Thursday, September 17, 2009

First In...Last Out ... The Conclusion

As I am sitting here trying to get the words to come, the fire truck just rode by my house and blew the horn. Earlier today, it was the engine that did the same thing. 2 different shifts and I doubt either knew the other was doing it. So was that God's way of saying, "Don't give up. You can do it!"? No, it may have been the crews saying it, but that's just because they think if they say it enough, I'll be able to

If you want, go back and read part one of my story and this will make a bit more sense. Click Here.

I've been struggling with this decision for the past year. There is no getting around it. If I were to continue doing what I love to do, someone is going to get hurt, because of me.

In training we are taught to "Work Smart...Not Hard.". And it is true that if you work smart, the physical part is less difficult. But, realistically, it still takes its toll on your body. It used to be that when I was actually doing the work, it didn't hurt at all....only later. Then eventually, it hurt WHILE I was doing the work. And the truth is, even when it did hurt, I didn't care because I loved doing it so much. But now, well...

I just can't do it any more.

That was a humbling sentence to write.

I admit I was proud when I wore my uniform. But not proud like I was better than anyone else. Just a feeling of self confidence. Pride like a soldier might feel when he puts on his uniform.

I have Degenerative Disc Disease.
The bottom disc in my back has crumbled to a non repairable condition.
The disc over that one has begun to crumble.
The gel (*complicated medical term*) between the discs is almost completely gone in places.
I have severe fibromyalgia.
The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that I had surgery for (in both hands) has come back and is as bad, if not worse, than it was before. My hands have that "asleep" feeling after just 1-2 minutes of lifting them. I drop things.
I have Rheumatoid Arthritis.
I have migraines.
Oh and don't forget there is the ADHD (I actually think that has been an asset in some situations.).

Bottom Line:
There is never a time when something isn't hurting....a lot.

Would you really want to have to rely on me to save your life? Of course not. You know I would give it everything I've got. But unfortunately, I just don't have that much to give anymore.

I'm just not sure what happens now. I know there are lots of opportunities.
There just aren't any that give me even a spark of what being a firefighter did. (spark, ha, excuse the pun).
There is this lost feeling that I have now. Wandering aimlessly.

On the other hand, there's always laundry to be done and floors to vacuum.


OK, I've said all of that and gotten it out of my system. I just didn't want you all thinking I was out there at night saving lives and saving my sanity, when actually I am home doing, um, doing.... doing whatever it is I do.

SO, that is that.

This isn't a pity party. This isn't a whine-fest. This is just the way it is.

By tomorrow.....ok, I doubt by tomorrow because I won't be posting by then. But by my next post we'll be singing Cat in the Hat, discussing the joys of ADHD, rattleing on endlessly about teenagers, talking about the genius computer skills I have (not), and perhaps even write a song. Or at the very least join together for a chorus of Veggie Tales. After all I'm still wondering "Where is my hairbrush?"

Oh yeah.....

Mahatma Gandhi walked barefoot most times, which produced impressive callouses on his feet. He ate very little, making him rather frail. With his odd diet, he also suffered from bad breath.

Do you know What this Made Him?

A Super Calloused Fragile Mystic Hexed by Halitosis!.....indobedibly

And with that my good friends, I bid you good night. (this may be posting at 6:30 AM but as I am finishing it now and it is a bit past 2:00AM. I need to get to bed!
Good Night!

MyADHDMe (Former Firefighter) :(

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Greg C said...

Hahahahahah on the last part. So sorry about the first part. One of the driving factors for me getting out of the Navy was the fact that I could no longer put on a self contained breathing apparatus without breaking out in a cold sweat. I knew that it was possible that sometime it might be required in my line of work so I decided it was best to get out. The last firefighting training that I went to, I failed to be able to go into the burning building. Oh well, in my day I loved it. Best of luck to you.

Kelly Combs said...

Great job of deflecting your sense of loss in the first part, by adding the light trivia at the end.

But I saw the sense of loss. Anyone else?

I'm sorry for your loss. I know it was very painful for you to come to this conclusion.

Now it is time to figure out "Plan B." Because there is always a Plan B, and sometimes it ends up being better than the original plan. :-)

Mocha with Linda said...

I grieve with you. It's hard to close a door on what you love. And it's discouraging and scary when we feel like our bodies betray us.

That pun always cracks me up. And encourages me that the "you" that really matters - your heart & sould - is still healthy & fit. God still has a plan for you. He hasn't tossed you on the scrap heap yet - nor will he ever!

My ADHD Me said...

Greg- I loved my SCBA, of course there were times when my 45 minute tank didn't seem to last any longer than the 25 minute tank some of the other counties use. lol. RELAX...that's the key (easier said than done).

Kelly- DEFLECTION- Don't you just love how that word rolls off the tongue! If Plan B were better than Plan A, then wouldn't it have been called Plan A in the first place? Unless, of course one stumbles upon plan B, not realizing that Plan A was just around the corner. Oh well, Plan B HAS to be better than Plan Z (of course Z would probably argue that point).
Anyway, Defection? Me??

Mocha- Realistically, I already got tossed on the scrap heap. Yellow helmets get to put the fires out. Blue helmets get tossed on the scrap heap to clean up the debris. (why is there an "S" at the end of that word?)

My ADHD Me said...

Kelly- Opps... DEFLECTION!! Not defection.

you can call me a deflector, just not a defector.

Jenny wren's nest said...

