notokinthehead











{March 25, 2014}   Stalked

As a Firefighter/EMT, when we have bad days they very quickly turn into bad weeks. A bad day for us all too often means that we lost a patient or lost one of our own. This week I worked a scene of a young woman who completed suicide. There was nothing we could do for her, she was gone long before anyone called 911. Even though there was so very obviously nothing anyone could do to save this young woman’s life it tends to follow you, stalk you. Some things that you encounter in this profession never leave you.

For the last three days I’ve been haunted by the completed suicides that I’ve worked in my two short years as a firefighter/EMT. None of which were viable. The elderly male who put a gun in his mouth and sprayed his entire bathroom with blood and brain matter. The 19 year old girl who hung herself with the cord of a curling iron from an eye-hook in a bathroom ceiling. The 32 year old mother who we found face down in her own vomit, she overdosed on Oxycodone with her teenage children in the house. And then Saturday, the young woman who sat in her car garage with her car running.

The things I’ve seen make it hard to sleep at night. Natural death is hard to deal with, but when someone actively takes their own life it’s devastating for all involved. It kind of makes you angry, you studied your ass off to learn how to save people when they’re circling the drain, you’ve held the hand of the dying and tried to do your best to comfort them when all they want is more time on this Earth. Then you go and cut down the body of someone who decided that their life isn’t worth living. It definitely makes you question your faith in God, or whatever higher power that you believe in, that they allow the people who want to live, to die, while the ones who have no desire to live anymore can choose to take their own lives.

I’m not putting down people who are depressed, suicidal or mentally ill. I understand some of the emotional distress and chemical imbalances that play a role in depression. I’m just simply asking why things play out the way they do. I understand that I’ll never have an answer to that question.

Conclusion: death is difficult. My job has me knee deep in corpses, when I’d much rather do lift assists all day every day. You can comfort the families who’ve lost a loved one all day, but you can never breathe life back into a person when their time has come.

EMS: the profession of being stalked by death.



{February 7, 2014}   My Guardian Angel is an Alcoholic

There’s a reason the boys at work call me “Oopsie”.
Tonight I went home to make some dinner- ham, mixed veggies and some cheesy bread with freshly shredded cheese. I was rocking out to some Godsmack and cooking when I reached over to grab a spoon and caught my arm on the slicer. And it did what it’s supposed to do- it sliced- clean and deep. Si after a trip to the ER, six stitches and a dozen steri strips I’m put back together.
I will admit that I was quite pissed off until… my nurse walked in. Whoa baby! Drop-dead gorgeous and as sweet as can be. Of course I was still wearing my uniform so the ER staff automatically respected me (why don’t they treat everyone the same?). Obviously at that point I was all like, “Nah, it doesn’t hurt, it’s just a little scratch, nah I don’t any lidocaine…”. Haha.
“Pain hurts but only for a minute, life is short short so go on and live it, ’cause the chicks dig it!”.

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Wrapped like a mummy.



{January 6, 2014}   Early Bird
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My drive and the sunrise Friday morning. Gorgeous after getting a foot of snow overnight!

We’ve gotten a lot of snow over the last week. Between two storms we got just over two feet of it.
I saw a surgeon last Monday and he backed out of doing my surgery because it’s ‚Äúbeyond his scope”. So Friday morning I saw another surgeon and he’s willing to operate on my shoulder. I have a SLAP (superior labrum anterior to posterior) tear that involves the bicep tendon. I go in Thursday morning for the operation that is expected to take four to six hours. In addition to anchoring the labrum he has to cut my upper arm open, cut the bicep tendon, grind a chunk of bone from my humorous and reattach the tendon to my humorous. The surgeon expects the recovery to take anywhere from six to twelve months, the first three of which will be spent with my dominant arm in a rigid brace instead of a sling.
I will have a lot of time to think, that’s for sure. I won’t be able to do much of anything else. Even driving is out if the question for as long as I’m in the brace ūüė¶
BUT… I will come back stronger than ever!



