Well. I have made it to the end of my time as a 3rd person rider. So far, so good...well if you don't count that whole leg falling off thing. Aside from that one major hiccup, everything else seems to be coming back to me. I had the opportunity to visit University Hospital last night, a place that I frequented quite often while working prior to my fall. I was greeted with a very warm reception, and it felt like old times.
That being said, I am very impressed with my new employer. A member of the command staff found me yesterday just to ask how I was coping with the adjustment back into the EMS world. I had spoken with him briefly about the remote possibility of needing to stay on as a 3rd person until I had worked out an answer with my prosthetic office to remedy my untimely dismemberment while in the ambulance. Once I assured him that I will be able to start my shift this Sunday on my own he shocked me...He made it clear that the moment I need help, be it returning to 3rd person for awhile or whatever it may be, they will work with me. That is a refreshing attitude, especially coming from my corner of the EMS world. A command staff that seems to care about their employees and seem legitimately interested in retaining them.
The dust is slowly coming out from between my ears, I've had a few runs where I was able to think through some critical decision making and still have the skills to act on them. I can honestly say, for the first time in 18 months, I feel normal when I'm in the back. I have already learned to use my "disability" as a means to disarm patients and gain trust. I was very worried about not being able to gain the trust of my patients due to being different. I have learned quite the opposite, they seem to be comforted by the fact that I am there, that I have been through the healthcare system that many of them are stuck trying to navigate. One patient I was transporting informed me that he had an artificial knee, I told him "so do I" and pulled up my pant leg, he quickly started laughing and almost seemed disarmed. I think I have not lost an edge by being an "able bodied person" but gained an advantage by being different.