Apologies for the silence on the blogosphere lately. I’ve been working twelve hour shift sall weekend, but thankfully now it’s three down and only five more to go – ever!
+please note. This entry contains scenarios and descriptions that some readers may find distressing. Please read with care.*
It was during this weekend at work that a colleague of mine got me thinking about fate. I took an emergency call from a lady who had very suddenly given birth on the kitchen floor. The terrifying thing being that she had absolutely no idea that she was pregnant and had a comntraceptive implant at the time which was supposed to prevent pregnancy.
The hysteria I faced when I was thrown into this call was a little hard to digest. It’s hard to understand without doing the job, but you can go from reading a book (Shopaholic to the Stars is my current reading material) into what is essentially a life or death situation. She told me the baby wouldn’t have been any more than twenty weeks gestation and was clearly already deceased. It broke my heart that she had just thought she was having a heavy period and then had found herself pushing a tiny tiny baby who would never take a breath into the world.
When I started this job, one of the training team told us that taking an emergency call was like a window into some of the most intimate times of people’s lives. You don’t know them, but you become very important to them for those few moments – no matter what the situation. This was so very true in this situation. I waited with her no more than about three minutes for the ambulance to arrive, but in those three minutes I thankfully managed to calm her from borderline hysterical, to just upset and in shock. Of course, once the paramedicsa arrived she sobbed like a baby and I almost felt like I would do the same.
After that call I took a little break, just to get my brain back together before taking more calls. A colleague of mine came up to where I was and asked if I was ok. I was just digesting it, but was sure I would be ok in a moment. I always think it’s important to take time out after something like that, as the next call can be just as horrifying, or could be something as trivial (yet infuriating) as a hoax call. This job made me very aware of my emotions and how important it is not to attempt to “just get on with it” after a traumatic call. I usually take five minutes to think it through, tell myself I did my very best for that person, and then put my big girl panties on and get back to doing what I do.
Anyhow, so then my colleague said something to me that made a hell of a lot of sense. She sat down next to me, and she said “there’s a reason you got that call.” I looked at her, puzzled, at which point she told me that she is a believer in fate. That at that moment, that patient needed my expertise and my knowledge to get her through what was quite frankly a horrific situation. Of course we have defined protocols and procedures that we work to in this job, but everyoine does add a little touch of themselves to proceedings. So, as much as I have never been in her exact position, my experiences in life meant that I was well equipped to do my absolute very best for this person and succeed in making an awful situation just that little bit easier for a few minutes.
As well as making it easier for the patient, the knowledge that that call was “meant for” me helped me to deal with it too. Although it was no more than a five minute segment in my life, it will be one of those calls that I will always remember. Because of the nature of my job, I never find out what happens to those people who allow me a short window into their lives, but I really do hope everything turned out as ok as it could be for her and her family.
It got me thinking about fate. How much of our futures are actually already mapped out for us. I’m a big believer that you create your own opportunities and a lot of the time you create your own luck as well. One of the most resonating quotes that I have heard recently was in a musical that I saw in New York. It was ”
All that has happened is happening now. All that will happen in here somehow. All of the choices that made me me. All of the accidents yet to be.”.
I can’t help but feel that it’s true. Everything that has happened to me in my life, both positive and negative, has shaped me into the person I am today. And all of the things that will happen in the future are here now as well. The choices I will make will all be because of how the past has shaped the present and will continue to influence the future.
Right now I’m pretty proud of what I have achieved and the person I am becoming. I just hope that the fates are on our side next year and we finally get the baby that we have wished for for so long.
Just a note . Some details of the emergency call have been changed to protect patient confidentiality,