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Jersey Shore, United States
In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Emergencies

Have you ever been the first one on a scene, or in a true emergency? How do you react? I am SO ashamed to admit- I'm absolutely useless in an emergency.  I sweat. I cry. I panic and hyper-ventilate. And for days afterwards, I will suffer from lovely stomach ailments like massive cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. No joke. I completely fall apart. I am NOT the person you want to be with if there's an accident. God help me, I don't know why I react this way; it's like the brain inside my head suddenly shrivels up to the size of a pea and my stomach turns to absolute mush. Why? Why am I so useless? My whole family (other than me) comes from a medical background. They talk casually over dinner about stuff that makes me gag and start to shake and sweat. Why was I born without the gene or ability to stay calm, cool and collected in an emergency?

When my daughter Farrah was born, she had a respiratory problem where she would all of a sudden turn blue and stop breathing. I was not permitted to take her home from the hospital until I was trained in infant CPR.  The Husband and I had to take special training classes just to learn how to use her emergency breathing monitor. Right in the middle of the class, at just the thought of me having to perform CPR on my infant, I had to jump up and run to the bathroom to go vomit. Thank the Lord (for my kids and myself) I chose a husband wisely. That man has had years of training and experience in CPR and emergency response. The Husband can pretty much respond to any type of disaster, natural or otherwise and remain completely, unfailingly, calm. Unlike me. It's seriously humbling to know, that if something really bad goes down, your kids are better equipped to handle things than you are. But how does one go about changing years of inability?

On Easter last year, (at my house) my beloved twelve year old niece suffered a grand mal seizure.  It came out of no where and it came as a HUGE shock, to me. Thank God, my family was all there and were able to respond quickly and efficiently. They  knew immediately what was happening to her and what to do to keep her safe. But, as usual, I crumbled. Right to pieces. I had NO idea what you're supposed to do and I highly doubt even if I did, I would have been able to execute what needed to be done properly. I still have nightmares about seeing her unresponsive like that, for so long. I can't seem to burn that horrible image from my mind. Maybe it was the shock or maybe it's because I watched her mother, (my sister) suffer so tremendously before she died,  I just flat out lost it.  Even though my niece has since been diagnosed with epilepsy, and has been placed on medication and is perfectly fine now, that scene still haunts me. And it most likely, always will.

Believe it or not, I've taken lots of classes and I possess a tremendous amount of medical knowledge. I am a very compassionate person and have taken care of plenty of people who are sick and/or dying. It's not like I lack empathy- quite the opposite.  It's the putting all of that knowledge into practice and not panicking during an emergency, that I lack. Does anyone else find themselves (to their shame and horror) reacting like me? Have any of you been able to overcome your trepidation and turn yourself into an EMT? I'd love to hear from you.  Have you, could you or do you see yourself ever working in an ER?  If you are in the field, let me just take a moment here to say, great big fat THANK YOU for doing what you do!

* I find it ironic that my mom, aunts, brother, father, husband, uncles, cousins, mother in law, practically everyone in my life, (other than me) has worked as nurses, techs, doctors, corpsmen, in labs and in hospital ERs and yet, I'm so freaking useless, I can't even watch the damn TV show without breaking into a sweat! Ugh.

46 comments:

  1. You are not useless Jaybird! Your knack in life is doing something else. You are very useful to your children. And the blogging community loves you!
    Dani @ Entertaining Interests
    #warriorminion

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    1. You are too sweet Dani- thank you for the encouragement!

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  2. I actually think you are more the norm than the unusual in this area. I tend to be very efficient in an emergency, knowing pretty much what to do and being able to carry it out. It's after everything and everyone is safe and secure that I go to pieces, become physically ill and have nightmares about the whole scene.

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    1. My mom is like that. She is a RN and worked in emergency rooms and pysch wards. But when it came to us kids, she would do what needed to be done, and then later fall apart. At least she could function! I am useless. A total waste. So depressing.

