Saturday, July 14, 2007

Weekend Racing

Unusual for me to be working at the track on a weekend, but Cynthia asked me to cover for a couple of our people who are out. I agreed, mainly because I need the money. I'm running on two cylinders right now, but I'm continuing to move forward. I have no intention of reversing direction or coming to a complete stop. However, it's a bit of a challenge to do that....

Today was a live racing day, no qualifiers. Tomorrow I am also working at the track, and it's "family fun day" tomorrow - sounds like a good time, doesn't it? One of the additional things we'll do tomorrow is man the aid station on the concourse of the track. It's only for 3 hours in the afternoon, so it shouldn't be too bad, and we'll have a three-person crew on the ambulance. One of us will man the aid station for an hour at a time while the other two will work as normal on the track. We've done it in years past, and it generally works out pretty easily.

I got off of ALS-14 at 7:00 this morning. Two calls in 14 hours, both BLS, or Basic Life Support, which means that the patient is stable, has no medications running, and doesn't need to be aggressively monitored. Well, that's only true in principle; our first patient was being transported from the Emergency Room at the Exeter Hospital to the Emergency Room at the Brigham and Women's in Boston. Of course, we had to travel onto Boylston Street during a Red Sox game - think about that for a minute and I'm sure you'll come up with a rather interesting mental picture..... Anyway, our 89 year-old male patient has had increased changes to his mental status as well as falls, and his family wanted to have him re-evaulated further at the B&W (some of us affectionately call it "The Big Women's") as he'd been there two weeks ago for the same thing. Well, I turfed the call to my Intermediate partner - hell of a nice guy, but a really new Intermediate. My thought was that this would be good experience for him as there was nothing pressing that we could do on the way except for monitoring the patient's condition for changes. That said, our patient kept trying to get off of the stretcher the closer we got to Boston. I have to wonder if he wanted to see the ball game..... Apparently he's been having periods of restless activity, and this was par for the course for him. Plus, his extremities were very cool, which bothered my partner. Rightly so, in my opinion, as we didn't know why this was happening and the patient's vital signs were otherwise stable. I believe he got admitted almost immediately after we brought him to the ED - once we gave report and moved him onto their stretcher, he was whisked out of there pretty quickly.

The second call required us to go to Manchester at 2:30 this morning for a patient discharge. ALS-5, Manchester's 24-hour transfer truck, was tied up, and Operations sent us in their place. I have to assume that the Nashua trucks were tied up as well. At least I hope they were. This was for a 90 year-old male who had originally had an episode of chest pain. All of his labs came back negative as did serial 12-lead ECG's. The patient had some chronic cardiac and respiratory issues which are not going to ever improve, and the nurse that gave us report told us that he'd been possibly considering whether or not to take his own life, mainly by asking the nurses who were taking care of him if they would take their own life if they were in his position..... Very unsettling, if you ask me, but at the same time I have to understand where he is at. He is a widower with potentially life-ending medical issues. He lives alone and, quite surprisingly, is rather spry for his age and condition, not to mention that his mental status is probably clearer than mine..... When I went to introduce myself, he asked me if I were ever a fullback - I think he was somewhat impressed by my size. I told him I'd been a pedestrian in traffic, and he got a kick out of that. So we packaged him up and took him home. Very nice gentleman; turns out his wife was a rather active Manchester politician when she was alive, and as soon as he mentioned that, I knew who he was. Rather small world, if I do say so.

I'll actually get to sleep in tomorrow, at least until about 10:00. I don't know if I will or not, but it is nice to know that I can.


NH Mind said...

My Dad was 80 when the medics picked him up from the hospital to transport him to the hospice. He had been out of it and clearly dying for awhile. I wasn't there during the transport, but I'm told by sisters who were there that he perked right up as they loaded him in, asking thier names and commenting on thier efficiency and abilities...He was dead less than a day later from various terminal illnesses that invaded his body, but I suspect that his last ambulance ride jogged a few WWII memories when he was a 19 year old ambulance driver/medic in France.

manchmedic said...

It's always a big tug to transport someone to a Hospice because you know they won't leave... I've taken more than my share of people to the various Hospice Houses in the area (mostly to the one in South Merrimack and the one on the Concord Hospital property) and it amazes me when I see the range of mental acuity from person to person. Some, like your Dad, wake up and talk with us during the trip. Others don't; they're usually gorked out from pain medication. The ones that can communicate effectively are sometimes the hardest to work with but are also paradoxically the most rewarding transports. Figure that one out if you can.... :-)