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All the er stories, never forgotten.

So.........

I consider myself at an advantage because I recognize I have a problem. I recognize that PTSD has damaged me. I am about to face a board of members that evaluate the seriousness of issues, I’m tired of having to validate and justify my exposure to trauma because I was just a meagre security guard. In four years, I was exposed to a lot of stuff. I had the golden goose of experiences in such a short time.

Tomorrow and Saturday are big days. I normally stifle my thoughts by playing complex video games. Borderline addiction, far better than substance and alcohol abuse. I turned to video games because it does distract my mind, the games I play are complex, requiring extensive use of mathematics and excercising these noodles I call a brain. Is it healthy? I think so. Is it addicting? Absolutely!

Today has been a bad day. Because I’ve had to revisit many of my traumas in preparation for these meetings, I went suicidal. Instead of opening a video game I play, I went to alcohol. While alcohol is a depressive, it stopped my crave for suicide. All hail IPA’s! It slowed my out control thoughts. I wind up posting here. So, I feel good that I seem to have a balance of knowing how to reach out, posting here or just numbing my thoughts into a much slower pace. I don’t advocate substance abuse. Today, alcohol saved the day.

But, I am so damn tired of having to give in to the emotions that draw me dry. I’m tired of justifying my exposure to trauma, I’m mostly tired of having to revisit any of those traumas at all. It’s exhausting.
 
Sorry if this gets hard for others to read. I’m just lashing out and tossing my head and heart into the wind.

The PTSD Qualifier: A 19 year old kid committed suicide by hanging. I had to prep the ER bay for ambulance arrival, open all doors, on stand by with secondary respiratory kits, crowd control the family from entering the trauma room. Listening to the mom screaming in my ear as I held her back. Arms wrapped around her as she repeatedly beat on my shoulders hating on me for stopping her. To finally having to remove the body, his best friend didn’t want to leave his side and walked his buddy to the morgue with me. This is the first time I have ever seen this kid and this is how I meet him. In the coming weeks after his death, the family crusaded about Depression advocacy, everyone of them putting a life size photo of this kids face on the side of their cars, houses, billboards. Not a day goes by that I don’t see one of their cars or his photo somewhere. Kind of surreal to meet someone at their death through asphyxiation, and then see how their eyes should have looked as opposed to the aftermath.

The PTSD Non-Qualifier: I had a frequent flyer patient three years ago, suicidal ideation, threats, attempts, ongoing violent behaviour, had to stand guard on this patient frequently as he kept stating his desire to die over and over. He did this over a period of a year, his last frequent flyer run lasted 33 days in a row of presenting to the ER. His 33rd day, he arrived with police escort, became violent, myself and a paramedic had to assist the police officer, the patient was escorted to cruiser and he destroyed the cruiser. Myself and paramedic were called to witness in court proceeding which took a year before it got before a judge. The day of the court appearance, myself and paramedic were told not to come. Later that day, news reports appeared that this patient was missing. 6 days later, he was found dead in the woods just on the hospital perimeter (not at my hospital or my shift) from suicide. He left a note at home, his life was ruined, he was going to be sentenced that was the end of the line for him. But what makes the story even sadder, he regretted his suicide attempt, tried calling his girlfriend in a panic, tried to walk to the hospital, he bled out on the way. This incident haunts me daily.

Sadly, a couple of weeks ago, the paramedic I was supposed to testify with, committed suicide. Completely unrelated to this event. I’m sure there were many stories under his belt that lead to this decision. This adds a new layer of damage to this event as the paramedic and I had a good working relationship on many other events.

I haven’t read all of the posts on this yet but I just read this one. The first story I can kind of relate to, as my husband had hung himself. I was able to cut him down before he died, but I know what you mean by the way his eyes looked. I just want you to know that I’m forever grateful for some of the workers that helped us. The Emt, nurses, suicide watch people that say in the room with us... thank you for all that you do and have done! You may not realize it but I’m sure you have been a blessing to someone in a traumatic time in their life. The people with jobs like yours are angels on earth! Again, thank you for everything you have done!
 
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