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  3. I'm the same way. It doesn't have to even be an emergency for me though. It could just be one of my kids, sick with the flu, and all of a sudden I'm a mess. I am a giant ball of anxiety.

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    1. Hey Danielle- good to know I'm not alone in the panick department! Thanks for commenting-

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  4. I'm so glad I'm not the only one. In an extreme emergency I have a tendency to panic. My mom lost part of her index finger to a dog leash incident (don't buy those zip-line retractable dog leashes! and don't use one on a large dog when it's broken!), and I panicked. We were on a walk on a trail, and thankfully two other people came, bound my mom's hand up in a sweatshirt and called 9-1-1. Every time I tried to call 9-1-1, I accidentally called my husband - who is good in emergencies but doesn't drive and ambulance. I ended up riding in the ambulance with her, and I have cared for those who are injured or ill. I have CPR and first aid training, but when an accident happens in front of me, I have a tendency to stop and freeze. It drives me crazy and fills me with guilt. The only time I can think of having done the right thing for emergencies was when the emergency happened to me, or when one of my kids got dirt in her eyes - not just a little dirt, but fill the inner part of the eyelids dirt - then I actually reacted quickly.

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    1. Oh my word- Tyrean, I am SO sorry. I would have been a mess! I hope your mom is OK now. And it feels good knowing I am not alone in my panic.

      Once, my mom closed the car door on her fingers. When I saw her fingers bleeding and bruised, I threw up all over the place. I was a total mess. She actually started laughing, because I reacted SO badly, she's a RN and couldn't believe how I just fell apart. The whole time she kept trying to comfort me, while dressing her own wounds, telling me to calm down, it was going to be OK. I'm seriously ridiculous!

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  5. Yep. I could have written this post. I am completely useless and panicky in emergencies but married the exact opposite. He's an EMT and VP of our county's search and rescue team. He's spent hours every day this last week in the nearby lake feeling around for a dead body with his team and has been on the news and everything--the thought of finding a dead body makes me sick. But he's pulled a drowned child out of a raging river, lowered a teen from a tree in the mountains who hanged himself, found an old man crushed under a motorcycle on a mountain trail. I can't even to begin to imagine what that's like. I hope he's there during whatever kind of emergency presents itself in my life. I'd be useless without him.

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    1. God bless that husband of yours Ilima! Thank him for me, because he's the guy I'm talking about. HOW in the world do they manage to remain calm, in the midst of all that chaos? I'll never know!

      I know I'm useless without my husband when something bad happens. I swear he slows his breathing and finds an even, calm space in his mind. He just instinctively knows what to do, and starts giving people orders, and they listen. I am always in AWE when he takes over like that. Once, we were driving home from a wedding up North when we came upon a horrible accident scene (it involved a child) the mother was screaming- the absolute horror of it is burned permanently in my mind- I couldn't even get out of the car, my legs turned to instant jelly. But The Husband just calmly looked at me and said, "I need to help that woman." He pulled over, jumped out and took over until the local uniforms/ambulance showed up. He was amazing, while I cried and cowered in the car. What a loser I am!

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  6. Just because your strengths don't lie in a particular area, doesn't mean you don't have any strengths at all.

    Some are just better suited to handle things and, I truly believe, that a lot of times we have people come into our lives that we -need-. Maybe that's part of the reason why you and your hubby found each other?

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    1. Thank you Mark! Honestly, if I would have met my husband a few years earlier then when I had, I NEVER would have looked twice at him. (He has such a strong personality) But when we met, the timing was perfect and I knew he was exactly what I needed. I really feel like God had a plan and knew what I needed, before I recognized it myself. Don't know what I'd do without him now! He is so different from me, which can be quite difficult at times, (like I've written about before) but he will always be my hero!

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  7. I don't think I've been in a real-life emergency.

