Im 21 and recently shattered three disks in my lower back right after i finished firecollege and i am an EMT. My county has basically disowned me and doesnt bother calling to check up on me but when a firefighter thats high on the totem pole gets hurt they set up all kinds of fundraisers to help him. So basically im a young disabled firefighter who is going back to college to finish my degree, I can never pick my son up again, i do physical therapy twice a week and have a neurologist tell me he doesnt want to do surgery because im too young and it will "heal". I have a family that depends on me and now i am no longer the breadwinner which eats me alive to not be working.
Physical therapy twice a week takes up about 8 hours a week, plus i have to do the workout routine three times a day which takes up 2 hours a workout so 6 hours a day im doing stretches and fighting not to scream in pain. Its not like i havent worked hard to get to be a firefighter and once im there im just shut down and no one cares and all i have is EMT, Firstresponder, Hazmat, Firefighter, First aid, Wildland firefighter... beautiful wall murals that just remind me that if i would have just got my degree instead of becoming a firefighter i would still be able to play ball with my almost 3 year old son. How is that going to look, when he is 10 all of his buddies dads will be out playing football with their kids and i cant even pick my son up much less run or throw a ball effectivly without twisting my back and ending up on the ground.
I worked hard and got nothing from it. I am going back to college but no teachers give me respect and act like im just some guy like every other college student and they dont know where i have been or what i have seen. Personally i see my life as a big kick in the balls and since i was injured over time with the wear and tear on my back from the airpack while firefighting i cant claim workers compensation but even then i am not the type of person to claim something for money when it will take away from others.
I am a overgiving friendly person who worked hard to get to my job and then to just be shut down in my prime only after two months of firefighting and two years of volunteering. Personally i am apalled that there is no help for firefighters who are injured volunteers and professional either way the only difference between volunteer and professional is a paycheck.
I am just venting but if you think your life is bad look at my life. 21, disabled for life, 92 college hours of certifications that are pointless, unable to pick up my son, broke, going back to college struggling to keep up because i have to do my physical therapy workouts every day, i dont sleep much because after being in class on tuesday and thursday from 9:30am to 8:00pm i do as many workouts as i can and then hit the books for two or three hours just to wake up at 6AM to keep my son.
Im not normally a person to tell everyone about how bad i have it but im getting sick of people telling me how hard their classes are when they have only been going to college for one semester. GROW UP and deal with it, i doubt there are many in this world that have dealt with pain and suffering like i have as a firefighter to be just shunned as soon as they become hurt.
my email is Tomstarr@windstream.net i will listen to anyone's story or any advice that you have for me.