The real hero, my Wife.
Funny thing about the featured pic... We had two cancellations the night before our FITScrubs photoshoot which left us with only one female model. I needed two more and pretty much ran out of options when my wife, Carrie, saw my situation and began making baby sitter arrangements for our two kiddos for the following day. Just as she put out that fire, she said "It's me, i have to do it. You have no other choice." The rest is history. After 11 years of marriage and raising two children, I am amazed that I can still be amazed by her, even by the simplest acts.
I've never had a normal job since I've been with her. She met me in 2002, in Albuquerque NM. I was in the Air Force attending Pararescue School and an active duty service member. I was 22, she was 21. We were young, very young. But love is love and we had an immediate connection. In fact, I actually lost a hundred dollar bet to one of my teammates because I was the guy who was suppose to be the Team Leader Bachelor for the rest of the Team... Thankfully, I failed. Goes without saying though that she was in for a bumpy ride trying to be the girlfriend to an adrenaline fueled Special Operations student. But we made it work.
Now fast forward to the civilian world. I had a great resume behind me at the age of 23 due to my military career but the only decent job I could get was work as a Paramedic for a private ambulance company. Once again, long hours, 24-48-72 hour shifts, and in those days there was no facetime, nor could you take fancy high resolution pictures with smart phones... Smart phones weren't even a thing yet.
Eventually I grew tired of the ambulance and found a home in the ER - YEAAAH! However, (always a catch with Emergency Medical Workers) the only shift that was available was night shit. 7pm - 7am. Cool for me, not so much on the wife. But again, we made the best out of it and she went to school at night & worked during the day - I worked at night, school in the day. We used to joke to our friends and tell everyone we had the perfect marriage because we never saw each other...
The spouse or partner of healthcare professional/worker deserves an award. My wife has always had the consistent job, the normal hours, the paid time off, weekends and holidays. Always trying to make plans and just, well, be normal. "Why can't you just have a normal job like everyone else?!"... I used to get that a lot. Anyone working on the floor in a healthcare organization knows that, with the exception of the consistent job part, that all the above mentioned is not a luxury we're afforded in the 12 hour healthcare world. I tried registry, mid shift and even day shift for a minute but the results were still the same. We're just hardwired differently when it comes to our occupational preference. I think the biggest challenge was that it was difficult for her to relate to my world of fast paced medicine. Eventually, a communication barrier got thrown up because of the lack of time I wanted to invest in helping her understand what I was going through. The less time I wished to invest, the more I would withdraw, and eventually 12 years of emergency medicine takes it's toll and burnout began to dig it's nails into my passion for saving lives. God bless her patience.
I'll tell you what I learned from that burnout/lack of communication issue. Leave the ego far away. Jeez I built up such an over inflated one. When disagreements would begin, rationality went out the door on my end and this ego-idiot would take over and get into the me, me, me's syndrome. Not healthy. Don't do it. Ego's do nothing for relationship goals, unless you really want to sabotage one.
Oddly enough, I decided to switch careers and go back to school using my GI Bill. I became a Communication Studies major of all things! Carrie and I had our first child, a boy, in 2014 and I figured I could get paid to go to school, finish up my bachelors degree and just become a full time ACLS or Paramedic Instructor, perhaps medical device sales? Easy, right?! Finally, normal hours. A degree. Stay at home Dad. Planned vacations, weekend dinners with friends - normality!!
Well, parents plan and the universe laughs... lol.
Right when our son was born I had this feeling. This entrepreneurial feeling. I felt it in 2006 when I tried to start the FIT Scrubs idea then with Bamboo fabric. This time was different though. This time I had a new foundation to work from. I had gotten sober as a result of my burnout in 2013 and my wife was instrumental in that process. We were stronger than ever and I had some time on my hands. As if raising a child and going to school fulltime as an undergrad wasn't enough, naw, I could just make this revolutionary medical scrub with silver embedded fabric that kills MRSA and start a company at the same time... Easy, right? On top of that, we had another child, a girl, in 2015. Now we're on easy street, cruisen. Looking for Getsomesleep Ave.
Some of the best advice I got from a mentor in regards to making difficult decisions was, if i'm ever unsure about the decisions I have to make that will affect the people I love, pretend I AM the person that I love most in this world. (hint, she's in the picture) Ask that person that I love the question that I am unsure about. More than often, the person who we love most in this world will give you pretty solid advice because they care about your soul, not your ego. So I asked my wife, "What do I do about this? This feeling in starting a company?" In true partner form, my wife, from the get-go who has given me the strength to make this adventure what it is, say's, "You have to do it. You have no other choice. You have to see this through. I love you. I believe in you. I'll help you anyway I can."
And sure enough, she's right there when I need her. My hero.