Tuesday, September 23, 2014

God's Will

As I traveled down the long hour and a half stretch of mostly freeways, nervous about this major interview, I heard a song come on over the radio. As it played, I listened to the words and they went like this:
...I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh I refuse, to sit around and wait for someone else
to do what God has called me to do myself
Oh I could choose not to move
but I refuse...
to stand and watch the weary and lost
 cry out for help
I refuse
to turn my back
and try and act like all is well
I refuse
to stay and change
to wait another day
to die to myself
I refuse
to make one more excuse.
Lyrics by Josh Wilson's "I Refuse"
When I got done listening to this, I almost cried from conviction. And yet I felt so much better. I knew that God had called me to be a medic, and help others, but it was my choice to respond to that calling...and here was my chance. An ambulance company, based an hour and a half away from where we live had called the day prior, asking if I could come and interview for an EMT position. I excitedly agreed, but didn't have any time to prepare, or process this news.
I got to the station and waited to be called back. When I did, I was professionally interviewed by 3 people at the same time! One by one, they would ask me questions and whenever I talked, they would be taking notes. All of the people were very nice, and I felt like it went really well. They seemed to want me to work with them, and told me they would give me a call in the next few days after doing a background check. Days went by with no call. My mom was more on edge than I was :) I knew that God knew what He was doing, and I wasn't worried about it no matter the outcome. It was weird to have everyone else worried, but not the one that should be!

This was the Lords will.
Finally after a week of waiting, I received a call saying that the insurance hadn't accepted me since I was too young, but they had just got an opening for a dispatching position. They had called me right away, to see if I was interested. Of course I was! So I came in for another short non-invasive interview, and was accepted for the position 3 days later. I came in for work the day after hearing the news, and packed for 3 straight 12 hour days of work. I was planning to stay with a friend and her family nearby. First day was really hard, trying to learn everything and all of a sudden feel comfortable taking charge, directing medics through the radio, and answering phone calls. I wasn't sure if I could do it. It felt like to much to handle. Second day went way better. I started handling the radio by myself, with my trainer's direction and even started answering the phone. The only problem, was that I wasn't familiar with the area, where things were, how long it would take trucks from this location to get there and so forth. So they decided to change up my third day, and put me on an ambulance with another EMT and a Paramedic, to get a feel for both sides and hopefully understand where things were better.

This was the Lords will.
My shift started at 10am and lasted to 2am. We ran 6 calls in a row, leaving the station at 11 and not returning until 8pm. We ate dinner, and then ran off at 9pm to work at the Denton State Fair. There was an RV, ATV, and multiple co-workers at the First Aid station waiting for someone to need us. We did end up getting a pretty bad call for a little girl that got hit by one of the rides, and had to take her in for what ended up being a C1 and C2 (neck) fracture. Finally, around 1:00am people started heading out of the park. By this time I started to not feel well, and knew that a twitching problem was coming on from the flashing fair lights. I decided to hide behind the RV until it was time to go. 5 minutes later, my partners came and got me. I rode in the back of the ambulance with another girl medic who needed a ride back to the station. None of them had any idea I was having an issue...of which I was thankful for. On the 15 minute ride back to the station, I was twitching a lot, staring, and breathing harder. I'd had problems like this before, knew that I just had to wait it out, and hope it would end before they figured it out. I prayed quite a bit in the back of that ambulance. It was dark back there, and I liked it that way.

This was the Lords will.
We arrived at the station, and everyone got out but me. Shoot. They knew. All of a sudden I had 3 medics back there asking me questions, checking my vitals, and complaining on why I hadn't said anything :) I refused to let them take me in, and so instead, they helped me into the day room where the couches were. I almost passed out trying to do that, but managed. Of course the whole station had to come in and watch me jerk on the couch, and watch my heart rate which wasn't quite normal. I was a bit out of it, so I still don't remember who was there that night, but I do know I was in good hands despite the embarrassment. They encouraged me to not drive the hour and a half home that night, but I didn't feel like driving anyways so I agreed. In the ladies room, I found myself paler than I've ever seen. It almost scared me to be so white. All night long, my heart was racing and my stomach started getting queasy. Every 15 minutes to an hour, the dispatcher on duty would come in and check my vitals. At 6:45am, the shift supervisor woke me up and told me an ambulance was going to escort me and my car home to Wills Point when I was ready. They absolutely refused to let me drive.

And even this was the Lords will.
I got up around 7:30, lethargic, weak, dizzy, and sick. I pretended like I was okay, but I didn't look it. Though I did feel more alert than the few hours prior! I was just in recovery mode from the crazy night before that's all. I decided to let them take me home to my friends house who was way closer, and whom I had been staying with already the past few days. I stayed the weekend with this family, since I was supposed to go back to work on Monday...two days later. I got to feeling better after lots of sleep, sleep, more sleep, and good food. Monday came along. I went to work praying for God's grace and help for the day. He would take care of me.
It was hard. 12 hours is a long time, especially when you're not 100%. But I pushed, and fought, and pretended. It really wasn't that bad of a day. The Lord helped me be the best dispatcher I could be for that time. But He also had other plans, to make me slow down. I guess it's hard to get my attention :) So, against all my plans I started to deteriorate again.

