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Some stuff Helium asked for, about being a medic, reationships and stuff
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2001
    In CLE again

    Some stuff Helium asked for, about being a medic, reationships and stuff

    HeliumAvid asked me to pop some of this up after I mentioned them to him a while ago..

    I'll do them as separate posts and TRY to get the formatting right.....


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
    In CLE again

    You look at my life and shake your head
    You look at my schedule and gasp
    You who work 9 to 5 in an office
    Can't understand
    A twenty four hour shift here
    A Midnight there
    A 3 to 11 somewhere else.
    In the rain, snow, dark, or the baking sun.

    You look at what I do and say, " I could never do that!"
    "How do you handle the Blood?"
    "How do you handle the Risks?"
    "How do you handle the Dying?"

    Come dance with me....out on the edge

    You think you know an adrenaline rush.
    Try running "hot" to a heart attack or auto accident
    You handle corporate mergers and think you know responsibility
    Try scooping up a 4 year old up into your arms.....
    and hearing her stop breathing...
    or a 4 month old.....
    or an 84 year old.....

    Come dance with me....out on the edge

    You are a bargainer, bargaining with other people and companies
    And count your bottom line in thousands of dollars per hour.
    I'm a bargainer, I bargain with God
    And count my bottom line in one life per hour
    You are a mover and a shaker
    Moving money and building buildings.
    I pick up the soft bits when the moving stops suddenly ....
    ...or the shaking is real.

    Come dance with me....out on the edge.

    For you it will be an adventure, a visit to a strange land,
    A once in a lifetime thrill ride.
    For me, it's all I know.
    It's the only place I know to dance
    Like the Shakers, I dance for the glory of God,

    For, I am truly blind and only know my place by the sound from over the precipice

    Come dance with me....out on the edge.

    c C. Rienzo 1997

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    In CLE again
    This one, entitled MAELSTROM is about relationships. RELIC and I had just at this point had her closest friend stolen away by a highly manipulative and extremely controlling man who ended up marrying her. And succeeded in estranging her from all of her family, church, music and friends.


    Friendships are cables that bind

    and ladders to climb.

    Take care to see

    that they are anchored

    outside the maelstrom.

    How like an Escher print these things are! Friendships are, definitionally, one-to-one, each one climbing "up" the ladder toward the other. One cannot have "friendship" with a group since he/she does not relate to the "group", but to individuals in the group. How strange to see two people vow to meet in the center of their respective ladder and watch only one climb! To see only one accommodate. To see the other ask for more and more changes.

    As a friend, one rejoices as he/she sees another friend spin out the first tendril of floss of a special friendship. As we watch that first floss spin into a cable and into a special ladder which promises a lifelong climb and a lifelong meeting in the middle. As a friend, your heart turns as you see one of the partners stop climbing. Have they tired of the climb? Is it perhaps more work than they had thought or farther than they had thought to get to the calm center?

    Or, were they, perhaps, less than honest about their need to escape the maelstrom? Did they wish to escape, or , did they only wish to share their maelstrom? To have someone to cling to as they are tossed about. And how does a person respond, as a friend, with a different kind of cable and ladder, when one sees this? The twin, almost parental urges toward expressing the brutal, crystalline, almost adamantine reality of our perceptions and toward an almost blind, soft, comforting expressions of love and caring can start to unravel the cable.

    Too much of one and the cable can be cut, too much of the other and the cable is softened and becomes unpredictably stretchy. And all the while each has his or her own cables and ladders to attend to and climb, and his or her own maelstrom to contend with. For, almost definitionally, each person has many of these cables and ladders to tend to, and to climb. Each one is a bit different, perhaps the cable is thicker or thinner. The ladder has more or fewer rungs, is wider or narrower, twisting in the wind of the maelstroms it crosses or iron solid.

    c C. Rienzo 1996

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2001
    In CLE again
    And the answer to the question of why one becomes either a Paramedic or a Firefighter....

    I did this one one day when someone asked a question on the Board about something or other and the only valid answer to ME was "If you hadda ask the question you could never understand the answer." Oh sure the person who was asked was polite enough about it but still, there are a LOT of questions out there that get asked and the answer is some version of the above.


    "Why are you a Paramedic?"
    "Why are you a Firefighter?"

