I’m back

So I made my very first blog post ever close to two years ago and never touched my account after that.  I now have totally different reasons for my second blogging attempt, but first a little bit about me and my family.

I am a 39 year old married mother of two teens who happens to be a Paramedic.  I have been in EMS for 14 years now, 10 of those as a paramedic.  I work as a full time paramedic working 24 hour shifts and also volunteer in my small hometown as a first responder and act as the service director there.  My hubby works nights at a factory.  We have been together for 19 years, married for 14 years on Halloween!  Our daughter is 17 and is now a Senior in high school.  Our son is 16 and a Junior in high school.  We have 2 doggos and a kitty cat that we thought we would never see again when he went on a 2 month hiatus from us.  Annabelle is a 7 year old English Lab with separation anxiety, Ginger is a 15 year old Pomeranian who is blind, and Thunder is a 7 ish long haired kitty with a high pitched meow.

Back to the “why” of the second attempt.  You see, I am a paramedic, I love what I do and I love helping people (and I am damn good at it too).  Like most other EMS providers I was good at burying all of the “garbage” that we see regularly.  I had dealt with the calls that I had been on, buried the garbage and moved on.  That is what is expected of us in EMS, fire, police and dispatch.  About 2 months ago my small hometown community (~800 people) had 5 very bad car accidents all within about a month.  A large interstate runs through our call area, and has the potential to generate some bad calls for us; which it did.  Not all 5 of them were interstate calls, but 4/5 were.  Now, I am not going to get into all of the details.  I am not going to get into some of the details, that is not what this is about.

That’s when it started.  The garbage that I had buried wasn’t garbage at all, they were seeds.  Seeds that needed the right mix to grow.  Those 5 calls (and a couple from my full time gig) were the right mix for those seeds to grow.  I started seeing their faces in my dreams, a mother’s screams for me to save her baby (I couldn’t when it happened and still can’t), I started re-living some of the bad calls from my past that I had buried.  I started crying non-stop.  I lost all will to do things that I once found fun.  I got mad at the drop of a hat.  I dreaded going to work, I dreaded the sound of my pager going off.  On my days off I sat in the recliner in the dark willing the demons to go away.  I didn’t really cook anymore and when I did it was quick thrown together food to feed my family.  There wasn’t love in it anymore.  I stopped reading the books I love; like for a year I stopped reading.  I am just now realizing that those seeds started growing about a year ago and finally broke surface two months ago.

The stigma of mental health in this country is absolute bullshit.   The stigma of mental health in first responders is even worse.  Did you know that line of duty deaths are decreasing in first responders while suicides are increasing?  We need to be taking care of our first responders.  We have a 911 system in the USA.  You can call 911 24/7 and help comes; police, fire and EMS.  Who is going to help them?  We have been trained that showing emotion in showing weakness, this needs to stop.  People need to stop abusing the 911 system – but that is a rant for another day.

I am going to blog my way through PTSD, how I am coping, the good days and the bad days.  Hopefully I will get back to the things I love to do and blog about those as well.  But, in the mean time, here it is, all raw and open like a nasty wound that just wants to get back to normal.  I am seeing someone to help me with this, I know now that I cannot do this alone.  For today this is all, I am going to try to post once a week.  Maybe more if I can or need to.

My very first (and probably not exactly good) blog post

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So, here it is in all of its off-topic glory, my very first blog post, I will get to the point (and recipe) before the end. I will get better at this, hopefully markedly and soon.  Today I had a plan for after the kids got home from school and after the hubby got home from work.  Actually, I’m going to be completely real here.  I had a plan for the ENTIRE day last night when I went to bed…

So, here’s how it was supposed to go:  Get up at 7 am (early for me as I work an unconventional shift) take my son to his doctor’s appointment at 8 am and then to school afterward.  Go home, brew a nice cup of tea, wash dishes, clean my house, take some sort of meat out for supper, run an errand for my  dear momma and still have time to catch up on “my shows” before the kids and hubby are home for the evening.  We were going to go for a walk at the county park, grill burgers when we got home, do homework and then end the evening with the most recent episode of The Walking Dead.

This is how it ACTUALLY went as I am a HUGE procrastinator(damn, I actually said the P word!):

I got up at 7:35 am when my son woke me saying “Mom, don’t we need to be leaving already?!” Damn, already late…whirlwind of dressing activity and teeth brushing and hair up putting and we are out the door at 7:42 am…not too shabby!  We go to his doctor appointment and he gets to school without any issues.

I stop at the gas station and grab my favorite soda, thinking that I should go work out…I instead go home and turn on Hulu.  Now I am in full-on procrastination mode…wonderful.  Yes, I self-loathe when this happens and think ‘I really should get up and do this or that’, I just somehow don’t or can’t or won’t, I’m not really sure. Later on after an episode of Law & Order SVU and an episode of Hell’s Kitchen somehow it is now noon.

Hubby is texting me about supper and work, mom calls me to remind me of the errand she needs me to run that she completely forgot about, and the neighbor comes over to give me my husband’s package that came to their house by mistake, somehow it is now 1 and I need to go to moms house to pick up her cats.  I am taking both of them to the vet for check-ups and rabies vaccinations.  While I am in the vet’s office, my aunt calls me asking what I am doing, forgetting that I am at the vet’s office for my mother.  Aunt B needs me to help her clean out sheep sheds in preparation for lambing.

I get the cats done and taken home to moms house and run out to Aunt B’s place.  She actually got the shed cleaned out, but now needs help getting out of the pen on the 4 wheeler because her flock of sheep is trying to follow her out the gate.  By the time we are done (and shoot the shit for a bit) it is 3:35 and the fam will be home very shortly.  I run home and take the dog out to do her business and hubby gets home from work, then here come the kids.  We chat about school a bit (usually that is us asking “How was school today” and the kids say “good” or “boring” or some other one word response that makes me dig further and further to continue to get one word responses until I can piece it together or give up entirely…gotta love living with teens) and then I remember:  Oh shit, I forgot to take out some sort of meat for supper…again.

So, tonight we are having Goulash.  It can easily be made with meat that is still frozen and still won’t take more than 30 minutes to make.  I brown my hamburger in a covered pot with a bit of water and seasonings (minced onion, salt, pepper, garlic and worcestershire sauce) in the bottom.  I canned a bunch of tomato juice with Aunt B last summer, so I use some of that, some store-bought tomato paste, my browned hamburger, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Add some large shell pasta and there’s supper!  I can’t tell you how much of anything I use for this recipe as it is ALL to taste.  Each time I make it, it tastes a little different, but tonight I made a good batch!

We didn’t go on our walk, my son had another migraine.  We did chat and enjoy each other’s company.  We ate our goulash and watched The Walking Dead…together as a family.  My house can always be cleaned another day.

Now, what to make for supper tomorrow…