I've been an absent pulse on this blog lately. That's because I've been studying, and studying, and studying for the National EMT registry exam that I'm going to take in a few days. I'm not just cramming to pass, though. I want to know this stuff, on a level way below tissue. There is only so much about EMS that I can understand before I actually start practicing in the field, but of that limited knowledge, I want to know everything.
As eager as I am to get this exam over with, to get my certificate in the mail and be a fully certified EMT, I like studying. I love writing out endless acronyms and knowing exactly what they mean, where they'd come into play, how I'd go about assessing them in a patient. I like the butterfly loops of blood through the heart and lungs. Mostly, though, I like being able to just sit there and do nothing but read, and make no decisions, and answer to nobody, and watch the uncertain spring outside the window flicker between cold rain and weak sun. Sometimes, as a break, I'll put my head onto the table, close my eyes and picture myself back in the deep snow and quiet of Leavenworth, or back at the noisy classroom on a late night with my friends, writing endless lines of notes on the board and becoming loopy from sugar, sleeplessness and what we termed Acute Acronym Overload (AAO).
For the last few days, my house in Seattle served as the halfway home for my EMT friends as they waited to take their exams.
They got a handful of deceivingly sunny days, beaches and breakfasts and everything we figured we deserved.
Each one of them remarked on what a gorgeous life I have. The beautiful wooden house in the garden, good friends all over town and the days of climbing and writing and running around. And I told them I knew I was lucky, that I'd built this life here on the West coast for the past ten years. But knowing what I know about EMS and the way it's run in Seattle, and the sorts of things I want to with my training and career, places I know I want to go, and starting from down here at the very bottom, it seems likely that I'll have to choose between this picturesque but unsustainable life in the city and starting over somewhere new. Pulling away from all of it. And that's when I started studying, so I didn't have to think about it any more.