Archive | July, 2009

July 4th on the Ambulance

6 Jul

I  got my world ROCKED.  My partner and I ran HARD.  We just kept getting sent from call to call to call  to call.

We had one – just one – quasi bullshit call.  A guy who has been feeling progressively shorter of breath over the course of the last week decided that after drinking 4 beers that he REALLY needed to go to the hospital.  And his ‘best friend’ accused me a couple of times of stealing or keeping the patient’s medical list.  Finally the patient tells his best friend that he had his own med list for her to believe that I didn’t have it.  Really made me wonder why this woman thought that I wanted the med list for ever and ever. 

Then I went for a 22 year old female who had jumped out of a boat into shallow water and jammed her knee and her ankle.  We had to take a stokes basket (see below)

stokes basket

stokes basket

all the way down to the waters edge, get her to help us move her into the basket after immobilizing the leg.  And then carry her all the way up the beach and over the dune to transfer her to the stretcher and then pick the stretcher up and put her into the back of the ambulance.  Now the girl wasn’t that heavy but still…my right lower back is killing me.  Had my sister rub Icy Hot on it last night thinking that that would take care of it. 

After we turned the patient over at the hospital, we were sent to an accident on a major road way where one of the vehicles was on it’s roof.  3 patients – one of which was transported on a Alpha Alert to the local Trauma-capable hospital.  My patient was the one who’s car was on the roof.  He was ‘fine’ except for the whole drunk-as-a-skunk and two sweet abrasions on his shoulder and elbow (probably from climbing out of his car).  He’d also tried to start a fight with the people in one of the cars that he hit.  Not the brightest guy.  The officer told me that he blew a .17 on the PBT and that it was still rising. 

We left there, went to another accident on another major roadway that was a 4 car chain reaction where our patient was in the rear vehicle.  We c-collared, boarded and strapped the patient and took him to the same hospital we’d just left but not without being cut off enroute by a vehicle who’d ‘crazy ivaned’ across 3 lanes of traffic just to get to Taco Bell.  I really hope that the emergent Taco Bell crisis was worth it because I put the front end of the ambulance on the ground trying not to get into an accident.  Which did not make my c-collared, boarded patient very happy.  Nor my two partners in the back either.  But damn, I didn’t have any other choice. 

We left the hospital and went to an accident on the Interstate.  Fun – it was actually 3 seperate accidents at the same location but nobody wanted our services…so we cleared off of that and went to an injury from an assault – specifically from a domestic.  Apparently the husband threw his wife into a bush.  So I cleaned her up and called out injuries (all but one were lacerations from the bush) for my partner to document.  The patient didn’t want to go to the hospital (surprise, surprise) so we got a refusal from that one.  We  were then sent to another accident but were cleared by police  – I guess nobody wanted an ambulance ride…

Then we went to an assault where the patient had sustained a sweet laceration on her right upper arm – looked a lot like this, just on her arm:

Nasty-but-cool, huh?

Nasty-but-cool, huh?

She was 18, drunk as could be and promising that she didn’t need to go to the hospital, she was fine and she couldn’t feel anything.  Mind you, she also didn’t want to look at her arm…or the blood that was all over her face, abdomen, legs, arms, or had soaked into her bikini top.  Oh, and she had an obsession with her boyfriend and was INSISTING that he ride in the back of the ambulance with us.  An idea I nixed quick-fast-and-in-a-hurry.  I didn’t know (and still don’t know for sure) how she sustained the injury and I didn’t know if it was a domestic abuse or what – so he wasn’t riding with us.  She was hysterical, drama queen which wasn’t helped by alcohol.  Honestly, she annoyed the ever-living out of me.  To get her to shut up and let me treat her, I had to show her all the gauze 4x4s that I used to clean all the blood off of her.  And then she didn’t believe that it was all her blood. And she didn’t want any needles and claimed to have a fear of them. 

Ok, normally I’d buy that but she had a tattoo that went from hip to hip across her lower abdomen.  I’m pretty sure that that wasn’t a rub on tattoo, you know? So we get her onto a bed in the hospital where the doctor is the one who took the turn-over report.  The doctor wanted to know how she was injured which was the same question I asked the patient…and because of all the alcohol that this girl had consumed, I couldn’t get a straight answer.  I told the doctor all I knew but the doctor had this face on her that said that that wasn’t good enough.  My thought was ‘good luck doc in getting anything more out of her than I did’.  The best I could figure based on case comments and injury was a beer bottle was broken and either used on my patient OR was thrown and caught her.  Because other than some minor, minor lascerations at her ankles, there wasn’t another injury. 

Either way, I was very very relieved that I was able to leave the patient at the hospital, in the care of the ED staff…who did come find us in the Rescue Room asking WTF did we just bring in as they were equally annoyed by her and her refusal to accept treatment in the Boyfriend arrived.  Overall moral  of the story – drunk 18 year olds, espcially females, should be issued with a mute button or duct tape. 

