How are you doing today? Here in Phoenix the mornings are cool but the days have been in the upper 60’s or low 70’s. I think I heard on the radio that the ground hog saw his shadow so we should have six more weeks of cold weather. I am in for that because it does really get hot here, and I am enjoying this comfortable weather right now.
It is October 1997, and I am enrolled in Paramedic school. I know this will be hard for you to understand, but I was excited and scared at the same time. After all the years of growing up and having trouble with school I knew that this was one of the biggest challenges I will ever have. I don’t remember things right away after I read them, I have trouble memorizing and I am not good with math. So I decided I needed to take a math class along with my paramedic class. I was only there a month before they showed us a piece of paper with what looked to me like squiggly lines. It was called electrocardiogram readings. I knew I was in trouble now. So with my slow mind, I had to come up with a plan to study and pass this course. I decided that I would study at the Denny’s Restaurant in town. I found that when I tried to study at home I could not concentrate. Either one of my kids needed me for something, or I would notice laundry to be done or dishes in the sink and I would end up giving in. But at the restaurant, all I could hear was the soft piped in music.There were no cell phones yet so if the kids needed me they would have to call the restaurant and that only happened once.
I don’t think I have ever been as busy as that year at school while working at the beauty shop and going to school. I had to study on other days because I learn differently than other people, and I still had a family. I think I missed a lot with my children that year. I mean we still carved pumpkins, and even I got dressed up as we went trick or treating and we had the main holidays with Thanksgiving when my mother in law and my sister in law came down for the holiday. I had a Christmas dinner for the crew at the beauty shop.That was the least I could do to show my appreciation for letting me go to school and helping me with my customers. We still made it fun decorating the Christmas tree, this year with Aarons help, and making Christmas cookies. Of course we still had our Christmas Eve tradition, which was church, than dinner at my house consisting of subway sandwiches, pickles, chips and homemade Christmas cookies and to watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. We always invited people over and this year we had Aaron’s parents over along with purple grandma and Jason, Adias’s dad. But I felt like it came and went so fast. My mind was on school. In fact I was hardly at home much during the week. Between work, school, and studying I
don’t think my kids or husband got to see me too much. I told myself this was the year of sacrifice. I would have to sacrifice my time with my loved ones so I could pass. You would probably laugh if you saw the way I would have to study. I would read the chapters, than answer the questions at the beginning and end of the chapters, than write things down that I thought were important. Next I would make out my own test, which would really be hard. This would be done over and over again, until I had my test at school, which I would pass and then start over this again for the next few chapters.
The waitresses at Denny’s were really kind to me. They actually got use to seeing me on the same days at the same times and would have my table waiting for me with a coke.
As school went on I started to put index cards around the mirror of my station so that I could study in-between customers. I had so many things to memorize and my customers gave me so much support. Than the ride along started in ambulances, not counting the hours I had to put into the Emergency Room, Cardia floor, Pediatrics, Labor & Delivery, and Operating Room just to name a few. Sometimes my customers would have to change the day I was supposed to do their hair because school was getting so demanding and sometimes they would have to let another beautician do their hair that week. This also meant that I was not home too much for Jimmy or my children. I had to keep my mind focused on what I was learning so I could pass. I felt like I was called to do this and I was not going to let anything stop me, but deep inside I was missing my family.
Jessica’s birthday came and I still managed to let her have an overnight birthday party with her friends.
Jimmy’s turned 45 yrs old and I even managed to have a surprise party for him. Jennifer now turned 19 and a month later her daughter turned two years old. Jennifer was working and doing her once a month weekend drills. When she was gone for the weekend the kids took over taking care of Adias. March flew by with Regina’s eleven birthday and warm weather so that we could have an old fashion birthday party in the back yard with all the usual games and fun. For added fun we let Regina and her friends make the pizzas they were going to eat.
This year we let Regina learn the Cello. We found that this school was letting the kids do this for free. I didn’t need to buy one, they let her borrow one. I wish I could have let my other children have this chance. She seemed to excel at this instrument and enjoy it.
Finally we were getting a break from school in April and I wanted to get away from everything and just enjoy my family that I was missing. So we took the kids to Dallas and had fun at Ripley’s Believe it
or Not Museum. I missed Jimmy also, we didn’t seem to have much time for intimacy but I knew that it would not be forever.
My days were dragged on again with work and school which seemed to be my main focus on life. I missed my family. I missed cleaning house. I missed making meals. I also enjoyed learning so many new things. I told myself I was going to make a difference.
We had practical’s that we did on each other. For instance we would pretend that someone was having a stroke or heavy bleeding or cardiac arrest. We would practice on each other with one of us being the patient and the rest of us the EMT's on scene as to what we were supposed to do. We had manikins to
practice intubation and plastic arms to practice putting in IV’s. We had a monitor simulator that would give us differant cardiac rhythms so we could be prepared as to what drug to give and if we should shock or not. This was so exciting and I loved all what I was learning; I just hated missing my family.
Well this is enough for today. I am pretty busy on my ambulance. Oh yea, in my e-book called A Struggle of the Heart I share some of the experiences I had while going to school. Remember that if you want to make a difference give your whole heart.
I am the Author
a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and still believe in the power of love &