Halloween is a funny time of year over here in Blighty. We celebrate it, but not in the same way that Americans do – we tend to show a scary movie (or Planet of the Apes), on telly, we have some drunken parties where women dress up like naughty witches, and men like Harry Potter, we even have a few kids running around setting fire to stuff (trick without the option of treat) and we also have stabbings and whiny people.
Last night, after talking to a few crews, I can report that our time was spent rushing between people who had very little wrong with them, but who insisted on rolling around on the floor, crying at the drop of a hat, and refusing to talk to the ambulance crews who just wanted to find out why they were acting like a dying swan. Seriously – if you, or someone else calls an ambulance, when the crew ask you a few questions in order to form a diagnosis, answer them. Rolling around on a bed trying your best to look like you have been stabbed up the arse with a hot poker is no way to behave when you have had a chest infection for the past week. Yes, you may have had the same “excruciating” abdominal pain for three days, but pretending you can't walk (when you are obviously not laying in pools of your own waste, and therefofe must had been visiting the toilet), and having put on make-up for the trip to the hospital, is not going to endear you to the ambulance crew, neither will you refusing to take the painkiller that we are trying to give you.
It doesn't help that they all lived in really nice areas, in really nice flats/houses, with no urine in the lifts, and must get paid much more than I do – while I (for the moment) live in a complete rat-hole, where people urinate in the corridors and burn their own flats to get moved somewhere else. I think it is safe to mention “Reynolds Law Of The Ability To Handle Pain”, where the more expensive the house that I pick someone up from, the more whining I get from the patient, and the less sympathy I feel toward said patient.
Between attending to these people who would probably need three days bed-rest for a broken fingernail, we had a steady stream of stabbing/beating/serious RTAs. I went to a 19 year old whom someone had decided to “make stabby” on. He had been stabbed in the head, the chest and the abdomen. Luckily for him they were all fairly shallow wounds, but not wanting to poke down wound tracks in a grocers shop at night, we blued him into the local hospital anyway.
This seemed to be the pattern for the other crews on the complex, there was an RTA where the driver had a hole the size of a fist in the back of his leg, plus an open fracture of his Tib and Fib (lower leg-bones), there was a drunk bloke who looked like Quasimodo after being beaten, a couple more minor beatings, another stabbing, and a little old woman who was pouring blood from her back passage. All interspersed with the sort of people who you wanted to clump around the back of the head and tell them to buck up their ideas, and get over it.
So I suppose that in our own way, we do celebrate Halloween – by moaning and by trying to kill each other…