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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Books by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Paramedic Stories, Part XXXV: Becoming Focused (By Pat E. Moss, EMT)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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A paramedic-in-training shares with us a glimpse into her oft-hectic world.

Being focused is the primary goal of an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) or a paramedic. We are often saddled with frightening or unexpected situations that is often the crux of emergency medicine. We are faced with some of the most heartrending, mind-numbing events that alter the subconscious or leave us "marked" for months (or years) to come. We deal with things like stabbings, kids falling from windows or high places and they are knocked unconscious, heart attacks or strokes, communicable diseases, AIDS, gunshot victims (GSV's), psyched out teenagers or adults, people with severe special needs, and so much more.

We deal with patients at their very worst, at their very sickest, and we deal with people who are clearly on their way to checking out, and we have to do everything we possibly can to ensure that doesn't happen. Of course, as is often the case, people DO die, no matter what we do for them, and then we are left with feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy, guilt, failure, or shock. We often think about what we may have done differently to save this stricken person's life, or try to prolong it as long as possible, and we often have feelings of depression.

But on the other end of the spectrum, we end up with an unexpected save, and through events that somehow defy explanation or reasoning, a person who is at death's door somehow pulls thorugh, and all those who are tending to this person collectively breathe a huge sigh of relief--or shed tears of joy.

We deal with people who are drunk or people who are heavily involved in gangs, or people who don't speak English, and we also deal with elderly folks who are "not all there", and we deal with people who are often unwashed, poor, trippping out on drugs or alcohol, people who are demanding, selfish, or just downright MEAN, and we also deal with people with chronic illness or disability; and yet we have to maintain a sense of composure, even when things around us are falling apart. We try to focus on the task at hand and do our best to help this person through their medical emergency, and we try not to let "the other things" get in our way. No, it isn't easy when we have a mother screaming at us while we try to revive her little girl who isn't breathing or her little boy who is seizing uncontrollably, or have a wife cursing obscenities at us while we beat her unconscious husband into further oblivion, or when we have a drunken fellow rage at us and threaten to kill us whenever we are trying to put in an IV line, or when we have teenaged punks who are trying to pull us off their comrade, who is lying on the ground, bleeding from just about every orafice, and we are trying to find the source of the bleeding, and hope to God that we find it before he bleeds out.

Such events are enough to make even seasoned paramedics or EMT's want to give up Emergency Medicine altogether; but what they often forget is the joy and elation that we feel when we see a child who opens her eyes after we got her heart beat back, or a baby who comes out screaming at the top of his little leathery lungs while his mama forcefully pushes him out in childbirth, or the face of a grizzled elderly man who understands when we tell him to move his hands or feet as we check for spinal injuries. We also see people who are "damaged" somehow come out of yet another crisis, and relieved family members who thank us for saving their loved one's life, and we also see the face of fellow firefighters or paramedics break out into smiles as we rescue their brother or sister who got themselves into an emergency situation themselves. Such instances make being a paramedic or EMT all the more worthwhile, and it is during these happier times when we thank God for His Mercy and Grace upon our careers and thank Him for letting a patient live another day, and for protecting us from harm or danger.

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Reviewed by Tracey L. O' Very 8/1/2005
Oh Karen and Pat, This one brings chills and tears and a big lump in my throat as well as an awful gut feeling as the things they see everyday that I can't handle and would only lose my lunch and pass out. They truly are amazing Heroes! You never think about all the things that they deal with and the situations they come across blindly when they are being in route and then have to keep their composure as they are dealing with all things. I love the way this has all the emotions they must deal with and the best being that not all are fatal so there is the reward for them knowing that life is life and they should Never feel doubtful of themselves . This is wonderful and I truly hope this is sent this to a newspaper/ap and will put this on gooogle too so all the Heroes will know how much we Treasure them and Appreciate them and Admire them and mostly are Thankful they are there and the people that they are. Thank you so much for this Wonderful Respectful Story/Tribute of Courage Strength and Bravery that they possess to help all. Thank you Pat for taking time to write this and Thank You mostly for being You ~~ A Hero! xoox42

True Heroes!xo (c :)

Love, Tracey 42xoox
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 7/27/2005
we thank God for His Mercy and Grace upon our careers and thank Him for letting a patient live another day, and for protecting us from harm or danger.

And we should all thank the extremely compassionate and heroic EMTs far more often, as you so marvelously do, Karen.
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 7/27/2005
Excellent write Karen, and I know first hand, having been a Paramedic for 15 years. Keep up the great writing!

Peace and love, Carole
Reviewed by Sandie Angel 7/27/2005
Very often we forgot to thank our heroes and think that was only a job they were doing, but in reality, these heroes have saved so many lives. You are so wonderful to have written this wonderful tribute to thank our heroes in uniform.

Thank you Karen!

Sandie May Angel a.k.a. Sandie Angel :o)
Reviewed by Abdi-Noor Mohamed (Eagle Of Hope) 7/26/2005
A heart-rendering story. You are helping people who may sometimes refuse to get your services. There is pain there is joy in this kind of work but God will reward you for your kind support to people in need of medical attention. your brother abdinoor
Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper 7/26/2005
hey and hello Karen, great story for those who serve to help and save us during times of disaster
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 7/26/2005

An excellent write of what Paramedic/EMT's go through; BRAVA!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla. :)

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