I'm driving on this particular shift, my crewmate is in the back dealing with the patient.
I'm grinding my teeth at the waste.
The patient is almost certainly going to die – he's taken an overdose. The tablets he's taken, and the way he's taken them, mean that parts of his body will start to fail over the next few days. His immediate future is hospital bed, then an ITU bed, then either waiting for a transplant or death. It's too late for any treatment to work on him.
He's not in any pain, he doesn't feel weak, he has no symptoms.
He talks to my crewmate. The body language suggests that he is upset but not suicidally depressed.
It was one of those 'cry for help' things – asking why he did it gets the answer that he wanted to die, but now they don't. It's a common enough reason – that they change their mind and then phone us.
Everyone can get these pills – you can read the inference, how can they be that dangerous if you can buy them over the counter?
He lives in a nice house, has a family, had his future ahead of him.
I suspect that he thinks that they'll have a 'stomach pump', a chat with the psychiatrists and then come home. He doesn't realise the damage that he has done to his body.
We don't talk about the outcome to the patient – we'll leave that to the hospital after his blood tests show if he is telling the truth or not. We'll only see him for the ten minutes it takes us to drive him to hospital.
I'm hoping that the patient is lying, that he hasn't done what he says he has, but the empty pill packets speak for themselves.
I know I'll be thinking about him for the next few months long after I've forgotten his name.
His mother is travelling with him.
He's fourteen years old.