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Monday 19 October 2009

Retirement From The Ambulance Service

Eddie Hangs Up His Ambulance Boots
4 years - gone in a flash!

It was a heart rending decision, and a heart rending experience but an inevitable outcome to my current circumstances - family and health.
I was in the service for 4 years and loved it - everything about it
Patient care, comradeship, the buzz from helping people, interface with professional people including nurses, sisters, matrons and sometimes doctors, driving fast RRV cars and Four by Four Range Rovers, turning peoples' heads, treating the job with respect and earning it in return.

And sadly now all this is gone because today I handed in that uniform I wore so proudly and was so privileged to wear for such a short time.

I resigned my position in favour of retirement, and I did it on Friday after deciding this option was the only one available to me. On Monday I handed back the uniform I loved so much.
I had opted to carry on working after 65 because in general I am very fit and strong, being sufficiently healthy to continue for at least two more years. But I was let down badly by an ailing hip which is getting worse. X-Rays and hospital specialists have confirmed I require a hip replacement. I am on the NHSS waiting list and I can expect surgery from 2-4 months. The pain is sometimes excruciating and I sometimes require a walking stick - funny an ambulance man limping along like that! Perhaps the patient could wheel me!! This situation just could not go on, even though my company had asked me to undertake some non ambulance essential assignments to which I gladly agreed.
My hip situation was one issue, but by far the major reason is the situation regarding my wife's health. 13 years ago my wife had breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy with following treatment, radiotherapy and chemotherapy plus a 5 year course of Tamoxifen hormone treatment drugs. This was all successful for about 9 years but unfortunately my wife experienced secondary breast cancer which attacked her right shoulder, some ribs, pelvis and part of her back. One of the drugs has failed and she has been prescribed another drug which we hope and pray will hold the cancer at bay for a long time. But we do not know what the outcome will be . . . . . or how long we have left together.

So my main reason for retiring from the ambulance service is to spend more time with my wife, during which time no doubt I shall hear her magic words, "I have a little list of jobs for you, my dear!"
"Oh no! been and gone and done it now!"
As you can see my Bluelights have not been extinguished, nothing could do that!! I aim to keep these burning way into the future.

You may have noticed I posted a prayer for Janine recently and at the back of my mind when composing the post, I had my wife high in my thoughts along with Janine who I hope and pray may be spared of any further necessity for treatment. But for my wife I am sorry to say it is a reality that secondary breast cancer is really there - may God bless her and grant us time together. I want to be near her for as long as I can.
"But what about all those ambulance stories?" you may be asking.
Have no fear! They will come, along with more Wizard of Oz when I have done a little more roasting!


  1. prayers for you and your wife...may you be blessed with much time together. sounds like you made the best decision, and i am sure that will be honored.

  2. Eddie...I know I am a teary-eyed old school teacher...but I can't help it. I'm crying...not because of your retirement....but because of the love and the compassion that you sweet blue-eyed loving handsome man, you!
    I cry because it would be absolutely heaven here on earth if everyone had an Eddie like Maria has.
    I hope that her "Honey Do" list keeps you busy...but not too busy that you forget that you will continue to be harrassed by bloggers like me!! I will be a loving way, of course.
    As you are on the waiting list for your hip replacement, take good care of you and of Maria.
    Tell her that I am thinking of her...for two reasons....her health...and the fact that she has to put up with you 24 hours of the day and 7 days a week (See! I told you I would be're not getting off that easy, my dear sweet friend.)
    Much love,

  3. Well, congratulatons on your retirement, albeit under these circumstances. It's your time now, for both of you. Focus on each other and savour every moment together. I'll be praying for you to recover from your hip surgery and for your wife that the new drug will work its magic. Then you can both trip down the yellow brick road together and enjoy all the sights, sounds, smells, etc. for a good many years to come.

  4. Oh Eddie, sorry to hear about your "forced" condition, and the status of your wife's health. Retirement is the only solution, as time and energy will be needed by both of you. We only have our loved ones to think about at this time. God bless you both.

  5. Great decision...go luck with that "honey do" list now. There is nothing more valuable than the moments we spend with those we love.

    May you have many many more with your wife. You do know as a praying man that it is as easy for the divine to heal your wife's cancer as for him to heal a hangnail. Nothing is difficult. Keep the faith, this drug may do what you need it to do.

    Please though, do not retire from blogging. I simply cannot support that!


  6. Eddie, I'm so, so sorry to hear about the reasons behind your decision to retire. We've only just "met" but it's clear to me that you're a sweet, devoted, loving guy, and my heart aches for you and your dear wife.

    I'm sending my very best thoughts your way.. for many, many more good years together. Think positive, friend.

  7. Eddie,

    I am not supposed to be out and about...I'm still so groggy from my painkillers, and today is NOT my allotted day for commenting ...but I cannot allow this occasion to pass without a heartfelt and warm word from me to you!!! You know that you and Maria continue to be in my prayers daily!!! And that your friendship means so very much to me!!! In addition, you know that I truly admire you both!! Indeed, your decision is to be greatly admired...and yet, I know it is a mixed one for you...sorry to say goodbye to this chapter of your life; and yet, glad for the time with Maria! And so I stand here, uncertain about what I should say...and thus, I will say the one thing that I truly feel: My heart is with both you and Maria today as well as in the days to come!!!! God bless you both, my dear friend!!!! Hugs, Janine

  8. Life does throw us changes Eddie, some lead to even greater meaningful experiences. You and your wife are in my thoughts and I wish you both contentment.

