Thursday, January 28

I LOVEEEEEEEEE my job!


As a kid I can always remember hearing adults whine and complain about their jobs. And with all the negativity that's going on with my life right now I just wanted to talk about something positive; something that I am truly passionate about...being a paramedic!!

Having just graduated and just recently been hired, it's still fresh in my mind what is was like to be a student and out with a crew. I can still remember the first shift I had as a student.

The pager went off - BEEP BEEP BEEP BOOOOOOOOP...I can't even begin to describe the level of excitement that I felt as I booted it to the truck. I didn't know what we were going to, what I was going to see, what I was going to be allowed to do, where we would end up and I was working with an ALS crew. We were dispatched code 4 (more emergent) for a 60ish male who had fallen off a roof. Now, being an overactive imaginer, my mind starts going all over the place - I wonder if he's got broken bones, is he dead, has he damaged his spine, etc. We pulled into the driveway of this guy's home and there he was laying on the ground. I was completely surprised with how fast I jumped into the call. C-spine, ABCs, level of awareness. We put him on a backboard, collared him, checked his vitals, got the history and transported him to the hospital. He ended up being fine but the whole rush thing had me completely hooked.

Now, I would never consider myself an adrenaline junkie, but the more and more cases I got to see, the more it's started to click in: the rush of never knowing what you get to do on a day's work, the way I still jump whenever the pager goes off, the ease with which a call-in makes me jump for joy...I LOVE getting an adrenaline high! Being a paramedic isn't only about the adrenaline though - it's about "helping people" and teaching. Sure there is a LOT (and I mean A LOT!!!) of disgusting things (I'm not going to elaborate - patient confidentiality - blah blah blah) that I get to see on the job, practically everyday, but it's the whole combination of things that makes me love my job. Sharing what we learned with new students and the public...I've got to say I love that too! Right nowthere are several crews that have taken on a 4th semester student.

Yesterday at work we had a student as part of our crew. Now this girl is the same age as me, we both went to university first before deciding to do the paramedic thing, and both graduated with kinesiology degrees. This was not my first chance getting to see her in action. I have to be honest, the first shift we had together she seemed pretty mediocre - mind you it was her first real shift where she was allowed to be 100% involved in every skill. On our first call of the day she completely blew me away with her ability to develop a rapport with a patient suffering a mental crisis. Even thinking about it now I shake my head and smile. I love seeing students blossom before my eyes; to actually see them taking something I have taught them and putting it into action. I can safely say that just from the small amount of time I have had to teach her and see her work, that she will be an amazing medic one day - hopefully for the same service as me! I would LOVE to work with her in a one-on-one setting!

Some of my most favourite shifts have been so because of the genuine gratitude some patients have in the worst hours of their lives. As a paramedic, I get to witness these worst hours, or minutes and I have to try my best to change it. Hip fractures, myocardial infarctions (heart attacks), head injuries, choking episodes, diabetic emergencies, and death are everyday experiences for me. Ideally, my goal is to make the patient as comfortable as possible, and I don't expect to be thanked or praised for doing so. That doesn't mean that when the little old woman who was humilated in front of her congregation when she fell at church, broke her hip and became incontinent, thanks me with tears in her eyes that I'm not completely thrilled! It just makes me love my job even more! All in a days work I guess! I can only hope that this feeling of complete and utter elation that I have for my profession stays with me. Here's to not giving in to desensitization - which is a problem for many in the emergency service industry!

Monday, January 25

A very difficult decision

I am absolutely in love with my fiance....but over the past couple of months our relationship has been having a lot of problems. I've been working out of town a lot as a paramedic - long hours. If I get too tired I stay at my dad's house for a couple days. Ever since I've been hired I've noticed some changes. He's definitely not the same person I started dating almost 5 years ago. I find that there are so many things about him nowadays that irritate me. He freaks out if I'm gone for several days in a row. We are always angry with each other and fighting. When we're not fighting we're thinking about fighting or nit picking at each other. It completely terrifies me that we might be getting ourselves into something that we're going to regret a few years or months down the road. I don't feel that we want the same things any more. I see some of our mutual friends who are in terrible relationships with children and no way out. I don't want to be that person.

