Today is October 6th, The Day before Thanksgiving in Canada. But my family is celebrating A day early. I have never outwardly talked about what I’m grateful for, or who.
But there is so many things to list it makes you wonder where to begin. I took the day off from work, like I do with almost every STAT holiday. I have not worked a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Family day in 7 years. The year I got hired they made me work Christmas, it was the week I got hired, so work Christmas or dont take the Job.
In Canada Paramedics make an average of 35 dollars an hour. There are different levels of Paramedic “Primary Care Paramedic” is the new “EMT” Or “Emergency Medical Technician” and “Advanced Care Paramedic” is the new “Paramedic”
That means during STAT holidays a guy would be making 105 dollars an hour for 12 hours. (We get paid on a 12 hour day)
So sure working a STAT is great, and I’m not wealthy by anyones standards and yes I could really use the money, but I’d much rather take the time off and spend it with family. My co workers never understand that. They are all about “All right, Triple Time” and all they see is $$$$$$. Which I dont unserstand, most of my co workers are single, or Married with their other half bringing in a second income, so why do you act all hard up for money that your all about scooping up every STAT holiday that comes around.
Family has become more important to me in the last few years. I live and work in my community which is a couple of hours away from my Family. My 2 sisters, brother, mother and father.
July of 2016 my dad and brother were in the yard and moving rocks around. My dad likes rocks and collects large and small ones. There was one particular large rock they were going to move.
Suddenly my dad went pale, his eyes rolled in the back of his head and he collapsed. My Brother ran up to him and called out his name and checked for a Pulse. He had no Pulse. My Brother called out for my mom who was in the house at the time, and began CPR right away. When my mom came out to see what all the shouting was all about she seen my brother doing CPR on my Dad she ran back in the house and called 911.
An ambulance was at the house within minutes which personally I feel like my family is extremely fortunate for. (I’ll explain why in another blog post)
My Dad required 5 shocks by the defibrillator from Paramesics before his heart started back up and they took him to the hospital.
I took a week off work to be with the family dirikg this time, I think my mom took off a month or so.
He was in a Coma for 2 weeks exactly. The doctor talked to us about the chance of brain damage and that after 2 weeks of no signs of recovery we should consider “pulling the plug”
That very day my dad opened his eyes.
I’ve read stories of people being in a coma for months or even years and suddenly coming out if it. I thought it was extremely premature of the doctor to even suggest that. I hated her for that.
When his eyes opened, he wasnt aware, or conscious, he moved about in extreme discomfort or agitation. A tube down his throat, and IV lines in every arm. It was as if his body was awake, it his mind was gone and his body was moving about by instinct. It was aweful to see my family have to witness this for another 7 days. My Mother was strong tho, Not once did I see her upset during this whole experience.
Eventually, days later my father finally began coming too, answering questions, talking, and becoming more of the man I got to know growing up.
July 31st he was released from the hospital and was back at home.
The chances of making a full recovery from a sudden cardiac arrest are exceptionally small, almost less then 10%.
Knowing that we almost lost him, that the last 2 Christmases were almost Christmases we never had with him, That his last 2 birthdays we almost never celebrated is almost crazy to think about.
Some people call Firefighters or Paramedics heroes. My brother is a hero. At least in my eyes.
I have seen a lot of people pass away, expectedly and suddenly, and thinking about how those family members cope and move on is tough to think about, knowing me, and my family was almost in that same position.
So I’m most thankful for my father, and spending time with and my family has become the most important part of my life. With me living a few hours away, it’s not easy for me to visit as often as I would like.
But for Now, as I’m sitting on the couch, having a beer, my parents are both together making a Turkey supper for the family, as they have done every year for Thanksgiving, I will end this post here, and continue part 2 tomorrow.