  9. It is Breast Cancer Awareness month here. Today just by chance I spoke to a Breast Cancer Survivor by phone. She was cheerful and dear and I praised her for her attitude. I pray that your darling wife will overcome this next hurdle and have the positive attitude that puts fear on the run. My prayers are with you both!

  10. I am new to the blogging world and only recently acquainted with you, Eddie, but I am delighted to have come across you. I am an RN now for 44 years, for the last 21 working in the forensic field, doing adult and child sexual abuse cases. Just lost my job in $80 million in budget cuts to San Francisco's Dept of Public Health and, at 64-1/2, I've retired - not happily...since my income has dropped $100,000/year, in this city that is the second most expensive in the U. S. I never had a terrific partner like you though I am blessed with three great sons, the youngest is 25 Nov 2nd.

    I am so happy you have had many wonderful years with your wife and I pray that the Lord will give you countless more. I send you prayer after prayer. Let's hope you sail through the hip replacement like gangbusters as well!

  11. "First they took my legs off and they threw them over there! Then they took my chest out and they threw it over there!" - The Scarecrow
    "Well, that's you all over!" - The Tin Man

    I do hope your lovely wife realizes what a gem she has in you. Hoping for you both as much time together as possible.

  12. Eddie, congratulations on your retirement and may your hip replacement surgery come soon and go well.
    May you have many more years with Maria and she be comforted by having you by her side. My friend has been living with breast cancer which has spread to her bones for several years now and she is quite comfortable and is very loved by her family and friends. I wish this for your Maria, you both are in my heart and prayers.....:-) Hugs

  13. Eddie, the strong, Eddie, the kind, Eddie, the one in a million!
    Such a difficult and no doubt wise choice. I hope you and your wife have many delightful days ahead, even with the challenges you face. You're both in my prayers.

  14. I was really shocked to hear that you had given in your notice. However it is very understandable given the circumstances. The *Big C* is a curse, isn't it, that seems to afflict us all.

    The visions of an ambulance man with a bad hip leading a patient to safety with a walking stick, does fill me with amusement! Surely the start of a cartoon!

    I am sure your days are action packed! Watch the hip though, while you are decorating! Don't want you falling off a ladder!

  15. Ed I was saddened to hear about your wife's condition today, please give her my best.

    Since I retired to look after Carol earlier in the year i am baffeled where i found the time to go to work.

    Any way have a good retiremnt and keep up the Bogs.

    Kind regards Dennis (alfa charlie 401) amcaruk

  16. or even the Blogs i could never proof reed

  17. Very sad to hear about Mrs Bluelights... behind every comic there are tears being shed.
    I pray you will have great times together for as long as possible.
    I sort of retired kicking and screaming, but I soon got to like it, hope you do too. My hubby just wont let go and he still has a great collection of cars... he loves buying them but not selling, so we have at present 22 on the front. Slowly though by word of mouth one gets sold, but it seems 'one out two in' is his motto.
    Bless you dear Eddie.
    Love Granny

  18. Oh Eddie what a turmoil of emotions you must be going through! What a hard decision on one hand... but so easy on the other. I do understand.
    I hope you and Mrs. Bluelights have lots of quality time together and you absolutely have made the right decision and for the right reasons.
    I hope your wife responds to some treatment and that you get as long as you possibly can together, and that she has a pain free (or pain controlled) quality life. You too. hope the hip op comes off soon and is without complication.

    You'll always be Eddie Bluelights to us!

  19. Along with everyone else who loves and admires you, I too pray for your lovely wife. And I also send positive vibes to your hip. I expect life will be somewhat different from now on.

    With heartfelt wishes, K xx

  20. Eddie, I am so sorry to hear that your wife's cancer has returned. I send prayers that you will have the time you want and need with your wife. And I send prayers that your hip replacement will go well and the outcome will free you from pain.

    Keep well my friend, and a postiive attitude.

  21. Eddie-I know it can't be easy for someone who loves his job as much as you do to stop doing it.

    I'll be praying for both you and your wife. God grant you peace, comfort and safety and joy in each other.

    I'm here, kind sir, if you'd ever like to chat (we usually serve coffee here but I'll brew a nice cuppa tea if you'd rather...)

  22. So sorry to hear you have had to resign from a job you loved and also, that your wife is having health issues too. But, I'm really happy that you took over where David left off with the Sunday Roast and I am betting that will keep you pretty well occupied, won't it?

