Every peak will have 2 valleys!
2020 has been a roller coaster ride for sure. With every rise there has been a swift descend into pandemonium. The year started out amazing. I was starting a support group for first responders, I got off of midnights, lost over 70 lbs and threw my wife a birthday party she will never forget. Then came COVID! During that time, I lost several family members, friends and former coworkers. My coworkers and I in the ER were standing in the gap, and working into exhaustion before the nation jumped on with the Healthcare Heros motto, (that seems to have disappeared as fast as it came). Changing out of my scrubs in the garage, running to the shower and sleeping away from my family for nights on in. Once the nation caught on to the true devastation that hospital workers were facing, they did what any desperate parent would do. Pizza parties everyday! I gained 40 of that 70 that I had lost, but I made it through the first wave without getting sick. I remember at the beginning of May, the cases started to slow down and it was like a gap in the clouds. The sun was shining bright upon our faces. We Did It! We Beat COVID! That second of sunshine was wiped off of our faces with news of layoffs and furlough days. Healthcare Heroes!
Peaks and Valleys!
In my years on this earth, I've done some things, (maybe more than some). It's been 7 years since I lost the career I love, I've made it through nursing school and I stood alongside some of the most amazing, selfless nurses. During my TBI recovery, I unknowingly became a patient advocate for many different causes. Many of them focused on my own personal struggles. While taking my pre-reqs for nursing school, I thought how cool it would be to create a school that blended both of my careers and potentially break the stigma of men in nursing and the disdain for law enforcement. Like many in my community, I grew up hating the police. While in the academy, I openly said, “I'm gonna work for Internal Affairs and lock up crooked cops.” My Academy instructor told me, if you want to change the perception of how your community sees the Police, then become an example. After becoming the police, I noticed that the number of, “bad cops” was smaller than I thought. Like in any job, (healthcare, education, plant worker or anywhere else) the bad apples makes it hard for everyone. Prior to graduating, (Police Academy and Nursing School), I would speak at events and schools to encourage people to take on these thankless jobs. We need real advocates in law enforcement and healthcare. In the end, we are responsible for our own health, wellness and safety. Those other entities are complementary to our rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I've had the carpet yanked from under me by both of my careers and it sucks. I'm taking it straight to the people. My goal is to teach you how to be the best advocate for yourself. The best part about all of this is that my 5’1 handler is doing it with me, to remind me, “The sun is getting real low big guy”.
PS. I'm not giving up on nursing, I worked damn hard for those two letters! My plan is to turn Everyday People into First Responders, whether that means protecting your own life or saving another. After Kobe died, I said Mamba Mentality all 2020.
I fell off for a minute, but I'm back. If you read this far please check out the website. It is still a work in progress, but I'm accepting all feedback.