Sunday, November 17, 2013

Funny how after waiting for years for one of my dream jobs to show up, I land the promotion only to start start spending half of my time at a desk and half of my time on the road only to find that I can't work on the road.

I've been a paramedic for over ten years now. I've worked rural/backcountry, suburban, urban, 911 & interfacility and all along I've said that I want this job because I want to be at the forefront of change in EMS. I've also half joked that one of the reasons I want this job is because I know the my back won't hold out forever and that hefting a 200 pound patient down a flight of stairs is not what I want to do every day until my retirement. Call it irony, call it karma, call it just shit luck, but my first week on the job as desk medic and I end up with debilitating back pain.

I've had back issues for years, since before I really got into EMS. I've had severe pain that left me alternating between curling up in the fetal position to being stretched out on the floor begging for the pain and spasm to subside. I've been poked, prodded, medicated, adjusted, massaged and medicated again and I've pretty much always managed to adapt and work through the pain.

This time I can't do it. I have pain in my back and now in my legs, and while this time around it isn't as severe as it has been in the past, this injury is the most debilitating one I've ever had. I can barely move. Getting out of bed in the morning is a good 5-10 minute process. If I've been upright standing & walking then getting into a chair is misery. If I've been sitting in a chair, then getting up to move around is almost impossible unless I have something to hold on to while I push and pull myself up from a seated position. At home, I haven't been able to do laundry because I can't get down to put it in the washing machine. I can't unload the bottom rack of the dishwasher. I can only load the dishwasher by getting on my knees and moving dishes from the counter to the rack. This sucks, all I can say is, thank God I work for an ambulance service that has a full time health & wellness coordinator because I know at some of my previous employers I likely would have been pushed to get back onto a truck.

I've blogged before and built up a small following of readers, but I stopped blogging and haven't posted anything to that blog in months, if not over a year. I've always found writing to be relaxing and also a good way to clear my head of all the thoughts running around in there, and so here I am again, blogging about my adventures as a desk medic. Let's see how it goes this time around.

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