    The usual answers don't stray too far from "to help people". If you happen to know the person giving the answer well, and look closely, you see that this is a rote answer. An answer carefully practiced in front of friends and family, or a mirror. Certainly the drive to help other people has something to do with the initial choice to become one or the other. This motive hasn't got the staying power for the couple of years it takes to become one of the anointed. It hasn't got the "legs" to carry one through the grueling training in fire science and the physically impossible tasks we ask of our fire trainees. Or through the long nights and even longer days of Paramedic training, where sleep deprivation becomes an old familiar friend, where your "real job" becomes something you simply have to endure so you can get to class or clinical time.

    If you talk to a veteran of Viet Nam or Desert Storm and ask about some particular feature of their experience, and this experience is combat related, the REALLY polite ones will try to give you an explanation, but ultimately will fail and know this. The much less polite ones will simply change the subject. The ones who care about your opinion will, in a kind of strained, pained tone; or a tone of bravado (usually false) look at you and say something which carries the message "If you have to ask the question, you couldn't possibly understand the answer."

    There is nothing demeaning in that answer. Quite simply, if you haven't felt the frisson that accompanies the first sight of a rolled over car that you are going to have to remove a person from; or the flat out body shakes that happen as the bell on your Scott Pack STOPS ringing with you inside a full Haz-mat suit or on an interior attack when you've lost your hose; you could not possibly understand an explanation of why someone does these things.

    There is no way a verbal explanation is going to convey the sense of urgency that propels a Paramedic across the hood of a car and through the broken windshield to secure a driver's C-spine as the rest of the rescuers are frantically (and none too gently) trying to remove the doors of the car to remove the driver. The 36 stitches the Medic earns from the glass because she didn't have her turn-out coat on at the time are simply the subject of station house jokes and next week's training talk. Pain from the lacerations? Trust me, she didn't feel any of them until the victim was fully collared and boarded. You KNOW that you would have felt the 6 lacerations as they happened, don't you?

    If you have to ask the question, you couldn't possibly understand the answer.

    How do you possibly deal with the things you see on a scene? Ask a SEAL how he survives and completes a mission with several injuries, each normally incapacitating. You get the same answer "We click on at the start." The flashing lights, the roars, screams, shouts, the splashes of blood that are the graffiti of an auto accident, the spectacle of flames jumping 150 feet in the air and the launch of paint cans in the night; are all set and setting that we never even see or hear as we focus on what our job is. Whether that be "Knocking it down!" "Getting wet stuff on the red stuff!" "Board and collar, now!" "Clear! Clear! Clear! Shock! Do we have a pulse to go with those complexes?", or standing back and dealing out hose companies, squads and engines to the correct sector or segment of the fire scene or accident scene. "We click on."

    Please don't ask why we do what we do and expect something more than "To help people". Some of us will share poetry with you, something about "dancing out on the edge" or "going toe to toe with God".

    Or, even worse, we'll talk about our addiction to adrenalin, or the jazz, or. . . . or the indescribable kick when the lights and siren come on and you know you're going to have to "work" on this one.

    But the most honest answer we can give is . . . . .

    "If you have to ask the question, I couldn't possibly give you an answer that you could understand."

    c C. Rienzo 1999

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2001
    In CLE again
    THis one was pure fun. I worked for a summer at an "outlet" for a camping store in town here which was sited with a boat rental and bait shop at one of the small reservoirs in the area.....

    Rental Boat Boy

    Ball cap reversed on his head
    Sunglasses at half mast as
    the bikini clad girl walks by;
    he reaches for the next boat,
    pulling the hose out to reach.
    Sleeveless tee shirt, open to his waist,
    long shorts to his knees and sandals on his feet
    he battles the sun and the idiot children
    to keep his rental boats clean.

    Beach Blondes walk by
    with nearly everything on display,
    a tattoo disappears up a shorts clad thigh.
    Fishermen , rods in their twisted holders,
    their standing lines out,
    guaranteed to be in the way,
    with no respect for a man with a job to do.

    A boy turning into a man,
    wisps of beard grown with intense pride,
    last pads of boy-fat
    turning into man-muscle by the day;
    he stands, squinting into the setting sun,
    looking for his last three boats.
    The rest of his boats are washed and stacked,
    the perfect end to a perfect day,
    missed by three inconsiderate customers.

    He is the Rental Boat Boy.

    c C. Rienzo 1996

  6. #6
    "If you have to ask the question, I couldn't possibly give you an answer that you could understand."

  7. #7
    For years I taught the US Army Combat medics initial EMT course (I teach the Instructors now) One of the things I always tried to impart was
    "Remember you are showing up on what could be the worst day of somebodies life. They are sick, ill, broken, or dying. For us, it's Tuesday"


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