After that we headed back to the station where just as we laid down, the other ambulance crew  on shift that night got sent to a 50 year old male who was drunk and who’s 80-something year old mother was yelling at him so that set the tones off AND then at 5am, they got sent to something that I never figured out what it was because my partner had logged us off moments before hand so that he could go home, shower and come back for the day shift.  So after it was all added up, I think I got 30-40 minutes of sleep. 

I was SO tired by the time I got home,  I was slap happy…

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When I get to be important

2 Jul

I will remember to send my employees home early to start 3-day vacations.  Especially if the vacation is incorporating a federal holiday…like, I don’t know, hhmmm…July 4th, maybe?

I wil say that work will be done NLT (no later than) noon and that after that time, if you don’t have anything earth-shattering to do, you will do it at home.  or in the car.  or on the beach.  Basically anywhere but here at the office. 

I will send out the directive early in the day so people know what the goal is. 

And I will not be that boss that comes around at 3pm and wonders why everyone is gone.

In the No-Shit-Sherlock Column

2 Jul

I don’t like being told what to do.  Shocker, right?  I know – I should save these earth-shattering revelations for later in the day.  You know, until people have their coffee and stuff. 

But anyways – I really really hate being questioned or told that what I’m doing is wrong.  So when I am ‘preached at’ or I percieve that I’m being lectured, oh holy hot damn does my back get up fast. 

Example:  This f****** migraine / headache that’s on it’s eigth day of hanging out in my head making me cringe if the lights are turned on / off, finding that ceiling fans are the devil’s spawn because the shadows of the blades behind the glaring orb of light – is not something that I’m particularly enjoying.  This isn’t something that I wake up and go ‘oh joy! I want to physically remove my head, drain it and then put it back on!’ and I’m not really so massochistic that I find this pain to be somehow enjoyable.  SO! When someone with the best of intentions starts asking about how bad the pain is, where it’s located, stabbing vice aching vice all of the above, when am I going to the doctor, perhaps I should slow down – it hits all of my ‘ENGAGE RAGING BITCH MODE’ buttons and I have to fight back the desire to tell them off and give them a good piece of my mind.

I’ve pretty well figured out what’s causing my migraine and a visit to my PCP, with a referral to a neurologist IS NOT going to be the cure.  And I’d like to save my $40 and sick time, thankyouverymuch. 

Here’s what I’ve got figured out:

My migraine is a fruitcake.  What the fuck does that mean, you ask?  Well, let me ‘splain.  Wait, there is too  much.  Let me sum up: Basically that there are a lot of components that are unpleasant-but-tolerable on their own, but mixed together become this blocky, unsavory, why-do-you-hate-me lump of junk that is given to folks for no apparent reason. 

So part of my headache is tension – and why on earth would I have tension?? 

Hmm, let me see…

1) I’m working a job I don’t particularly enjoy for a man who prefers to be in a relatively constant state of  paranoia in that whole ‘we gotta get this right otherwise XX or YY will come after us!’…he also apparently digs on that ‘martyrdom’ complex.  Bah!

2) My divorce and less than amicable relationship with my ex.  And the additional burdens he places on me.  Usually in the form of me taking care of the dogs.

3) My Mom’s back home for a couple of days…so now is the questions about ‘where are you going, how long are you going to be there, who else is going to be there….it’s playing 20-questions just to get out the door.

So that’s tension.  Oh and going to school twice a week at night, after going to work, going to go get the dogs and then getting them to my ex’s house so that I can feed them and get to school on time. 

And I run a lot of duties.  Something I am actually trying to cut back on for the month of July.  I did pick up 4hrs tomorrow ahead of my 12-hour shift on Saturday.  But I really do love to run with my partner for tomorrow’s shift, so it definitely has it’s redeeming value. 

I cannot remember the last time I went to sleep without knowing that I have to get up for something in the morning.  When I was married it was ‘I need to get to bed now because he’ll be home at XX time and the dogs will go nuts.’ 

Oh…and a couple more things…one that I cannot mention here but was proposed as being a cause of my migraine (which is eerily correct) and the other is tension because my bank sent an extra car payment to the bank that used to have the loan to my car.  And then because I’m efficient when I don’t try to be, half of my car payment came out of my bank today since I’ve got it set up on twice-monthly deductions so I don’t have to pay the whole thing at one time.  So this month I’ve made 2.5 car payments.  WTF – over?

So money is tight, I’m not sleeping, I’m stressed about my divorce and my dad, I’m playing 20-questions with my Mom…and I wonder why I have a migraine.  Especially one that won’t go away.

That’s why when I feel like I’m being lectured about going to the doctor, all I hear is ‘this is something more for you to do and you need to do it because I said so’ and I begin to wonder how it is that I managed to survive for 28 years without dying because I’m obviously inept.  And then I get angry.