Look through their eyes

This is a different type of post .. one that is about being a paramedic .

I want to bring awareness and insight of what we do go through and why we maybe ” different in your eyes ”

I started in EMS at the young age of 19 . It was job I had always wanted to since I knew what it was about. I grew up with a mom that was a nurse and a grandmother . So I had an understanding of the medical field at a young age .

I completed my EMT certification and started working for a rural ambulance service . I will never forget my first bad call . It was a terrible head on collison that had 1 fatal . I remember that feeling I wanted to cry but didn’t because I knew I had to separate myself from this pain I felt . I knew even at my young age I had to separate.

A few years went by and I was able to go to Paramedic school . Back then you had to work a few years as an EMT before you could apply for school . This was going to be huge change from what I was use too .

The paramedic responsibility was more than I realized . It was more intense and I understood if I made a wrong decision , it could cost someone their life .

I took my class very serious . I had to make the best grades and do the best I could in my skills . I tested for my state boards and passed the first time . My score was above average for the state. I was so proud and felt I could do it all now !

BUT Oh me , I was knocked down to size my first few months as a medic . I had bad calls after bad calls . I had babies that were deceased , I had wrecks that were so traumatic , that patients could not be recognized. Death was everywhere for me ..

This is when I realized what my job was about .. I took my knowledge of the job very serious , I knew people depended on me . Lives depended on me .

As years went by , I became guarded and kept a wall around myself . I felt I had to , just to keep sane at times. My personality changed , my way of thinking and coping changed .

I have been assaulted twice ( bad ones ) , many fights, many cussings , name callings , you name it , I’ve been called it . We took a lot of verbal abuse and physical . This brought on a new change in me and added trait For say.. I was now always watching people and listening to their tones .. watching body language.

I see outside of the box, I investigate what I’m being told , I know when I’m being lied too , it was just hard to pull one over on me . But that was my job … and it makes it difficult to separate from a normal life ..

I made a point to not learn names , that was too personal for me . I knew everything else and saw the body but names were too personal.

KIDS

I about hung up my career over 2 cases of severe child abuse . Things I never , never thought I would see done to a child , was done . I had those precious children hold my neck and cry . They begged me to help them . They would tell me how hard of a life they had .. then there were the ones that had no voice any longer .. They had no life .. it was taken from them .

The trauma from wrecks I’ve seen .. Children I have had to do CPR on , that had a little DORA sticker on their chest , the exact spot I had to place my hand .

The scene where I had to transfer a child out of my rig to a helicopter and getting back to the truck to see that bloody little shoe and the toy .. just like a movie … but it was real !

Adults

The drugs, the alcohol abuse , rapes, murders , violence, death, and suicide .. That thought in my head , of always why .. Did that person not have any other way to cope? Why did that have to happen to them ? Why could they not get the help ?

Then the trauma , terrible mangled vehicles that you could not see the type of car … but look in a see a hand reaching for yours .The words “help me ” .. knowing death was right there .

The bodies that looked like they have been in war .. one after another …

Numerous times I have had to stop CPR and tell someone their loved one has passed .. That look I have gotten when those words came out of my mouth.. You never forget that . I just broke someone’s heart ..

It doesn’t stop there… Then there’s court.. I have had to go to court so so many times to testify about a murder or DUI … So it doesn’t stop after the call …..

I have been blamed for the death of a loved one .. I have been yelled at and had windows broke over my head by a brother of a deceased person because I called them dead . I have had to lock myself and my partner in the rig because of a angry mother trying to get to her son that just shot someone and himself .

It doesn’t stop ….

The toll

After many , many years of seeing all the pain , hearing all the complaints , the tears . I became withdrawn . My heart would not open up . It was hard to make friends outside of ems .. people outside the job just didn’t understand .

I wanted that normal friendship , to see people different , to not be guarded . But it was hard and harder for people to accept me…I felt alone ..

I dream a lot .. sleep is not good for me . I have flashbacks of words or calls , or smell something different that’s a trigger. My life has taking the punishment of the job . At one point I was struggling because of others pain . That made me angry.. I would think why am I ruining my life for others …why?????!!!!! I’ll tell you below ..

My faith

This is were it does get bad . I fell from faith .. I was angry , and just had a hard time living my life. I drank, just like we all did and my heart was cold . I struggled hard with depression and severe at times . I was lost .. I hurt and my pain was great !.

After many years of hardship, I broke one night. I mean broke!!!

I cried out to Jesus to help me and he did .. praise his name .

My faith is stronger than ever and I live for him . He has helped me deal with the pain I carried from others .. I have not drank and I carry him with me everywhere .

I pray for patients and to help heal.

This is me , this is the mind of a medic .. I have been on the job for 28 years now , I have some regrets but I also have many blessed moments ..

Just a sum up..

It has changed me inside and out . I hurt all the time physically. I do have trouble getting close to people , I do analyze situations , it’s tough to get one over on me .

I do carry pain from others , my sense of humor is different , I overthink at times , I don’t fit in very well into the normal . My tolerance is low , and I am guarded.. but with all this God placed me here … to help others the way I do ..

What I just described is what most of the EMS people go through and how they are ..

If you know one , try to listen to my words and try to look through their eyes..

Its tough .. being in EMS as a career is a calling .. God placed it on the hearts of many . It does come with burdens from others and pain . We see and hear things that should never be ..  It will never leave us .. So when you  think we maybe ” odd ” … all his maybe why …

What we need is understanding and compassion . Not words as ” your difficult ” or ” your cold ” ..

But understanding…

I am loving and protective , I have Jesus in my heart and strong !!!

I have compassion and love for all . I see people as they are , and look into their pain .

Friends , I ask for prayers for first responders..Our Law , fire , EMS , dispatchers… We carry a lot that is not said .. I am an advocate and a medic .. They need your love and compassion. … understanding….

I still ride the rig ..and will until I can no longer get in the truck .. it’s my calling … God put me here ..

I am married to my best friend that is also a medic and a deputy. I am grateful for him . We understand each other and what we go through .

This is through the eyes of a medic

Rachel E Lane

One thought on “Look through their eyes

  1. I had an MVA years ago and was hit by a freight train. You know the health care professional that I will never forget? The paramedic. She just kept talking to me and asking me questions about my kids and was writing my answers down in her spiral bound notepad. She was the kindest person I encountered during the entire experience from the accident to the trauma center, to rehab, to home. I will never forget her in my lifetime. She was with me when I was close to dying and I could feel her care at every moment.
    Thank you so much for what you do!

    Liked by 1 person

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