“The patient was in the basement.” I say to my kids – just enough information to color my day without violating Hipaa. “Kinda big fellow. In a garden tub.”
Or: “I had a blood exposure. Not a little, a lot.” (I’m wearing the hospital scrubs I came home in while I explain this.)
Or what about – “My partner slipped in the pukey-goop and cracked his head and then we had two patients.”?
“Ugh, Mom! Tell me again why you want to do this?”
I’m fairly certain it has to do with the vehicles. When you’re rolling full-out lights and sirens, yours is, hands-down, the prettiest vehicle on the road. You look like Christmas sailing down the fast lane, all lit up and shiny.
Or the clothing? EMS pants are the best, all those pockets and snaps – what’s not to love? Combat boots and sky blue coats with reflective lettering. And don’t get me started on bunker gear. It’s like a superhero cape, only real.
Down time is almost as good as up time! Read a book, play on your lap top, lift weights, wash the rig. Or not! Twelve hour shifts are spent with your good buds. We share coffee cups, couch space, and each other’s lives.
The adrenaline rush. We can go from zero to a hundred in seconds flat, from a dead sleep to the rig before the second page. I love that about us.
We brought a kitty out of a burning house last winter and although that’s a tired cliché, in real life it’s an awesome save. The homeowner quit crying and actually smiled.
And once after a bad call – one that had the worst possible outcome – my partner and I made chocolate chip cookies; that was a consolation without words.
“It’s a little hard to pin,” I say to my kids. “But sometimes the itty-bitty things add up to a really superb whole.”