able to make it for the rest of your shift.

The first real trauma I ran on was a man who had jumped in front of a train.  I won’t go into the blood and guts part of it because there wasn’t any.  He looked like somebody who had just laid down to take a nap.  Even after we cut his clothes off, there was very little evidence besides a few minor abrasions.  The real damage was apparent when we tried to lift him onto the stretcher.  It was like trying to lift an over-cooked piece of pasta.

I have run on homeless people whose blood pressure was at stroke level but they refused to go to the hospital so we had to turn them back out onto the street.  We couldn’t make them go so we had no choice.

I have run on people who were mad because we were called and wouldn’t let me touch them.  As long as they were oriented to name, place and day, there was nothing I could do.  If I touched them, it would be assault.  Later in the day, we were called back and right after I got them to the hospital, they died.

I was the first person who got to a man who was literally thrown out of a car at the emergency entrance.  His meth lab had blown up and he was fried from head to toe.  He was begging me for help.  He didn’t make it.

Now that I think about it, maybe my oldest daughter got her driving and reaction skills from me.  My partner and I were driving down a two lane road one day and it was pretty trafficky.  I noticed that a driver coming toward us looked sort of distracted.  It became obvious that she was going to hit us head on and it would most likely have been fatal for her.  Somehow, I managed to maneuver that great big ambulance enough for her to sideswipe us instead.
After she hit us, she ran.  I turned around and went after her to see if she was alright.  We found her several miles down the road.  She had pulled over and was crying.  She was okay but she was trying to hide the bag of pot she had on her front seat.

When any public servant is involved in an accident, no matter who is at fault, they have to go get a “piss test” as everybody calls it.  My partner and I were thinking “cool.  We get to go hang out in the hospital and drink milk while we’re waiting for the urinalysis tests.”

NOPE.  Our boss showed up and asked if we were okay and then gave me the key to another ambulance.  Everybody was flabbergasted.  We were the only crew who had never had to be tested.
But…think about it.  We were the “A Team.”  I was the one who was going to go pick up a man named “Richard Cranium.”  My partner couldn’t drive the ambulance and run the lights and sirens at the same time without crying.  We were the crew who sometimes got so lost, we couldn’t find our way back to base.  I guess there’s something to be said for being….ding-bats.

My partner and I were never thanked by a patient or their family.  The only person who ever said anything was some random man who just walked up to us one day and said “I just want you to know that I appreciate what you do.”

Medics are the stepping stone from your house to the hospital.  They can bring a person out of a drug overdose.  They can stop bleeding that would otherwise cost your life.  Sometimes, they can shock your heart back into a normal rhythm.  They can ease your pain with Morphine.  They can talk softly and reassuringly to you when you are scared.

We didn’t expect thanks.  We were doing our job, just like police officers and firefighters but I will say again.  If you happen to see a medic, think about saying “thank you” to them.  It would mean a lot and I’m sure they either don’t ever hear it or don’t hear it enough.

 

 

 

 

 

Firefighters

Many of you know that I have four firefighters in my family.  Two of my daughters are firefighters and so are their husbands.

Many of you also know that Loser considers them to be “just fucking firefighters.”  Since I was an EMT, I guess we all know what he thought of me, too.

Some EMS systems work independently of the Fire Department.  That’s the system I ran.  Some Fire Departments ARE the EMS system, which is what my children run.

My children work 24 hour shifts.  If they get a call at three o’clock in the morning, they have to be ready to perform straight out of a dead sleep.  Many shifts, they get no sleep.
My children and their crews have to respond to calls in the middle of the night for things like a “bad dream.”
They get calls from pregnant women feigning “imminent birth” and when they arrive on scene, the women have a suitcase packed.  They want a free ride to the hospital.
They get calls from men pretending to be “injured” and when they arrive, all the men want is a ride to the nearest convenience store to buy beer and cigarettes.

