But then, that's to be expected, me being me. (and, as you may recall, I did expect it)
Let's see, when did I last check in? Oh yes, Monday. And I didn't write anything on Tuesday night because I didn't get home until after 2300, because we were in the middle of "nowhere", doing our Night Rescue Scenario, which was pretty damn great, actually. The idea is that once the Scenario started, we were to stay In Character until one or the other of the Instructors came and retrieved us.
|On my way to some Nighttime Wilderness Shenanigans|
My little team of three ("Team Awesome" aka "Team More Awesome" aka "The Jokers") started our hike into darkness, all the while griping about being "lost", and less than three minutes in heard cries for help- so unexpected! So we hustled our butts over and discovered one of our classmates- er, I mean a total stranger- with a nasty looking open fracture of the right tibia. Into action mode we went!
What made the Scenario especially exciting to me is that we were limited to what we normally carry on a day hike- which in my case is not much at all. Fortunately for us, one of my team-mates is ex-Marine Corps (and an EMT to boot) and thus hauls around quite a bit more. And our patient, stars love her, actually carries a camping chair with her when she hikes, so you bet your sweet ass that came in handy when we had to splint her leg.
It was a pretty intense experience, playing pretend or no. I'm actually glad I'm writing this now and not that night, because I was in a pretty dark place afterwards, for a couple of reasons. The first is that I'd already been slipping down the emotional slope (my dreams were awful), and a conversation had got me thinking a lot about death, specifically my loved ones who are dead. And of course Jerk Brain was flaring up and telling me how useless I'd been, since all I'd done was keep the patient calm and distracted from what my team mates were doing to her leg, and occasionally taken some vitals. Intellectually, of course, I know that keeping a patient calm and distracted is actually a pretty important part of the puzzle, but Jerk Brain don't care about logic. Effin' Jerk Brain. Jerk Brain also went on to tell me how no one in the class actually likes me, that they were only tolerating me because they're nice people and it's rude to be mean to the nerdy girl, and that even if they thought they did like me, it was just because I was a big phony and they didn't know the real me.
(Yeah, Jerk Brain is called Jerk Brain for a reason.)
Anyway, not a good place, so I'm pretty glad to be out of it and able to look back at the night with nothing but pleasure. Eventually we got "rescued" and that was pretty great, because our patient's leg was in a lot of pain from having her "bone" splinted so tightly against her skin (I had the same problem with my wrists on Saturday, so I was feeling some serious empathy).
|But not so much that I didn't make her pose for a photo before releasing her!|
Wednesday we went over Mental Health Issues, which was supremely fitting for the levels that Jerk Brain was rampaging at, but also did a good job of helping me remember how far I've really come in terms of healthier behavior. I didn't write anything that night because I was too busy failing-at-studying for yesterday's tests.
I was the second to finish the test, which had the bizarre result of causing my inner Competitive Academic to flare up while simultaneously freaking me out that I only finished so quickly because I knew nothing. But I passed (with a grade that said Nerd part of my brain keeps insisting was an A even tho' it's only a P/F scenario), so obviously I knew more than nothing.
And then it was time for the Practical! Which I also passed! No thanks to my tendency to second-guess myself! Long story short, I need to get the hell over my desire not to make the other person think that I think they're stupid (which I don't), and just ask those redundancy questions.
After class we all (well, mostly we all) went out to Base Camp and socialized like whoa. And I was lead to believe that people probably liked me just as much as I liked them (suck it, Jerk Brain) and was just the happiest (/wistful) little O you could imagine. I was sad to have to take my leave (but that was tempered by getting to hang out with a friend from out of town) and I really do hope I get to see them again.
It was weird to get up this morning and put on a dress and doc martens instead of mud stained jeans and hiking shoes. I put on perfume for the first time in two weeks, and all my rings, and I went to work and did the job I do so well, and deepened relationships with my clients, which sounds so hokey, but is true. And through it all I did a lot of thinking. I'm still thinking. Trying to figure out What Next. But the truth is, I can't figure out What Next until I figure out what the end-goal is. Because like I said- I'm not sated. I want to learn more. I feel like I barely even scratched the surface! But it gets pretty difficult to justify spending the time and money on school for something I'm not going to make money on- especially when I'm not even sure what it is I want more of. Is it medicine in general? Emergency medicine in specific? Improvised wilderness medicine in specific-specific? And is it just that I want the knowledge, or that I also crave the application? Because it would be a hell of a lot cheaper just to read text books and watch YouTube videos, if it's only the learning I want...
|Kink approves of New Smells|
But there's nothing that says I have to figure anything out in the next few hours, or even the next few days, weeks, months, or years. Realistically it's time to turn my energies toward the next Grand Adventure, which is heading back to Scotland. Maybe just let all this simmer for a while.
In the meantime, if you're feeling accident-prone and in need of some wilderness, maybe bring me along just in case, eh? I'm certified.