|Ambulance (Photo credit: gwire)|
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Last Friday wasn’t the worst day of my life, but it ranked up there....
I technically lost my job (although I have one lined up with a much nicer boss next year). My current boss could barely speak to me and I refused to be present when he did the awkward "goodbye and thanks" crap at the staff lunch and went on duty early (any kids who come on the last day are supervised all together and we rotate duties throughout the day).
So I go on duty 5 minutes early and am met with a preppie who has probably sprained her ankle (got leaving teacher to carry her to first aid room).
Then I got called over by another child to the other teacher on duty who has a child on the ground under the swings. It is obvious he has 2 broken wrists. A lot of other crap happened that I can’t write about. .....
.....But the short story is that I was the one who stayed to look after this kid and his broken, deformed arms until the ambulance arrived.
I was the one who kept the child calm and alert and still while we waited the million years for the ambulance to arrive.
I was the one making sure that those wrists with bends where there shouldn’t be were kept still.
I was the one doing all of this despite my existing, documented PTSD and nightmares about what the phrase “multiple injuries” means on a coroner’s report, and what a policewoman means when she says “he definitely died instantly. There was no doubt about that”...... and thinking about all of that while staying positive and calm for this child who was in agony.
So by now, I am wondering how it was that the One Person on staff with major issues associated with trauma was the only one who could sit alongside the agony, stare it in the face, remain calm and provide as much reassurance and comfort as required. I talked to that boy and rubbed his back until the ambos (paramedics) took over. Everybody else (aside from the ambos) busied themselves with the mechanics of “emergency action” – phoning the ambulance, alerting the parents, keeping other students away, opening the gate for the ambulance etc., because that raw pain was too much for them to look at for more than a few minutes at a time.
I have no idea how I managed to remain calm and *present* for this student for over 45 minutes, but I am glad I was able to. I was glad to be there for this child, just like I hope that someone was there for Greg.
I was glad that despite my own issues, I was a ‘helper’ that day.
....and I am proud of that.