Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Thoughts Exactly

Standing outside the ambulance at a concert the other night, I watch the excited crowd mill around. The side door opens and Shane pops out, his country-boy grin stretched from ear to ear. I look up at him quizzically, "What's up?" "Did you ever think, a few years ago, that you would be doing this?" He responds. "I mean seriously, I'm hanging out in an ambulance, and not only that, I also know how to use all the stuff inside!" He looks down at his uniform, "Back in high school, I never would've expected myself to be standing here in this uniform, doing this." His grin widens as he begins to lope off. "Anyways, I was just thinking about how cool it is."

I grin as well, I have the exact same thoughts. I am standing there beside the truck, in my awesome uniform, a radio on each hip, stethoscope in my pocket, in charge of this duty. I never would have expected this a few years ago, or back in high school. I love it as much as he does, what an experience it is. I know many people who volunteer out of a sense of duty or to build their resume, I am privileged to do this, first and foremost, because I love it so much. The opportunity to learn these skills, treat patients, and smoothly run a duty is incredible. The thought hits me every now and then as well. This IS cool.

Friday, March 21, 2008

An Odd Shift

Tonight I discovered that two of the EMS legends or whatever you want to call them are indeed true. People are a lot crazier when its a full moon, and going on duty exhausted means you'll have a busy shift.

I went on a very tough bike ride this afternoon, 40 km on some very nasty roads. I only had enough time to grab a milkshake and a few crackers for dinner, then shower and jump into my uniform before I headed to the hockey game. Completely exhausted and with a headache steadily building, I was seriously hoping for a quiet, quiet shift. Turns out that the crowd had other ideas, they were insane tonight!!

Puck to the head first - split the poor guy's ear wide open. It was quite nasty, it looked like a mouth that you could make 'talk', and it was bleeding like mad. We got the bleeding stopped, wrapped it up and sent him to the hospital. On the way back to the first aid room, we (I had a female partner and observer with me) had to fend off at least 3 "Oh, I need CPR" "I'm having a heart attack, I need mouth-to-mouth" comments from creepy men. Seriously, do they think THAT is going to work? It's quite the dilemma I I remain professional and ignore them, or turn around and tell them off? Ok, ok, I always opt for the ignore, but I am tempted to say something instead!

People in general were just weird tonight, the cops kept throwing drunks out and the creepy guy population seemed to have doubled. We couldn't find our second patient, 'something in the eye', though that is not an uncommon occurance. The game went into overtime, just because I was wanting to go home so badly, and the other team scored anyways. Halfway out the doors, we get another call.....groan. An old man had run out of his portable O2 and needed more, so we switched tanks with him and sent him on his merry way. Finally, an hour later than normal, we were able to leave.

After a weirdly busy shift, I am finally able to crash. A very welcome moment, especially since I'm busy all day tomorrow and have a concert - that Shane and I are running - tomorrow night. Time to sleep....