While they are on scene for calls like this, real calls are delayed.  Once, there was a pretty bad fire at a condo unit.  A helicopter flying over just happened to see the smoke and called the television stations.
Programs were interrupted to “cover” this huge fire.  The “anchor” started saying things like “we don’t see any fire trucks but there’s a station at the entrance to these condos.  I wonder what they are doing?”
Then this woman goes on to say “well, folks, this should give you an indication of the response time of your local fire department.”
She didn’t bother to find out that the station that should have responded was on a call for “a squirrel is on my back porch.”  Yes.  A squirrel was on somebodys’ back porch and protocol says the Fire Department MUST respond to any and all calls.
Another unit, stationed thirty miles away had to respond, which was the reason for the delay.

There have been countless times when some “concerned citizen” has called headquarters to complain about seeing firefighters in a grocery store.  They want to know why they aren’t out fighting fires. They don’t seem to understand.  Firefighters have to buy and fix their own food.  It is not catered.

My oldest daughter is an engineer medic who regularly rides up as lieutenant.  She is 5′ 2″ and drives the engine.  A call came in at around two o’clock in the morning as “woman in distress.”  My daughter was driving around a winding road as fast as she could and when she rounded the curve, she saw that a huge tree had fallen.
Somehow, that little girl managed to turn that 60,000 pound engine one hundred and eighty degrees to end up parallel with the tree.  She came to a halt one inch away from it.  There wasn’t a scratch on the truck and she potentially saved the lives of every single one of her crew members.
After they cut up the tree and moved it, they were able to continue to the call.  Thankfully, the womans’ “distress” turned out to be a bird in her house.  When they arrived and opened her door, the bird flew out.  The woman said “well, while you’re here, put me up some smoke detectors” and then went to bed.  That ridiculous call could have cost my daughter and her crew their lives.

My children handle the bullshit calls pretty well.  They also handle the stress and trauma pretty well, especially K****.  She very rarely gets rattled and when she does, it’s usually because she had to run on somebody her brothers’ age or my and Losers’ age.
She called me one morning and I could tell she was shaken up.  She and her crew responded to the scene of a motorcycle accident.  (We used to call them donorcycles.)  It was a young man, my son’s age and he had somehow lost control.
She cried a little when she said “mom.  He did everything right.  He had on a leather jacket, chaps, gloves, high boots and a helmet…but it wasn’t enough.”  Being the medic on scene, it was up to her to try to save his life but he was too severely injured.  He was looking right into her eyes when he died.  I doubt if she will ever forget him.

These brave men and women are sometimes the only thing standing between you and certain disaster and even death.  They do the proverbial “running into a burning building when everybody else is running out.”  They will crawl on their hands and knees through thick smoke to find you and they will not give up until they do.  They will give you their air to breathe and cover you with their body to protect you from the flames.

They go out in freezing weather.  They go out in pouring rain.  They go out when the temperature is over a hundred degrees, dressed in full bunker gear.

They have to climb up numerous flights of stairs while wearing eighty pounds of equipment.  They repel down skyscrapers.  They jump into rivers and lakes to rescue people.  They have the skill and expertise to cut you out of a mangled vehicle while protecting you at the same time.

They risk being mowed down by distracted drivers.  This happened to one of them when a woman was trying to get around them, while texting.  She killed the driver they were trying to rescue and almost killed a firefighter.

They put their lives on the line every single day and they never complain because they have a duty to act.

These gentle warriors rarely get recognition for their service.  They rarely get a “thank you.”
Maybe the next time you see a firefighter, you could walk up to them and simply say “I appreciate what you do.”

To me, they are heroes and I am proud of them so when Loser calls them “just fucking firefighters,” I want to say “okay.  If you ever think you’re having a heart attack, call a fucking newspaper editor and let’s see how that goes!”

 

 

Police Officers

We have all, at one time or another, had interactions with police officers.  The last time I got pulled over was the last time I was in Florida.  I had gotten a new tag so for the time being, I had a temporary.  The holes were oblong and wouldn’t stay on the tag holder so I just put it in the back window.
I noticed I had been “lit up” so I pulled over.
That was when everything Loser had told me went out the window.
Years earlier he said, “if you’re ever pulled over, keep your hands on the steering wheel and tell the “cop” everything you are going to do, like open the glove compartment or get into your purse because if you don’t, they will fucking blow your ass away.”

