‘An It Harm None’ and My Reality
Article ID: 13612
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,418
Times Read: 4,709
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Author: Silver Night Hawk
Posted: January 24th. 2010
Times Viewed: 4,709
The ambulance pulls to a stop next to two police cars in an upper middle-class neighborhood. When we get out, I see a man in his mid-twenties sitting on the sidewalk. Per the officer, the young man is too drunk to go to detox. He admits to drinking “too much”, but denies any drug use. My gut and the patient’s vital signs all tell me he’s lying. We load him into the ambulance for the ride to the hospital. During the drive, I do a patient assessment, place him on oxygen and start an I.V. The conversation is pleasant and the patient is cooperative.
We are about a half a mile from the hospital when the patient suddenly looks at me in anger and yells; “get out of my face you f***ing b**ch!” The next thing I know, the patient has ripped out his I.V. and is attacking me. I yell for my partner. As he pulls over, he stops just long enough to radio for help then he’s in the back with me. The man is screaming incoherently and is amazingly violent.
My partner and I defend each other and ourselves. The patient makes no attempt to get away. He repeatedly attacks us and we do our best to restrain him until the police arrive. It takes four police officers and the two of us to get him back on the bed and into restraints. In the end, we all sustained minor injuries. We later found out that the patient was on LSD laced with PCP.
“An It Harm None”.
I have read several articles and books that talk about “An it harm none, do what ye will.” I’ve received many messages from these articles, such as: Turn the other cheek…If you harm another, physically, mentally, emotionally, or magickally you are violating this law, etc. Some say it’s ok to defend yourself or others, while another will say any form of violence is unacceptable, to the extent that they will not defend themselves or even their families. The latter view is not one I could ever accept.
While, I understand what these authors are saying, what happens when you live in a world where there are times that you have no choice? When you can potentially be involved in a violent confrontation any day at work. I don’t live in this world all the time, but I work in it. I’m a Paramedic. I see people on the worst day of their lives. Most are relieved to see us, but for a lot of people, we are the last things they want to see.
I treat people from all levels of society. From the homeless man that we see once or twice a week, to the rich man in a house worth more than I’ll see in my lifetime. I don’t always deal with the nice, polite members of society, regardless of their social status. I deal with the angry drunks, the drug addicts, and people who are just plain mean. This does not apply to all my patients, but it applies to a lot of them.
Not everyone is happy to see us. I’ve been hit, kicked, bit and spit on. I have been attacked by patients on bad trips who were trying to kill my partner, and me and I have fought back. Sometimes, unfortunately, it results in injury to the patient, if not to all involved. I have been injured several times by patients. At times, it’s hard to accept that someone you were trying to help hurt you.
Now, before some of you decide to judge me and tell me I’m not a good Witch, let me explain; I am the primary financial support for my family and I have two children that depend on their Mother being there for them, and I have every intention of going home at the end of my shift.
There are also times when I have to cause pain to treat the sick and injured. Starting IV’s, splinting a broken leg, and administering certain medications, for example, causes pain to the patient. It is a necessary part of assisting them in their time of need. There are also times when I am so tired and frustrated that I am less than polite to people we see on a weekly basis, if not daily, and who refuse to change the habits or lifestyle that keeps putting them in the back of my ambulance. This happens once in a while, despite my best efforts not too.
When I first started on this path I had some major issues with ‘An it Harm None’ and how to apply it to my world. I questioned whether or not I could follow this path while I worked on an ambulance. Could I live in a world of violence and still follow a path that promotes peaceful co-existence with all living creatures.
It was something that I tried to work out on my own, but it was a question that quietly ate at me. ‘How could I be a good Paramedic, ensure that I came home safe and sound at the end of every shift, and still follow our highest law?’
I finally talked to a friend of mine about my dilemma. He told me that he had had similar issues at various times in his life. He helped me to see that I could still do my job, protect myself, and still be a good Witch, as long as I did not harm anyone spiritually.
As I thought about what he had said, I realized that, while I sometimes have to cause physical pain, I have never attacked anyone’s beliefs or spirit. In fact, there have been many times when I have encouraged a lost teenager to follow their dream. I’ve held an old woman’s hand and prayed with her, even though her beliefs were not mine, because it brought her peace. I’ve tried to help domestic violence victims get help through social services and held a patient’s family members when there was nothing we could do for their loved one.
It has helped me come to terms with my reality and the laws of Witchcraft.
While I love what I do, this is not a job for everyone. It’s hard work. It drains you physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The hours are long, the pay is small, and there is very little recognition. You never see anyone on a ‘good’ day. You have to try to bring order to the chaos of an emergency. Many times, we place ourselves in harms way to help someone we don’t know. And it’s hard when you lose a patient. You have to be able to accept that, despite your best efforts, it was that person’s time to find peace. This is not always easy to do, especially when the patient is a child.
Many of us who have become Paramedics and EMT’s believe it is a calling. We do it because we love it, because we want to make a difference in the lives of others.
I truly believe that my skills as a Paramedic, my love of the job and my desire to help people at one of the worst times of their lives, are all gifts from the Goddess. I am honored to be her hands….to be a tool to help her children.
Silver Night Hawk
Location: Denver-Metro, Colorado
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