Friday, 31 August 2012

So near yet so far

“42 year old female, difficulty in breathing”

It was the last of 5 night shifts; the end of a 60 hour week; the countdown to a whole day and a half off! Typically, at my most tired, I am treated to the most horrendous of shifts. It was constant from start to finish. Every single job took something out of me, be it having to carry someone down the stairs or having to work outside in the rain; it was just exhausting. We did jobs with the police, were verbally abused by the very people we were there to help, had to wear our stab vests and never got a second to ourselves. We were given no break and had no hot food. The 3am lull was torturous and all that kept me going was the promise of my bed. It had been a long time coming. I had averaged 3 hours sleep a night all week and was running on fumes. Every job we did was one closer to home time. Every time I heard that annoying, inane, stupid, ear offending, piercing, relentless tone of our radio going off with a new job it was one assault on my ear drum closer to freedom! 

It was 5:30am and THAT noise went off for the last time. A 25 year old unconscious in the street. It was miles out of area and would mean going to a hospital miles away from our ambulance station, but I didn’t care, it was the last job. Once we pressed ‘on scene’ that was it! All we had to do was deal with this guy and get the fuck out of dodge! In all his glory he was lying topless on the pavement. The circle of shame on his jeans for the world to see was glorious! We checked him over, loaded him up and off we went to hospital. Another victim had succumbed to excess alcohol and another valuable hospital bed was going to be wasted for a few hours! We dropped him and two of his cronies to A & E and left. We made it back to station and signed off only 40 minutes late. Now the 25 minute drive home was all that stood between me and SLEEEEEEEP! 

My eyes were heavy, I felt myself drifting off at traffic lights. Had I finished on time I would have missed the rush hour traffic; as we were late off, I hit the best of it! It was OK though, because every set of traffic lights I made it through was one closer to home. 4 miles... 3 miles... 2 miles... 1 mile... 1/2 mile... 400 yards... 300 yards... 200 yards... 100 yards... 50 yards... turn into my road... 30 yards... 20 yards... 10 yards... HOME! You beauty! I opened my front door, kicked off my boots halfway up the stairs, went into my room and closed the blackout blind. Shirt off, trousers off, PJs on, light off and fall back on to the bed. Perfection! That lovely feeling of a cold pillow on my head was sublime. I closed my eyes...

What’s that?!... it’s the annoying... inane... stupid... ear offending... piercing... relentless tone of a radio going off!


I sat up, rummaged through my trousers and there was my radio. On the screen:

“42 year old female, difficulty in breathing”

Light on, PJ’s off, jeans on, top on, out of my bedroom, boots on, out the house back in the car and off to work. 

55 minutes later I arrived at work. Handed the radio in. Got back in my car. 45 minutes later I pulled up outside my house. I opened my front door, kicked off my boots halfway up the stairs, went into my room, top off, jeans off, PJs on, light off and fall back on to the bed.

It was 10:14am. You couldn’t make it up.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

A Guardian Angel

Right! I have been very busy of late, and it's not going to get much better for a while yet so to help me out I have asked a few people to guest blog for me. It is with great pleasure that I can introduce one of my favourite bloggers, Mammy Woo! She never fails to put a smile on my face even when writing about a serious subject! She is pure gold! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did!

A Guardian Angel

Do you want me to call an ambulance?’

‘No. Honestly it’s fine. I will be fine. Honest.’

‘Are you sure? Your hand was just on fire.’

‘Oh…good point, but no, I don’t want to waste their time you know? They are probably really busy.’

‘Lexy. Your hand was just On. Fire! I am calling an ambulance!’

I don’t remember much after that but apparently I projectile vomited all over the kitchen, before ‘kind of’ folding all in on myself like one of those wavy moments from Scooby doo and falling head first in to the oven.

Unfortunately, bouncing off a metal kitchen appliance on the way down to meet the grimy lino meant that not only had I managed to unceremoniously catch my hand on fire while making dinner but I had also inadvertently cracked my skull open which resulted in quite severe cooking related concussion. This is why I now refuse to cook!

When I woke up/came around 2 people dressed from head to toe in green and yellow, one of them who’s name was John, I remember, were tending to my hand and the smell of sick and burning flesh made me vomit again.

I then apologized for wasting their time, before passing out again, but not before catching a glimpse of the bloke I had been cooking dinner for, high tailing it out of the door at the speed of a bullet, never to be seen again.

Worst. First. Date. Ever.

And I didn’t even get any Gas and Air.

On a non-descript Wednesday evening on the fifth day of May in the year of 1996, my life journey with Salford Royal Ambulance service commenced. By ’Journey.’ I do not mean I work for the ambulance service, oh no! I’m crap in an emergency to be honest, so even if I did want to work for the ambulance service, which I would love to, I wouldn’t be able to. I tend to just freeze you see, and kind of just stare off in to the distance, in highly tense situations.

