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A Thanksgiving Perspective


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As we near Thanksgiving I was ruminating on the President’s speech on immigration last night. I don’t like to get too political here on my blog, but I feel compelled to share a few thoughts.

First, I have to say (and which will possibly surprise or annoy some), Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday. My feelings are based on a few reasons: it bothers me that we pick a ‘day’ to be thankful when it feels to me that so many of us don’t feel thankful much of the time (just listen to people around you); people overeat and stuff themselves on this day when so many in this country and others are starving and we continue to be so wasteful with food in this country–not to mention how unhealthy we are around food in this country; and finally the origins of this holiday seem profoundly hypocritical to me given the suffering of the Native Americans in this country today. These are my feelings, so I often spend it working, alone and/or fasting. Plus as one maitre de at a restaurant once said: Thanksgiving is a rather tragic holiday for a vegetarian. (Now I’m a vegan and gluten-free!! )

So here we are in 2014 with an immigration war raging again. It’s not the first time the politicians have fought this battle, and it’s far from over. But I thought about this war, and I thought about Thanksgiving. And I thought about those Pilgrims and the first steps they took on this land when they emigrated here. How they had hopes and dreams for a better life. How they had suffered dreadful seas and weather and lost friends,  family and left the homes they knew. They did it because they had a glimmer that maybe they could have something new, forge new fields and build a new, freer government.

They were met by strangers when they set down. Those immigrants who put their feet on this land, not their land, but the land of other caretakers who had lived here for centuries and followed the way of earth. They came in droves after and pushed the natives back. Killed the animals and brought theirs. Cut down the trees and planted their crops. Brought disease and alcohol. More immigrants came from other lands and this nation of ours grew and grew. Cities flew up. Pollution filled the skies. Cars filled the streets. The natives were placed on small tracks of lands and were told this was all they had now.

And now generations of those immigrants call themselves Americans. We, those descendants of those immigrants, call this country great. New immigrants want to come because it is a great nation with opportunity, money, jobs, education. Other immigrants, just like those first ones want to come here because they have the same hopes and dreams to make a better life for themselves and their children.  They climb fences, swim rivers, deal with police, get shot…anything to come to our wonderful country and to get away from terrorism, drug dealers, and murderers.

So on Thanksgiving, when people sit around their tables to give thanks–remember your ancestors. Remember where we all came from and why we are here and free. Think about why others might want to be also. Remember we’re not perfect either. We took when we came. Maybe we need to pay it forward now by doing right to some new immigrants because it may certainly be too late to make up for what we’ve done to the Native people who were already here.

Photos : Keeping The Faith


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Photo : The Battle


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The flea battle has been waged in earnest today.  Oh we have been fighting minor ones for weeks now, trying everything we read and hear about. I’ve spent a small fortune between the all natural remedies (which completely don’t work I’m sad to say), to the more powerful stuff. We even hand pick them off reminder of the day when my youngest got head lice from school. Gross. We have done full house evacuations and spraying, tossed out their beds and vacuumed over and over. But these creatures will inherent the earth. Unless today’s remedy takes hold. It’s bizarre and I don’t like it but drastic measures were in order. It’s a pill they take from the vet. The fleas die on them. Then a spray from the vet too. Lots of dead ones and as you can see the itchiest pup appears to be resting comfortably for the first time in weeks! Let’s keep our fingers and paws crossed! And pray we all don’t get cancer instead from the spray….

Loyalty


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I’ve been thinking about loyalty today. Somehow I keep coming up with this vision of a little spindly tree hanging on for dear life. I’m not sure why except that it seems mostly dead. Searching on the internet I found these two quotes that resonated with how I felt.

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” JR Tolkien, “The Fellowship Of The Rings”.

“A man is not an orange. You can’t eat the fruit and throw the peel away.” Arthur Miller, “Death Of A Salesman”.

It has seemed to me, especially as of late, loyalty is throw away. It isn’t a nurtured thing to be cultivated and treasured. But maybe this is something of the past, or of the older generation? Is it possible younger folks don’t realize the importance of it?