I think that the best thing for the both of us is to cancel our engagement and move on. If it's meant to be it we could get back together sooner or later. I think that we would happier without each other. More than anything I am terrified to make this decision. What's holding me back? I honestly don't know. Our friends, his family, the history we have together...Everyone is telling me to do what's best for me but what if what I think is best for me ends up being the wrong thing. I know I will miss him if I end our relationship, but I also know that we won't be able to be friends if we end it. I love my ring and I think that it completely defines me - I don't want to have to give it back to him. We have shared property and animals. Break-ups are so hard to do. We've already had one almost 2 years ago (his decision) and he was the one who came crawling back begging for me to take him back. I was a wreck when he broke it off. What will happen to him if I break it off - especially seeing how we're engaged now. AHHH...what do I do?

Thursday, January 14

Weight loss...ARG!

I have always struggled with my weight. I wouldn't say it's because I overeat, or that the things I eat aren't healthy, in fact, I go to the gym almost every day and I am very conscious of what I put into my mouth.

I have been with my fiance for 5 years this summer. Since we started dating, there were many struggles that came up. My weight was the lowest I had ever been when we started dating. That winter a huge upset amongst my bestfriend and room-mate made me lose even more weight. I felt good; I was finally a size 8 - something I hadn't been in since elementary school. I loved the way my body looked and I was happy. That summer, working nights threw my whole metabolism out of whack. When I wasn't working, I was passed out with sheer exhaustion. I had no energy at all. Going back to university in the fall was a real killer. I gained roughly 30 pounds in 4 months. I freaked out and got a personal trainer. While I was able to lose 15 pounds and gain a bit more muscle, I didn't find that she helped me very much. Within a few months I had gained the weight back and then continued to balloon. I hit my ultimate high this past year. Every time I walked past a mirror I cringed with disgust - how did I let myself get this bad?

In less than 10 months, I will be putting on an infamously white dress and taking the plunge, head-first into a lifestyle where my world is no longer supposed to revolve around myself. Now, the idea of belonging to someone, well maybe not belonging but being committed whole-heartedly, is somewhat frightening, but no where close to the level of fright I have towards walking down an aisle in a wedding dress and having all my friends and family, and my fiance's family staring at me thinking, "my god! Look at that! She should NOT be wearing that dress!" Don't get me wrong the dress I have chosen is absolutely lovely! It's very vintage and romantic. I just want to make sure than I give this dress the proper justice it deserves. A dress this beautiful should have someone just as beautiful in it.

Since Novemeber I have been dieting, pretty extremely actually. I signed up to a weight-loss clinic because I honestly thought that I was unable to lose weight by myself anymore. U weight loss clinics were giving away free detox and cleanse products if you came in to talk to the consultants. I thought, sure, it can't hurt to sit down and talk. Well the talk turned into 2 hours of gabbing and somehow I was coerced into signing up for a hugely expensive, pill-popping, rule-filled, "diet modification" scheme. I cut out so many things from my diet, stopped consuming dairy, egg, gluten, red meat, pork, grains, citrus, tomatoes and so much more. To say this program was hard is not enough - it was greuling! In the course of maybe 2 months I was able to drop 20 pounds. I couldn't help feeling bad about the amount of money I was spending to do the program. I didn't want to have to keep popping "vitamins" for the rest of my life so I made the decision to stop going.

My cousin Kelly started a diet/life-syle modification last year after she hit her record-high in weight. She had just had her third child and was the heaviest she had ever been. Over the past six months she has lost the baby weight and more and looks the best she ever has. She was at the local library and checked out a book called Body-for-life. She was yelling at me over Christmas saying that I needed to stop spending money I didn't need to spend on weight loss and try this plan. She seems convinced that I will see results - and I get a cheat day once a week!

I still have 30 or so left to go before I am a reasonable weight for my frame, regardless of my current muscle mass. I have gradually started re-incorporating things into my diet and have continued to keep the 20 pounds off - THANK GOD! Kelly gave me the plan yesterday to start my process and here I go. I just need to focus on staying on track, following the plan and then hopefully within a couple months I will truly make a scene at my wedding!

Have any of you ever struggled with your weight, or used extreme measures to try to solve the problem? Good luck to all my fellow dieters! That's all from me!

Co Co

Tuesday, January 12

and so it begins....

Everything starts somewhere - and this is where my blog starts. I've never done anything like this before, so it will be interesting to see how my blog takes off and where I will be a few weeks, months or years down the road.

Now as a person who reads other blogs, I know that most blogs appeal to a certain crowd or interest - what, you may ask, is this blog about? For the most part I think that I want this blog to be about life - the little things that make life worthwhile, those things that put a smile on a person's face when they're having a rough day, the things that make people sit down and really have to think hard, the things that are full of emotions, or memories or anything really.

This blog, like life, begins with a sudden start. Well here's to new beginnings...