That’s why I hate it when I am alone with my two year old and he purposely starts to choke (so inconsiderate to my crapness!) or decides to climb and then jump off a 90ft tree or something (I WAS watching him! I was immobilized!) and also why I refuse to drive on the M6 in rush hour.

I would however like the perks of working for the ambulance service. Mainly the never-ending supply of gas and air, I love gas and air. It’s seriously the only reason I am considering labour again.


Anyway. Moving on.

My burnt wrist had only just recovered from a skin graft when my best friend was forced in to action, on my behalf.

‘999 what is your emergency please?’

‘My best friend just fell off a tram stop.’

‘A tram stop?’

‘Yes. A tram stop.’

‘A tram stop?’

‘Yeah. She was trying to impress this guy stood next to us and fake laughed to try and get his attention. Thing is, she didn’t realise the edge was right behind her and she took a giant step back as she flicked her hair. She hasn’t been squashed by a tram or anything…. Yet…’

‘Is she laying on the track?’

‘No she has kind of…Slithered out of the way of potential oncoming trams.’

‘Has she been drinking?’

‘I know you are probably expecting me to say yes right now. But no, she hasn’t!’

The ambulance people were called Elizabeth and John. They weren’t convinced I wasn’t drunk. But really, I wasn’t! I was just in agony, and right before I vomited all over them, they told me my wrist was definitely broken. As it turned out I had minor concussion and had broken my wrist in 3 places!

Worst. Way. To. Try. And. Impress. A. Guy. Ever.

And also? I still didn’t get any gas and air.

Four months later I was visiting my dad, having chosen to head for a nice, relaxing holiday in Spain, to get over my accident, and with my hand still in a cast and 19 pins holding my life together, I pressed the outside gate buzzer to let my dad in. He had been out shopping to get us ice cream. He waved down at me holding a Cornetto from the top of the hill, put the car in to gear and then proceeded to drive down the hill towards me at full speed.

‘What are you doing?’ 

I screamed in shock, only just managing to jump out of the way. His face was deeply panicked as he glanced at me in horror, a memory I will never forget, as the jeep careened past me at 60 MPH and glided, like a falling tank may glide, off a deep ravine. I remember turning to watch and clutching my heart as it seemed to just hang in mid air, stopped in time for a split second, before rolling downwards and out of sight, carrying my beautiful dad with it.

It was a couple of seconds before I sprang in to action and realised the person who was hysterically screaming, was in fact, me.

‘Helicopteros Sanitarios, como os puede ayudar?’

‘It’s my dad!! He has driven off a cliff!’

‘Wait… what?’

‘My dad just drove off a cliff! We need a helicopter! The breaks must have failed and he just drove over the edge! I saw the whole thing. Oh my god… his face!!! You have to come. YOU HAVE TO COME NOW!!! There is no way you will get an ambulance up this mountain; we need the helicopter, PLEASE COME! I can’t help him; I have pins in my arm! Oh my god! Please come! I think I am going to be sick!’

‘Your dad drove off a cliff?’


‘Is he ok? Wait… why do you have pins in your arm? Are you injured too?’

‘Forget about me! I am always injured! It’s my dad! I can’t see him!!! Oh my god, the car is at the bottom! It rolled over and over and again! Please come!’

‘How high is the cliff?’

‘It’s about 160 feet!’

‘We are on our way!’

The ambulance people were called Antonio, Sergio and Raul. They saved my dad’s life in the back of that helicopter. Twice. They said they couldn’t believe he wasn’t dead. They said he must have a guardian angel. I extended my stay so I could look after him. With one hand.

Worst. Relaxing. Holiday. Ever.

And no. I STILL didn’t get any gas and air.

2 months after returning from Spain, having had my wrist removed from a cast, I decided I was fat, and it was about time I did something about it.

‘999 what is your emergency?’

'A girl in the gym has passed out. There is blood everywhere.’

‘What has happened?’

‘She doesn’t want an ambulance but she definitely needs one! She was running on the treadmill, I saw the whole thing.’

‘What is the nature of her injury?’

‘She just stopped running!! I think she fainted! The treadmill fired her off the back of it like a rag doll and she flew head first at the bike I was riding!! I think she has given me whiplash!’

The ambulance people were called Anne Marie and John. Worryingly John addressed me by my first name before I had even removed the ice pack from my face.

‘I knew it would be you.’ He stated, his eyes dancing. ‘Please don’t be sick on me this time!’

I didn’t respond. I was too busy digging a hole to Australia. Two black eyes, a broken nose and a broken jaw resulted in me losing quite a bit of weight actually. It’s hard to eat chocolate with your mouth wired together. I never stepped foot in that gym again.


