Alright. This is HUGE for me. Tomorrow I have to go to the opening of a building in Barrie, and because it’s still under construction I have to wear steel-toe boots.
This means that after five years of recovery from PTSD…I need to put my paramedic boots on again.
Thoughts raced through my head as I walked to the hall closet where they have been collecting dust for so long. Memories of the feeling of doing them up each shift flooded every corner of my brain and heart. BUT, at the same time, I had an overwhelming confidence in myself that I could do it – I could put them on again.
I opened the closet, and there they were. I took a deep breath and picked them up. And rather than stress out and wait for tomorrow, I put them on right away. I wasn’t afraid of them anymore. This doesn’t mean I can go and be a paramedic again; but what it does mean is that I sure have come a long F’ing way!
As I stood in the hallway, staring at the ground, I recalled the following blog I wrote some time ago. I want to share it with you again. Paramedicine will always be in my blood. But putting my boots on again has shown me that my blood isn’t so poisoned with PTSD anymore:
It’s title is “Things I Miss In Paramedic Land”
-the smell of tourniquets;
-the feeling when I got to take my coat off in a warm truck after standing on the cold highway for hours;
-getting a pulse back;
-when I had a student and I let them sit in the front so I could sit in the back alone with my feet up on the stretcher, looking around my ‘office’, wondering how the heck I got to do the best job in the world;
-the clang behind me of the base’s garage door when I first arrived at work;
-patching to the hospital with a CTAS 1 knowing that everyone was listening and wanting to do a good job;
-telling the room that I got the order for midazolam;
-getting the tube;
-hearing a healthy baby cry for the first time;
-getting cancelled at 5am;
-being a preceptor;
-making my preceptor proud;
-my fire guys and my police officers;
-knowing a street address without looking it up – and knowing the patient too;
-knowing the nurses and doctors well enough that they trusted your word;
-being able to stand up in the back of the ambulance;
-checking my bags and the sound of the zipper;
-seeing the relief in a parent’s eyes;
-having a sunny day and not having to clean the truck;
-getting the line that no one else could get;
-lifting the patient after they said I was too small to lift them;
-laughing so hard when my pants split that I almost peed said pants – and duct taping them back together;
-having time to pee, have a coffee and eat on the same shift;
-the helicopter landing and taking off from the highway;
-knowing the dispatcher’s voices;
-Jugo Juice at the hospital;
-when my partner brought extra dessert for me.