21.5.07

[1 Hour since my last Outburst]
It's a complete log diary, it seems.

(Actually Published 5/22.)
I figured these thoughts deserve two seperate posts. they go in two completely directions.

So I had lifeguard training ALL DAY yesterday and today.
And besides the fact that I'm rather burned from today.
It was great training.
Learned a lot. Had hands on experience with fellow rookies, and testing this things we've learned on each other.
Got in the pool water.

Got in the lake water.
Yesterday we drove to the lake and did this crazy workout where we had to run along the lake shoreline and then jump in the lake water and swim a long length around this buoy and then back to the shore, continuing the run and starting a new lap. We did three laps.
It felt awesome. During, I started getting this sharp chest pain, and it made it difficult to run, swim, breathe, but I just kept going. The running was whatever - I went my own pace and it was good. The swimming was my rest from the running, really. The water was cool and didn't bother me. It was green. murky. clouded. cold-ish; nowhere near like where my school's swim team practice in the mornings. a lot better than that damn water. it didn't even taste bad. by the time I was on my 3rd lap and turned 'round the orange buoy, on the way back to the "finish line" shore, I sped up, passed Jenny (a friend of mine on swim team at her school, swims fly too, in 11th grade) and ran out of the water. I was the first girl out of the water. There were about five or six guys who were out and already finished (including this really good looking rookie from our training - the others being actual lake guards). I got out, glad and surprised to see I was the first female who finished (not saying too much, actually - but I DID finish before the lake guard). I held my arms over head, breathing in and out slowly. I decided, the next time we do this, I NEED to use my albuterol inhaler.
Eventually everyone finished, we had lunch, drove back to the pool, and worked on pool lifeguard skills.

That's all we did today, too. started with a 500m for time. I was with the second group, and sat with a friend Marissa - watching and cheering on Jenny, Eaan, Sasan, and the good looking rookie (Idoknowhisname). Idoknowhisname finished first, Sasan close behind, and soon Jenny finished with this girl Nellie, and others followed. Then my group warmed up, and our turn began. I was a bit afraid I was going to miscount, but I was carefull to not. the final two laps I went a bit faster, though not a sprint. when I stopped, my summer boys and Jenny congratulated nicely on my finish. My time was 6:56 - not an appropriate racing time, but I was satisfied with it for not really trying till the end. Last time, the lifeguard test (swim under 9:30), I got 7:14, so this was good. Once again, I think I had the fastest time of the gals.
We had loads more guard water skill learning and trying; with equipment, without equipment (but apparently, as soon as you use the eqipment - the red guards tubes, shepards crook, or lifesaver - you're fired. So, um...the non-equipment training is more important.) We learned how to tow in victims, actively drowning, passive drowning, and blocks and turns if the distressed victim reaches for you, escapes and releases if they grab on...how to jump in. crazy amounts of information.

At about 3:50pm, we stopped pool training, and were informed that we had to take and pass a practical test for using CPR and similar situations. Everyone immediately sobered up and nervously crammed and asked each other questions about the correct sequence of actions we as lifeguards have to take. basically, one at a time, each rookie would be tested are performing CPR duties on an infant, child, and adult; they'd give us an scenario and we had to say aloud everything we would do properly when we came to the scene, acting out the same way. if we forgot something, the guards would give us little clues to what we may have forgotten. "Okay, stop for a moment. A moment ago, you came onto the scene, checked for safety, approached the victim for conciousness, looked/listened/felt for breathing, and began rescue breathing. Now think back, and see if you can think of any step you may have missed."

I was freaking out at first.
I've known from an early age that I am a squeamish person.
It's who I am.
I have difficulties looking at cuts, lacerations, avulsions, severed body parts, intestines outside of the body, foreign objects sticking in or out of the body, blistered burns, puncture wounds...I've seen actual photos of all of them, and drawn diagrams next to them, depicting the movements of a bullet making its way through skin tissues.
I shudder.
These things COULD happen at a pool as I'm working. These things COULD happen as I pass by anywhere in the world. As a certified lifeguard, I am REQUIRED to act on any problem or dangerous that occurs at the pool. As a trained First Responder, I have the knowledge to help as I possibly can until advance paramedics can arrive. And as soon as I begin my aid, I CANNOT stop until I am relieved by advanced medical care, or I become endangered myself.

We watched an ACTUAL video that a neighbor had filmed years ago of a mom who lost her 4-year old son, and thought maybe he fell into the pool. There were paramedics using long tools to sweep the bottom of the filled pool - the water was so dirty, you couldn't see the bottom. It was green.
Soon, a paramedic pulls up from the water the limp body of the boy. Oh shit, you hear.
I mean, this is REAL. It happens hundreds of times throughout the country, especially during the summer. In a family's own backyard.
Immediately, the paramedics, you using CPR on this kid, his head lolling, his body jerking easily as they do chest compressions; the med's hands are moving so fast I can't even count how many compressions. 10, maybe 15, two breaths, over and over, non-stop. The boy's body automatically starts to vomit - the reflex of his lungs, throat, and stomach being full of water.
Moments later, two more meds rush over, calling for the boy to be carried into the ambulance.

He wasn't dead.
brain dead.

How does a child's delicate body survive that situation?
Is it better for the child to be kept alive when he can't move on his own, or anything? He's cared for by the hospital, visited by his mother, and will only live to be six or eight years old.

Can I handle this?

I've had a calm and collected mind with other emergencies or instances; once when I was about ten or so, I watched my older sister's head fall to her chest, and she collapsed backwards onto the kitchen floor. No one else was awake except my brother. He just stood there in shock, I yelled at him to go get mom and dad, and I just stood watching her, afraid to touch her or move her.
Another time, about a year and a half ago, my brother woke me up hurriedly and scared, telling me my mom was having a sort of panic attack. Instantly, I stood up and rushed over to my mom who was crying and pacing hysterically, and I soothed her. My brother only stood and stared worringly.
I can act in an emergency situation it seems, but what about when it's a person's life at stake? Blood? Guts? I can't think of it.

Even if I pass the lifeguard practical exams, can I do what is required of me?

Love will be death of me.

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