    But I suspect, if I were, I'd just stand there and shout 'Emergency! Emergency!' over and over, like a computer in a low-budget sci-fi radio show from the 50s.

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    1. LOL! Hopefully, you will never have to be in an emergency. But if you are, I pray you don't react like me.

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  8. It sounds like you are well prepared to deal with emergencies.

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    1. LOL. NOT! Wish there was something I could do to change that, but it hasn't happened yet.

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  9. Like Mark said you have strengths in other areas Jay. I've never been in that field but I've always wanted to volunteer.

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    1. Aw, thanks Sheena! If you have it in you, I can't encourage you enough to volunteer. (I know I would if I could stomach it.) They are always looking for EMTs around here :)

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  10. When the lovelies (our 4 daughters) were growing up, I was always able to hold it together during an emergency and the rest of the day. But, at night, when all was said and done and everyone was tucked safely in their beds, I LOST it. After years of handling emergencies in this manner, I have gotten to the point where I forbade them to suffer any emergencies any longer. And that's how it's done. LOL As far as working in an ER....NEVER. I just couldn't do it. DD3 is an athletic trainer and she is not bothered by blood or bones sticking out of the skin like the Louisville player--Kevin Ware. She was all like, "Mom! One station did a great piece on it and they showed how/why it happened with pictures and everything!" I do NOT know who that child belongs to. :)

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    1. LOL. I wish I could forbid my girls from getting into scrapes and emergency situations and they would listen!

      A career in the ER was never in the cards for me. But holy crow, God bless the people that can do that day in, day out. Cripes! They get major props from me, for sure.

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  11. I think I understand your frustration. I think it's something you get from birth. I'm iceman during an emergency which is like incredible for a fire dragon. It's like a magic spell triggers and all my impulsiveness and nervous wreck suddenly goes off and I'm possessed by somebody else. I remain calm, I know exactly what to do and usually, I'm the one who commands calm on others. This state of mind lasts as long as the emergency lasts and wears off once everything is under control again. THEN I totally break in pieces.

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    1. Oh, that's not what I expected from a fire breathing dragon, but yes, I do agree that you are either born with or without that gene!!

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  12. You are not useless, it's simply not your thing. I will not deal with blood but when my youngest was 10 he was hit by a car. I rode in the ambulance with him, I was completely strong until he went into surgery where I leaned against a wall and turned into a quivering ball. You do what you have to so don't sell yourself short.

    http://completelycalifornia.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh Ann, how completely terrifying!! As a mom, I can only imagine the horror of what you were feeling in that ambulance. I'm so sorry for you. My gosh, that is beyond awful.

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  13. I'm sorry you had to go through that with your niece, though I'm glad to hear she's on medication now. I've never had or witnessed an emergency, so I don't know how I'd react. I think your reaction is natural - despite your medical knowledge - when it comes to people you love, and probably your empathy plays a part in that reaction.

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    1. Maybe, it's the empathy coming into play, IDK. I just wish I had more of The Husband's type of reaction, than mine. I'm the oddball out, when it comes to handling myself well in a crises.

      My poor niece! I never saw anyone suffer from a grand mal seizure before, it's quite a violent thing. And then she was unresponsive for so long, it scared me TO death. I thought we were going to loose her- it was TERRIFYING. But thank God, she is on her meds, and is absolutely fine now. She doesn't remember ANY of it, (thankfully) but it's something I won't ever forget.

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  14. I was standing on a street corner while delivering papers (back in Jr. High) and I saw a high speed car accident happen right in front of me. I was able to give the cops all the information they needed and I was calm. Till I go home a hour or two later then I threw up.

    --
    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side and The Witch
    Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

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    1. How awful!! I'm so sorry for you. I hope that you never find yourself in that position, ever again Tim!

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  15. You're very much like my mom, but she's always the one giving the most support and care after the frightening moment. I tend to slide into shock and act without feeling the situation. It's strange, but I'm sure it's going to catch up with me later in life!

