• This topic has 89 replies, 75 voices, and was last updated 3 weeks ago by Drac.
Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 90 total)
  • Confessions of a fun sponge.
  • a11y
    Full Member

    @Drac, thank you. Thank you for your honesty, and thank you for doing what you did: it takes a special person (in a good way) to take on a role such as that.

    Striking a chord tonight as I’m sitting alone after Mrs (Dr) a11y took an early night after an especially emotional, mentally and physically exhausting frontline A&E shift. It takes its toll: she’s got an op for ablation soon.

    Drac
    Full Member

    Again thanks all.

    Yes I have met many of you as mentioned Wales back in at a festival at least 20 years ago.

    A11y talk to your Mrs about anything, make her a cuppa and offer a biscuit. Go go for a walk tomorrow no matter what the weather, she may not feel up to it but try. We do what we do because that’s the job we chose, it was a privilege to do and thank you for the kind support.

    Ambrose
    Full Member

    Never doubt it, if the time is right to walk away then you have done the right thing. My admiration for those who put themselves into places where others would rather not be in order to help people has no bounds. Respect is earned they say- all the emergency services get it in spades from me.

    If it is time to walk away then do so and judging from your very honest post it is. Feel no shame in doing this, we all have a limit and the incident that you cited sounds awful.

    Most of us in our daily working lives make decisions. You make life deciding decisions that are predicated upon the provision of accurate information and reliable support. If these things are not forthcoming I am in no way surprised that you as a professional feel this way. I am a secondary school teacher. I have problem individuals in certain classes but I only have to deal with them for an hour at a time. I can then put mitigations into place to protect myself and the rest of the class. My school supports me. Your case is SO different. I cannot begin to imagine the pressure and stress involved in being a first responder in a RTA, especially as you have described.

    Huge respect for you and everyone else in the emergency services, it’s a job that I think I would struggle with.
    Wherever you go next follow the wise word from my mum; ‘have fun, stay safe’.

    bigblackshed
    Full Member

    @Drac

    Thank you for your OP. That takes its own kind of courage to be able to take the hard road and make the right decision for yourself.

    I won’t turn this into myself, but I’ve been in dark places in my life, and I’m going through another at the moment. Never have I regretted working through it, there is always greener hills out the other side. And life has a way of settling itself out.

    Enjoy the new freedom, it’s scary and freeing all at the same time. We are here for you brother.

    prettygreenparrot
    Full Member

    Glad to hear you’ve made it this far @drac. Sorry to hear you hit breaking point. That is a crummy outcome.

    Way back in the day I did radiography. Haven’t done it for >25 years. Thankfully my memories of mangled body parts, pathology samples, and deaths don’t haunt me. But I do reflect on the experiences and occasionally marvel that HCPs cope as well as they do with seeing insides outside and people in states of mental and physical injury. You made it a long way through.

    from vicarious experience the support available from workplaces in the NHS seems variable. Your recommendation to seek help and support earlier rather than later is a good one. Best to seek it from as many places as you can so you find folks who can listen and help.

    all the best for your recovery and wellbeing.

    toby1
    Full Member

    On top of all your amazing work, you were also a paramedic 😉

    Sounds like you’ve made tough but sensible decisions and it sounds like you literally gave all you could to a job that should be far better regarded and rewarded than it is. The world is a better place for your efforts, not just the ‘customers’ that you helped but likely the countless other people you’ve trained, supported and worked with over the years.

    fazzini
    Full Member

    @Drac thank you for sharing, and a huge thank you to everyone in, or formerly in, our emergency services. We’d all be royally bolloxed without you all. ❤️

    roverpig
    Full Member

    Nothing to add but thanks.

    bensales
    Free Member

    Fully understandable reaching the end of your tether with it.

    But having been in a serious accident, I do remain forever grateful that there are people who will go out in the shitty weather at the drop of a hat and run towards trouble to help. The world needs more people like that, so thank you for doing what you’ve done over the years.

    timba
    Free Member

    I finally had enough, I could not face the everyday stress we all have, the works stress all we have, the added politics that I had to deal in shift in shift out with my position and not being given the tools to do it.

