Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Saving lives... making a difference

This, people, is my world.

And this, too.

*"Paramedic Chronicles" were created by a former employee of MAST ambulance -my agency.

Monday, July 14, 2008

He's the Papa!

When people first meet me, they generally meet a thing of skin and other tissues encasing a large rag-tailed group of contradictions. Just as people catagorize me, and shove me into my little box, I swing off a little loop hole, or squeeze out of a crack in the corner. Leaving them reaching in the air for something to wrap their fingers around. I don't mean to be two-faced or hypocritical. I prefer to think "complex." But I guess I'll let you be the judge.

However, in order to help people understand me a bit more (and hopefully be less two-sided), I usually refer to my growing up years -homeschooling, ranching, farming, traveling, homechurching, etc. Whether their actually interested in my history, or whether it just makes me feel like I'm on the Jay Leno show, I haven't yet figured out.

But thinking about my past makes me think about my family and thinking about my family makes me think about my parents and thinking about my parents makes me think about my dad and thinking about my dad makes me think about how he has effected my life and thinking about how he has effected my life makes me think about my times with him (knee-jerk reaction sort of thing.)

My all-time favorite: In the living room, bibles open in front of us, Dad explaining the tribulation -what needs to take place before then, what will take place after, and what our purpose is in between- both of us flipping from Old Testament to New and back again. His eyes sparkling.

Riding the hay-wagon with Dad, watching the big truck slurp up the bales and stack them in the back as we bump along. Me occasionally shouting something to Dad, and him replying with a nod and a grunt.

Skiing with Dad. From watching him swish down Willamette's "Face" to stumbling after him as he hopped a line through Good Charlie's bumps. He was strong, swift and my hero. He still tops me hands down when going through the moguls. That was winter. In the summer it was him on the slalom ski, cutting the water so that it spurted out behind him in a towering rooster tail. And then we'd eat sun-chips and bagels together.

Now memories of him are flooding my heart... He's sacrificed for his family. He's loved. He's made many mistakes. He's never given up. He's an incredible guy, my Dad is.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Just Judge

The ambulance is becoming my "thought box." Patients, circumstances, and co-workers often cause me to think and reflect and God and what He's give me. As emergency calls were few yesterday, I had a lot of time to spend in thinking in my thought box. And here's one trail of thought that my mind followed:

Being able to be forgiven whenever is a big hang up for many people.

So you say God is just and fair. Good. But tell me this: How is it that this "just God" will give the same "reward" to someone who did every sin in the book, asking for forgiveness only with his last breath, as to someone who strived after goodness and righteousness all his life?

Why is it?

Why, because God is not really concerned with sin at all, rather He's concerned with Jesus, love, and us. It's an entirely different focus. It's no matter how, who, or what sins you do. All that concerns God is that you are reconciled to Him and recognize His Son as Lord and King. Sins and wrongs, my friends, are of little importance to God.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

An exchange on love and marriage

"You have a Golden Retriever here." His hand flys up in a karate chop gesture, stopping just above his head. "And then you have her, here." His hand slashes up another six inches. "She is the most loyal person I've ever met."

"Wow, that would be nice."

"Yeah, yeah it is."

"I'm sure that's what your wife thinks as well."

"NO. No, she could care less what I do... she owes me a 12-pack, and she knows it. After the first several times, I stopped trying to catch her."

"Man, I'm sorry. So why are you still together? Kids?"

"Yeah." He was broken, hurt, resigned. And she had lost exactly what she had been searching for.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

People from my yesterday

"Yo hungrey?" Her brow furrowed as she looked at me, tears building in her eyes. "Oh, yo poor thang! They make yo work thet hard?"
I nodded, "I have to work for my food around here... I haven't done enough yet, tonight, so it will be a bit before I can eat."
"Oh, poor thang! Here, ya take these offa me, I gonna make yo something. Where's my kitchen?"
She was difficult to understand; her tongue had grown thick in her mouth. I leaned in to understand.
She was going to cook me up a grand feast of chicken wings -if I would ever let her go.
I didn't. And before we arrived at the hospital, she had forgotten about her whole scheme to save the poor intern from starvation. Now all she could think of was this dreadful cough that she had just discovered as we rolled through the ER door.

Her eyes were blue, pale, gray blue; one was clouded over, the pupil barely visible. It reminded me of the old scraggly dogs that I checked into the veterinary office, the summer I was a vet's assistant. But she was adorable.
"I didn't like you. But now I do. You all have been so nice. I like you." She looked up, sunshine flowing from her face. I smiled, she smiled, and the sun brightened.
She hadn't been able to catch her breath. It hurt to draw in air. It hurt worse not to. She was in her nineties and scared.
But my super-man like partners easily lifted her from her wheelchair to the cot, and she felt young again. And she liked us. And she could breath again.

His hair whipped around, eyes wide, eyes wild, as he jumped from the sound of my voice. I didn't know I was that electrifying. A blossoming red rose was tattooed on his forehead. Sections of it disappeared, in his concentration on what I was saying to him. His eyebrows were thin, black and hairless, and marked with the same permanency as his black eyeliner.
"Sir, tell me, do you always drive your van on the railroad tracks at night?" His hair whipped back around as those eyes found my partner.
Outside the ambulance, the blinking, screeching lights of the police and ambulance melded with the officers' sweeping flashlights and the occasional green flood light, into one mind-mixing scene.
He was under arrest. Not for driving on the railroad tracks. Not for crashing his car into one the buildings. Not for drinking. Not for drugs.
Long ignored child support had caught him. Caught him, on the side of the tracks, the side that he shouldn't have been on.
His eyes pleaded with me, as he stepped out of the ambulance. He was hungry and thirsty, hurt and confused. And I watched him go.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Kiki's cookie

I have never before wished that someone smoked. Until today.

I'm sitting innocently, right? In the back of the ambulance. In my nice little jumper seat in which I always sit, ostricated from any conversation, with my neck tired from straining like an owl to see were we're going. I'm not complaining. Facts only in this blog -as if you haven't noticed already.

My preceptor's partner, "Kiki" (real name not given to protect the guilty), is jab-jab-jabbing (understand, "jabbing" is an understatement) on everyone and everything. "What is with everyone today?! It's not me... I started out good today!" Yeah, and all bad moods must start when you wake up or you'll never have one.

So I'm thinking, "Lady, you need a 'tude adjustment." And since I'm already sliding down the slippery slope of judgment, and don't believe she'll find it any other way, I'm also thinking (or more like my brain is screaming), "GO SMOKE A CIGARETTE!"

Then I noticed: She already was.

And, no. If you were wondering. A cigarette didn't help. Nor did the second or the third or the fifteenth.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pool-side conversation

They're lying there, the girl and the boy. The orange sun is lying there with them, deflecting off the water in the pool. The blue glacier is also there, between them. It rises high, cloudy and cold. But they look at each other through it. The boy's side is blurry; the ice is melting. The girl's side is blurry; the frost is tightening.

The look at each other through it. And still do not see.