{December 18, 2013}   Making a Comeback

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I had surgery yesterday morning. Nothing major, but enough to put me out of work for awhile. I’m supposed to be in the sling for at least a week, when I see the doc on Monday. Honestly I’ll probably be out of it by tomorrow night. It’s such a pain in the ass. Especially since I’m living alone now. I’m tough though, it’s nothing I can’t handle.
Tomorrow I see the cardiologist and his team for a Stress-Echocardiogram. He’ll be pissed that I’ve been working for the past three weeks when I’m supposed to be on bed rest. I had a small setback, what they called a ‚Äúcardiac event”, where I sustained left anterior ischemia (lack of oxygen to the heart, which we all know is a muscle, and muscles require oxygen or they atrophy and die. The heart doesn’t atrophy, it just stops beating). Anyway tomorrow’s test will determine whether the ischemia is reversible using medication or if I’m just fucked. Wish me luck!
There’s no possible way I’m sleeping tonight, between the pain and anxiety, and if it was a little warmer than -13¬įF I’d go for a drive. But it’s too damned cold so I guess I’ll be reading and having some intimate time with my heating pad (the muscles in my arm, neck and back are spasming like crazy).
I’m also going to have some hard cider and toast to Making a Comeback!



{November 15, 2013}   Setbacks

natural_heart_healthThis evening while preparing for EMS training at the Fire Station we had an in-house emergency. Unfortunately that emergency was mine. I had what the ER docs explained as a “cardiac event“, however they couldn’t tell me exactly what it was. I had what we call a syncope episode, a loss of consciousness caused by a fall in blood pressure. Basically, I blacked out and hit the floor. My own boys from the firehouse took me to the hospital. They refused to allow our transport company to take me because they insisted on staying with me and taking me themselves. I was in the ER receiving treatment for about three hours before they decided to admit me, which I refused. Lucky for me, my best friend was also in the ER for a¬†minor medical issue and found me when she got discharged. God bless her, she came and sat with me until I was able to get discharged. I put on a tough front, but that meant a lot to me.¬†Tomorrow morning I see a cardiologist and then follow up with my Primary Care Physician.

Now I’m sitting on my bed writing this because I’m not able to sleep. More than likely because of the Nitroglycerin they gave me. All of this comes at a terrible time… I’m stressed to the max already from things going on in my personal life and I’m super busy with work, physical therapy, the pain clinic and kids. I can’t afford a setback right now. In Reba McIntyre’s words, “I guess the world ain’t gonna stop for me broken heart”.

So I’m catching up on my TV shows- Chicago Fire, Grey’s Anatomy, Chelsea Lately and American Horror Story.



{November 11, 2013}   Music is my Voice- “Plumb”

This lyrics video by Plumb, “Damaged”, is a beautifully crafted video. This song holds so much meaning for me and I think the video allows the viewer to feel a little bit of the raw emotion within the song:

In Plumb’s “Nice, Na√Įve and Beautiful”, if you listen to the violins at the beginning you can hear them crying sadness and misery. Towards the end, around “We’re all dealt our lumps of coal/What you do with it can turn beautiful”, you hear the violins change ’emotions’, if you will, and it sounds more like they’re crying from relief, happiness. Check it out:

***I may be a bit biased when I listen to music. The violins really catch my ear… maybe because I play the violin? Or because the violin truly does cry the emotions of the songs?

This next song by Plumb, “Manic”, hits very close to home. I grew up with a bipolar-manic-depressive mother. I’d say the lyrics in this song are pretty accurate:

I want Plump to sing me to sleep with this song every night:

 

 

 

 



{October 20, 2013}   Drained

How can one

person take so

much from you?

Out of you?

How can one

person cause you

so much pain?

So much frustration?

 

Seems it’s true-

you’re damned if

you don’t, damned

if you do.

Do you crawl

into your own

dark abyss, lock

yourself away from

the people, the

mess? Isolate and

keep your heart

safe?

