2.07.2008

Karma

It's 3am and I hear the tones drop for a bleeding call. Sounds like ALS, and I'm not first run, anyway. I roll over in bed as I try to ignore the sounds of my partners moving around. The light in my bunk room turns on, and I hear Drew telling me to get up.
"No," I say adamantly.
"No?"
"No. I'm not first run."
"Come on dearheart," he says, "it's a BLS leaky catheter call and the career staff doesn't want to get up." Cursing them as I throw on my boots, I head out to the rig. "Why the hell do I have to get up when I'm not first run and it's obviously just a..." I keep mumbling obscenities to myself as I tie my boots.
"Hey," he says to me across the medic, "if you're the attendant-in-charge, then I'll get to be your tech." I smile, because we've both been talking about how we've never really run a call together.
We arrive on scene to find that Clearview Police are already on scene. I see an officer talking to a tiny woman through a screen door, and I assume he just arrived and that she had just made it to the door moments before our arrival. No, as I come to find out, she doesn't want people in her house because she believes herself to be radioactive.
I look at my partners with a quizzical eye as I ask her how exactly she is radioactive. She pulls back her robe to show me a catheter bag filled with a small amount of what appears to be bloody urine.
"Radiation for my goiter," she says as she points to her chest. "If you're pregnant, I suggest you stay away from me."
"Ma'am, if I'm pregnant, we've got a bigger issue than radiation," I say to her with a wink, and I hear Eric snort in the background.
"Shove it," I think to myself a little bit louder than I intended as I turn back to her. As it turns out, she had the foley inserted two days ago and feels as though it has been leaking ever since. There's no apparent leakage, but who am I to argue at three in the morning. She wants to go, and by this point I'm awake either way.
Waiting for her to gather her things from her radioactive house (and let me make it perfectly clear, I'm glad she wants to protect me and my hypothetical unborn child), we talk to the police who are with us. For three in the morning, they're a lot more chipper than I am, but they're eager for us to leave so they can too.
We help her into the back of the ambulance, and she immediately starts telling us about how mistreated she was the last time she called. Just so happens the offending provider is snoozing happily in his bed back at the station. With a gleam in my eye, I tell her that we are more than happy to take her, and that all we want is to make her comfortable as Drew pats her shoulder reassuringly. Immediately she asks Drew and me for our names, and tells us that she'll be calling our supervisor to let him know how wonderful we are. I tell her that I'm not getting paid, but I'll take the brownie points where I can get them. Drew laughs sleepily as he affixes a blood pressure cuff to her arm. Her blood pressure is sky high, and he and I communicate silently. He starts talking to her about things that are seemingly unimportant as I gather information from her driver's license.
I'm impressed by Drew. He has this 'meaningless banter' thing down. I'm pretty sure that he could make anybody feel more at ease with a few words and that famous smile of his. I can visibly see her relaxation, and with each blood pressure we obtain, it falls more and more. Thank goodness for partners who know how to function this early, I think.
The rest of the call is routine. We don't do anything other than get a few sets of vitals, call the hospital, and talk to our ninety-one year old patient about doctors, hospital visits and past ambulance runs.
"Thank you for caring about me," she says after we transfer her into her hospital room. "It's not often that young kids like you will listen to an old lady's ramblings this early in the morning and take them seriously." I give her a big cheesy smile and tell her to get to feeling better soon.
I'm still so tired from waking up, but after a call with a thankful patient, it kind of stops mattering what time it is. Drew and Eric are both dying to get back to sleep, but they stick it out with me while I write my report. Just as we're getting ready to leave, a call goes out.
"Station 1, lift assist for public transport."
I look to Drew and Eric who both start laughing uncontrollably. Even though we got out of bed at an ungodly hour for what appeared to be a stupid call because our partners wouldn't, the career guys wound up having to get up to help lift a heavy patient. As a sleepy medic marks up to show that they are en route to the apartment, Drew looks at me and says, "karma."
I sleep well.

3 comments:

Odie said...

Gotta love that, we snaked a "BLS" emergency the other night that wound up being pretty interesting and the ALS unit got to go on a Public Service call for a 2 year old locked in his bedroom.

Anonymous said...

Ha I love it when that happens. The paid people get pissed!

~Kate

Anniforscia said...

Hehehe yay karma!

<3 Yoouuuuu

*Anni