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Giving it Up

This week I had a pretty hard doctor appointment that revolved around the words “severe muscle impairment,” “tracheotomy,” and “ventilator.” The same day I received an email reminding me it is nearing time for me to recertify my national Paramedic license. It was a sobering day.

For these past couple years, I have let my husband’s encouraging words and glass-half-full spirit spur me on in believing that I will walk in my Medic boots again. He was always reassuring me that we would get through this; I would get strong again and go back to the career that I love. During that time I have struggled with who I am when I’m not a paramedic or a firefighter. It became such a big part of what motivated and moved me that when it was gone I struggled with depression and wondering who I was. I still do at times.

Being a paramedic and firefighter is unlike any job on earth. To get to walk into people’s lives at the time they need you most, it’s indescribable. It was a privilege and an honor to get to show up in homes, cars, churches; all the places people have built their beautiful messy lives, and serve them at their most vulnerable moments.

I know that I am loved and cherished as I am. I know I am still me, and the people that matter the most will accept me as I am, but it has been a painful walk to slip further and further from my polished boots, the distinctive smell of bunker gear, and the smooth weight of my stethoscope around my neck. Like most folks in my line of work, I am a strong type A that likes to have everything under control. It is extremely humbling, and sometimes discouraging to see that I have lost much of that control, and have to surrender to something that controls me, rather than myself controlling it. What an important lesson in life though; one I undoubtedly needed to learn. We are not our own, and the power is not ours.

Most nights I don’t dream, but when I do it is of being back on the streets alongside my cherished partners, rushing toward the danger and the opportunity to help save a life. I know they are just dreams, but until I can’t anymore, I will keep clinging to them with a smile.

Please leave me a comment, it lets me know you’re listening!

10 thoughts on “Giving it Up”

  1. You are awesome, and you need to put yourself first. Then when you are well, you can hit the ground running and help others out in the field. You are helping people right now. Your words inspire people to try harder and work harder. You still are a peramedic to people suffering. And your witness to them is inspiring. You got this!👍💕

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  2. I am so excited I was able to work with you! Thank you for being part of my life when if it’s just a small moment you made a huge impact!

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  3. Hannah, I know your life is not easy right now and I hurt for you and with you. Who you are is first and foremost a child of God and you are loved by him just as you are. I love you.

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  4. Hannah – I was compelled to comment on this post. I have been a Paramedic for a good many years, and to say that I have loved it all would be untrue. However, like you, it has brought many joys to my life.

    I hope you make it back to what you love if you have the desire to be there. Trust me, it can be done. I had always wanted to work my way out of being a street medic, however, I am suddenly finding myself back at it for various reasons.

    I’ll be thinking about this post and praying for you.

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    1. Thank you so much for your words. Like you, being a paramedic hasn’t all been pleasant for me, but the good has certainly outweighed the bad. I wish you the best, wherever it is that you land; may your passion be satisfied and your experience worthwhile. Thank you for taking the time to reach out.

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    1. Jon, I have often thought of you throughout this experience, knowing you have had to face some of these same decisions. Thank you for just being here; often that is the best I could ask for. Hugs.

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