Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Today Dooce posed a great question, on the 6th Anniversary of her blog. “Is there anything in my life that I wish I could go back and do differently?”

Hundreds of people posted their comments, and reading each one was actually more gratifying than depressing. The comments were validations of feelings I had once felt (or still do)…and reading it in the words of someone else only proved that I’m not alone!

Below is my response. This was the first thing that came to mind when I read Heather’s question. After reading other’s comments I could have added SO MUCH more to my own (but then it would have been a novel!):

If I could change would be that I would have come to my senses A LOT sooner about my relationship with my mother. I am 29 years old and just in the last year have come to the realization that my mother is a irrational person, and regardless of what I do she will always have something negative to say.

I needed to have learned that by doing the compete opposite of her expectations doesn't really mean that I'm in just means that NO ONE was in control.

I wish my older brother and I would have sat down long ago and discussed this, rather just opening up about this in in the last 10 months. I would have found out that all these years he felt sorry for me, and wanted so badly to make my mother stop treating me the way she did....but in avoiding the conflict he was keeping his nose clean and not being judged. I would have been far less resentful of him and his freedom!

All in all...had I stood up for myself YEARS ago, I would not be shelling out the $$$ for therapy today.

But thanks to a great therapist, I now feel in control of a messed situation.

So the more I think of that question, the more things that come up. Many of these things I’m still learning to deal with, and some I have learned to accept…but nonetheless they are regrets.

I wish my father was just that, a father.

I wish I would have never lost touch with my little sister and her mom. 17 years later…we’re only starting a relationship.

I wish my stepfather wasn’t such a hard ass, and more of a father figure.

I wish he’d stand up to my mom and get her the help she needs.

I wish my mom would stop all the yelling.

I wish I could save my little brother’s from her.

I wish I would have put some effort into high school- had I, college wouldn’t have been so difficult.

I wish I would have picked a college based on where I wanted to go…not where I was expected to go.

I wish I didn’t care what people thought of me.

I wish I had been more responsible with money, and the feelings of others.

I wish I could control my mouth, think first and then say something nice or nothing at all.

I wish I would have tried living up to my full potential years ago, rather than TRYING TO FIGURE IT ALL OUT NOW.

I wish I would have not refused to pursue a nursing degree to go against my mother’s wishes.

I wish I would have told Andrew I had it bad for him…though I’m sure he knew

I wish I would have met my husband a few years later…I don’t regret meeting him, and if it wasn’t for all the pieces of the puzzle that brought us together, I wouldn’t have my amazing daughter today. I just would have like to have had a little more fun before entering a serious relationship.

I wish I would have not had such high expectations of people…and such low expectations of myself.

I wish I would have realized that Jenny was crying out for help, rather than thinking it would just pass.

I wish that every November 16th I didn’t think “what if.”

I wish Jenny would have failed.

I wish my family would have been more understanding of my incredible depression.

I wish I wouldn’t have let it escalate over the years.

I wish Jason would have kept his mouth shut of July 4th.

I wish his family wasn’t at war with each other over someone’s stupid lie.

I wish Kristi would realize how badly she is hurting her family.

I wish she’d admit that she lied.

I regret having regrets! I could go on forever…..So here's to today!!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Bed or Floor...Hmmm?

In today’s post by dooce, I have decided that I am completely jealous of her. Not in an adult way either….here I am stomping my feet and throwing things in rage like a 4 year old that wants a cookie.

Her daughter Leta is just over 3 months older than MacKenzy and just transitioned to a toddler bed. Leta never tried climbing out of her crib and didn’t have problems sleeping in it. The toddler bed was her parent’s idea. To top it off, her best is the coolest thing in the world- she sleeps in it!

In my case…my ‘strong willed’ daughter started climbing out of her crib over a year ago. Climbing out of the crib was fun and far from difficult for her. She’s a little daredevil and is physically knocks around like a rambunctious little boy. For the last year we have been battling her sleeping habits….or more truthfully, location.

In the first few weeks…maybe months, she was great about sleeping in her bed as long as Mommy lay with her until she fell asleep. I tried to fight this…I refuse to have a child that can only sleep if I’m there to hold their hand. No Way! But NOT doing it also meant her not staying in her room nor going to bed at a proper time (which is still being established!). She would have me cuddle in with her, but that only lasted for a short period of time because the bed isn’t meant for a mommy!! The metal frame that holds the bed started to resemble the letter “U.”