It was a female officer who pulled me over and when she walked up to my car, I rolled down my window and in my Southern speak, said “hey!”
She asked to see my drivers’ license and registration and I started rooting around in my pocketbook.  I could have been looking for a 44 Magnum.
Before I took anything out of my wallet, she asked me if I had a tag.  I opened the back door and leaned in.  Again, I could have been reaching for my UZI.  I showed her the temporary tag.
She said she couldn’t see it because my windows were tinted.  I showed her the holes and said “isn’t this some shit?”  She laughed and told me to have a good day.
I guess she thought I was just some little old corn pone because she never did see my license and registration.

My son has had more than his share of encounters with police officers.  I have no idea how many times he has been arrested for public drunkenness and I’m pretty sure that most of them have been warranted.

During a five-year time frame when he was actually sober, he was going to school and working at Dominos’ Pizza at night.  He loved to deliver pizzas to the military school downtown because they tipped so well.  One night, he was coming back and was pulled over.
When he asked why, the officers yanked him out of his car, slammed him down on the ground and one of them held him down with his foot.
He had pizza warmers and receipts in his car.  He had the magnetic sign on top of his car and had on his shirt and cap.
They literally dragged him over to the curb.  After they checked his drivers’ license, they laughed and told him he could go.
That childs’ chin, hands, elbows and knees were so scraped up, they were still bleeding when he got home.
That was purely and simply abuse of power.

Just last week, he was standing in his front yard and two police officers walked up to him and slammed him to the ground.  One of them had their knee on his throat.  They asked his name and asked for his identification.  He gave it to them and they looked at each other and said “he’s not the right guy.”  They left, never apologized or even said the typical “have a nice day.”
Again, that was abuse of power.

When we first moved to C*********, I got lost.  I saw a police officer standing in front of a store and was walking toward him to ask for directions.  Before I got within five feet of him, he had his hand on his gun and was looking over and around me like I was setting him up or something.  I wasn’t dressed like a bum and with all of my ninety-four pounds, I’m about as threatening as a five-year old but he treated me like I was a criminal.

When I was working EMS, it was a different story.  We worked in tandem with police officers and we relied on them to provide “scene safety.”  If I was in uniform, they were open, friendly and approachable…but only when I was in uniform.

I told my son about my encounter when asking for directions and the difference in treatment when I was in uniform.  I guess I was trying to try to make him feel better (as in, if they treat me like shit, it’s nothing personal toward you.)

I told him that I grew up in a time where police officers were your guardians.
They were there to “protect and serve.”  They would give you a ride home if you were stranded.  When a man got pulled over, he got out of his car, walked up to the officer and shook his hand.
Police officers were “officers” not “cops.”  I have always thought it was disrespectful to refer to them that way.

I told him that in these days and times, police officers have to be on guard….all the time.  They are likely to get shot for just pulling somebody over for a minor infraction.  I asked him to keep that in mind.
I said “it’s a dangerous world and you can’t blame them for being scared.  They’re human.  Yes, they make mistakes but I have no doubt whatsoever that those same officers who skinned you up so badly would take a bullet for you, without hesitation.”

My son has developed a hatred toward police officers and it has been nurtured by Loser.  Loser has never been shy about announcing “I hate fucking cops.  They think they’re fucking God!”
One of the most vicious arguments we ever got into was over that statement when I said “you mean, THEY have the audacity to think they’re YOU?”

I raised my children to respect police officers.  Sure, there are good ones and there are bad ones.  That is true in all walks of life.  I have seen and heard about horrible treatment by police officers and I know there is, as I said, abuse of power.

In the movie “Crash” a police officer behaves criminally when he is “patting down” a mans’ wife.  He did it because he could and he got away with it.  At the end of the movie, the same officer risked his own life to save hers and he did it because it was his sworn duty.  Did it vindicate his earlier actions?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  The bottom line is that he did it because that’s what police officers do and they do it every single day.

You may be one of those who hate police officers.  You may hate them because you got a speeding ticket.  You may hate them for the way they have treated one of your children.  You may hate them for the way they have treated you…but think about this:

If somebody is breaking into your house, who are you going to call?