  23. Well God bless you Eddie. I am sorry for all of yours and your wifes health issues. You can be sure that I will be praying for you both. It is all that I can think of to say except that I am sure that your fellow workers will miss you terribly. Love Di

  24. Oh Eddie! It made me feel so sad. Your decision is very very wise! I'm honored to know an angel of a human being like you. I will pray the the medicine that your wife has been prescribed works wonders. Miracles Happen Eddie.Don't loose faith. Ever! Having seen the medical fraternity from close quarters, you must have witnessed miracles yourself. God is always good to nice people. I will pray for your wife and Janine I am sure God will listen to me. Don't worry Eddie. You have your wife have another 100 years together. And do take care of your own health too. I am sure your surgery will go well and you will be back to fighting fit soon! And so will your wife. Take care :)

  25. First, I am so sorry to hear about the challenging health issues that you and your dear wife are facing, but with God, all things are possible. I am keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers, each day, and hoping that this extra time together will be a time of healing. You are a rare gem, my friend, and I wish you and your family all of God's blessings during this difficult time.

  26. There is no doubt in my mind that the hip replacement will be a great success, if my knee replacement is anything to go by, it will give you a new lease of life. You can then make the most of your retirement and the time you are your wife are able to spend together.

    I'm sending lots of positive thoughts, prayers and healing Reiki to your wife and to your for your operation.

    I think your colleagues will miss you very much Eddie. x

  27. I do not know what to say! I am so very appreciative of all your kind comments so generously given from your hearts. It helps enormously knowing I have a great bunch of friends in blogland. In the woeds of Arnie, "I will be back!!" - I am not terminated yet!! LOL

  28. Arnie who???
    (You knew I'd be back....)
    (Like a bad penny.... :)) )
    I'm thinking about you and your lovely wife, my friend. She sounds like a woman of great strength and dignity. Blessings to you both. Looking forward to your next always.
    P.S. I don't know who ethelmaepotter is (a commenter of yours)...but I LOVE Love LOVe comment! I'm going to have to check out that blog!!
    Nuther hug from Jackie

  29. Dear Eddie and your dear wife,

    I am so sorry to read of the cancer. It breaks my heart to know this is happening. I am adding your family to my prayers. I am lacking the right words, but am so touched to hear you are retiring to spend time with your love.

  30. Dear Mr. Eddie,
    No, Bluelights will never be extinguished for we have the light(s) in our hearts.

    Hugs to Mrs. Bluelights!

  31. Well, Eddie, Maria has never been out of my prayers and Janine's situation just brought it that much more to the fore. I pray God's healing Hand to be on all of you.

    As for your hip replacement, make sure they give you the dancing one, which would be quite amusing if only one side of you danced while the other tried to maintain some mode of decorum, dignity (you know, all those good 'd' words) have them put in two dancing hips instead!!

  32. whoops...what happened to my signature, how will you know who this is from in your delicate condition?

    Yes, it is me, Mary Poppins! And I am sending a several spoons full of sugar along with blessings and hugs.

  33. You are a brave and valiant husband. Congratulations on your retirement. Enjoy your time with your wife. Healing prayers for her and you and warm hugs all around.

    You are so very inspiring. Thank you.

  34. Please go take a trip of a life time together!!! Take lots of pictures, laugh, eat lovely food, stay up late watching the sun set, .... enjoy the time that you have left together. Each and every day. Don't let the hip slow you down!! Pop some pain meds.

  35. How wonderful, you have a well deserved rest and make some time for YOU!..and us of course,,,

    such an amazing job l'm sure and work l know is so giving...thanks

    speak soon

  36. Eddie, my dear blogging friend and playful adversary - I am so sorry to hear this news of yours. You obviously had a love for your work. However, as each door closes, another opens (or something like that, which I truly believe.) Go on a great holiday, enjoy the leisure as much as is possible, revel in your friends and family who love you. I have no doubt that a man of your sterling character and wonderful sense of humour will find much to delight in and be joyful about!

  37. Eddie, You and your wife are in my thoughts and prayers. Your wife is very blessed to have you. Blessings and BIG hugs -- Debbie

  38. I'm just catching up on posts while I'm on vacation-- i had no idea. So first I'd like to say congrats on your retirement! What a noble service you provided to countless people. I take my hat off to you. Second, your lovely wife is in my prayers and I wish you both blessings every day. And third, your hip! Oy! I am sorry. That's down the road for me too. But "they" say it's so much easier these days. To which I can only say, "Ha!".

    It sounds like you have a great attitude and your priorities are in the right place. Keep those blue lights flashing and know you have a lot of friends in blogland cheering you on!

  39. Eddie...checking in to see if you are working as hard since you retired as before. I find that I have more to do since I've retired...and less time to do it. How can that be? Do you find it the same? Does your sweet wife have a long enough "Honey Do" list...or shall I send her some suggestions? Take care, my friend.
    Smiles from Jackie

  40. No No Jackie!! Spare me!! No more DO lists!!
    I am busier now than I was in the ambulance service. HELP! LOL

  41. To All my friends - a very big thank you for your very kind comments - I am truly moved ~ Eddie

  42. :)I've suddenly lost words!...that rarely happens!^^ Eddie, you're one of my favorite persons in the world and you know that I will be praying and will be wishing you both all the nicest things... whatever your heart desires my dear friend, that too I ask as a prayer.

    LOVE and BIG hugs,


  43. Eddie...
    best wishes to you and your family.

    take care
    x Ribbon


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