Thanks to all that have helped!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Limitations and Memories

I hate being reminded of my limitations, especially when they reach out and smack me in the face. I'm trying my best to take some of the burden off of Kate. Since she is the primary breadwinner right now, I'm trying to pull my weight by doing the dishes, laundry, cooking, and buying the groceries. Today was my first try at doing these things on my own. My body has quickly reminded me that I cannot do things like I once did. Aside from being absolutely wore out, I was also reminded that I can't stay on my feet as long as I once did. I was able to go to the grocery store, gotta love those little motorized carts. I felt like drag racing, except for the fact that they move slower than honey in a snow storm. I was able to get the few groceries we could buy right now, but then came the challenge. Not only did I struggle getting them into the car, I found out that when I got home I was at a loss for how I was going to move them from the car to the house. I managed, by carrying one bag at a time around my wrist and using my crutches. I have come to terms with the fact that people are going to stare and whisper behind my back as I go by, I know that people in this city aren't as used to seeing amputee's without their prosthetics as they are in cities with more active duty military presence. What gets to my self esteem is realizing that I am not able to take this weight from Kate like I want to. I will get some of these things done, I refuse to let this stop me. I'm just not used to not doing things the way I want to. If I do manage to get some things done, I find that I am using triple the amount of energy it used to take me. I want to go back to work light duty, but honestly, I don't know how much I can do even sitting  behind a computer desk. I may see if I can go back for half days until I am acclimated to the energy expenditure I have now.

On a brighter note, I'm looking forward to Monday. Not only do I get my staples out, well the exact words were most of the staples should be ready to come out, but I also get started on getting my socket fitted. I feel like this is another great step forward towards my goal of getting back onto the streets. I still feel my heart swell up at the sound of a siren, letting my imagination drift into thinking about what's going on in the back of that truck. Exercising my mind as to what would I do in this situation or that situation. I find myself reliving the runs of my past, you know the ones that stick with you, either you did something right or something wrong and for whatever reason, despite making thousands of runs since then, these runs are still vivid in my mind. I'm constantly taken back to a pediatric full arrest I made at a school. Toeing the line of HIPPA all I will elaborate on is that I was able to regain a pulse on this boy, who so reminded me of my son. I guess it's because I had just bought the same shoes for my boy a few days prior to finding myself in the back of this ambulance with him. I remember fighting back tears when that fact made it's way past my medical emotional shut off, wiping the  tears from my eyes and fighting tooth and nail to get this child intubated and medications on board. Then getting that cautiously optimistic feeling when we regained a pulse and the feeling of pride when I went to see him a week later and he was extubated and talking to me. His mother's hug is a feeling I will cherish forever. I get these emotions flooding back when I think about my goal. When I look up at the peak of this mountain I am trying to climb. These memories, both good and bad, are anchor points, so when I slip I don't fall too far, because I can rely on these memories to refill my determination and shrug off these little losses I suffer daily. In my career I have had the terrible job of letting family members know that there is nothing I can do for their loved one. I want to fight for these people I couldn't save, so I can learn from my mistakes and save the next one. From my fall I have learned that while so many of us suffer burnout in a career that offers little to no thanks, and not nearly enough pay, considering me leave our families day and night to protect the families of strangers; yet a quick cure from burnout is to have all this taken away from you. I cannot wait to prove myself again. I know that I have an uphill battle and that I will be forced to prove myself in more ways than one. I'm still going to do this. I have too, I have to do this for the ghosts of memories that are stuck in my head. I will return...In the words of Arnold...I'll be Back!!!


  1. I have faith in you Joe. We need you as a medic--and I'm speaking as a former horse trainer who was once carried out of the woods with a dislocated can do this. ~Liz

  2. The limitations I hate the most is these posted by "normals" on me of which I knew I can do very easily with some training. Argh!

    Stick to it! Push your envelope as far as you can go! Build up your strength! Be careful not to do way too much because you wouldn't want to trigger major set-back. You will know where to draw a line. Just so you don't get scared and start holding yourself back too much.

    While reading how you carry food stuffs, I thought of how you don't have to do same manner as "normal" people do. I thought of using backpack of some sort. How's that handfree when you still need crutches still? :-)

    You see, I became deaf at age 8 months old and E.R. was about like my second home while growing up (it is NOT because of my deafness... it is purely from being so daredevil.)