My trip to becoming a paramedic has been a bit of a wild ride.
I’ve posted a few times here, I suppose it only makes sense to tell you a little about myself before we get too far in to this relationship…
Seems reasonable to start at the beginning and go on until the end, doesn’t it??
I was born in a little town East of the metro area several (well, many) moons ago. My father was a lawyer, my mother a second grade teacher. They were often supportive of my hair-brained schemes. I lived a life somewhat typical of a small town Midwesterner (this is an exaggeration, I probably have not lived a standard life– I’ll leave that up to someone else to decide). Believe me, there are loads of stories that come from that, but we’ll save those for another time. Regardless, early on, I discovered that I had an affinity and an interest in medicine.
I grew up with a very sick mother. Really, really sick. And sick in incredibly weird ways. This fostered an early affinity for medicine and a comfort with illness and medical community at a very early age.
My interest continued passively until I was living in Tanzania. Normal stuff happened. Malaria. Giardia. Then, through a pretty terrible accident my roommate lost his hand. We were spending our last day in the field at a place called Simba Kopje. Truly an accident, he slipped while climbing when a rock shifted. The rock fell, bounced off his head and landed on his wrist. Nearly completely severing his hand. I recall being very impressed by the man that would later be my other roommate at how cool he was under pressure and how much he knew about what to do.
I don’t like not knowing what to do.
So, I started a Wilderness First Aid course through SOLO. I learned a lot, but it only whet my appetite. I continued having more adventures. I found my way to the jungles of Belize. I graduated with a degree in biology from Grinnell College. Continuing my travels ultimately led me to McMurdo Station in Antarctica. I became a member of the Joint Antarctic Search and Rescue Team. I took a Wilderness First Responder Course from Wilderness Medical Associates and continued traveling the world having all sorts of misadventures… My interest in medicine, particularly in austere conditions, grew and grew. I took my EMT-Basic course from the University of Iowa and was completely hooked.
I returned to Antarctica twice more, traveling in between and being confronted with the continued illness and deaths of family and friends. Moving back to Iowa, I went to work for a private ambulance company as an EMT. Frustrated by how little I was actually allowed to do, I found my way in to paramedic school. In case you’re wondering, 2 jobs and paramedic school is a little much. 4 jobs at once, also a little much. After I finished paramedic school I worked part time for a few different services around the metro area. Mostly at the same time. There’s a lot to learn once you get out of paramedic school, so I still spend most of my free time trying to absorb as much as I can…
– To be continued –