Every now and again, I have a the “a-ha” moment. The 15 months of personal sacrifice, grueling study/clinical hours, no sleep and mental anguish seems somewhat worth it. My job as a paramedic is mostly filled with non-emergent calls, drunk people and silly drama. Yesterday was a different story.
I’m usually so numb to the crazy shit that goes on around me, and rarely shocked at anything I find in my line of work. Medics make inappropriate jokes in order to cope with the stress levels we experience while doing our job. It’s normal to talk about a bloody car wreck or drug overdose during dinner. It’s normal for us. It’s what we do. But this…thiswill stick with me for a while.
I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around why people do the things they do. How someone can take their own life is mind numbing. I’ve been to the bottom of the barrel many times, but nothing on this earth would push me to that level. Nothing. I still see it. That visual is burned in my skull forever.
I keep running through the call in my head, over and over. We prolonged his life long enough to get him to the ER. There was nothing more I could do. I did everything I could. Part of me feels fortunate to have the knowledge I have, knowing what to do at all the right moments. The other part of me is angry. I’m angry someone could do this in their own home. I’m angry someone could do this in front of their mother. I’m angry that I couldn’t save him…even though he obviously didn’t want to be saved.
And for the rest of us, life goes on.