One of the hardest things I had to do a couple of years ago was finally realizing that I was just physically unable to continue working as a Paramedic. Transitioning away from a job like this is very difficult for some, because its what our life was about.
In October of 1998, I had a 4000 pound passenger van fall on me during a rescue. Nearly snapped my neck, and ended up on the Trauma floor for about a week, had numbness and tingling, loss of sensation, and lots of pain. Four different doctors told me that I would never be able to work let alone function normally again, and that I should go on Disability. I was 29. I had so much I still wanted to do and so many more people I wanted to help.
I found a pain management specialist and a Physical Therapist who would take on my case. I went through almost a year of the worst pain I have ever felt, even pain I endured in the Military. It took me almost 6 months to just get my confidence back enough to try to lift and lower a cot at therapy. After about a year, I fought to have just enough mobility to return to work, but at what price?
I returned to active duty, with constant pain still. About a 6-7 daily. Part of me just couldn’t imagine giving it all up, so I didn’t, and worked another 12 years past that injury. A couple of years ago, was my final day. In the last five years of my career, I had transitioned to Occupational Medicine, which I think allowed me to work as long as I did. One day, I collapsed, and was taken to the hospital. The pain by that point in my life became a 8-9 sometimes a 10 daily. I ended up with a bacterial and viral infection at the same time, Docs said I was pushing to much, as I was working 60-80 hour work weeks constantly. So I decided to hang up my boots, and put an end to something that has been a part of me for so long.
I started to transition by doing what my second love was, writing. So I have owned my own website for over 15 years, but up till last year, never gave it the time it deserved. That has changed, and now A Medic’s World is a full functioning and working site. Just need people to come visit, and make it what it should become, and that is successful. I need people to subscribe to my newsletter, to interact on social media, to comment on posts and reviews that I do. I want a community of people that enjoy who I am, and what I have to share. That is how I transitioned Don’t get me wrong, every time I see a Cleveland EMS squad, or pass an ER. I think, boy I still wish I could do that.
You can visit my website here—> A Medic’s World
I filed for disability last year, now mind you, I am a veteran of the U.S. Army, a Paramedic who has worked the span of 22 years, turned down disability when I was 29, to try and do the right thing, and now that I need it the most, after over a decade of continued pain, after the accident I was denied. I have tried to be the model individual all my life, and try to always do the right thing, but people who abuse the system can get approved, but someone like me who really needs it can’t. I just don’t understand. If you know of a way that you can help make an impact to get this resolved. I would be so ever thankful.
What to take away from this? No matter what hits you in life (in this case a 4000 pound van) never let life dictate your choices, make your own. If you have to transition like I do, do something you always loved, maybe its making birdhouses to sell, or creating art, or writing like I am. Just find something, don’t become void of the world, be an active part of it.
A Medic’s World