    Been there, I was fortunate and spent my last few years training people.

    The 80s, 90s and early 2000s were appalling for their toll on front-line responders. The jobs and pressures don’t really change, but protocols on all sorts of stuff have changed and I sincerely hope that newer staff won’t have to repeat your experiences without the necessary active support

    Best wishes and I hope you stay hereabouts

    wait4me
    Full Member

    Respect for you making the decision to call it a day and prioritise yourself. It must be an incredibly tough job to do if you’re not feeling it 100% I can have a bad day and just coast through my shift, hide a bit and hope the next one is better.

    I’ve got experience of an ambulance crew that were probably having a bad day and I was treated really badly. Could have ended up paralysing me but thankfully my own stubbornness stopped them. I was never angry at them, just sad that they’d become jaded by the demands put on them. Sorry it has come to this for you but sounds like the right decision and best of luck with the next chapter of your life. Thank you again.

    onehundredthidiot
    Full Member

    Drac a heartfelt thank you and please look after yourself.

    I’m not sure us civilians get what the blue light services go through on an almost day to day basis. Mrs100th sometimes gets a suggestion that she should talk with someone. I think there should be mandatory counseling.

    A mate said he knew it was time to quit when he realized he could happily pick a helmet off the road with head still inside but jewelry (on a dressing table) gave him the fear.

    qwerty
    Free Member

    I think we may of not seen eye to eye on this before – but the nations ambulances services do not look after their staff, it’s neglectful and damages people’s mental health. They should be held to account.

    I could go on but I won’t….

    It took me 5 years after leaving to decompress enough to actually engage meaningfully in psychotherapy which has been hugely beneficial for me.

    Best thing I ever did was leave that toxic work environment. You can’t heal whilst your in it.

    You’ve taken the biggest step in leaving, it will take time, but those ghosts you carry will diminish as time goes by.

    Welcome to a better quality of life – you deserve it.

    revs1972
    Free Member

    After hearing some of the stories from my Paramedic neighbour , I more than take my hat off to you guys. I can’t imagine ( well I can , as he goes into detail at times 😱) how you deal with that day in day out, with very little support. I find it morbidly fascinating and can talk to him for hours about it ( with the bonus I think it helps him decompress).

    It also seems a lot of the new kids on the block don’t have the same old school sense of humour to help them through the day, and really struggle emotionally when the going gets tough and the pressure is on.

    SaxonRider
    Full Member

    Thanks for writing that all out, Drac. I sympathise deeply with your situation, and thank you for all you have done over the years. As someone who is alive and well today because of first responders, I am unspeakably grateful for the work you–and others–have done/continue to do.

    My son was a police officer with the Met, and two close friends were/are RCMP officers in Canada, and the stuff they have all seen is enough to traumatise even the strongest of people. Indeed, about fifteen years ago I was present when a man died on the pavement here in Cardiff and watched as the ambulance attendants did their best to revive him. One of them was a ‘hard’-looking woman, who gave the impression that she was entirely objective and just did her job without thinking too much about the people she was helping. Then, six months later, when I myself had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance, I recognised her as one of my attendants. In my delirium, I asked her if she remembered the event, and she welled up. She said, ‘of course I remember. You can’t forget the people you lose.’

    It’s a lot to carry. Best wishes.

    Edukator
    Free Member

    I’ve sometimes wondered if being a mod on here (for which I thank you, Drac) was part of your way of coping with your job or an additional irritation (because some of us must be very irritating at times) that increased the overall level of pressure. I think Cougar is happier since he stopped moderating, he did it very well but it wasn’t doing him any good. Sometimes he lets rip now which must be quite therapeutic after years of conforming to model forum behaviour.

    I’ve walked out (inner city teaching) or left with dignity (science, motor sport and a business) on a few occasions. It’s never been a mistake and I’ve always found new energy and enthusiasm in whatever I’ve done next. I hope you can find energy and enthusiasm for something.

