Friday, June 29, 2012


    If you were to ask me I think I would say in most circumstances I am more of a tom-boy than a girlie-girl. I am not high-maintenance and I don't wear a lot of make-up, in fact it wasn't until my mid-20s that I began wearing make-up on a more regular basis but yet even now there are days I am out-n-about without any on at all. If I had the choice I would rather be building something, or doing automotive/household repairs more than I would be caught walking the mall and shopping. 

Most days I dress to be comfortable, probably shorts and a tee-shirt (usually Disney related) but don't get me wrong I can be totally comfortable in a skirt or dress as well and it wouldn't be unusual for me to wear them on days other than Sunday. I don't typically burn candles or have pretty flowers around for decoration. I am super comfortable camping/fishing/hiking and am not worried about "breaking a nail" (which since I bite mine that typically wouldn't happen anyway) I have only gotten a pedicure like 3 times in my life and a manicure once (for prom and by the next day the nails were already off! wasn't too happy about that...) I love going to the races and the rodeo. I want to be out in nature not an air conditioned ________ (fill in a girlie location here, salon??)  

But when it comes to emotions, I am all girl! I probably cry more than most! I don't really get it. 
I cry in movies, when saying goodbye, and even sometimes just reading a news article that is touching. Sometimes I can hide my emotions but mostly I cry. I get emotional at museums and when studying history. During particular songs, even if I have heard them a million times. There are certain movies that always make me cry too, I don't even necessarily have to watch the entire movie, but if I come in at that one moment, like on LaBamba when his mom runs to his brother and cries "Ricky, my Ricky" (or something like that), or on Savannah Smiles at the end when they're saying goodbye and being driven away in the patrol car. I am tearing now just thinking of it.  I am a big sap! I cry reading books! (which makes it difficult to continue reading you know) 

When I had my 2nd knee surgery for my ACL reconstruction I received a cadavar graft. (yup the tendon of a dead person in my knee) and sometime after I went to donate blood. During the questions there was one about receiving skin grafts etc. Not being sure I skipped the question so I could check if my graft was considered for that answer. I learned that having received the graft I was going to be deferred for 12 months from donating. I went to my car and cried before driving away! Well after that 12 month time frame from my surgery date I went back to donating blood "regularly" again. Or about as regularly as I could (every 8 weeks you're eligible, but work/illness sometime gets in the way) Well lately it seems as if everytime I go in to donate I have had to be deferred again. Not because of cadavar body parts but because of low iron. It's really frustrating. I am not anemic and my numbers are usually good for a female, but not quite good enough for donating. (they want you above the normal for health/safety reasons). Today I went again and although I was within the normal female range I was just under the number yet again. I even let them re-test to see if I'd get a better result (has happened in the past) but nope... No such luck. So today again I cried in my car before driving away. 

I kinda laughed at myself for crying though. I think for most people they would be happy that they didn't have to be poked with a needle. It's not that I was sad I couldn't get another needle poke though, I was upset because yet again I wasn't able to provide a much needed service opportunity! They call me regularly because I am a "universal donor" I have O-Neg blood type. It is the ONLY blood that can be given to ANY blood type. But at the same time I can ONLY receive O-neg blood! Unfortunately though O-neg is one of the more rare blood types and since it is so important they need more of it! Did you know that O-neg is the blood they will give to newborn babies and trauma victims initially. Usually they don't have time to wait for results to see what blood type a person is when they initially need the blood. After making my appointment to donate today I still received probably 4-5 calls to schedule an appt! (I guess they weren't checking the system properly to see I was already scheduled)  