This was the Lords will.
My heart was racing, and felt funny. I was so dizzy I could hardly lift my head up to answer the radio. But I managed. I felt out of breath, but I kept trying to do my job...I mean I only had an hour left until getting off. But my dispatcher trainer, and another medic decided that I should get checked out. So they helped me in the dayroom, despite almost fainting (again!) and hooked me up to the monitor. My blood pressure was high, and they saw something in my heart that was a little concerning. They told me I had no choice but to go in. Bummer. I got in the ambulance, and Mr. M. and his partner N. got me hooked up again, and started an IV. I didn't even flinch. That was how loopy I was. They took me in to Presby ER, and gave me well wishes. I don't really remember much of what happened in the 10 minutes after I got there, but they did an EKG, drew blood, gave me another bag of IV fluids, did a tilt test on me, and a chest x-ray. I felt much better. My vitals were normal, and I felt energetic and talkative. My dispatcher trainer came to see me. My friend that I was staying with came to visit a little bit after that, along with two co-workers. They told me how much better I was acting, and were goofing around in the room when I felt it coming on again. All of a sudden I became lethargic, dizzy, and weird. They knew immediately it was the same thing that had happened earlier. They told a nurse, and watched my vitals. Again my blood pressure went up, and my heart rate went wild. The doc came in and I couldn't respond very well. After about 10 minutes, I came out of it, and was fine again. They drew more blood since the prior draw had come out with crazy numbers, which ended up being the needles fault. After everything had come back fine, they decided to keep me overnight for observation and have a Cardiologist come see me the next day.

This was the Lords will.

I was taken upstairs into my own room, still hooked up to an IV and having vital signs taken every 2-3 hours…not including the blood draw that happened at 5:30am. At 7am I was wheeled down to have an CT scan of my head, just for precaution since someone had mentioned my neurological episode 2 days prior. Another blood draw at 10am. Everything still normal. The Cardiologist came in and talked to me about my symptoms. He couldn't figure it out. I was having Premature Atrial Contractions (PAC's), but a ton of people have that, and it's nothing to be concerned about. He said he wanted me to wear a month long holter monitor to see if they could pick up a different rhythm, and go from there. My dad came and saw me 30 minutes before they released me. He drove me back to pick up the car at work, and followed me to my friends house. I was so tired. I was planning to try and go back to work the next day, since it would have been my last for the week, and the Cardiologist wasn't concerned so why not? I got some sleep, and went back to work the next day only to get sent home at noon. I had another heart episode, though not as bad, my blood pressure was high again, and I didn't have the correct release form. They were worried about me, but I didn't know how to tell them I may have to deal with this for awhile…as kind of a 'normal thing'. How was I going to hold a job like this?

This was the Lords will.

I rested up, got my release form faxed over, and drove back to Wills Point to see my family for the first time in a week. It was so good to be back home! I felt as if I had been gone for weeks. I went back to work 3 days later. I made it. Through. the. whole. day. However, I was still having some issues knowing the area and feeling comfortable with dispatching. I was trying my best, I was learning a lot, I was making friendships, I was part of a family, and I wanted to do well. My supervisor decided to let me try nights and see how I did. So, I went home and came back 3 days later for my first ever night shift. I was excited, and somewhat nervous since they do things very different after 7pm. I had a new person training me, and we just worked together taking calls, dispatching trucks, entering forms, and her teaching me how things go at that time of night. It wasn't that hard to stay awake until about 4:30am. That's when I started fighting it. I listened to Christian music on Pandora, and worked on crocheting a baby blanket for a friend. I also had a hard time (from about 10pm on) keeping my health in line. My heart wouldn't stop racing, I kept trying to stay conscious and alert during the frequent episodes to not much avail, and I was dizzy. I hate to admit that I was hooked up yet again by a very understanding dispatcher, who was very graciously trying her best not to draw attention to me, or tell anyone she didn't have to. Come to find out, she herself had had issues when first dispatching and had to be taken to the hospital by her co-workers for heart problems too, her reason being dehydration. She has Hashimoto's disease, has had many issues growing up, and had to use her nebulizer every night while dispatching. She could relate. And she was about the only one who could. Miss L. told me I was free to go home if I needed to (at 2am) but I decided to try and make it through. And I did. I was nodding off by 5:30 but made it to 7am.

This was the Lords will.

