A recent call I went on got under my skin.
Not because it was gory, or messy, or challenging or complex, but because of how it made me feel.
Certain runs get under our skin for different reasons. The cancer patient means more when your father is suffering the same disease. The motor vehicle collision that much more important soon after your car gets out of the shops.
This run involved kids.
It was the kind of call that makes you wonder just what some people are thinking. The kind of situation you see in crazy FBI TV shows where the heroes barge in saving the day then scream “Get me a medic in here!” and the show ends. But they never show the medics working and later dealing with the situation.
That is why EMS shows rarely succeed. No one wants to watch a TV show about what I did on this call, what the ambulance and first responding crews saw and felt, nor what the police were describing. It would not be safe for TV, I think even HBO might take a pass.
No one was hurt. That’s the kicker here. The usual trauma and scaring from seeing children in pain or suffering was absent, making justifying emotions both at the scene and later difficult. I was mad, upset, yes UNhappy and I couldn’t really say why.
OK, I could, but describing it was not enough to capture everything that was going on there. So much information had to be collected, organized and regurgitated in some kind of list of events and conditions so that someone in a tiny cubicle months from now could have some brief idea of the scope of the situation.
Searching for a release I considered firing up the blog here and letting it out, but even the simplest of details let free in a post I needed to write to start to deal with my feelings was dangerous.
So I wrote a blog post, of sorts, to myself. A letter to myself. By hand.
When was the last time you wrote anything by hand other than a PCR? There is indeed something powerful about having to write out your thoughts and dwell on certain facts. Many have reached the point where we type as fast or faster than we could write and sometimes we lose the impact of certain words and phrases. My hand searched for the way to write certain words I had not in recent memory created using a pen. I stumbled, more than one word crossed out and replaced either due to a spelling error or a better word coming to mind. I was two or three sentences behind of my racing thoughts.
I finished it. I read it. Then I shredded it.
The emotion released, my feelings expressed, I was able to sit down and complete the reports necessary for this incident. And even though some of my observations show my opinions regarding the incident, none of the anger, frustration or shock is in the report.
And that’s how it should be.