To make a long story short….she now refuses to sleep in her bed what-so-ever! If she sleeps in her room at all, it’s on the floor. She’ll make herself a little bed and crash on the floor. Even better, half under the bed! She’s gotten better about actually going to bed, but there she is…on the floor. Most often she finds her way into our room around 2AM…not wanting to get out of the warm bed (or actually, completely wake up) one of us will throw her between us. If we actually do what we’re supposed to and put her back into her room, she eventually finds her way back, again. Recently we have started to find her in the morning- inches from my husband’s size 13’s. Yes, she will cuddle up on our floor, usually half under the bed, and we don’t realize it until someone almost steps on her head!

So not only does Heather Armstrong get to stay home with her daughter AND husband, she gets paid to blog! Now this! What’s next? If you say ‘win the lottery’ I’m going off the deep end!?!

Hopes and wishes…in the next couple weeks MacKenzy’s getting a hand-me-down “big girl” bed from her most favorite person in the world, my youngest brother Matt- her ‘Uncle Matty.’ My parents are buying a new bed so Mitch (the older of the two boys) gets their old bed (harsh- Queen-sized Sleep Number Bed!), Matt gets Mitch’s Queen, and Kenzy gets Matt’s twin. This is actually a blessing…since Matt is her favorite, we have something to use! I told my mom that I want to make a big deal out of this…making sure Matt is there to “give” it to her.

Please God, please please please…..let her adore this bed!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Spanish 101

Last night I had my monthly ambulance meeting and the Spanish issue came up. Our incident the other night has happened repeatedly but no one has taken it upon themselves find a resolve.

I suggested that I make up some laminated cue cards with the basics:

Are you okay? Where do you hurt? Are you allergic to any medications? Do you have any health issues we should be aware of?

Granted we won't understand their responses, however I can then list medications that people are typically allergic Spanish and English.

SOMETHING is better than nothing! Now that's my new project. Luckily a friend of mine from high school is fluent in Spanish so I can ask her for a little help.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Thank You Ms. Finch

I took a quarter and a half of Spanish in college, but I solely base my Spanish skills on what I learned from Ms. Finch in 9th grade. Ms. Finch was a rather odd older woman that wore the same outfit two-days in a row no matter what. The immaturity of the students often threw her into a rampage of words we couldn’t interpret.

Over the years I’ve done my time in the service industry working along side several Hispanic men and women. Though they all spoke moderate to perfect English, they made sure I learned Spanish. “Mucho Gusto tu Chi-Chi’s”

I’ve never considered my Spanish skills worthy of a conversation nor would it get me anywhere in Mexico. “Donde el bano?” is really all you need isn’t it? Or “Mas Cervesas!”

This past weekend I was on-call for the ambulance both Friday & Saturday night. I was dreading getting a single call because it was extremely cold outside….-20-ish. On Friday night my pager went off just before 7pm, “MVA with injuries, possibly multiple injuries.” The first words out of my mouth, “Ahw Shit!” I knew it….Siberian weather and I have to play outside!

Luckily adrenaline keeps you pretty warm! I had on plenty layers, but it’s not like I can put layers on my hands. I think someone would frown on me having gloves over my rubber gloves!

When we get on scene the first thing the city cop said, “Anyone speak Spanish?” The look of terror swept cross my two partners’ faces. There were two state troopers, two city cops, and the three of us………I was the only person that had an ounce of hope to communicate with the injured.

When I approached the first two men I explained, “Me hablo muy pequino Espanol.” Which actually translates to, “I speak very small Spanish.” Hours later it occurred to me that I should have said, “Me hablo muy pequito Espanol.”

They were all showing signs of being hurt, but it was our job to see which ones needed to be transported, and who should be attended to first. Hmmm… In Dr’s offices and in hospitals they have charts showing a happy face at ONE and a very Sad face at TEN. I didn’t have that picture so I had to figure out a way to say it. Keeping mind that I’m fluent in American Sign Language, I used both skills to get through it, “Como Esta? Uno es muy bueno, cinco es muy mal! (for some reason cinco came out of my mouth rather than diez, but I ran with it)

One guy answered “Muy Mal…Cinco Cinco!” while the other answered “Asi Asi….dos.” I looked back at my partners and said, “this guy is fine, this guy needs a backboard.” The looks on their faces were like “Oh My God Thank You for telling me what to do!”
The third man was the driver and I basically understood that he was okay, but his chest hurt from the airbag. We transported all three (the guy that was fine didn’t exactly have a ride to the hospital) the 4 blocks to the hospital.

