Wednesday, August 4, 2010

roller coaster ride of emotions

I'm in a bad way today. Maybe because my back is killing me from being stupid and lifting some dumbass weights the wrong way. Maybe because as always, I never get enough sleep and can't even put a dent on my spring cleaning even though the summer is almost over. Maybe because I saw one maggot too many on a rotting carcass as I was finishing up shift this morning. Maybe because I am still haunted by a call at our station..... the guys on my previous shift responded to a drowning. It was a hot afternoon church bbq/pool party when a guest noticed a boy at the bottom of the pool. Police/fire/paramedics arrived and worked on this little guy as his mother was trying to drag him away to the safety of her arms, as if holding him could make everything better. Paramedics got a pulse back and he was rushed to hospital then was airlifted to critical care. I am not even sure how to write this because the emotions are so raw. The attending paramedic came by later to our station to give an update and said that the child no longer has brain activity and his organ function is gone. And mom cannot say goodbye and shut off life support. So there he lies quietly in his hospital bed and the only noise is the whoosh of the ventilaor machines and the beep, beep, beeping. He is alive, but at the same time not. Forgive me for being so graphic. But some calls I can process. This one I am not so sure. My heart hurts so much for this mother that I don't even know.

I want to cry. But I can't. So I write. Her little boy is the same age as my son.... four. My Jacob, who in moments will be bursting through the door like a sunshine tornado. I finally understand what my own mother means when she says that it's good for children to be loud and jump around because that's what they are supposed to do.

Extra hugs and kisses and 'I love you's' tonight... that is for sure.

But my day hasn't been completely terrible. A crewmate that I worked with just received a new heart! This firefighter caught some weird virus that damaged his heart to the point it was like having an 80 year old heart stuck in his 40 year old body. It's quite possible he caught this virus on the job but it's hard to tell. In any event, he's been on disability for a few years waiting for a heart donor. And it came! And the surgery was successful! And even though he will probably never be a front-line firefighter again, he will certainly be back working for the fire department soon and be able to chase after his young daughter and enjoy many, many years with his beautiful wife.

So in some strange way, the greatest highs are able to cancel out the greatest lows. Thank goodness for that because I'd otherwise be out of my mind.

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