I bet there it would be hard to find a job as exciting or rewarding as firefighting, God knows your heart, I will pray for comfort and peace.

KrippledWarrior said...

OK lady. I'm gonna lay it out plain. Like I would to any other hero. "Those that can't do... Teach." Take your training and pass it on to the next generation of fire-eaters. The FD should be like a bucket of water. When you take your hand out the hole should fill in behind it. Be aq new kind o hero. And know that what you teach is still saving lives. Just with a proxy.
You don't want me to come over there and shake you...

Sue J. said...

If not teaching, how about recruitment? I think the story that is you that is written here in these pages could be told in another venue (i.e., a local or regional newspaper) as an encouragement for someone else, like you, who has thought once or twice or more about doing what you accomplished.

Some people just need to hear that message in a new way--and I think you are totally capable of delivering. You know so much! If teaching is too "out there" for you, one-on-one recruitment could be just the ticket.

I guess they won't let you just drive and handle crowd control.

(sigh!) I hear your pain, and I wish you didn't have to feel it. I hope they haven't completely lost one of their best....

KrippledWarrior said...

on a lighter note: "A Super Calloused Fragile Mystic Hexed by Halitosis!"
Try the Christmas farm animals:
Three fish, ewe, a mare, egrets, moose.
I got a million of em. Ha, cha, cha, cha, cha...

2Thinks said...

With Krippled Warrior, I believe I must concur. Take me, for example- I got a D- in Geometry in high school, so I taught my kids at home. Uh. Bad example perhaps. (but kids are doing fine, graduated college cum laude and are employeed etc.)

So, perhaps this example proves God works with whatever you have to give.

You'll find it. Just put one foot in front of the other. Baby steps to the front door, baby steps to the sidewalk, babysteps...(you do know Bob, right?)

You are a superhero in my blogbook and I fell off my swivel chair at your supercalifragilistic joke! I'll be using that one!

Write on!
Heidi@2 Thinks to Share

Edie said...

You are so cute. You had to send us off with a laugh.

Didn't you read my comment on the Part 1? God's not finished with you. You may not fight fires again but the One who designed you to fight fires, and gave you an incredible LOVE for fighting fires, has also designed you for the next thing. He will give you a LOVE for that thing too.

I am praying for you about that, and all the pain you endure.

I still think you're the bomb-diggity.

My ADHD Me said...

Edie- I forgot about the bomb-digity! Maybe I could work on the Bomb Squad

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said... KrippledWarrior stole my thunder. And why is it that I feel the need to dispense advice? None are obviously a woman of refined discernment. Like Kelly, I can hear the loss behind your words. I pray that the season that God is preparing for you now, as you leave this one, will be one of joy and fulfillment beyond your expectations. (Jer 29:11). I know that you have made a difference by doing what you've done the past 8 years. You have helped save lives, change lives and in a very tangible way touched lives. And by golly, I bet you showed some of those young whippersnapper firefighter studs (and just why is it that they are soooooo studly) what a woman of a certain age can accomplish! I know this must be bittersweet. But just think how much more time you'll have with the boys! :). I pray peace upon you.
Just in case you didn't get it...I'm praying for you!

Bonita said...

I know this is a hard decision for you to give up what you love. Pat answers and trite advice just doesn't cut it in these situations, but I'll simply remind you that God has another plan- either healing or a new direction.

Possibilities I see on my end:
-write a book that includes your experience as a firefighter
-teach firefighting classes

-find another way to express the helper in you that loves to come to the aid of others.

God has a plan!

Can't wait to share the humorous history lesson with my kids!

Kelly Combs said...

You cannot be on the bomb squad. They are always whispering and walking quietly and such.

What's your nick-name at the Firehouse? yeah, I don't think bomb squad is for you.

Next idea? Mission trips!!!!! They need people with your skills (EMT) for medical mission trips and you would love. Or Red Cross Emergency Relief. Katrina/etc type situations.

samurai said...

A while back you mentioned that my service in the military made you think of me as a hero... well, i feel that in a real way YOU are the hero. You knew what you wanted to do in becoming a fire(wo)man and you did it. You have sacrificed a lot to become a first responder like that... and in a real way it has cost you.

Praying for some sort of comfort and God willing, healing.

Kelly Combs said...

Former firefighter - no....
Firefighter, retired.

HisPrincess said...

I wanted to write something comforting and profound...but all I can come up with is that sometimes life sucks.

Praying for you to find some direction soon, and a new passion to fill your days. Because we all need something to be passionate about...and no. chocolate doesn't count.

CJ said...

:( I don't like this blog!!!


Kelly Combs said...

Some people were meant to BE 911, while some people were meant to call 911. Thanks for BEING.

My ADHD Me said...

I know, it's time for a new post...

Beverlydru said...

Wow- reading through the first installment was like living through school with our son again. HARD stuff... for tougher sorts than the likes of me. Bravo to you for making it through. There's a song I sing alot called "the best is yet to come" It's taken from the scripture "the latter shall be greater than the former." I queston this... how can it be? But God knows. He has a plan. You and I are never far from His mind.
P.S. Could you be an arson inspector? Or something less physical like that? You are awesome. Press on.

Edie said...

The bomb squad! Why of course!
..... I just read Kelly's comment on that idea. hmmm... she may have a point.

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14.

Keeping you in my prayers dear friend.

Meredith Leigh Knight said...

Very sorry to hear that. Hang in there. Who knows what your next career could be - writer, perhaps?