Wednesday, 20 August 2008


Lovely view, isn't it?

Day shift: Seven calls; One taken by police; one taken in the car; the rest by ambulance.

Stats: 1 Faint; 1 RTC with rib injuries; 2 Abdo pain; 1 EP fit; 2 ETOH.

A 24 year-old man fainted at work. The crew was on scene and I wasn’t required after initial obs and a speedy recovery (the patient, not me).

Then I was on my way to a 24 female who’d been hit by a reversing car in the garage in which she worked. The East European woman was sitting on a chair, crying to herself with nobody helping her when I arrived. She’d been badly shaken by her experience and had rib pain. The driver left the garage after hitting her and was only tracked down when the police arrived and chased him up. So, a caring employer and a guilty employee – nice combination of reassurance for one of our foreign workers.

A man with abdo pain walked down, with assistance, to meet me at his office building. Despite the insistence of the first aiders on site, he’d decided not to stay and wait for me. He was incredibly uncomfortable and had a history of kidney stones – he told me this pain was very similar and I believed him. The ambulance arrived during my initial obs and he was taken inside for some much needed pain relief.

Another abdo pain and another working man. This time, a builder and his brother walked into the local medical centre and an ambulance was called after the nurse judged him to have a potentially serious problem. He was in a lot of pain and morphine didn’t seem to touch it, even after the crew arrived and ten minutes had elapsed. He’d had a sip of beer at lunchtime and his stomach had retaliated, so he may have an ulcer. He certainly had the history for one; stress, stress and more stress from what his brother told me.

I waited 30 minutes for an ambulance when I arrived at the home of an epileptic 29 year-old man who’d fitted and was now recovering. He didn’t really need to go to hospital; they rarely do but his worried brother, who’d found him having a seizure on the floor, was adamant. So, I waited for transport until I decided he was fit enough to go in the car and I took him there myself. He only every fitted once, he told me (just in case the pedants out there believe I took an unwarranted clinical risk) and he didn’t usually need to go at all after an episode. Ironically, his brother declined to join him.

There were two drunken women lying in the street in broad daylight (it wasn’t even 6pm yet), hugging each other and ‘not responding’, it’s not a fairy tale from Olde London Towne, it’s my reality, unfortunately. The two were found by a passer-by, of which there were many in this busy part of town, apparently out of it on the pavement. I arrived to find a security man from a nearby office block trying to prise them apart. They must be very good friends, I thought.

When I approached one of the women said ‘I don’t know her, get her off me please’. She said it in one of those drunken, not-telling-the-truth voices and although I tried, I couldn’t get the other woman to loosen her grip – she must have been a wrestler or something in sobriety. Eventually we got her to let go and the first woman was taken away by a work colleague too embarrassed to talk to me much. ‘I’ll take her home, don’t worry’, he said without eye contact. That suited me fine but it left me with the other woman, who was now going mental at the thought of being separated from her inebriated surrogate twin. I still wonder why women seem to have much louder voices than men when they are drunk. Did God build this in for a laugh? It's not funny, it's annoying. I danced with her for a while on the street, to the amusement of the local builders and office workers. She wouldn't let go of me now and she was very strong (or I am becoming very weak).

Even when the crew arrived the battle for supremacy continued on the street as she clawed at us, moaned about losing her friend and generally misbehaved (she was in her 40’s at least). I had struggled to keep control of her on my own for a bit and she very nearly dragged me into the oncoming traffic a few times in her desperate bid for freedom. Normally, I’d let her go but she was far too drunk to make it across the road safely.

The police were called because this was beyond medical help but they didn’t arrive for another twenty minutes, during which time I was dragged across the road successfully – with one Mercedes driver (there, to shame you I’ve named your car) refusing to stop and almost running into me as I stretched my arm out and showed him my gloved hand in an attempt to manipulate his brakes with mind power. One of these days...

Then she tried to drag me down an alley to ‘show me something’. I told her I’d seen everything I needed to see and she pawed my face and told me I had lovely eyes. I didn’t mind that, even from a drunken person because we don’t get enough praise quite frankly. The last time I’d been told my eyes were lovely it was a 20 year-old drunken male and he’d leaned over from the seat in the ambulance to kiss me (I think), so I won’t count that one if you don’t mind, especially as later on it took four police men with drawn batons to get him out of the vehicle.

When the police turned up the crew had joined me to gently but firmly restrain the woman (for her own safety of course). The officers thought it was all highly amusing and I could see the funny side when she was being bundled into the back of their car after refusing to be nice. Her head simply did not want to follow her body into the vehicle. The cop had to push it in manually. She’ll be very proud of herself in the morning, if she remembers anything. Her friend has probably cut all ties with her now. Ah, the cost of alcohol keeps rising.

A Red1 ‘life status questionable’ for a male who was clutching his chest had me all confused. Surely, I reasoned, if he was clutching, he was breathing? Who am I to judge such things when on high, better knowledge is held? Off I went then, only to find that my patient was a drunken Polish man who claimed a security man at the local Tesco’s had hit him, thus he was clutching his chest. You see, it all makes sense now, doesn’t it? Clearly he was a Red1.

Anyway, I didn’t believe for one minute that a respectable place like Tesco would employ a thug for security, so I assumed that he was either lying (which might seem harsh but he was drunk and very vague, even in translation) or he had done something to provoke the security shoplifting and not allowing himself to be caught. I’m a hard judge of human nature but I’m biased towards sober people these days, sorry.

Be safe.


Andrew Carr said...

True to life:...

Hannah said...

Just bought your book after reading many of your blogs on this site.

I believed it would give me an insight to the career path I wish to follow.

From what I have read so far (just finished the suicidal chapter :S) I have been captivated and can't wait to read the rest ( but i have to go to bed at some point tonight :)

EVERYONE BUY THIS BOOK :D ( I'm not a friend promoting it btw)

I take my hat of to you, and all the others that are in your profession and say 'good work , keep it up!'

Han x

sue said...

You do have lovely eyes though:-)

Ian said...

you could always come & work in Reading this weekend.

lots and lots of drunk people going to be around.

they have started to collect already.
like bees to honey they are with their beer.

Sewmouse said...

Having never seen your eyes, I'll take Sue's word for it - but the mental picture of you dancing around the street and walkways with your drunken admirer has me chuckling!