Normally once we get to the hospital we’re maybe there 20 minutes…this was not the case Friday night. We had called ahead to tell them that they needed a translator so by the time we got there they had bad news….they couldn’t get a hold of their translator. Grrrreat.

My extremely limited Spanish skills were now needed for the nurses and doctor on staff…can you tell it’s a small town hospital? An hour and a half later a friend of theirs showed up that spoke fluent English, and Spanish…About Time!

An hour and a half after we got to the hospital we were able to leave. The driver and front passenger were in X-ray, and the other guy was waiting for their friend.

On the way back to the station my two partners were laughing and thanking me a million times over. They couldn’t get over that they would have been completely clueless as to what to do!!

Friday, February 02, 2007

My Petition

I adamantly believe that medical personnel should get a discounted rate on airfare.

On an airplane, hell on a bus!, if you knew there was doctor, a paramedic, or an EMT on your flight? It's just that assurance that if something happen! I know I would! Hell, people in the EMS field laugh, "Who is going to take care of me?" If I had a medical emergency at work who would run to my rescue?

Every year there are thousands of heart-attacks in flight...and God only knows how many other things!

As I've mentioned before, my husband and I work with kids teaching them Fire and Medical skills. They all are immediately CPR/AED certified, and First Responders (which is the same training a police officer has for medical) For some kids it's just a fun thing to be apart of, and some really grow to love the field and want to go to school!
The Captain of the post is a 17 year old senior in high school. Over Christmas he and his mother were flying home when the flight attendant came over the overhead asking for anyone with medical training to come to the back of the plane. This 17 year old kid didn't hesitate, he got up and walked to the back of the plane. The patient was an older woman having a difficult time breathing. He did exactly as he was trained and eventually the woman was able to control her breathing. Afterwards he simply went back to his seat, but not before he was praised by the flight staff and other passengers. This kid is extremely bashful, so I can just about imagine how red his face and ears were!

He did what was trained to do...and for that people were grateful. He doesn't want a medal or even so much as a thank you...he does it because he can. I do it because I can.

Isn't that safety net worth something? If you accept the discount, you accept the fact that you may have to help someone in flight. I'm fine with that! I'm covered under the Good Samaritan Law.

Just My Luck

First off HAPPY GROUNDHOG Day............normally I couldn't give a damn about the celebration of a rodant, but since he didn't see his shadow I'm willing to jump on the bandwagon...if you don't know, it means we'll have an early spring. If it happens I'll be extrememly pleased...if it doesn't some rodant in PA will be smoked out of his little hole.

Today proved to be a test of my luck...which for all the Irish in the world, I'm the most unlucky. I win those lame prizes that no one wanted anyway, never something I would be proud to show off!

As I was sitting at my desk working the director of Marketing walked into my office. Not an abnormal thing, but the look on her face immediately read "Panic!" I asked her what was wrong and she asked that I come take a look at Kay, the Sales Director. "She's on the floor in a lot of pain. She says it's in her chest!" Not that I wish any ill fate on anyone (well, maybe the person that needs to push through my RAISE!) but I get excited about this stuff! I rushed into the office where Kay was laying on the floor and knowing I am medically trained, a sigh of relief came over Kay's face. I checked her over the best I could, but with chest pain the only advice I can give is: "Get to the hospital." I told her that I felt she needed to go in, especially since nothing this has ever happened before. Kay just wanted to stay on the floor awhile longer, so I suggested that I get my medical bag and take a look at her blood pressure.


I ran outside in the -10 weather, got my bag and was practically skipping back to Kay. Yes, I me it's an EMS thing. I slapped on the blood pressure cuff and got ready to go...
the gage for the cuff was FROZEN! I couldn't help her one bit! How depressing!

Kay finally agreed to go to the hosipital and she's been there since. Her assistant took her and has since returned. They are running test, but as of yet there's nothing to tell.