It's not May yet, but I'm starting to feel some energy returning to me from over the winter. It's only a little and it's not being directed towards anything useful, but at least it means that the worst of winter is over.
Why do I say May? Well it's when there is a spike in suicides from all those winter depressives finally having enough energy to do something stupid.
You may ask yourself why I'm thinking about suicide, well it's because of something rather stupid that I did during a recent shift.
We'd been to this house before a week or two earlier – the sole male occupant said that he was depressed and that he wanted to kill himself. We'd gone along and had been sent some police assistance in case the patient felt violent. We knocked on the door and the young man eventually opened it.
We asked if he'd called an ambulance and told us that he had, but had changed his mind because he'd had a spliff and was feeling much better.
I looked at the police, the police looked at me and, deciding that there was nothing much for either of us to do we completed our paperwork and departed.
This time he'd called 999 and told the calltaker that he had cut both of his wrists and as it involved a knife the police were sent with us again.
We arrived to find the front door open and on entering found our patient sitting on a sofa, smoking a spliff and with remarkably unscathed wrists. No telltale scars from deliberate self harm in the past either.
A knife was sitting on the table next to him so I moved it to another table further away…
…Which had another two knives on it.
And there were knives in the bookcase.
Our patient seemed jolly enough and told us that he wanted to go to hospital – he wanted to go to a specific hospital and, as we were pretty much in the middle of two hospitals we agreed (even though it would take us out of our area).
He walked out to the ambulance and we started our journey.
We were nearly at the hospital when his phone rang – he answered it and started talking to someone who I presumed to be a friend. He then told the friend that… 'when I get to the hospital I'm gonna cause a load of trouble'.
He hung up and I told him that he should behave at the hospital as not only were they going to try and help him there, but that he was the one that wanted to go – that we hadn't forced him to go.
At this he began shouting at me, which ended with him telling me that he was going to stab me.
OK, it's here I should have called for police aid, hit the emergency button on my radio or just grabbed my crewmate and escaped the ambulance.
But I didn't.
For some reason, a reason that I can't explain to myself, I jumped up from my seat, stood directly over him and shouted in his face…
He looked more than a bit worried.
'See this!', I pulled out my radio and waved it in his face, I noticed with some pleasure that he flinched, 'If I press this button I'll have thirty coppers and half a dozen pissed off ambulance crews coming to help me!'
I sat down and started speaking to him normally again.
'Now either behave yourself, or I'm kicking you off this motor'.
He behaved himself.
I really have no idea where that stupidity came from, he had a house full of knives and he could well have hidden one about his person – what I did was incredibly stupid, even though it did seem to work.
I don't know – maybe I was tired and my judgement was impaired. Maybe it was the speed of his change of attitude that put me into fight or flight mode, and for some reason I chose fight.
I know I'm not suicidal, but I could have fooled myself there.
So, I went back to station, filled out the paperwork to mark his address as one that, should we be called, the police should attend (with a little note that if you they are going to transport him, he should be searched first) and a Station officer appeared to check that we were both all right.
I was fine – filling in the paperwork had given me the chance to cook and eat my pot noodle.