I slept for about 4 hours after going to my friends house, filled out some paperwork at the hospital to be sent to a natural doctor, came back to sleep for another hour before going in to work. This was the last night before they would decide where to put me. I was half hoping I would get to work nights, just because it was more laid back and easier to handle than during the day. That night, I was basically on my own. The dispatcher trainer tried to occupy herself with other things to see if I could really do this by myself. She was actually surprised with how I handled it...not perfectly, but not bad either. We didn't have any calls from 12:00am until 6am, so it was really kind of boring at first, except that Miss L. showed me her favorite movies on her laptop which was really fun :) It was nice to spend time with her, watching things she enjoyed and get to know her better. At 6:45am, the shift change person came in, who just so happened to be my supervisor. She pulled Miss L. aside to talk with her about the night. 5 minutes later, she came and got me to talk about the night. What I heard next, was something I wasn't expecting: "We're going to have to let you go." I was so stunned I didn't know how to respond, but smile and say "oh!" That is the polite Lodi way of saying things! My supervisor didn't really say why, except that they decided reluctantly I 'wasn't a good fit'. I could tell in her eyes, that this was not something she wanted to do, or expected either. I signed the forms, said thank you and goodbye, grabbed my things, and quietly walked out the door. When I got in the car to drive home, I just praised God that He knew what He was doing and that this, even THIS was His will.

This was the Lords will.

I called my mom to tell her, and was so suddenly choked up I could hardly talk. I started crying trying to explain things, and even though I knew God was in charge I was in shock, sad, and overwhelmed. I had never had to experience being let go, and it was hard to take especially after having been awake for 14 hours. I slept for a few hours before leaving to come home. I didn't feel good at all, but I knew I needed to just be home. I stopped by a friends apartment on my way back, to see her new baby and get a break from the hot car. Well, the only problem? I never left. I felt so exhausted, dizzy, and had a irregular heart that I could hardly walk. And they lived on the 3rd floor. I had a grand time with them, despite not feeling well, and they ended up having to drive me home the next day. My body was spent. I needed my bed, my family, my home.

This was the Lords will.

It has now been 3 weeks since that happened. I have no hard feelings for the ambulance company, and see the Lords hand orchestrating it all. He is the One who knew this was going to happen, way before I did. He planned before I was born, that I was only going to work there 3 amazing, hard, wonderful, challenging weeks. Why? Who knows. Maybe, just so I could tell one of my co-workers about The Veil of Tears. Maybe, just so I could shine Jesus' light to the people I worked with. Maybe, just to build relationships with a few people there. Maybe, just to have one soul see Jesus. Only Christ knows why. He planned it. He did His work. And hopefully a soul was touched and reached, with only the Hand that can. This was His will. And it was my choice to joyfully accept it, or receive it in anger. I have already decided through this whole journey to accept His will with gladness, with the knowledge that He has a more wonderful plan for me. He knows. There is no need to be worried about it. It has given me a peace to know in my heart that HE knows. HE cares. HE understands. HE will provide. What more could I ask for?

I have seen a natural doctor, and a Cardiologist, and just recently started driving again. I'm on my way to being healthy. I have been diagnosed with a Calcium deficiency, adrenal fatigue, orthostatic hypotension, PAC's, tons of extra non-dangerous beats, and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. I am taking a Calcium supplement, eating tons of protein, fat and salt, trying to get more sleep, just started a low dose heart medication to suppress the amount of extra heart beats, and hopefully get rid of some symptoms, and finally, started slowly implementing exercising. POTS is an auto-immune disorder, just like the RSD was that I had earlier this year. It causes fatigue, dizziness especially when standing up, racing heart, brain fog, body temperature issues (hot/cold), hard time concentrating, nausea, fainting, headaches, weakness, and because of all this can lead to depression. The only treatment doctors have found is to exercise despite how you feel. You feel like sleeping all the time, and not going anywhere, but really you are only feeding the disease without realizing it. You need to get up and start with some floor exercises like biking or rowing for 30 minutes 5 days a week. That is what I'm attempting to do :) Let me tell you it is not easy stuff! You are trying to eventually have the ability to run and even walk easier.

So this is my story. I hate writing about myself and my problems, but it has really played a part of the journey God has taken me on in just 6 weeks...a journey that hasn't ended, and will continue until He sees fit to take me Home. We are always on a journey. Whether good or bad, He is always there for us, loving on us, taking care of us, and using things in our lives to bring us closer to Him. Will you accept His will for your life?

He is worthy and greatly to be praised

 Olivia Grace

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I read through the whole story, and I have to say one thing: you are a very inspiring young women. I am incredibly blessed by your comment on my blog, http://achesandscribbles.blogspot.com/ Thank you thank you for reading some of my story. I will be praying for you in your endeavors. You have completely encouraged me this morning. And I thank you for that. It's nice to know you're not alone in this difficult battle. Keep pressing on, the best is yet to come. :) Good luck, M'dear.