    I haven’t worked since 42 and will retire officially in 2 years and three months. In all honesty I don’t miss work, I love getting up in the morning and doing whatever I want, well not quite, mainly what Madame Edukator wants 😉 . If it works for you financially I can recommend it.

    I’m not a frequent poster on empathy type threads and very careful on mental health threads. Typing feels hollow and inadequate sometimes. No regrets, today is the first day of the rest of your life, carpe diem… simplistic cliches I know.  You’ve given a lot to others, take some time for yourself.

    cyclistm
    Free Member

    Jeez, that’s quite the read. Thank you Drac. For everything

    a11y
    Full Member

    A11y talk to your Mrs about anything, make her a cuppa and offer a biscuit. Go go for a walk tomorrow no matter what the weather, she may not feel up to it but try. We do what we do because that’s the job we chose, it was a privilege to do and thank you for the kind support.

    Unfortunately day shift all weekend and the fallout from an Old Firm cup final never helps conditions at work when you’re near Glasgow. So yes, pot of tea and nice crisps (each to their own…) will be on standby 🙂

    easily
    Free Member

    Thanks for everything you’ve done Drac. I hope you realise that people do appreciate it.

    After a sort of ‘similar though not really but kind of’ situation I took a part time job working with people with learning disabilities. Terrible pay of course, but I enjoy the work, love our participants, and feel like I’ve done something worthwhile at the end of each day. Maybe after a break you can find something similar. It really has changed my life for the better.

    alpin
    Free Member

    Much respect to you, Drac, and anyone who chooses to help others. I’m always humbled when I come into contact with those that do.

    Take some time and look after yourself!

    bearnecessities
    Full Member

    Just when I thought I’d got away, you’ve made me re-subscribe.

    Sorry about the fun sponge bit btw, you mood hoover.

    Drac
    Full Member

    Cheers everyone.

    Last night I went to an 18th Birthday party, had a great time with friends, today I’ve been to Newcastle for a Mexican street food festival with my wife, the dog and met our eldest there. Kitted myself out with some new clothes and felt absolutely relieved today, although there were a few times I struggled. Biggest thing I did today was deregister as a Paramedic, so I can no longer work as one and legally can’t call myself one. That was a massive weight off me as it was another bit of closure.

    Thanks again for the comments, jokes and marks of respect.

    My dude,

    You have spent years putting yourself out there for others, to be the little sliver of light, the calming word, the reassuring touch, and hope in the darkness and fear that injury and illness can so often cause for others.

    I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the unquestionable positive impact you’ve had on the lives of others, even when it didn’t go the way you and they would hope, but you absolutely have.

    For all of that work you now carry a heavy burden, it is quite literally the epitome of selfless service and I am always grateful for those of you who find this their calling.

    What I hope for you as you work through this is that you find the space and capacity to give yourself a humble nod and acknowledge that you made a difference and that you mattered when others needed you most.

    I wish nothing but peace for you dude. Truly.

    bearnecessities
    Full Member

    Jokes aside, and I know I’ve not been the most tolerant bugger – but I can’t get my head around the scenes that coppers, ambulance staff and even traffic patrol people must have to face.

    Just starting to imagine the scene of a serious accident, let alone a fatality, puts my brain straight into “la la think about something else” mode. I can’t comprehend the awfulness of it in reality.

    No wonder you’ve taken retirement – I wish you well.

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    I have a friend who is a paramedic and I honestly don’t know how he does it. Little support, shit equipment, long shifts and and not paid anywhere near enough. He’s been bitten, spat on, punched, kicked and abused in lots of ways. He cracked and pressed charges against someone who punched him. The West Yorkshire Ambulance Service wouldn’t let him wear his uniform to court. Absolute travesty.

    I can sympathise with the depression and burn out too. I’ve suffered with the former my entire adult life and think I’m on track for  the latter. I spend every waking hour worrying about work. Glad you’ve posted this Drac and happy for you that you’ve been able to say enough.

