Ever get somewhere and realise that nobody knows you're supposed to be there? What fun. Seems to be my lot in life - people never seem to remember that I made an appointment. But he did put me on an ambulance - a "truck", as they call them - which subsequently turned out to be broken. At least, the windshield wiper was. Took four people to replace the blade, before we pulled out at 8:25. Swung down Harrison, doing the parked-car slalom - this time, the ambulance, the bus, and a Caprice - fortunately, the bus waited for us to get past. Mental note: Ambulances don't have much in the way of shocks. Or front-wheel drive. We pull into a parking lot to wait for a call (literally, ambulances just hang out in parking lots, waiting for people to need them in that area) and get one. Priority 1 - a possible imminent delivery.
Imminent, my ass. She wasn't even crowning when we got there. Contractions 2-3 minutes apart. So we loaded her up on the cot and took her to Parkview's New Life Centre, where she was resting quietly. Back to the parking lot, a different one this time. Was fun to hear them shuffle ambulances around over the radio. Another call comes in. He's 72, had a stroke mid-December, now complaining of shortness of breath (that's SOB in medical terms, boys and girls *snicker*). We get him on the cot, into the ambulance. He's looking a little bored by the whole deal. Put oxygen on (I got to hook up the oxygen, and take vitals!) and gave him a couple of sprays of nitro, and tucked him in in the ER.
Mind, the letter I got about doing a ridealong says "You will not be doing any patient care. If there is a possibility of contamination, you will ride in the front seat with the driver." You will be bored as snot, it sounded like. But the paramedics asked me what I knew how to do, and even if I could do some things I won't be trained in 'till next year. And they let me do vitals and pulse-ox, and showed me how to hook up a heart monitor, and glucose, and oxygen cannulas and everything. It was so much fun.
11:35 - Priority 1: unconscious party. This comes from a complex that's notorious for bogus calls, but what can you do? We flip on the sirens and scream over there, doing our best to get around the Freakin' Assholes who refuse to move over or even worse, Deliberately Get In The Way (An aside: if you are one of those persons who thinks that it's fun to play with ambulances or not pull over as soon as it is safe to do so, please consider that they may be trying to save your Loved One some day...), and arrive at the apartment complex.
It's not bogus. She's diabetic, with a list of meds a mile long and a blood glucose that reads "HI" on our little monitor. That means, boys and girls, that she's somewhere over 500...when normal is 70-110, thereabouts. This is a serious deal. We get her and her bag of meds into the truck, they start an IV drip, I take her vital signs and look over her meds list. "Um, she's taking Oxycodone and Oxycontin and Percodan? From different docs?" They pop some Narcan in her IV - which is supposed to reverse the effects of a narcotics overdose. She wakes up a little, then settles back into unconsciousness. Well, that answers that.
Best guess of the ER doc: she's OD'd on her pain meds, which tipped her into diabetic ketoacidosis (basically next best thing to a coma), plus it looks like her anticoagulants are too high, because she's vomiting blood. Now that, I'm told, was an interesting run. Not many like that.
We get a call at 1 PM for battery on a child, but the cops wave us off when we get there. Signal 2 - we aren't needed. Good. We get lunch at 1:30, and hope to eat it warm. We do. There isn't a single ambulance call until 4:20. We take naps and chat. I write.
In quick succession - an auto accident with no injuries, a girl who passed out at the Credit Union, and another auto accident. J. is 20, complaining of neck pain after being rear-ended. So we put the collar on her, and I got to help get her on the board, did vitals, talked to her. We take her to Parkview. Turns out they were taking the xXx DVD back to the store 'cause they needed money. And she has no medical insurance. Supposedly it's the guy who rearended her's fault, he should pay right? I hope.
6:03 PM, and as we walk out of Parkview we're the only unit in the county who's not on a call. Including the one that was supposed to get off at 6. Fifteen minutes later, we're off to Centlivre Apartments, on a choking call. A 1-year-old. By the time we get there, all is well. Thankfully the mother speaks English...
At 6:35, still pulling out of the complex, we get another call - man down, slumped over a snowbank. This is the weird one. He's conscious, alert, just neither talking nor responding to anything. Won't give his name, won't answer questions, nothing. They stand him up, he stands there on his own. We load him onto a cart and take him over to St. Joe - and the only thing he says is "Let me go." Just once, quite calmly. Drop him off at St. Joe, where the nurse recognises him, but can't make a name. And call it a psych case. What else can you do?
I go home at 7:30, because there's no reason for me to stay and watch them do paperwork. It's been 12 hours away from home, and then roleplaying that night. All I had the energy for were quotes.
Nothing much happened Saturday or Sunday. We went over to Medaryville for a family Christmas and had sandwiches and chatted with Matt's parents. Z's gaming was cancelled - and although I don't blame him, seeing as how he'd been up for way too long, it was still a disappointment. I like that character. So we stayed up late Satnite and skipped church Sunday. We'd planned to, since we'd thought that Medaryville would be a two-day affaire.
Also took the Super NES in to McVan's and traded in all the games and parts, since the console's dead (no colour). And with $130 in store credit, we got an N64 and enough Zelda and Mario to make me happy and busy for far too long.
Mailed off the ticket money for St. Vitus dance today. Can't wait for that; a whole weekend of fun, getting to dress up, an open bar. It's always a good time. Now I just have to decide what to wear...
As far as today goes, it's been...tedious. I don't have half the stuff I need to make myself organised, so I spent a lot of the day trying to figure out what was going on and failing. Not to mention falling asleep in Medicine. It's so boring. The med-school equivalent of a blow off class. I'm going to have to do notes tonight; can't afford to get behind - and when we start the semester behind already, what can you do?