Thursday 26 January 2012

The Glamour and The Glory...

"38 year old male, abdo pain, feels hot"

It was my first shift for 3 weeks. To say I felt rusty would be an understatement. I arrived at work early, brushed the dust of my kit and loaded it on to the nicest looking truck. Being on a 6am start has its advantages. You get the first pick of vehicle, generally go by the newest registration plate, check its got a Radio / CD player that works and looks generally clean. Today I got a brand new truck. I did the VDI and went to wait for my crew mate. 6am came and went, as did 6:30am. I was single. This meant it was likely a  relief would be sent to work with me from somewhere. At 8:00am my 'carer' for the day arrived. I gave a sob story about being out of practice and lacking confidence and they let me drive. Excellent start to the day!

The morning flew by without event. No one was really ill, a few elderly fallers, a bit of mental health and a no injury RTC. No one had needed carrying and only one had gone to hospital. We had managed to get breakfast, Starbucks and the sun was shining. We were sat with an FRU at a local standby spot sharing war stories, trials and tribulations when we were rudely interrupted by the MDT screaming and radios vibrating. The job was miles away, and despite our polite moans to control we were the nearest ambulance. Apparently! Judging by the details we were given I wasn't excited. In actual fact I was utterly underwhelmed, this guy was more than likely going to be a complete time waster. I predicted to my crew mate that he would have had symptoms for less than 24 hours, he wouldn't have taken any Paracetamol, would be lying on a sofa and there would huge TV, far to big for the living room it was set in. 

I was correct on ALL counts. There he was, a dying swan with nothing more than a mild stomach ache and feeling hot. He didn't even have a temperature. He also didn't want to go to hospital. We decided that as he was staying at home we'd do an ECG just to tick that box. I disappeared off to the ambulance to get the Lifepack 15 and the paperwork. I trundled back to the house, through the lobby, through the carpeted hallway and through the carpeted (cream) living room, across the beige rug and to our patient. I started attaching the leads when suddenly my senses were offended. A foul smell engulfed the room, everyone could smell it, I instantly assumed it was the grotesque moron sitting in front of me. I recoiled back slightly to get away from the source of the smell when something caught my attention in the corner of my eye. A brown smear on the carpet. To my horror, it wasn't alone either. Like a trail of breadcrumbs from Hansel and Gretel my eyes followed patch after patch across the carpet and out of of the room. I stood up revealing a huge trodden in stain where i was crouching. I looked at my left boot. Nothing. I looked at my right. Covered. Covered in dog shit. 

My head sunk. I was mortified. I apologised profusely, promising to clean up. I tip toed out of the room, cleaned my boot as best I could and returned with gloves, spray, wipes and a bin bag. There I was, 3 years training and countless hours on the road and it had come down to this. Me, on my hands and knees, wearing rubber gloves, scrubbing dog shit off a patients carpet. The smell was horrific. I was gagging, sweating and red faced. As the patient and my crew mate watched on in amusement I worked my way across the room scrubbing away, patch after patch. My day had taken a dire turn for the worse. This was as bad as it gets. This was my day. This was my life. This was the glamour of the emergency services. This was the glory which isn't shown on 'emergency bikers'. C'est la vie!


  1. I accepted a short lift home in a friends car from town. A miasma suddenly enveloped us each accusing us of an olfactory bottom misdemeanour. First out I entered my house and found the offending smell accompanying me. I too had to clean shoe and bits of carpet. Whether I left traces in the car I will never know, because nothing further was ever said.

    eric burrows

  2. @princesschar8910 July 2012 at 23:27

    I acquired the nickname poo fleece for a long time at work due to my magnetism to the stuff, knees, arms, feet, I always found it on me!but that's another story?
    Trod some through a house once, massive domestic, threatening self harm and decided to kick off and throw us out before I could even let her know what I had done...and the carpets are ALWAYS cream....

  3. Well, maybe it will discourage him from calling again unless it's an emergency. It could be your new tactic!


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