 

 

 

 

 

About The Story Of The Greeter

Here are some actual facts that I integrated into the story about the greeter.

I really do have a picture of a man who was born in the 1800s’.
My son really did take the picture off my wall because he thought it was “creepy.”

My son (unfortunately) really is a “III.”

There really is an antique store in what used to be the original county jail.
I really did buy the picture there and I really did find it behind a chair.
The jail really is supposedly “haunted” and some people refuse to go anywhere near it.

I really do live across the street from an old historic mansion.
There really is a plaque with a quilt design painted on the front.
The name of the house really is my grandmothers’ last name, although the name Morgan is fictitious.

I really do have chandeliers in every room in my house…even my bathrooms.

My friend of more than twenty-five years really does have dyed hair with a hot pink streak in it.

My youngest daughter really does have a tattoo of a Phoenix on her arm.

There really is an Ann Street one block from me.

There really was a greeter.  He lived right in the center of the town where I grew up.  Nobody knew who he was and he really had “been there for as long as anybody could remember.”

Instead of looking for imaginary pitching signs, he stepped over imaginary dead bodies and “took cover” when he heard a loud noise.  He was a wounded Korean War veteran who was suffering from “shell shock” (now known as PTSD.)

He really did wear a baseball cap and a green flannel shirt.

He would never allow anybody to approach him and never made eye contact.  People left food for him on the park benches but nobody ever saw him eat anything.

Nobody knew where he went at night.

Twenty years after I left my hometown, I returned.  He was still there.

 

 

 

 

Another Lovely Blog Award

love blog award

I was excited to find that I had been nominated for another Lovely Blog Award.  A big thank you to makingtimeforme for the nod.  She is a mother and a former teacher, who reaches out to other bloggers to offer support.  Her blog name may be “makingtimeforme” but she always makes time for others.  She recently started including teenagers and asks for their takes on any and everything.  Give her a read.  You will enjoy her blogs.

RULES:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2.  List the rules.
  3.  Name seven facts about yourself.
  4.  Nominate up to fifteen others.
  5.  Leave a comment on one of their posts to let them know.

ABOUT ME:

  1.  After I raised my four children, at fifty-three years old, I began working for the EMS system.  I kept a lot of people alive until I got them to the hospital but I never saved a life.  Only one patient died in the back of my ambulance.  He was a DNR so all I could do was hold his hand until he took his last breath.
  2.  When I was forty, I blew out my knee playing soccer with my daughters.  Six weeks after total knee reconstruction, I was back on the field.
  3.  I have had breakfast with Ted Kennedy, lunch with John Kenneth Galbraith and dinner with Robert Penn Warren.
  4.  I can comfortably “stand” on my ankles and turn my feet around, one hundred and eighty degrees so that they’re facing backward.
  5.  My leg has been broken four times, my arm has been broken once, my cheekbone has been crushed, five of my fingers have been broken, my nose has been broken twice, my little toe has been broken, seven ribs have been broken, both wrists have been broken and my skull has been fractured three times.

MY NOMINEES:

These are all such wonderful, supportive bloggers.  If you’re not already following them, give them a read.  Their stories and poems are heart-wrenching but full of hope and compassion for others.

  1. survivednarc
  2. creativerational
  3. savingshards
  4. Angelica Kidd
  5. dtaylor
  6. ajpprobrien
  7. blogofamadblackwoman
  8. boldblindbeauty
  9. kcrambles
  10. gentlekindness

 

 

The Leibster Award

Liebster awardTHE RULES:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2.  Nominate up to 11 bloggers to receive the award.
  3.  Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  4.  Tell other readers 11 facts about you.
  5.  Give your nominees 11 questions to answer.

A big thank you to makingtimeforme for the nomination! This blogger is a singe mom, who shares her thoughts with in-dept, honest feelings about traveling along her road to once again, living life. She offers such encouragement to others and is quick to try to help new bloggers find an audience.  Give her a read!

