Whenever I make new friends, or am around people that don’t know me very well, and I start talking about “my partners” I know I have about five seconds before the look will appear on their face. It’s at this moment that I realize I now must explain to them that I am in fact not a polygamist, nor am I in a relationship with multiple partners, or any partners really for that matter. I must explain that I am actually talking about the people I spend twelve plus hours with at a time on an ambulance, working. Usually by this point the expression on their face has resolved, but some just still don’t get it, and probably won’t ever.
It’s like that work wife/work husband relationship almost but take that and amp it up by about 100. For many people in their work environment it’s usually just one person, but in EMS it tends to be a few. And in my case if you work at two different places, part time at both then you have more than the usual amount of partners. So I guess after all you could call me a polygamist, well a work polygamist at least.
I knew a year ago when I got into all of this I was going to eventually be paired with someone that wether I liked them or not, I would soon have to become very close to them. This was a very odd concept for me considering I made it through all of high school only ever having really one best friend. The thought of opening up to a complete stranger, and having to become not so strangerish (definitely not a word, until now) was well terrifying. Then throw in the fact that I would also need to inform my soon to be partner, whom I would be saving lives with, that I myself had my life saved not too long ago. Well it was either that or just wait until they stared in amazement eventually one day as I pulled out my giant bag of pills, and they wondered wether or not they should tell our boss I was a druggie. I am glad to inform you that I have since then almost always chosen the first option.
My partners have been more than understanding, with the exception of a few of course but that is to be expected in this world today. I am so lucky that I have been welcomed with open arms into a company, more like family that believes in me, and gives me the opportunity to live out my dreams.
I got asked the other day how I told my bosses, and coworkers about my accident, and well the answer is simple really; you just tell the truth, you become an open book, and if they can’t see the mountains you’ve moved, and the hills you’ve climbed to get to where you are standing there in front of them, well then they were never deserving of you anyway. I have always been an open book about my accident to those that ask. I feel that if someone has the strength it takes to ask someone kindly about their differences then they deserve an honest answer.
But back to those partners, the ones that I really consider to be my sidekicks, I am so lucky to have them. Somehow they have figured out what makes me tick, and vice versa. They know that if a call goes out to a different team for a pediatric patient, and we aren’t on a run, chances are I’m going to volunteer to take it (even though we aren’t supposed to do that) because sick kids hit home to me. They know that after a particularly long day one of my favorite things is a coke slushy and blue sour punch straws. That when asked what I want for lunch chances are it will probably either be Panda, or Qdoba, and definitely not pizza. But the same goes to them: I know that Tom doesn’t like water. Joey’s favorite flavor of Gatorade is Grape. Jane is a Venti White Mocha girl no matter the weather, and if her hair is up that means something is wrong. I know that Cara likes to get report, while I get the equipment set up so that when she’s ready to roll, we roll. I also know that she sleeps curled up in a ball just like me, and she is ALWAYS cold. I know that it’s abnormal for Patrick to go a shift without face timing his daughter, and that there are few things he despises less than my driving. (Just Kidding Pat, well maybe not!)
I guess what I’m getting at here is that when you spend this much time with someone they become well, family. Six months ago I would have never guessed that one of the people I am closest to is a 7 foot giant, that somedays makes me want to rip my hair out, but I know I can always count on at the end of the day. Or that I would be attending a wedding for another one of my partners, and am over the moon excited about it. Or that I would call one of them at least usually once a day, and always be able to guess how they will answer the phone “yes dear”.
I’m a lucky girl, what can I say. I work amongst some of the coolest people I know. My life is truly better because of them. They are the reason I get up in the morning to go to work (sometimes even at 5 am) because we are a team, and you don’t let your team down.
Not only are they my partners, but they’re my people, and I’m so grateful for that.