I turned 37 on Friday. I will admit that I am beginning to dislike the thought of the next few birthdays. This one didn’t bother me too much, but 38 kinda does. But that’s next year.
This year I considered doing something I never thought I would – a minor plastic surgery procedure to fix something that was caused by Benjamin’s c-section. I’ll do it eventually, but the fact that I would even consider it kinda shocked me (and, quite frankly, Husband) a bit.
But, I’m done with the “approaching middle age” thoughts. You see, on my birthday I spent most of the day touring a board member and his family (including two adorable twin boys) through our hospital’s air ambulance program’s helicopter, the emergency department and trauma rooms.
I listened as the director of the program (the 2nd oldest and 1st busiest in the country) talked about what his nursing flight crews do on a daily basis. We heard a call come in to send a helicopter to pick up a victim on the other side of town and watched as the team mobilized in the air and on the ground to do everything possible to save this person’s life. (A person, by the way, who had no insurance and most likely overdosed on drugs.)
These people took my breath away. Their dedication and military-like execution of their job is so overwhelming it is almost indescribable. They are available 24/7 and serve a 150 mile radius – well beyond our city.
As we rode down in the dedicated elevator that takes you straight from the helipad to the trauma rooms in the ER, you could feel the tragedies those walls had seen. The same for the trauma center. You could picture in your mind’s eye a particularly busy Saturday night where some college kid decided drinking and driving wasn’t really such a bad idea and ended up on a stretcher in the middle of organized chaos trying to save her life.
I can’t imagine what these guys are part of on a daily basis. The only reason their phone rings is because something awful and potentially deadly has happened.
This program is funded solely by the hospital system and philanthropic dollars. Not one red cent from the government is used to support it. Perhaps that’s why it works so well.
At the end of the day, I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I met Husband and several other family members for a sushi dinner in the middle of rainstorms. Someone raised a glass to wish me a happy birthday and as the glasses were clinking around the table, I said to Husband under my breath, “Here’s to the men and women working right now to give someone else their next birthday.”
I have the best job in the world.