Alternate title: Why trying to kill yourself is a bad idea
I've seen a lot of screwed up stuff. Being in emergency services it just happens that way. I've been the one who's gotten the goth kid out of the tree, watched multi-million dollar homes go up in flames, cut people out of vehicles, known the difference between rescue and recovery, and made the phone call to the parents/loved one/etc.
The flip side to being in emergency services is that you get to be the one who saves the life, who saves the house, who rescues the kitten from inside a wall (done it!). Almost every bad situation is counter-acted by a good one, and it balances out just enough to allow you to keep your sanity and sense of a somewhat normal life
The hard part comes when the save is someone you wish didn't make it. Knowing that you can do everything and save this person, but that they will never be the same. And therin lies the case that began this.
It was a training video, so thankfully we were not the ones who had to make this decision. I know the people who were there, and who did have to make it. It was a middle-aged male who decided he had enough with life. I can't even pretend to know what his thought process was, but it led him to picking up a shotgun, placing it under his chin, and pulling the trigger.
The training video picked up in the ER surgery. At first, we had no idea what we were seeing. The doctors and nurses were frantically doing something though. Then it slowly hit us. We were looking at his face. No mouth, no nose, no eyes, no ears. But somehow he had not damaged his brain. They were able to find, using the air bubbles they were seeing, his nasal cavity. They were able to get an airway. They saved this guy's life.
The gentleman left the hospital nearly two or three months later. He had no hearing, no vision, couldn't speak (he had blown off all of his jaw and 3/4 of his tongue). And maybe, using the miracles of modern technology, they can rebuild all of that. But it's that what if. What if we had just let him go. What if we didn't do everything we can because we knew what kind of an outcome it would lead to. But playing God is not our gig, it is to react to a situation and do everything in our power to help - to be there for anyone who needs help, regardless of situation. And while I am sure that I will continue to see disturbing things, this will definitely stand out in my mind because sometimes it is more than just the graphical nature, it is the thoughts that haunt you at night that really get you.