I’ve noticed with them they seem to attach easily and mistake deep friendships for superficial actions or words. True loyalty and caring appears to go unnoticed or maybe just comes to be expected from those of us that are dependable with our giving and kindness. They look to catch phrases or internet relationships and take these for real interactions, but miss planned and highly calculated efforts to help them. This I find distressing and sad.

Is this the wave of the future? Is loyalty dead? Or do we need to start trying to reinvigorate it? My hope is for the latter, but I’m not always sure how to attain it. I’ve tried to by being loyal myself, but somehow this doesn’t seem to work with some. Setting the example only seems to make me get used by the very ones I hope to teach.

But I won’t give up hope that someday these folks will see the depth of real relationships. That they are based on more than mere words and fluff. Who would come if they needed someone in the darkness or if all that was left of them was the peel. Because I know I am that kind of friend–through all of it, not just superficial moments.

I will end with this quote, and I’m not sure where it came from, but it feels appropriate:

“There’s something wrong with your character if opportunity controls your loyalty”.

Photos : Moment


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Being On My Game


A weird thing happened to me on Friday on the ambulance. I’ve been an emergency worker for almost 20 years and can say that only one other time have I been hurt by a patient.

We were called to meet the police for a patient. Anything that involves the police is usually never good and this certainly was the case for this call. The patient was face down in a driveway surrounded by way too many police officers.

On closer inspection and after hearing the story, we came to find out he had been assaulted with a baseball bat and was extremely drunk. Over the years I’ve dealt with many intoxicated patients and they are usually happy or angry. This guy was the latter. Pissed off and very aggressive.

This should have been my first clue we should have brought PD with us. My partner was quick enough to realize that I shouldn’t be in the back alone with this guy, but luckily extra people were showing up because it was change of shift. Unfortunately, the wrong person ended up in the back with me.

It’s our job, no matter what, to try to keep a situation under control and to try to remain professional and under control ourselves. Sometimes this can be extremely difficult given the harsh conditions we are expected to perform under and the unpredictable patients. This was one of the cases.

The partner I ended up with in the back that night has also been under his own stress and personally does not have a high tolerance for abusive patients. So this was a volatile situation waiting to happen. I suppose I should have realized it.

From the get go the patient was mouthy and rude, swearing and pushing all the buttons he could with both of us. It becomes very hard to feel the compassion and sensitivity to help a person when they are calling you every name in the book! But try we must and realize that it’s maybe the alcohol, personal pain or some other reason that makes the person act the way they do. It’s never our job to judge. But still….it’s not easy!

So the situation became more ramped up and the patient kept demanding us to move him, and the more we explained what we were trying to do, the more angry he got. My partner ended up moving him (because he got angry and upset himself) a bit rougher than he would have normally.

The patient immediately knew what was going on, and that’s when he just flipped out. His swearing escalated and his anger soared. He ripped off the collar we had put around his neck to protect his spine and flung it. It hit me square in the face! I was stunned and it hurt.

But now all bets were off. I knew this guy meant business and while my partner wasn’t right, we were potentially in danger in this little box. So I rapidly drew up some medications to calm the guy down and some pain medications too (which I planned anyway). It was explained they were to help him and he willingly received them.  And everything finally became in control.

Police were waiting when we arrived. The patient apologized to me (although he was still angry at my partner), but I explained to him what he had done to me was uncalled for because I had done nothing but try to help him. And I told the police he assaulted me.

After the call, I did talk to my partner and explain that I felt what he had done was unprofessional. He hadn’t realized what he had done or how upset he had become. We are all only human after all. He felt this guy kept screaming that he was choking and wasn’t listening, so he ‘rapidly’ moved him.

It was a good lesson to us both to be more diligent. We should have brought the police from the beginning. My instincts had kicked in long before he hit me that I should give him something to calm him down. Sometimes verbal reasoning is futile as in this case. Substances blur all reason.

I have no idea what this guy is like normally. Honestly, I have no desire TO know. But we were lucky this time. I could have been hurt much worse. But it scared me. And I know who to be in the back with now in the case of a dangerous patient. We have to trust our partners with our lives in my business. And we always have to be on our game. Because we never know: we can save a life, or lose ours.

Photos : Diamonds


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Photos : Frosting


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Photos : Almost


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Photos : Warrior


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