Thursday, June 13, 2013

How do you deal with this stuff

Warning: The following content contains coarse language and content

People who know me know what I do for a living. If you happen to not know me, I work in Alameda County as a paramedic. Whenever I meet someone and they ask what I do, 99% of the time their first question is "What is worst thing you have seen?" I've been doing this for almost 5 years, with the last 1 1/2 years on the 911 side. In that time, I have been exposed to some funny stuff, ridiculously stupid stuff, and some death as well. And when you do this for a living, you learn to laugh it off, deal with it and for the most part cope with it through dark humor. And to be honest, death does not bother me. After 5 years of this, you see enough dead bodies to just get used to it. My dad asked me a while back "How do you deal with the stuff you have to see at work" and my response at the time was that you just deal with it. However, on Tuesday June 4th, my partner and I responded to a Delta level traffic accident with possible ejections and entrapment. Below is the news page to this story.

We arrived on scene to find pieces of car everywhere with a guy laying in the street, alive and appearing okay, all things considered. His son was ejected from the car, and his wife was still stuck in the car unconscious and in bad shape overall. The baby's forehead was split open down the middle, down the bone, and had obviously died from his injuries. We ended up transporting his mother down to Regional Medical Center in San Jose. Soon after we arrived, she went into surgery. As we were heading back, it started to hit me what had happened. A 3 year old boy had died from his father's stupidity. The next day, the boy's mother died from her injuries. I remember waking up that morning in tears as the whole thing replayed in my head. This was before seeing that his mom had died. After learning this, I just couldn't stop crying. Thursday came, and just more of the same. After going back to work the next day, I thought I was gonna be okay. But as soon as someone asked about it, the same emotions started to come back up. I am so thankful for the input and compassion from my coworkers as I deal with this. One of my supervisors told me whatever I am feeling is normal. To be honest, I did not know what to feel. Part of me was saddened by this death, part of me was so fucking angry. I was telling a friend that part of me wanted to just kick the dad's fucking teeth down his throat for his carelessness. Another part of me has been trying to pray for him though, with the thought being that this guy is gonna have to live with this hanging over his head for the rest of his life. And talking about it brings those painful emotions right back up and brings me back to tears. My friend and former partner John texted me the day after it happened, and I asked him if he ever cried after a call and he said yea. This was the first time I have ever cried over what happened on a call. Just writing this out is hard, but everyone I have talked to has said that it is healthy to just get it off your chest and talk about it. I spoke tonight with a few coworkers, one of who told me of some horrible calls she has been on, and how it sticks with you for a while, and it takes time to get over it. I am so thankful for those who have been there to help, and listen and care. On the way home tonight, I went back to the sight of where it happened and some people have put up a memorial, with pictures, and flowers and signs on the tree where the car hit and lost control. Part of this was maybe to get some closure on it. I dont really know. But going back there was so hard. This is by far the worst and most tragic call I have gone on in the 5 years of working this job. I have seen enough suicides, which are sad, but that person made that decision on their own. But when someone else is injured or killed, especially a child, because someone else is too damn stupid and careless, pisses me off like nothing else. 

Friday, February 17, 2012


I just cannot believe how blessed I am. Thank you God for all you do in my life :D

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Just got home yesterday. Africa was a life changing experience. Such an awesome and hopeful place. The commercials on television make it look like Africa is total mess, which is so not the case. While yes, it does have its issues like everywhere else, it is no worse off than things back here. Just different issues. And there is reason for hope, because God cares about the sufferings of His people, both here and in Africa. And while I love Kenya, it is so nice to be home, especially with Christmas this weekend.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Today was a day that was really unique from every day here so far. Today I got to help out with a surgical procedure to fix a patient with a perforated bowel (a hole in the small intestine). While I didnt do a lot, I got to be there and see everything that I have learned about in a text book, but this time it was for real. After that was over, I got to watch a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). Pretty amazing to think that something the size of a softball can hold a child. What an amazing learning experience. I have about 9 days left here in Migori before I head out to Massai Mara and Mombasa, and then go home to watch the 49ers on Monday Night Football. What a way to come back. But not coming back the same person. Throughout this trip, I have seen how much I have been blessed being raised in the USA and having the things we have there. However, one thing I have seen is with all of the luxuries back home offers, it comes along with a tendency to be complacent. We have been so blessed, and while all that is not bad in and of itself, people need to realize that is not all there is to life. We as people were made to love each other and serve others, because it is the right thing to do. Also not having to worry about things such as malaria or typhoid fever, both of which are pretty common here. Another thing too is the priviledge of getting to live in another country for a month. While I havent seen much outside of California, I can say that Kenya is beautiful. The sunsets here are just unreal, and have been one of the prettiest things I have seen in a long time. Finally, I am thankful that God has been so faithful through all of this, keeping me safe and showing me the flaws in my character (but not condemning, but moving me towards change and growth).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

taking your safety for granted

So yesterday I went shopping with one of the roomies in downtown Migori, the city we live in, for some stuff. Since I have been here everyone has said that Migori is pretty safe during the day, so walking around hasn't been a big deal. Just to give a quick background info, Migori is in western Kenya. So as we walk into the Nokia store to buy a phone, we see 2 armed soldiers there. They ask us where we are from and why we are here in Kenya, and explain to them that we are working at the hospital. They told us that there were on patrol because of the threat from Somalian terrorist group al-shabad. That came as quite a surprise considering Somalia is about a week and a half drive from where we are. But it really made me think about where we are at and that safety, something we so easily take for granted in the states, is something that isn't exactly guarenteed here on the other side of the world. Really makes you think about how good we have it back at home. Be thankful for what you have.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

the white guy

Here in Kenya the national language aside from english is swahili. Its been kinda hard to communicate with a lot of the people because of accents. But one word Ive learned to be familiar with is "Mzungu". Its swahili for white person. When walking around town, every once in a while someone will say "hey mzungu" and you just say hi. Its been making things a little bit easier here. Still trying to figure things out, as today was my 2nd day the hospital. Its just a real challenge to love people regardless of any other factors, and I can see that God is really doing some work on my character. Not sure how things will turn out, but stay tuned.

Monday, November 14, 2011

new faces in new places

So, this is the first time in a while I have had time to sit down and write something out. Ive been here about 3 days now, and trying to get adjusted in crazy. First, London was crazy awesome with so many cool things to see. But Kenya is like no place Ive ever seen in my life. The people here are so friendly. The weather is not hot, but its pretty warm, and really humid. I also met my roommates for the next month or so, 3 other from the US, 1 from norway, and 1 more from Australia. Yesterday, we took a trip to the gold mines. At the mines, they mine the gold by hand, or parts of the mine are so hard that they need to use balistics to blast the rock apart. After that, they smash the rock into smaller pieces with a hammer, then run it through a smasher machine and sift it through a strainer. We later got to see the end product, which was about the size of a pea, and worth about $50. Everything at the factory is done by hand. That is about it for now. But please stay in touch. I am missing home, and miss seeing my friends and family. And while Im glad to be here, part of me is wondering "what am I doing here?"