One of our 'frequent flyers' died a little while ago. I realise that I haven't really written much about the people who keep calling us, our 'regular customers'.
Some are a real annoyance, others have a little smile hitting your lips when you realise that you are going to see them again. Some have medical problems, some have mental health problems. Some have, what our psychologically trained colleagues, untreatable borderline personality disorders. Many are alcoholics, or drug users.
Some become the stuff of legend, a tale to scare the new recruits with.
Freda was one of the nice ones. An elderly couple, she lived with her husband, both of them had long-standing medical problems. They looked after each other. When one of them was poorly, the other would do their best to help them before calling us out.
Freda was a diabetic, and a poorly controlled one at that. Her husband would call us out when her blood sugar dropped too low. We'd arrive to find her on the sofa, or in bed, snoring away and deeply unconscious.
“Normally I give her jam and bread”, her husband would say, “but she's too far gone this time”.
It's a simple job, jab her with an injection of Glucagon, wait a couple of minutes while making sure that her airway was clear, and she'd wake up and be surprised to see us standing over her.
“Did I go low again?”, she'd ask, “I'm so sorry to be a nuisance”.
But she wasn't a nuisance, sure we'd grumble if it was 4 a.m. in the morning, but once you arrived the thanks you'd get from the pair of them more than made up for any disturbed nap.
But now she's dead, killed in a way that could cause any of us, young or old, fit or unhealthy, to die.
I'm not sure if her husband will still live in the same house, I don't know if we'll get called back there, maybe he'll move to a warden controlled flat.
It's hard to think of him without his beloved Freda, it's hard for me to think that we'll never go there again – and leave her sitting up in bed, smiling and tucking into a jam sandwich.