(I took this pic on shift with the ambulance in 2006 at Harborview Hospital, Seattle WA)
The first time I came home after doing CPR, I was 22 years old and a first responder and firefighter with the Mukilteo Fire Department. I had always hoped I would experience the moment a patient sat up, gasping for that much needed breathe of air they had been deprived of as I had seen play out in movies. I’ve had heart beats return….but as to whether or not they ever sat up or spoke again I would never know….
When you dropped people off at the hospital, you never saw that they got help, you never heard that they had survived, or that you got them there in time. Rarely would you find out if the story you crossed paths with had any kind of ending, happy, or sad. Instead these lives who’s blood you would wash out of your uniform after shift became immortalized in your mind as the crying, bleeding messes you dropped them off as….I so craved to know they were OK, alive, well….sitting on a couch with their loved ones watching a movie…
Uncertainty can be haunting.