It wasn’t long after that, that I stopped leaving the house all together, much to the relief of my now boyfriend. Well, he was relieved… until I got pregnant. Have you ever wondered what happens when the most accident-prone person on the planet gets pregnant?

‘999 what is your emergency?’

‘My girlfriend thinks her waters have gone. She had a turkey sandwich for lunch and she has been vomiting. Also she says please don’t send John, I don’t know what that means?!’

The ambulance lady was lovely as she dropped me off at the maternity unit and the midwife explained in front of her, that I had just peed due to relaxed pelvic floor and strenuous vomiting.

‘999 what is your emergency?’

‘My girlfriend thinks her waters have gone. She hasn’t been sick this time and it is her due date. We were going to drive to the hospital but she says she is in agony and I can’t drive!’

The ambulance man (GOD DAMN JOHN!) was very understanding when he dropped me off at the maternity unit and the midwife explained, ONCE AGAIN, I wasn’t in labour but had ONCE AGAIN, just peed due to a relaxed pelvic floor which had probably been aggravated by strenuous sex. (We were trying to induce labour!!!) I vowed never to call an ambulance again. Or at the VERY least move to the Outer HEBREDIES.

Pregnancy? It turns out, is not so magical, and also, it completely steals your dignity. Not that I had much to cling on to! But still! Not only did exploding in to the world of motherhood leave me with weak pelvic muscles (that may be an understatement) but unfortunately for all of us involved, it also brought with it a most unexpected and horrific illness, by the name of Post Natal Depression.

‘999 what is your emergency?’

‘My girlfriend has taken an overdose. Please hurry up. Please hurry up..’

‘Is she breathing?’

‘Barely. Please hurry up.’

‘Ok. Stay calm. We are on our way.’

‘Oh my god, please hurry up! She is dying. She isn’t breathing. Please hurry up!'

'Oh my god. No no no! Please hurry up. SEND JOHN!’ 

I do not know the names of the paramedics who saved my life. I do not know if John turned up or not and if I was sick on him again and I do not remember anything for weeks after that.

But I do know this.

The paramedics saved my life in the hallway of my house.

‘999 Emergency what is the purpose of your call?’

I would like to say thank you for cooling my fingers, for holding my wrist together, for saving my dad’s life, for not jumping back when I puked on you and for never making me feel like I was wasting your time. But mostly I would like to thank you for saving my life. My 2 year old would also like to thank you for saving his mummy and his granddad.

What you do? Is inspiring.

Thank you.


Send me some freaking gas and air!

I clearly deserve it.

Friday, 17 August 2012


"A faceless nobody embarrassing themselves"

Troll: A troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: "That was an excellent troll you posted."

I've had a few weeks off blogging, not because I was fed up or had nothing to write about, but because I was a) being a slave to the wage and b) enjoying the Olympics! I had planned to start writing again next week but a visit from a regular troll made me cut my sabbatical early! A few weeks ago I posted a blog called 'Sick Note'. I received plenty of positive comments and that was where my blog was left. That was until last night. At 18:18 Anonymous reared their ugly head and left the following comment:

"ah at last. im so pleased to see youve taken the hint and stopped writing you're pathetic blog. Youll never be respected, lets just hope you stay away. Its as if you're soul purpose has been to anoy me. Your a nobody, I hate your writing style and your tweets. I know who you are. dont forget that. I bet you wine about be being annonymous to! As for you're little crew of followers, they dont bother me. there are people who have earnt my respect with professionalism and talent not by writing utter rubbish. stay away and dont bother coming back. You wont be missed.

Always hear to ruin your day


I suspect it is the same person who often pops up and has a dig, hands out an insult, says I'm unprofessional and tells me I can't write. It appears they missed me! Bless! Sometimes I reply, sometimes I don't. More often than not, you lot say all that is needed to be said and for that, I thank you! This time however, I decided to reward said troll with their very own post to get their teeth in to. So, without further ado, here is my response to anonymous:

Dear Anonymous,

I must start with telling you how much I have missed you, it's been at least a month since you came onto my website that you cannot stay away from. Oh how I have missed your banter, your eloquent tongue and sublime use of the English language. My last blog just didn't feel complete without your bitter, uneducated waffling. Before I dissect the content of your well thought out and superbly executed comment just a few things to help you with your next trolling experience.

