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Apr 26, 2019 11:45:22

Invisible Scars

by @phaidenbauer PATRON | 351 words | 405🔥 | 409💌

Philipp Haidenbauer

Current day streak: 405🔥
Total posts: 409💌
Total words: 119710 (478 pages 📄)

Yesterday I wrote a pretty heavy post about a girl with depression. A Comment from @keni led to today's post.

"@phaidenbauer - Oh wow. How do you do it? Reading about what you experienced is hard. I can imagine experiencing it.
Thank you for sharing this."

I've responded in short on this comment, and today I'm going for "the long version" :)

As a paramedic driving two times a week for more than 4 years now I've seen many things. Car accidents, heart attacks, strokes, mental breakdowns, houses you couldn't imagine someone living inside and of course dead and dying people.

At this point, I have to thank that I've not seen a suicide yet. But I've heard stories about them.

And that's probably one of the best methods we as paramedics use from day to day. Storytelling.

At almost every night shift I'm doing, and on every other occasion, where I'm meeting paramedic friends, we are talking about past cases.

Mostly with a really really dark sense of humor. We're joking about death causes, death conditions and every other thing which would definitely not be funny for the person or group of persons in question.

I know it probably sounds horrifying to you, but this is one of the best methods to see something really bad in another light and it takes the pressure and pain out of a past situation.

We are regularly overwhelmed with situations we aren't really trained on. You just can't train/prepare for a dead person until you see one.

I've seen three since I started my paramedic career. And I can tell you from all three what they've worn and where we found them. I can even tell you with what paramedic colleges I was there and what weather it was.

Some moments just burn right into your mind. No matter how often you tell the story, no matter how often you think about or write about. They will stay there, probably forever. Yesterday's case was such a moment.

I don't regret the decision I walked this way. But the pathway will leave invisible scars on my mind.

From Philipp Haidenbauer's collection:

  • 1

    @phaidenbauer - Thank you for this reply post. It's very well written. Reading it, I was reminded of a Ted talk I heard from a guy who works at a hospice center. He explained that seeing people so close to death reminded him to live.

    In your car, I would expect these invisible scars to create a lot of cases with PTSD and depression. This feels like too much to bear on a continuous bases. I hope there are things you can do to reduce the impact.

    I have a hard time looking at blood so any career with medicine was never an option for me. And then I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a teenager. Since then I have read a lot about medicine and impact of a chronic condition but I still feel weak when I visit a hospital.

    I always said, whatever a person working in medicine is paid - they are under paid. Because they pay with more than just their time.

    Keni avatar Keni | Apr 26, 2019 07:34:13
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      @keni Thank you for your response.

      Sadly you are correct with your assumption that invisible scars create cases with PTSD and depression. I know two stories from paramedic colleagues, which were told me. One committed suicide, the other retired early.
      Basically, I think it's a job you just can't do forever and with any case, you encounter, it will change you. You have to take care of yourself to not end destroyed.

      I know many people who feel weak when visiting a hospital. I think that has to do with the fact that you rely on another person (Doctor, Nurses, ...) that you barely know.
      You really have to open up to that unknown person to receive the best treatment. That's probably a huge barrier for most people. (Also thanks for the post idea that just came into my mind :))

      Underpayment is so true. In Austria, Doctors get away pretty good, but the people doing the hard work (nurses, paramedics, nursing staff, ...) only get a portion of it. A really small portion.

      Philipp Haidenbauer avatar Philipp Haidenbauer | Apr 26, 2019 16:15:00
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