Friday, July 31, 2009

Some more work stories (cover your eyes, tonya)

K, so I can't sleep because I'm excited to go to Osonerdy. So I will post a few more work stories, since they were popular!

My first high speed crash was a semi truck pulling peat moss. Driver lost control on a highway curve and crashed into a telephone pole, wrapping the cab around the pole in a perfect 360 degree wrap. Driver wasn't wearing his seatbelt, which actually saved his life [rare], because when the truck rolled onto its side, he simply dove upwards and wound up lying across the seats, trapped and compressed, but in the only space left in the cab that he could have survived in. Jaws of life, metal saw, hydro for downed power lines, the whole 9 yards. Totally what I signed up for.

Another high speed crash I did was a small sedan into a tree. 19 year old driver trapped for over an hour. Trapped by the feet and lower legs, fully conscious, in a ton of pain. I spent that hour in the back seat of this car, or what was left of the backseat, holding this guy's cervical spine still, while firefighters worked to break the glass, cut the posts, peel back the roof, and peel back the dashboard and firewall to free this guy. To keep the driver calm, I talked to him. If I fell silent, he got anxious and moved around a lot, so I kept up the conversation and even made him laugh so hard he told me to cut it out or he would pee his pants. [it was hard to find things to talk about for an hour. He didn't work. He didn't go to school. He lived at home. He couldn't name any hobbies. No pets. JEEPERS, help me out here! But I managed]. We freed him and strapped him to a board and got him in the ambulance, and saw each others' faces for the first time. He recognized me by my voice! I laughed because he had a painted mustache on his face which I hadn't seen until now and which he had forgotten about. He was driving home from a halloween party dressed as Mario from Nintendo's Super Mario Brothers. Hilarious. Don't drive with weird makeup on; you are sure to get in an accident and good luck explaining that one. Both feet were broken. Car totalled. One of my top 10 favourite calls ever. My leg fell asleep in the back of that car. Mario thought I was a hero. I can't believe I get paid to do stuff like this.

Motorcycle crash. Helmet removed without a hitch (difficult). Felt so bad cutting his $1500 leather suit into pieces, but it has to be done. Broken vertibrae. 20 year old. Helicopter evacuation. UBER COOL.

19 day old baby with flesh eating disease.

2 year old scalped by a couger.

Helicopter maternity transfer, post c-section back to her hometown hospital. I jostled her bed and made her cry out in pain. Oops, sorry! Dumb oaf [me]. She told me she runs a daycare and planned to be back taking care of the kids in her care in 2 weeks. Fourth baby. I said, "Wow, you are brave!" She replied, "There is a fine line between brave and insane," and I think she may be right! In fact I now think she was being too self sacrificial at the expense of her health, especially post surgery with a new baby, but the self employed often have a more difficult go because there is no such thing as maternity leave for the self employed. You lose all your business and all your income if you take time off.

(yes, people do call for the silliest things)

How's this for silly;
My foster kid isn't allergic to bees but he got stung and I called an ambulance just in case, just to be safe.

pregnant lady has anaphylactic reaction. Tough call; the drugs we use to treat anaphylaxis are not recommended for pregnant women. She opted for a drug free approach and I agreed. Drugs can always be used later in the game if the reaction continues to accelerate rather than slow down. ER nurse chewed me out for that one; "Epi and Benedryl are better than asphyxiation if her throat closes!" Yeah, it is her right to choose so bite my ass because her throat is open.

18 month old with febrile seizures. Took 2 hours for the ER doctor to get the seizures under control. Baby's mom outside smoking the whole time.

"I couldn't catch my breath and then my hands got all numb and my fingers started to claw up." That's what happens when you hyperventilate.

Family driving home from a wedding in the very early morning. T boned in an intersection, spun around, and at every rotation another unbuckled family member flew out the windows of the car. 5 year old. 2 year old. Grandpa. Grandma. Dad. Mom was driving, and the only one with a seatbelt on. Grandpa; unstable pelvic fracture, bled to death. Grandma, both legs broken and a concussion. Dad, missing in action [later found in a house nearby--had wandered off in a daze for help]. 5 year old neck broken so badly his head was free floating in the hands of the paramedic who went to stablize his head. 2 year old scraped and bruised, crying, but no injuries. Mom catatonic, arms rigidly hanging onto steering wheel, unresponsive but awake. 5 year old in cardiac arrest, died on scene, despite best efforts.

Middle aged woman has a seizure in her bed which wakes up her husband. She has never had a seizure before so he calls an ambulance. We arrive and she's walking around, though dazed and not all there. We walk her out to our ambulance (she was huge; there was no way we could carry her out on our own so it was either walk out or wait for the fire department) and on the way to the hospital she starts seizing again and doesn't wake up. Bites her tongue, which bleeds everywhere. I'm all frantic, in a panic trying to manage her airway around her clenched teeth. We get her in the ER and the doc is asking a million questions and the nurses are changing her into a gown and doing a head to toe assessment and I'm trying to start an IV, when suddenly our patient's hair ALL falls off onto the floor. My partner [very stoic] has to leave the room because he is trying so hard not to laugh, one of the nurses screams, and I swear. It turns out she has alopecia and wears a wig, which chose that moment to fall off! Scared the shit out of all of us! Wow, I still laugh when I think about that call. What a gong show. I never heard what happened but suspect she had a brain tumor or something. She was one SICK LADY.

Ascending Aortic Anyeurism. Also known as the quickest way to a sudden death. Found in living room by middle aged son.

Woman fell in her apartment and wasn't found for a week. Alive and well, but her legs were infested with maggots. BARF.

Couple having sex in the bushes at night rolled into poison oak. Now THAT was hilarious. They were kind of sheepish and REALLY uncomfortable in the nether parts.

Diabetic post op in septic shock.

Skateboarder with broken ankle. His dad was the orthopedic surgeon at the hospital we took him to.

There was a request for the funniest call I've been on and I think it would have to be this one:
90 year old man with heart palpitations who shouted at my [male] partner; "I have to go poo! Get me to a toilet! I have to go poo!" and then my partner helped him hustle to the toilet. Inside, through the door I can hear him barking "Take off my belt! Undo my belt! Take off my pants! Get them pants OFF me, for Chrissake!" ....a few minutes goes by...then I hear "Wipe my bum! Wipe my bum!"
I'm laughing so hard I have to leave or this 90 year old poo Nazi is going to hear me, and I can feel the Look Of Death emanating from my partner's eyes as I yell that I just have to get something from the hallway [code for this is too funny to stay].
Of course, we use radio codes over the air and have invented a radio code for poop situations. That right there is called a 10-200 situation.

Whenever I see the guy who was my partner that day, all I have to do is yell, "Wipe my bum!" and we both fall into peals of laughter until we cry or pee our pants, whichever comes first.

Ah, the glory of being a hero.

1 comment:

Caryn and Dan said...

LOL 10-200! Loved it.

Wow, your job is intense. I'm going to go tighten the straps on Silas' carseat now.