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    1. Here's hoping it doesn't! I am glad there are people like you, who don't panic.

      And I can take very good care of people, after the emergency. It's the during, I'm a hot mess.

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  16. Hopping from A to Z... hmmm... if you wanted to do something about your panic, have you considered hypnosis or a technique called EFT - emotional freedom technique, a kind of quick hand acupressure/tapping to reduce tension and pain?

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    1. Hmmm, that's not something I've never heard of. Interesting concept. Although I am not sure that hypnosis would EVER work on a spaz, like me. There's no way I could ever relax enough to be placed in a hypnotic state, lol.

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  17. Well at least you know what you're capable of. I myself am not a fan of scary situations (although I'm sure no one is) and at times, I've even been known to nearly faint when the going gets tough.

    Have fun with a-z and best of luck on conquering your fears.

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    1. Hi Jessica! Oh yeah, I'm quite aware of my limitations and short comings. Wish it were different, but it is what it is!


      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Wishing you good luck and lots of fun A-Zing too!!

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    1. Sorry to hear that you suffer from what plagues me- Hopefully Daisy will be the calm, cool and collected one in the relationship?

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  19. I am certain that if you were the only adult in an emergency situation, you would handle it. It's easier to go to pieces when you know someone else is taking care of things. You need to give yourself credit! I am, to my own surprise, pretty calm (at least outwardly) in an emergency. I was alone with my mom when she died, and handled it, and when we had a dead body outside my house, I amazingly didn't lose it. If I think about an emergency, I imagine myself freaking out, but when it happens, I actually don't do that. It's weird.

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    1. DUDE! I was freaking out just reading about when you found the dead body under your car! Cripes, I think I had nightmares, for you. I kept waiting for you to write the punch line, but it never came!

      And I am so sorry about your mom. You have the amazing compassion to work everyday in a place where I could hardly bare to stand- Thank God for people like you K, because you are a rare and special breed, for sure!! *Big, huge, hugs* xo

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  20. Don't sweat it. We all deal with stress and trauma in different ways and not everyone is meant to be the cool, calm, and collected one. We all have different abilities, talents, and gifts so just be confident in whatever yours are.

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    1. Hi Rechelle! So nice to meet you- thank you so much for stopping by and your kind comments. I really appreciate it!

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  21. Your strength might not be in emergencies, but I'm sure you're good at something else. And you have all the knowledge, just in case. There are lots of people who panic in emergencies. You're not alone there at all.

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    1. Imogen- I'm still waiting to discover what I AM good at, lol. But thank you so much for the encouraging words. I need all the support I can get. And knowing I'm not alone in my panic, helps a ton!

      Thanks for popping in and commenting :)

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  22. You sound like me. You have a lot of strength in other areas, believe me. My dad, grandpa and uncles are/were skilled at DIY, carpentry etc etc. But I can hardly change a lightbulb!

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    1. Hey Nick! So good to hear from you :)

      Well, I can tell you all about the strengths you have! The support you show your step-son is absolutely TREMENDOUS! You are an amazing advocate and no doubt a huge source of encouragement to him, and that is so admirable! I know you have touched my heart, and so many others here, with what you do. :)

      Man, I'm still floundering, trying to figure out what I'm good at. The only thing I can think of is pathetic; I make people laugh, cook large amounts of food and deliver it to people in need. I do that for my friends, family, neighbors and church. But I think that kind of skill, is ridiculous, compared to people like The Husband, who can remain calm in a totally chaotic situation. IDK, maybe one day I'll hit my stride!

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  23. I'd rather not be in an emergency, but when I am I can get a moment of clarity and act. Afterwards, when I sit back and reflect on what just happened, once the adrenaline has lessened, I'll probably end up fainting. Not fun.

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  24. I tend to break down during an emergency, too. A few years ago, I even experienced panic attacks for the most stupidest of reasons, and still occasionally do. It's embarrassing. :/

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