 

QUESTIONS FOR ME:

  1.  What is your favorite drink?
    My favorite drink is water. 
  2.  What do you enjoy the most about blogging?
    Blogging has been therapeutic for me and has opened my lonely world to the most kind, supportive group of people I have ever known.  They have given me hope and strength at the darkest time of my life.
  3.  Is it important to have a few good friends or a lot of acquaintances?
    I would rather have one or two good friends who I trusted without question than a multitude of “fair weather friends.”
  4.  At what do you excel?
    I used to excel at quiltmaking.
  5.  If you could only read one book, which one would it be?
    I am a notorious non-reader but if I had to read a book, I would re-read the only book I have ever read: Ambulance Girl.
  6.  Where are you located?
    I live in the South.
  7.  How long have you been blogging?
    Since July, 2015.
  8.  What do you hope to get out of blogging?
    I hope to continue to get what I have been getting.
  9.  If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
    Ireland.
  10.  Dog or cat?
    I am definitely a cat person.
  11.  All is true in love and war?
    I don’t know about all is true in love and war, but I don’t believe that all is fair in love and war.

11 FACTS ABOUT ME:

  1. I am 65 years old but people are surprised when they hear it.
  2. I am a true blue and loyal friend.
  3. I am a real Southern Belle.
  4. I will go to the mat for you but if you fuck me over, we are through.
  5. I have never voted.
  6. I have never eaten a shrimp, a crab leg or a lobster.
  7. I don’t like ice cream.
  8. I haven’t eaten a piece of chicken in more than seventeen years.
  9. I love power tools.
  10. I will attempt anything that interests me.
  11. I have never had a sip of beer or wine.

 

MY QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

 

  1. If you could change history, how would you do it?
  2. If you could live in another time period, when would it be?
  3. If you believe in Heaven, who would you like to meet there?
  4. What would like for your legacy to be?
  5. Have you ever met somebody who was worth risking everything for? 
  6. What is one thing you would change about your looks?
  7. Who do you think is the most handsome man/woman in the world?
  8. What is your favorite childhood memory?
  9. If you find a penny, do you pick it up?
  10. If a stray animal came to your door, would you take it in?
  11. Who is the person you admire the most?

 

MY NOMINATIONS:

 

  1. creativerational
  2. snakesinthegrass
  3. johncoyote
  4. mark my word
  5. Angelica Kidd
  6. dataylor43
  7. thesilencedwife
  8. bac4sccr
  9. boldblindbeauty

 

Being Touch-Starved

During a conversation with Sam the other day, he asked me if I knew what “touch-starved” meant.  I said that I imagined it was similar to a child who was diagnosed with “failure to thrive.”  He said “exactly, but do you know that people can actually die from being touch-starved?

I know my mama gave me lots of touches.  She touched me often with brutal, horrific, bone crushing blows but at least she did touch me.  I wonder though, if she ever touched me gently.  If she did, I don’t remember.  Technically, I guess that means that I wasn’t a touch-starved child.

Loser touched me with tenderness, when it benefited him.  He only slapped me once and only grabbed me and jerked me around twice but, like mama, at least he touched me.  I guess, technically, I wasn’t touch-starved but I was starving for attention and affection.

I would walk by and touch Loser on the shoulder or the arm and he would look at me like I had just called him a dirty name.  When we first got married, I would meet him at the door, put my arms around his neck and he would immediately try to get them off.  You would think that we were both touch-starved.

His few touches eventually became repugnant.  When he did want to touch me, he always smelled like beer.  I finally made a rule that he was never to touch me when he had been drinking.  It didn’t bother him…he wasn’t going to give up his beer to touch me or keep me from being touch-starved.

Of course, I found out years later about all of his WTCs and I knew they loved to drink, so why would he be bothered by a rule at home?  Honor and fidelity meant nothing to him, so all he had to do was wait for one of them to start circling him like a bitch in heat.  Neither he or they were touch-starved.

After I left him, he would always ask me for “a hug.”  I reminded him that when I had tried to touch him or hug him before, it seemed to annoy him.  He said “I know but now, I miss it.”

I know I was touch-starved and I know now that in spite of the fact that he whined about wanting a touch, he was being touched…regularly.  He wasn’t touch-starved.

Could I really die from being touch-starved?  I don’t know but what I do know is that I think now, I could actually die from being touched.