25 December 2006

The Christmas Effect

I'm at home this Christmas, and it's wonderful.
We work a screwy schedule...... four days with 12-hour shifts, then four days off. So although it would seem I would have a 50-50 chance of being home for Christmas, it sure seems I have worked more than my fair share of Christ's Birthdays. This morning Sara Jean and I discussed how Big Bubba learned to sleep in on Christmas day because his Old Man frequently wouldn't be home to unwrap presents until late morning.
While it's nice to be home, I never resent being at work on holidays.... someone has to do it, and I'm glad to be of service to others in what can sometimes be desperate times for them.

But Christmas is a strange time.
You would think we'd experience a big up-tick in the number of accidents because of all the holiday travel. For whatever reason, it just doesn't work out that way. It might be the additional patrolling done by various State Police. I think folks are less likely to drink and drive if they know somewhere along their travels they could be stopped by a concerned Trooper.

Weather sometimes slows traffic, so even though there might be more accidents, slower speeds mean they are more minor, and less speed means less likelihood of serious injury.

From Thanksgiving to just after New Year's we do see an increase in what I can only describe as mental stress problems..... suicides, heart attacks and other cardiac issues. There is high expectation of happiness during the holidays. Sometimes things don't work out exactly the way we want, and the disappointment can be too much for some. And although we see less drinking and driving, I'm sure alcohol consumption at home goes up, with the additional stresses that entails.

For whatever reason, Christmas Eve and Christmas day are normally quiet for helicopter ambulance services. Tomorrow will be another story altogether.... Docs coming back after the holidays will have many patients who need to be transported to tertiary care centers, so tomorrow morning, crews coming in can expect to be busy for several hours, catching up on the backload.

So to all, I hope Christ's Birthday is filled with great fellowship and many smiles.
And if you could, sometime during the day, say a little prayer of thanks for all those performing public service of one sort or another..... servicemen and women, EMS and Law Enforcement personnel, and even those folks that have to be at work to keep the machinery of life working..... powerplants, water purification plants, etc..
It's easy to take these things for granted, because all these folks do their jobs so well.
We are truly blessed, aren't we?
Be safe and well, everyone!


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you got to be home for Christmas!! It's something none of us should take for granted. I hope you had the best time ever!!

It's true that this wonderful time can also be a stressful time...it's stressful trying NOT to become stressed out, huh?! Ha!! I always feel good when I manage to survive by feeling okay about it all.

Of all years, I certainly appreciate the workers, like yourself, who are there for us. After a few trips to the emergency room this past year, I do not take this service for granted either. There are many services that go unnoticed that are the backbone of our communities. I'll be certain to ake note as I venture out and try to acknowledge the good they do for us.

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas....my best to you and yours in the New Year!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes we are blessed GB. All you have to do is travel outside this country. Our infrastructure is second to none. Life is so good in this country that over 40% of the eligable voters don't bother to vote, they must feel that things are fine. Life is so comfortable here thousands of people flock here weekly to enjoy the bounty. I hope we count our blessings and strive to make this country even better!