For those that are interested in my plans to rule the world – E-Health Insider has just published an article which contains an interview they had with me late last year. There may also be some interesting news in my next post… Stay tuned on how you can best serve your Future Benevolent Overlord. It seems that Urdu would be the language of choice for best being able to communicate with the people of Newham. Of course I may well give it up as a bad job – but I'm at least willing to give it a try.
Last night was a fairly easy shift – once more we didn't get to see the ambulance station, but then again this is getting to be the normal state of affairs. We didn't go to anyone who was particularly ill in a life-threatening way, and very few people tried to dive in front of the ambulance while we were speeding around on blue lights.

However we did quickly spot the trend of the night. It's often true that you will have runs of a particular type of job, you'll have lots of people complaining of chest pain, then you'll do nothing but children who have fallen over and so on and so forth.

Last night was the turn of the “Hot Asian”.

Yes…I know that sounds like one of the magazines you can get from the top shelf of your local newsagent.

I'm not sure if there is a specific infection doing the rounds at the moment, or if it is just because people's immune systems are lowered, or even if family visits have been spreading infection over the holiday period, but fully half of the calls we went to last night were for Asians with high temperatures.

All these patients had one thing in common, despite having ragingly high temperatures, they were all wrapped up in multiple layers of clothing, two quilts thrown on top of them and the central heating blasting out at maximum. The reason for this is quite simple – when you have a high temperature, your body gets confused and makes you feel cold, you may even start shivering. So the patient complains that he is feeling cold, and the family despite knowing that the patient is hot decide to try and cook them.

I often get looks of shock and horror when I tell them to remove the quilts, remove (most) of their clothing and throw open the windows. “But”, they say, “He says he is cold!”. Well, when your temperature is 39.8 Celsius (103.6F) you really should be cooling them down, rather than trying to roast them. It is the same with children, a child gets a temperature and feels unwell, mother decides to wrap them up nice and warm.

It is a happy side effect of travel in an ambulance that, if you open a window and drive fairly slowly to hospital, the patient will have had time to cool down and will be feeling a lot better by the time they reach hospital. I've lost count of the times I've told disbelieving people this, only to have them become firm converts to the “Keep 'em Cool” school of thought. Lets just call it health promotion by demonstration.

Oh – and all the patients and their families were really nice and pleasant, even the two teenagers who we picked up from a motel who had obviously had their night of nookie ruined by a temperature of 39.1 Celsius (102.3F).

7 thoughts on “Pyrexial”

  1. Mr Reynolds, Re Juliett 1-2-1 that sounds perfect! I seriously think you should do it! Any publishers read this? I came upon this site (not literally you understand) via the bbc news website (as im sure loads of others did) and i read as much as i could because i found it fascinating/entertaining/poignant! This then lead me to look at other blogs and i read one called belle or something about a hooker and yours is much better than hers and shes apparently got a book deal. Anyway it inspired me so much i started my own one which ill probably stop in exactly two days but here it is anyway Anyway call your book Julliet 1-2-1: the blue light district

  2. I had the same thing and ended up just swigging gaviscon gazza-style from the bottle. Go easy on the milk as I think it actually makes your stomach more acid in the long run. Thank god for Gaviscon even though it is vile gloop.

  3. Hi there, not a comment on todays post, sorry. But I just had to let you know your column has come in very handy indeed.I'm almost seven months pregnant. Not one person has ever told me how incredibly excurciating and searing heartburn can be. Even the ads on TV make it look like a bit of discomfort, not a crippling pain. So whenever you've mentioned getting called out to a pregnant woman with severe pain only it turns out to be heartburn, I've thought they were a bit neurotic (or nuts!).

    I've a lot more sympathy now! One day between Christmas and New Year I must have bent over in such a way that the entire contents of my stomach were squeezed upwards. I've never been in such agony (to date at least – there's labour to come yet). If I hadn't read your site I'd have probably have completely panicked. As it was, I slurped down nearly a pint of milk (ugh hate the stuff) and a bottle of Gaviscon, and the pain went from searing to just sore in about an hour.

    I wish someone would tell us about these things. Before getting pregnant I'd never had heartburn at all, so was unprepared entirely for it.

  4. If you're interested in Urdu you could also go for hindi. The grammar is the same, only differences are the script, some pronunciation subtleties, and vocabulary which is more sanskritized in Hindi and persianized in Urdu.In any case, we can try chatting together on IRC if you start one of those two languages 😉


  5. Hi,Im not a doctor, so this Im just repeating what a doctor once told me, but Ive been told that drinking milk is not the best for hearburn. I was told it will give a short temporary relief, only to then turn into an agent of causing heartburn again, if I remember correctly, once your stomach starts processing it. Also, I was told drinking a little milk (1/2 cup) is OK, but more should intensify this problem above. Maybe someone that reads the blog and knows can clarify it.


  6. Gaviscon is good…used to love it when I had my ulcer.And it comes in two flavours now, although the tablets feel like chewing a particualrly large bogey…

  7. thanks for the info. I don't really drink as much milk as I should (given that I should be upping my calcium intake now) as I really hate the stuff. When there's no Gaviscon in the house it does the job though.As mentioned by someone else, I've been slugging the Gaviscon back like Gazza too! I started out measuring out teaspoon fulls etc but that lasted all of about a couple of hours. I'm probably going through a large bottle a day.

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