(I wrote this yesterday, but forgot to 'publish' it. So you get it now. You may thank me for my kindness later).

I am absolutely knacked – twelve hour shifts followed by running around taping TV for my traveling family has had me sleeping around five hours a night in a strange bed, in warm weather that does not aid a restful night.

During todays shift I have had an ominous feeling that I am in some sort of trouble, just waiting for the call from management to come into the office for 'a chat'. I had no idea why I was feeling this way until I pondered the stimulant effect of the four cans of Red Bull that I have drunk in order to remain upright. I'm suffering from fatigue and drug induced paranoia.

Not fun.

At least the work I've been doing has been pretty stress-free. Nothing too much like hard work. Todays trickiest job was a demented 96 year old with serious difficulty in breathing. Living in a nursing home we noticed that the staff were keeping well out of arms reach. The FRU who was already there warned us that she was a bit 'punchy' and he was trying to sneak some medicine under her nose to open up her airways.

'Hello dear', said my crewmate, 'we need to take you to hospital to sort out your breathing'.

'F**K OFF!', came the rather loud reply.

We tried to persuade her to come with us but she was having none of it. A couple of times she tried to grab us but experience has taught us to keep all vital bits of our bodies away from these sorts of patients.

I often tell patients that I can't 'kidnap' them, but when the patient is demented like this then they lack the 'capacity' to refuse our treatment. Using our super secret martial arts techniques (grab her arms and wrap her in a blanket), we managed to safely transfer her to the ambulance. She was cursing us all the time.

We 'blued' her into the hospital as, although we couldn't get any vital signs on her, we could see that she was seriously ill.

It's all a bit sad really, she lives in a typical 'nursing home', is demented and angry most of the time and ends up feeling very unwell and being kidnapped (using as soft a force as possible) by two men in green. No matter how bad my day is, hers was worse.

5 thoughts on “Shattered”

  1. How very true. Being PTS I take people in and out of homes very often, and have deffinately learned this lesson. It hurts, hurts real bad – and then the carers in the home wonder why your walking funny, and cant walk without the aid of a wheelchair to keep u upright!

  2. And you didn't notice that you were tachycardic, diaphoretic and peeing like a race horse ? I hear that Red Bull and vodka is the latest drink du jour for the oh-so-cool people. Me, I just like a nice guinness (though not while driving an ambulance, of course).

  3. The more I read your blog, Tom, the more I'm becoming convinced that “shoot me now” is the right way to prevent old age. (Just joking. I think.)

  4. I intend amputation of all bits that are causing trouble.Sadly I don't think my finger- and toenails (the only bits left) are going to be stimulating company, so I'm putting it off for a while.

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