(Self) Injured

This will be the first of two posts today, the later one will follow when I have more details on an upcoming project. Meanwhile this one is being written at insomnia o'clock.
I was supposed to be at work on Saturday, and I'm supposed to be on night shifts this week, but I'm afraid that I won't be able to do them – you see I am an injured little EMT for the moment.

But please, no need for sympathy, because it was all my own fault.

A couple of days ago, when I was working night-shifts, I got called to what would later turn out to be a homeless heroin user, who had pain in – guess it – his injection site. I mentioned this job in passing on last Tuesday's post. What I didn't tell you was that – while my ninja breaking and entering skills were useful in gaining access to the patient, I needed to replace the padlock. So I leaned over the gate, and it was either this, or the pair of scissors that I have in my shirt pocket but one of my ribs got broken.

So it's been painful – but I've broken ribs before (my famous 'diving on a bandage' experience, plus my 'wind up a drunk until he hits you' moment). So I'm pretty used to what happens – I get pain, I ignore pain, it gets better.

Unfortunately, on Friday I helped a crew carry a lump heavy patient down a couple of flights of stairs (not the patients fault, he wasn't fat so much, but instead just 'extra-large'). Well it appears that I put a bit too much strain on the rib – and it's now more painful than when I originally broke it. Now – this shouldn't be a problem on the RRU, as you seldom have to lift patients, but unfortunately the bags that you have to carry into the patient's homes are heavy. I don't know how much they weigh (perhaps that will be a project for a later date), but I think it will delay my healing.

Pain I can deal with (I just wince a bit, but act manly and ignore it, or dose myself up on painkillers), but doing stuff that will slow the healing process is not a wise thing to do. So I'm taking some time off sick. It's not something I enjoy doing, if only because I get bored at home, but in the long run I think it'll be the best thing for me to do.

I expect I'll get a phone call from work in the morning to ask what is wrong with me, and I'll tell them. Then I suppose they will ask if I filled out an 'adverse incident' form, which I didn't as it was my own silly fault. Then they might offer counselling – but they normally wait until you return to work for that.

It's a bad time to go sick, as we are desperate to get our ORCON times up to standard (ORCON is the percentage of emergency calls we get to within eight minutes – I may just have mentioned it previously…) So I am feeling a bit guilty, but if I have real troubles in just putting my seatbelt on, then I think I need a little time to recuperate.

The real shame is that I am going to be missing some night shifts – which are the ones I really enjoy.

13 thoughts on “(Self) Injured”

  1. Oh dear, sounds painful :(Try and enjoy your time off work, and I hope you get better soon.

    I've been reading your blog for a while but haven't left any comments yet. I wanted to say that I'm really enjoying reading it, it's a very interesting and informative read!



  2. hope you get well soon. Remember there's the whole Internet for you to explore, hope you don't get too bored.Alessandra

  3. Get well soon. Quick question: How do you prepare and then “handle” night shifts from a sleep management perspective? What is your standard scheduleInterested to know as when I finish my basic Ambo training our shift routine is 2 days of 10 hrs (8am-6pm) followed by 2 nights of 14 hours (6pm-8am) then 4 days off.

  4. Ha ha ha ha, god that made me laugh, you muppet! (can tell what job I do, can't you..oh the sympathy)Just finish 4x12hour nights and not due back on days until Wednesday but am not working it due to A4C stand down day to drop my hours. Ended up doing a shift change though so am on tomorrow morning. Gonna have a kip this am and then get up and go back to bed slightly earlier than usual.

    Don't think you missed much, you wouldn't have if you were up here, I got 4 hours sleep last night, only did 4 jobs.

    Ha ha ha. Sorry, just thinking about your ribs again.

  5. Same rib or different one?You know what sympathy you'll get from me on self inflicted injuries don't you? “Here have an ice pack. Come back later if the pain's really bad and if you ask me nicely I'll call your mum for permission to give you a paracetamol”.

  6. Counselling for a bust rib ? Wow ! They do look after you in the NHS ! Oh – you mean it's to make sure there's no claim against LAS ? Naahhhhh.

  7. Yeah – counselling for a cracked rib??? 🙂 Seriously, look after yourself and make the most of some time for yourself. You're no good to your patients if you're not in good health. Anyway, isn't it possible to rupture a lung if you're not careful moving around with a broken rib?

  8. There seems to be a lot of pain and insomnia at the front line. Does music therapy have any role? I'm thinking of the work done by the Chalice of Repose project in St Patrick's Hospital, Missoula, Montana. I know it all sounds a bit 'touchy feely' for the front line, but music therapy did start with Muzak in lifts in the 1920's to calm nervous passengers – and now we have it in every hotel foyer and airport terminal in the world!Lote more links on music therapy at http://theovergrownpath.blogspot.com/2005/02/serendipity-2.html

  9. I was an Anaesthetic Technician at a few London Hospitals, I also enjoyed working nights, now I wonder if your reason for liking nights is the same as mine?

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