03 July 2006

It's been a while...

...since I could stand on my own two feet again (surely some of you recognize Staind).

This isn't literally or probably even figuratively true, just the overwhelming emotion of late, and my grand excuse for not blogging besides just feeling like I didn't have much to write. Even before the news that has kinda knocked me flat. The news is the recent death of my paternal grandmother. I think this has been a lot harder for me than before I started working as an EMT. I now take people to hospice care or home for palliative care and seeing the grief that wracks their families has taken a toll. It seems to be the opposite problem most people in this field have because it isn't that their grief and pain doesn't touch me, it puts me in mind of all the losses both real and future in my life. Even seeing the people that the nursing staff comment on how quickly they'll be coming back to the hospital is hard because I see the diminshed quality of life and the frustration of sometimes entirely coherent people trying to overcome the limitations of their bodies.

I leave these calls feeling wrung out and sometimes wishing I was more of a touchy-feely-type person so I wouldn't feel so awkward about just walking up and putting my arms around someone who clearly needs it. I've definitely made progress because it is now much easier to at least deliver the "compassionate touch" - the hand on the arm of someone who's upset, holding the hand of a patient who is clearly worried and afraid, and so on, but I feel like I have a ways to go.

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