Friday, 20 June 2008

Revenge of Mr. C!

Four emergency calls – all taken by ambulance.

I thought you’d be amused by this police car’s call-sign. I smiled at the irony when I saw it – if your brain doesn’t think like mine then you’ll miss the point.

Mr Colostomy bag is back in the area and causing havoc by having us run around in circles for him every day, as usual. Mr C. is a disgusting human being with a full colostomy bag which hangs from his open colon. He takes great delight in detaching it and displaying his innards, much to the shock of the general public who rush en-masse to dial 999 for the man with a ‘serious stomach wound; bowels hanging out’. Even before we start rolling on the call, this description gives him away every time. We all know him and he is often abusive and aggressive.

I arrived to find him slumped pathetically in a corner near the train station. There’s nothing wrong with him medically but he is in and out of hospital every day, sometimes two or three times a day. His only complaint is that his bag is full. His term for this is that ‘it’s getting worse’. Yeah, it is, worse for all of us. The stench is unbearable and this time, because I told him he wouldn’t be going to hospital, he threw the damn thing at me. Luckily, I’m faster than him and I managed to step out of the line of fire. The bag landed in the street and the contents leaked out like watery caramel. Don’t be fooled by the alluring colour…its horrible stuff and its not edible.

The crew took him away; I guess they had no choice and the bag of putrid faeces remained on the ground, a few feet from the entrance of the local McDonalds. It’s just as well the corporation don’t still use their happy clown (which I always found freaky) because the smile would be wiped from his face if he'd seen what his burger-munching customers were having to step over..

A collapsed 65 year-old cancer patient (Ca head and neck) was just a little weak. He fell down a few times and was generally unsteady on his legs but it caused panic in his household. He was receiving radiotherapy and was due for his last session, so the crew (one of two that turned up for some reason) took him to his appointment.

A member of staff at a cycle shop started fitting out of the blue and with no previous history of epilepsy, so I was sent with a crew to help him. His seizure was dying out when we arrived and he was taken to hospital for investigation. The back end of the shop looked like a cycle graveyard. The best I could come up woth was 'so, what do you sell here then?' but it was a lead balloon.

When I get a call for chest pain and the patient is younger than 20 years old, I generally don’t believe it, so my last call, for a 14 year-old with chest pain at the Tate Modern had me thinking that it was probably something else…possibly hyperventilation. She was in the medical room with her teachers and a friend and she had abdominal pain. She had no medical history, except for heartburn but even that seemed a little much for a young, fit person, so I handed her over to a double-female crew and more pertinent questions, regarding periods, were asked when all the boys (including me) had left the room.

On my way back I stumbled (if that’s possible in a car) into a running call. A man flagged me down in the belief that I was the ambulance he had called for earlier to assist with the lifting of a very heavy patient at the front of the Tate Modern’s car park. I wasn’t, I told him but I radio’d in and suggested I could help out. Control was, of course, very happy that I could because they had nothing to send anyway and it was a green call.

I almost regretted being such a helpful Stu because the man was enormous and lay on the ground after spilling out of his wheelchair as he attempted to get back into his incredibly small car. He had no use of his legs and could only help me with his upper body. I’m no giant and I knew this was going to be difficult and probably painful for me. I asked for a volunteer from the Gallery’s security and got one man to help. The others sheepishly avoided direct eye contact. I have conjunctivitis at the moment and my eyes are a bit red, so maybe they didn’t want to offend me, who knows?

Anyway, with me and one other brave fellow, we hauled the man upwards. Then we dropped him as the sheer weight defeated us. I re-arranged my spine and we tried again after a short interval (no snacks). This time we managed, with Herculean effort, to lift the poor bloke onto the edge of his wheelchair which had been tilted, in time-honoured fashion, at an angle for an easier life. Once on the chair, he was able to pull himself further back into the seat using his own arms, thankfully. Otherwise he was destined for the ground at speed and we were heading for acute back problems and seriously damaged tendons. I’m only little but I’m strong, so don’t mess!

Be safe.


Sue said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Oliver Smith said...

very amusing.

Cancer is such a horrible illness. I've seen two members of my family both die from cancer and it's just not nice. I hope your 65 year old patient's course of radiotherapy goes well. I've also spoken to a couple of young people (early - mid teens) through some voluntary work that I do who have been diagnosed with Cancer - might write about that sometime.

Hope your back has recovered.

Anonymous said...

Hey xf,

Hope you are well. Still loving your blog (may be a bit of an addict but not quite ready to admit it publicly!)

Can I ask how Scruffs is doing. You haven't mentioned him in a while. Any chance of a photo of him, am sure hes all grown up now.

Be safe,

izzgoo said...

Just out of interest who got to clean up the 'caramel'? Mcdonalds, you or Other?

miss emma said...

My best friend's sister has just been having tests for cancer, but thankfully it's just glandular fever which was "pretending to be" cancer.
The human body is odd!
But I saw the suffering they went through just waiting for the test results and I thank God that it isn't anything very serious because I don't know how people manage to cope with it!

Louise said...

I get back out when I look at these patients, its tough.

Xf said...


Scruffs is doing well. He still thinks he's in charge. I posted a Happy Birthday Scruffs message in May...there's a new photo of him there.

I don't want this to become his blog! I promise I will keep his fans up to date when I can.

Xf said...


Scruffs is doing well. He still thinks he's in charge. I posted a Happy Birthday Scruffs message in May...there's a new photo of him there.

I don't want this to become his blog! I promise I will keep his fans up to date when I can.

Xf said...


No idea but it wasn't me...