Friday, December 30, 2011

Working Through It

Most of my blogging has not been stories of calls. It is difficult to write about any of the more outstanding ones without violating HIPAA. We don't get that many calls out here, and everyone knows everyone. Almost anyone could trace a story back to a specific event, and figure out who I'm talking about, and that's not good.

So any stories I've written, I've changed some of the information. Names, gender, location, body parts, symptoms, family members, etc. There is no way anyone could read any story here and accuse me of divulging any personal information about someone. Some of them have been so disguised that when I'VE gone and re-read them, I wasn't sure which incident prompted the story.

Even so, some stories don't disguise easily.
Fortunately, I have a friend who is a professional television writer, who has shared with me the process of writing and rewriting stories to meet the demands of various outside influences (budget, location, available actors, etc). I learned from her that the heart of a story can survive many changes, of various types, and still be emotionally valid.

I have a few stories I need to tell in more detail than I've written before. I'm working on one. I'm changing enough information about it that it is no longer the story of specific patients. Instead, it is the story of those of us who responded to the call. It is about what we saw, what we felt and how it has affected us.

Writing it is difficult.
In order for the emotional content to really be communicated, I need to re-experience it as I'm writing. It is draining. I have huge respect for the bloggers out there who have been writing stories of calls for years now. I don't know how they do it.

At the same time, it is healing, I think. At least a little. I know that is what drives some of my friends in the blogosphere, and I understand it more now.

I don't know when I'll get it finished and post it here. Possible never. Depends on how it feels when I'm done.

In the meantime, I'd like to encourage those of you who haven't used writing as a method of working through something emotionally intense to give it a try. Even if you don't share it. Write it for yourself.

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