Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Very Considerate

I'm working with another medic today. Nice guy who is going to PA school. He loves being a medic, but he has to look toward the future. He's been studying hard the last two years and is just about ready to start the clinical portion of his program.

Our first call is for a man down on the side of the road. Its a kid in his twenties sitting on the ground beside of a rental car. The police officer has him on a nonrebreather, and the kid is sucking it empty he is breathing so fast. He is grabbing his chest and babbling about how he can't breathe, call his lawyer, a car was chasing him, take him to the hospital get him out of here. We pick him up and get him in the back of the ambulance. He is going crazy. I have never seen anyone hyperventilate so hard. "My hands are cold, my hands are cold, do your jobs, take me to the hospital. You are not doing your jobs, take me to the hospital." We try to get him to slow down his breathing, but he is just completely going nuts. My partner gets out the Ativan. The guy sees the needle and says, "No, no, no. I'm against needles. I don't do needles. You can't do this. You're supposed to help me. I called for help, not needles. No, no, no. I refuse, I refuse."

I drive in. The guy babbles the whole way. In triage, he says, "I want my lawyer. I want my lawyer called. I've been kidnapped. I know my rights. Hippa. Hippa Violation. You're all going to lose your jobs. I'm not answering any questions."

He gets into it with the triage nurse. My partner takes the Ativan
syringe out of his pocket. He shakes his head. We should have just gone ahead and hit him with it.

All the way down the hallway, the kid is babbling. "You're losing your jobs. I know my rights. Call me lawyer, call my lawyer right now."

"What kind of car was chasing you?" I ask.


"I was curious because there was a car following us on the way to the hospital."

"They couldn't follow. You were going lights and sirens."

"No we weren't. We went right, this car went right. We turned, it turned. I looped around, it looped around. Why were they chasing you?"

"It's not your business. Quit asking questions. Get my lawyer. Get him right now."

We get him in the room, and move him over on the sheet. All the while he is saying, "Don't touch me, don't touch me." He screams when we move him even though we don't touch him, moving him only with the sheet he is laying on and moving him gently. "I want my lawyer," he calls. "You've injured me. You've injured my back."

Some nurses and techs come running to the room. We just shake our heads.

"I want my lawyer!" the kid shouts. Then suddenly he gets up off the bed, then cluthes his chest and does a slowmotion swan dive to the floor. And lays there like he is out cold. The triage nurse has arrived and starts cussing him out, telling him to quit faking and get up.

We just walk down the hall.

His urine comes back positive for cocaine.


We get sent for an EDP (emotionally disturbed person). The cop meets us outside and says it is an old lady with Alzheimers. She took the trash out in her nightgown even though the trash doesn't get picked up today. This has happened before -- the woman wandering the neighborhood in her nightgown. Her husband came out to get her and she attacked him, scratching him quite viciously. She is now saying the neighbors attacked the house with snowballs and beat her husband up. The cop says the husband can't handle her anymore.

We go inside and find a sweet old woman sitting in her nightgown in an arm chair in the living room.

"I don't want to go to the hospital," she says.

"You brought this on. You brought this all on yourself," the husband says.

Another police office tries to usher the husband back into the kitchen.

"But they attacked our house," she says. "The neighbors."

"In your dreams," the husband shouts. "In your dreams!"

"Will my husband be coming to the hospital with me?" the woman asks me.

"No," he shouts again. "Take her out with the trash for all I care!"

In the ambulance, I ask her questions to test her memory. She is able to answer some, but not others.

She thinks today is Christmas. She knows her birthday. She says she thinks they have lived in their house for twenty years.

I ask her how old she was when she met her husband. She says she was twenty-five, but she doesn't remember where she met him.

They had a big wedding. They are Greek. Niether of them were good dancers.

She doesn't remember the names of her children. They are grown up and married.

She doesn't know what happened today or why she is in the ambulance.

"What qualities did your husband have that made you want to marry him?" I ask.

She thinks a moment, then smiles, remembering. "He is a kind man," she says. "Always very considerate. Courteous. He always treats me well."

We do a transfer -- a man paralyzed twenty-five years ago in a car accident -- now in a nursing home. He has a huge bedsore on his bottom. I recognize him as a man who used to live in an apartment who we were always picking up when he fell out of his wheelchairdown or when his colostomy bag burst.


Last call is for a woman with dementia and an elevated blood sugar.


Unless I pick up a shift in the next three days, I am done for the year.