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Great News?

     In this latest of a continuing series of blog posts, Tom Howard shares the results of his angiogram.  While he should be elated by the good news, Tom still has doubts and wonders what is truly going on with him from both a physical and professional standpoint.

Great news?
    angiogram-300x232 So I survived my angiogram.  I know that it’s a big deal to think about how they take a camera and look at your arteries from the inside but I really felt as though it was no different than going to the dentist.  Kind of weird but really it is what they do all day.  So now I know I have no blockages around my heart.  Great news, right?  Well yes it is but at the same time it leaves me wondering what is going on.  I had felt this tightness on three different occasions, I know something isn’t right and now I am right where I started, not knowing.

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The Day Before

In this third installment, Tom Howard recounts his thoughts and emotions the day before his cardiogram.

     So here I am one day before I go under and let a doctor poke around my heart.  Funny how I don’t really think of it much more than going to the dentist really.  Actually I don’t think it is much different than what I do.  Go in, look for damage. Check for extension and clean it up.  Ok maybe a little different. After all, I have always said the F.D. doesn’t stand for fire department, it stands for free destruction.  I hope the doctor has a little different technique than I do.

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So Now What?

In the second of a continuing series of blog posts, Tom Howard continues to share his thoughts and feelings as he goes under the microscope of his cardiologist as they investigate the cause of his chest discomfort.

So now what?

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Never Felt That Before

     The following submission comes from Tom Howard who serves as an ILFFPS Team member, and is also a fire apparatus engineer with the City of Evanston FD.  Tom is working with Cody Todd on the Chaplain’s division for our group.  Thanks, Tom for sharing your story.

firefighter-2Brescue-300x220     As I am sure most of us are aware we all have those times in our careers when we think to ourselves, “Never had that happen before.”  With my paid on call time and 22 plus years as a career fireman I have had many of those thoughts over the years.  But this one was different, way different.

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In the Heat of the Moment, How Do You Maintain Balance?

The fire service is a dynamic entity where you find that no two days are exactly alike and can be seemingly unpredictable.  As members, we are called upon at a moment’s notice to respond to situations that can place our lives in jeopardy: structure fires, auto accidents, confined space and hazmat incidents, EMS calls, water rescues, and so on.  Anyone reading this post would make the argument that our profession contributes to a heightened stress response, which is made more complex by the fact that we are asked to live with the same group for extended periods of time (sometimes we get along . . . sometimes we don’t).  Given all this, how do you maintain balance?

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