Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A Twenty on the Dashboard

I'm sitting here at the end of a twelve hour shift, trying to remember my day so I can write about it, but even though before I turned in my envelope of trip cards I glanced at the list of seven calls so I could remember them when I sat down to write, I am having a hard time remembering, particuarly the first call of the day -- it just won't come to me.

What do I remember from today?. I had lunch at El Mercado, arroz ammarilla, puerco, y tostones. Muy bueno. Las mujeres de la restaurant le gustan hablar conmigo en espanol. Son mis professoras. Hoy tambien, hablo con muchas personas que hablan espanol. Leo un Libro -- Jorge, el curioso.

In other words, my mind lately has been consumed with learning Spanish. Everyone I see who can speak Spanish, I make them speak Spanish with me. I eat Spanish food all day. I was in triage today at one hospital and they had a spanish speaking guy in the wheelchair ahead of our stretcher and they needed a Spanish interperter, so I volunteered and conducted the interview, and did well, got the neccessary info. I read a book Curious George in Spanish and copied down each word I did not know, and wrote down the definition.

What llamadas did I do? What calls?

Still drawing a blank.

I worked with my old partner and he was his usual fussy, complaining, but somehow likeable self. One day I am going to tape a twenty to the dashboard and tell him it's his if he goes the whole day without complaining. This morning he gets in the ambulance and the first words out of his mouth are "You didn't think to fill up the gas tank when you came in yesterday?' He is staring at the gas guage which reads 3/4 full. Before he is done speaking, the needle has risen to full.

The calls, the calls...

We did a lot of driving all over town, covering one area, then being moved to the next. That wears you out more than anything.

Maybe if I write about the calls, but not in order, they will all come to me.

We did an MVA. A seizure. A diaylsis transfer, a transfer from the ER back to a nursing home.

What else?

A canceled call for a violent psych.

An old woman who was dehyrdated.

And the first call of the day.

I'm drawing a complete blank. I know it was ALS.

Oh, I know, a lawyer with chest pain walking into court. He had a stressful job, he said.

I was tired today, but not stressed.