    Poopscoop
    Full Member

    Biggest thing I did today was deregister as a Paramedic, so I can no longer work as one and legally can’t call myself one. That was a massive weight off me as it was another bit of closure.

    Great news Drac, another big step along the way to a happier existence!

    stcolin
    Free Member

    Wishing you all the best Drac. Life is tough.

    Oblongbob
    Full Member

    Everyone has said it so well above, I’ve nothing to add other than thanks again for all you’ve done, well done for taking the bold decision to stop just keeping on keeping on, and finally for opening up about it here – I think it has made an impact and will help a lot of others (myself included).

    bearnecessities
    Full Member

    And I’m sorry for that time I threw a wobble at you being a fun sponge about me getting excited about microwaveable sausages and you not being so.

    Sorry. Forgive my ****. I’m older now and slightly less of a ****.

    Slightly.

    northernerindevon
    Full Member

    Not much too add – thank you for everything you’ve done for all the people over the course of your career.

    Sister in law is a paramedic – I’m away to check up on her…..

    Good man – enjoy that retirement

    BillMC
    Full Member

    Blimey Drac, you did well to last as long as you did in an extremely stressful service to the public. You wouldn’t remember me but we were on a few ST rides (with the wonderful Jenn) and I remember Rob commenting on your impressive technical abilities on the bike. Retirement is great, your outgoings are less, freedom to ride and roam and holiday outside of term-time. Takes a while to get work out of your system but bash away and it disappears. Well done, you’ve made the right move.

    irc
    Full Member

    Another all the best in your retirement here. I survived my emergency service career relatively unscathed. Much of it over the decades now blurred or forgotten. A few scenes still jump to mind every so often decades later.

    On of the saddest was a quiet private scene. An old guy in his 70s had lost his wife of 50 years a few months earlier. He never got over it. One day he got up. Made his bed. Tidied the house. Washed the dishes. Wrote a note and left a copy of his will on the otherwise clear dining room table along with a list of his bank accounts.

    Then hung himself. The only death I ever dealt with where the victim apologised in advance in the note to whoever found him.

    soulwood
    Free Member

    Ex Police here. Thought I’d do my full 30, retire at 55 and be fit for riding my bike while others waited for another 10 or so years to retire. Found my limit after 18 years. Figured if I stayed until 55 I’d end up certified insane. I didn’t have a leaving do as I felt ashamed and far too emotional. Slunk off to New Zealand, figured being on the other side of the world would stop me from re-joining after the rose tinted glasses came out. It’s taken just over 5 years to get over the anxiety and depression. And yeah, I kept thinking about rejoining like some messed up abusive relationship. You’ve done your service Drac, and seen more in a year than people will see in their whole life. You deserve a rest kid.

    Dickyboy
    Full Member

    Wow, nothing to add apart from another like and a very much renewed sense of gratitude to all our emergency services, thank you for all you have done Drac & make sure you go easy on yourself.

    deadlydarcy
    Free Member

    Hey Drac, as one of the long-termers here, just wishing you all the best. Thanks for an honest and open share about your struggles. Take care.

    ossify
    Full Member

    Plot twist: it was being a STW mod that did you in mentally, not the ambulance service 😉

    Jokes aside, best wishes and thanks to you and all the service: all the ambulance people I’ve met over the years have been unfailingly friendly, reassuring and upbeat, I don’t know how they/you do it.

    Enjoy your retirement of mtb’ing, browsing STW with ease on your iPad and revelling in your massive NHS pension 😁

    ernielynch
    Full Member

    101 likes! Can’t recall ever seeing that before!

    Enjoy the new era in your life Drac. So much more time to do stuff.

    jkomo
    Full Member

    Being a bit thick trying to PM you Drac

    tenfoot
    Full Member

    Wow. Sounds horrific. Here’s to you and what you’ve done to help others. And here’s to your new well deserved rest.

    Drac
    Full Member

    Should work now @jkomo I have allow per,is Simon due to a previous member sending abuse.

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