I don't know where my balance is with being a tom-boy but emotional, but I guess it works out somehow. I am super tough and have a lot more physical strength than most girls and if it came down to it I think I would defend myself against an attack. But I'd cry afterwards. In fact that is kind of what happened one day in my EMT days. I was working a shift one day and we picked up a patient at Hillmont Psychiatric hospital in Ventura. We had just gotten some new straps we were supposed to use on 51-50 (72 hours psychiatric hold) patients. We were picking up this patient I will call "Rita" (in fact I can't even remember her real name to protect it)  and bringing her to Simi Hospital where she was going to be given medical clearance and later transported to a Simi pschyiatric in-patient center. When we got to Hillmont the staff member told me "oh you may actually need those on this one" and I questioned him about it. He said "no you'll be fine I was kidding". Well Rita was on a 51-50 hold for schizophrenia & paranoia. She was delusional and thought people were coming to hurt her and her family. I don't remember what else. They thought she could be a danger to herself and others so she needed to be watched. We got Rita onto the gurney, seatbelted and strapped in (with the other "fancy" straps which were basically velcro straps we put one around her legs and one around her stomach strapped behind the head of the gurney. I don't think we did a third one on her thighs...) We got her loaded and my partner Ryan was driving. (with a female patient they typically want a female attendant in the back so there is less risk of accusations of inappropriate behavior) We got going towards Simi Valley. Rita was hispanic but she spoke a little english. Once we got her loaded in the ambulance, I kinda got an odd feeling and whispered to Ryan to keep an eye on the rear-view mirror because I just didn't feel right about it. During the beginning of the drive Rita told me my eyes looked pretty (the one day I happened to wear make-up in those days, I had even put some glitter over my eye-shadow... go figure) I told her thank you and continued with my paperwork etc. Then she started bouncing her legs on the gurney, she told me that she needed to use the bathroom. I advised her that we were not allowed to stop and take her out of the ambulance until we reached her destination but that I had a bed-pan if she really needed to go. She said she would wait. As we continued the drive she continued to bounce her legs as if needing to pee. She denied the bed-pan though when asked. A few times I would look up and she would be staring at me, then she would smile and look away. I wasn't sure what she was thinking though. Eventually we got to Simi and exited the freeway. As we were turning into the ambulance bay at Simi Hospital she asked me to come closer to her. She said she needed to tell me something. Ryan asked if everything was ok and I said yes she just had somthing to say. I moved on the bench seat in the ambulance closer to where she was sitting (I had been down by her feet during the majority of the drive by the rear door so I could see her) She kept asking me to come closer and I told her no that I wasn't going to let her whisper to me but that if she had something to say to say it. She said "can you kiss me?" I said "NO" and that is when she grabbed my shirt (we hadn't restrained her arms like we technically could have all along) I hollered for Ryan (who I thought was still in the driver seat) and I stood up and grabbed her arms. As it turned out Ryan had just gotten out and barely heard me scream then when I stood the ambulance moved and so he ran to the back door... it was locked so he ran around, through the passenger door and came thru the passageway from the front of the rig to the back. It turned out another Gold Coast Ambulance crew was there as well so Nicole jumped in the rig too from the side door. I had already managed to get Rita's arms down so they came in and took her arms. I grabbed the restraints and we tied her down. One arm at her side and the other above her head. We took Rita inside the ER, now completely restrained. We advised the staff she was on a 51-50 hold and there for medical clearance. --- Note: for me this all happened so fast, like I stated i thought Ryan was still in the front seat, but as soon as I said his name I swear I heard him attempt the back door and next thing I knew he was coming thru the front again. I didn't even have time to think about opening the door for him! Later both Ryan and Nicole said that when they got into the rig that Rita's face was red and she looked so angry like she could've easaily hurt me had she not been restrained or I had gotten closer to her/close enough. Which was a complete change from the Rita that was "smiling" at me throughout the drive. I never noticed her looking angry. 

So now we were in the ER with Rita and standing off to the side of the Nurses station waiting for a bed assignment. The Dr walked by and asked what we had. I told him it was a 51-50 for clearance. He asked why she was restrained and I don't remember answering him. Then he asked me if I was ok? I told him yes and he said "are you sure? you look a little flushed" and then a few tears started running down my cheeks. He told one of the nurses to take me into the break room and get me a drink. So we went in there, Ryan and Nicole were with Rita still. Inside the break room I told the nurse what had happened, I had a little soda and regained my compsure. I was only in there a couple minutes and came back into the er. As I came back in they were getting ready to transfer Rita to a bed so I assisted in the transfer. They told me I didn't have to, but I did anyway, afterall it was part of my job! When we cleared the call, our supervisor Ken called us back to the office. I am not sure if it was Ryan, Nicole or both but he was already told what had happened and wanted to talk to us (me particularly) and make sure I was ok. We came back and I talked to him. Told him I was ok and he had me write a statement (I think Ryan and Nicole had to write statements too) for my file. -- oh and I forgot to mention, this all happened just a short time after I had started. So then I was known as the new girl who got "attacked" in the rig. I was asked a lot why I didn't hit her. To tell you the truth it never even occured to me. Once I stood up and grabbed her arms she couldn't do anything! Considering the circumstances I wouldn't have been in trouble if I had (self defense, plus with her being on a hold I could legally restrain her) but there was no need. I feel confident in that, and I feel given the same situation I would do the same thing. 

So I think in that circumstance it was totally legitimate for me to cry (after the initial incident) but I still don't know why I cry when I cannot donate blood. I guess that is part of who I am. I am the emotional tom-boy! You know how they say "if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen" ... I guess if you can't handle my emotions don't take me to a sad movie.... 

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That is pretty wild! I'm glad you were safe.