 

I’ve been hurt by who I thought was a good friend, and in turn the person I thought was a good friend turned to my own family to try and turn them against me with their lies. Fortunately for me my family knows me and knows that person is lying about me. However it doesn’t stop it from stinging. I too easily turn the hurt and pain into anger. I’m battling the anger now, though it feels like a losing fight. I’m finding myself feeling vindictive, and that scares me because I’m not a vindictive person. Tomorrow morning I have a meeting with the Chief of Police in hopes of getting the harassing text messages and phone calls to stop. I need to dig down deep right now and find the strength to be the bigger person. I can overcome the little people in this world. I just have to stay strong and not let them win.



{October 20, 2013}   When Help is 1,749 Miles Away

My psychotherapist, JB,¬†has taken a job in Puerto Rico, 1,749 miles away. She will continue to “see” me via phone, Skype and/or email. I guess it’s a temporary job for only five or six months and then she’s coming back to continue¬†her private practice¬†here. I wish her nothing but luck and happiness. I can imagine how burnt out one can get¬†being a psychotherapist.

Now for the selfish side of me: JB couldn’t have taken this job at a worse time! It’s mid-October and my anxiety and depression increases three-fold throughout the winter months. Yes she gave me referrals in case I feel the need to contact a counselor to have face-to-face sessions with while she’s gone but I’ve been seeing JB off and on for ten years, a new counselor won’t get it. JB does. I don’t have the patience to train a new counselor so they know what is and isn’t off-limits and I don’t have the mental¬†ability to retell my story to a new counselor.

Maybe that’s the problem. I’ve become too comfortable with JB and it’s more like a friendship than a client/counselor relationship. Maybe she respects my boundaries a little too much because she knows how defensive and angry I get. Maybe having another counselor on the side would be beneficial¬†for treatment. Maybe a kind of good cop/bad cop thing wouldn’t be a bad idea. JB is the good cop and another, new counselor can be the bad cop.

Maybe I’m completely overreacting by hitting the panic button¬†so soon.

panic-alarm-button-buy-one-get-one-free

 



{October 20, 2013}   A Cat? A Dog? A Toddler?
Babe and I reading a book.

Babe and I reading a book.

My cat, Babe, doesn’t seem to know what she is. She looks like a cat, acts like a dog and sits like a toddler in it’s mother’s lap. However, Babe is my best friend in the world. She’s nonjudgmental, she loves me no matter what mood I’m in, she doesn’t nag or ask endless questions and she’s always loving. If Babe were a person instead of a cat she’d be my soul mate, not doubt.

This revelation comes at a time when I’m mourning a friendship that has recently ended. I was pretty much over it when it ended, it was me who said “enough, I can’t do this anymore”, but the former friend won’t let sleeping dogs lie. She is understandably angry about how the friendship suddenly ceased to be and it seems that every other day she is texting me something outrageous and accusing. This is very much the reason I had to end the friendship in the way that I did. She is mentally ill and refuses to seek help. Unfortunately, I cannot help her and I was hoping that by walking away like I did she would realize that her friends have disappeared one by one and by no one’s fault except her own, and somehow she would see that she needs to get help. So far it has not worked out that way. This evening while driving around and enjoying my music I received yet another unpleasant text from this woman. She is now accusing me of stealing $5,000 from her… last week. It’s been at least a month since I’ve seen her. She’s calling me every name in the book and then some and accusing me of stealing the money from her and threatening to call the police. Oh how I hope she does. It would make me feel better. I’ve done a lot for her in the past eight years and it really hurts that she would pull something like this. I wouldn’t take a penny from someone without asking and then I’d give them a dollar to pay them back. THAT’S the type of person I am. I guess the only thing I can do is ignore the texts and try to convince myself that she doesn’t matter and anyone who does matter won’t believe her absurd stories.

I’m learning that being a good person only gets you heartache and pain. At this rate I will be a bitter cat lady within the next five years.



{October 16, 2013}   I’ve Been (Kinda) Published!

I contributed to this book, What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict by Alberta Sequeira. She is a very talented author and I think everyone should read this book. I feel very honored that she let me contribute to her book. I believe her book, as well as the public talks she gives, will help many, many people with their diseases, as well as the loved ones who are affected. I’m determined to help spread the word for this courageous, talented author and get her book known to many!

Here is the link to Amazon. Definitely check it out!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1492138290/#_swftext_Swf



et cetera