"Ah (capital letter to start a sentence) at last. I'm (capital letter to start a sentence / apostrophe as you are abbreviating 'I am') so pleased to see you've (apostrophe as you are abbreviating 'you have') taken the hint and stopped writing you're (It's 'your', not 'you're') pathetic blog. You'll (apostrophe as you are abbreviating 'you will') never be respected, let's (apostrophe as you are abbreviating 'let us') just hope you stay away. It's (apostrophe as you are abbreviating 'it is') as if you're (It's 'your' not 'you're') soul (it's 'sole' not 'soul') purpose has been to anoy (annoy) me. You're (It's 'you're, not 'your') a nobody, I hate your writing style and your tweets. I know who you are. Don't (capital letter to start a sentence / apostrophe as you are abbreviating 'do not') forget that. I bet you wine (it's 'whine', not 'wine') about be (I think you mean 'me') being annonymous  (it's anonymous) to! As for you're (It's 'your' not 'you're') little crew of followers, they don't (apostrophe as you are abbreviating 'do not') bother me. There (capital letter to start a sentence) are people who have earnt (it's 'earned' not 'earnt') my respect with professionalism and talent, (use a comma for a break in the sentence) not by writing utter rubbish. Stay (capital letter to start a sentence) away and don't (apostrophe as you are abbreviating 'do not') bother coming back. You won't (apostrophe as you are abbreviating 'will not') be missed.

Always hear (it's 'here', not 'hear') to ruin your day (sloppy grammar, that is an incomplete sentence)

Annonymous (it's Anonymous)"

It would be unfair of me to criticise and condemn without first offering you some help. Below are a list of links to websites to assist you with your future learning and use of the Queen's English. Hopefully you can find the time to do an evening class or enter a spelling Bee. You may learn how to use grammar and structure a sentence properly. I'm only pointing out these glaring errors as I would love you to become a good writer. Then, and only then, will I take your critique seriously. Until then, I will smile and feel all warm inside, because we all know you are green with envy.
Now, the content. As you can see, no hint has been taken. I am still here, writing away and this time with you in mind. You should be so pleased. You can continue trolling to your (see how I spelt your! Lol) heart's content. Sadly, you are of the impression I am writing to gain respect. Wrong! I write for me and anyone who wants to read it. I find it therapeutic (big word I know). In fact, while I am writing this, I am smiling! How cool is that?! You made me smile! I write from the soul (see what I did there!) simply to annoy you. When I go to a job that upsets me or troubles me I think to myself 'Right, better get this typed up for my old pal Troll'. You inspire me, you really do. I hope you feel an inner sense of pride on reading that. You are making a difference. You were also correct about me whining about you being anonymous. The incorrect spelling of your name aside, I don't care who you are, I just think hiding behind anonymity out of malice is completely different to hiding behind anonymity for professional reasons. That argument however is for another day, for now though, just remember: A N O N Y M O U S. Write it out a few times, maybe it will stick. Here's hoping eh?! 

I hope you enjoy this utter rubbish I'm writing, you seem to hang on my every word and for someone who hates me and my writing so much, you appear to read it a lot! I wonder how many of last month's 50,000 website hits were you?! 10, 20, 50?! Please tell me, I'm dying to know. Even if it is 1000, which I hope it is, I suppose we will have to blame my crew for the other 49,000. Bummer.

As for knowing who I am, that's not fair, because I don't know who you are. Give me a clue, please. It's only fair. How can we have an open and honest relationship if you are intent on keeping such secrets?! Please play nice, you show me yours and I'll show you mine. Promise. I just want to get to know you. I want to know what you do. Are you an ambulance junkie, do you pretend to be something you are not, do you try and strike an allegiance with people you think are the most popular? I have so many questions for you. We should do coffee! Yes! Or lunch? Or, dinner and a show! How cool would that be?! Let me know what you fancy!

Anyway, as you can see I have not stayed away, I have come back and that is all because of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I missed this little playful interaction we have. You're such a tease! You really have made my day!

Thank you again, your adoring fan, hugs and kisses with lots of love,

Ella xxx

PS: Call me ;-) x

I hate trolls. I hate everything about them. I think they are scum to put it mildly, but they are part of life. I know doing a post dedicated to Anonymous is kind of taking the bait and normally that is what they thrive off, but it's fun to play with them. Anyone, who's sole purpose is to try and cause upset and distress to others for their own entertainment is sad. It's pathetic, they are lonely, have no joy in their life and just want to bring others down to their level. I for one won't allow it. The more I'm trolled, the more I will write. The more abuse I get, the more I will smile. They will not win, they will not get what they want. Repeatedly they will be shown up to be the bottom-feeding gutter snipes they really are. Neanderthal would be a compliment to these cretinous individuals, I hope none of you ever listen to a word they say.

So, what do we all think? Please tell me! Share your trolling experience! Are you a troll? If you are, here is your forum to say why you're a hater. Have you been trolled? Join the debate. They all need to be pointed at, laughed at and stamped on at every given opportunity. That's what I think anyway!

Good to be back!