Before I came to medical school, I worked as a ski patroller at a small resort near my university. It was some of the best times of my life. The people were great, the snowboarding was awesome, and it was an amazing job. I wish that I could still be out there doing what I really love and helping people at the same time.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I miss it. I want nothing more than to go back in time and live those winters over again and again. It's amazing how much of our lives we spend hoping for the next thing, wishing that the next adventure would hurry up and come only to forget how amazing NOW is.
NOW I'm studying to be a doctor, NOW I'm in Poland, NOW I'm doing what I wanted to do all along and I can't decide if I love it or I hate it. But, I have my ski patrol experience to remind me why I'm here, it might be the one thing I miss about my old life the most, but it's also why I went ahead and took the dive.
In one day on the slopes I'd SEE and TREAT more injuries than most pre-meds ever see. When I started I was the youngest except for one other - the rest of the patrol were at least ten to twenty years older. But, that didn't stop me.
My squad used to call me the 'black cat.' When I came on duty there was guaranteed to be at least one ambulance call or some weird thing happening. It probably wasn't the best reputation to have, but I think it was just because I was on the hill more, so I found them more often. In the few months a year when there was snow on the ground I would treat cuts and bruises, broken femurs, and humerouses (which by the way isn't funny), I was first on scene to more injuries than I can remember. I saw concussions and held c-spine, called for ambulances, and a helicopter (or two...)
There was even one incident where a teenager ran out onto the ski hill without any shoes screaming that he was going to die. It turns out when I got to talking to him, he had taken 'shrooms.' A first for our patrol...and I can safely say it was one of the only times that I though that my patient might actually die, because I had no idea what to do (I'm happy to say he did live to get high another day).
I miss being in the midst of chaos and being able to handle it and help the people around me. I miss being first on the hill and last off. I miss feeling at home...
One day I will get the feeling back that I used to have while I was on ski patrol. I will feel like I'm making a difference, I'll feel like I'm saving lives, I'll feel like I have the best job in the world.....but most of all I'll feel happy again.
I just have to get through med school first...
But for NOW since I'm here, I'm going to try and enjoy the ride.
|The Hill Just before Ski Season|