Well...I did it. Yesterday I worked my first 14 hours on an ambulance since I went for that life changing hike at Tioga Falls. I was able to do function. No problems lifting or moving. I haven't had to tackle stairs yet, but for the first day back I am very hopefully optimistic. I am with a much more laid back service (in terms of run volume), and they have all been so supportive of what I am trying to accomplish. It's hard to believe that just 7 months ago I was being fitted for my new leg, starting over essentially. I was blessed to have an amazing preceptor yesterday who was very encouraging and never once questioned my ability to return to do the job.
During one of many conversations yesterday, I told her I was contemplating writing a book about my experience, she thinks I need to adapt a screen play and call it "11 Stories" in reference to my fall and could easily be tied into the fact that many of us have many "stories" that we live through. An unlimited number of hardships that we either choose to overcome or let take us down. I can think of at least 11 stories in my life. I'm very happy to say that I feel like I have started down a very successful path finally. After months of spinning wheels and worrying about how to get back to a service that didn't want me to return, it feels great to go to work and not only be welcomed by the street crews, but welcomed by the command staff who is planning for my successful future at their company.
Janelle and Glen, you two made my first day back in 18 months amazing. It felt like I had never left the back of an ambulance, you guys made that possible.
Kate, you know you're my rock. You know that you're my best friend, and you know that without you this entire journey wouldn't have been possible. You have helped me literally learn to walk again, and I swear I will walk to the ends of the earth to repay the love and compassion (and occasional kick in the butt) that you have shown me.
To my family, be it by blood, marriage, EMS, or my readers, thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I started this blog just to document my own personal experience dealing with the emotional and physical demands of losing a leg and battling to get back to doing what I love, it was cathartic. I watched it transform as I did, I found that it started to inspire others to attempt to get back on their feet as well. I am amazed that I have been blessed enough to be a catalyst and get to hear these stories personally. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I love each and every one of you.
Now that this is out of the way...stay tuned for further adventures of your favorite Unipedal Paramedic. Learning to adapt and overcome the challenges of functioning as a paramedic with a prosthetic, trying to give the best patient care without becoming a patient myself. Until next time, look for another update after my next shift.