Thursday, February 18, 2010

Saved a Life

I know, today is mega posting day. Well, technically it is 5:30 in the morning so some of these posts were yesterday, and this one is tomorrow. Today. :)

Tonight I actually pulled someone back from the edge of dying. Pretty damn cool. Heroin overdose, down for hours, breathing at less than ten breaths per minute, very slow heart rate, very low oxygen, very low blood pressure. Almost no airway. I assessed him and gave him an airway, oxygen, narcan, an IV--all the trappings. He woke up. He puked. He swore. He was remarkably alive.

Some days I can't believe I get paid to do this job. [Then I remember that sometimes I don't...]

I also have to mention that this house we went to? Oh my goodness, if most of the population could SEE what disgusting squalor many, many people live in...I don't know what. Something would happen. Probably a whole lot of barfing, and then some political activism. We're talking knee high garbage and no access to the kitchen or bathroom, and dirt and bugs on the floor and of course no sheets on any mattresses, and piles of bloody dirty laundry everywhere. We don't put our equipment on the floor in these types of houses. We don't put our knees on the beds without checking carefully first. We don't roll people towards us or put our heads near their faces, because vomit is pretty unpredictable and totally gross if you get it in your eyes. It's poverty and it's addiction and it's social breakdown and it's a million little painful pieces splashed out in honest, rank display in houses in every town, every community, every city and village and rural area I have ever worked in. And so, I assume, every one I have not worked in.

Saved a life. What a cool way to spend a Wendesday night.


Tania Grim said...

thats pretty cool. :)

Sara and family said...

one more iv down.


Sylvia H. said...

So proud of you, Mel!

The Land of the Lamberts said...

Very cool saving a life. that's part is awesome. The other part of your story and experiences...not so awesome and just makes me real sad. Those parts would stick with me for a life-time.
But, hopefully that guy and his loved one's are appreciative of you saving his life.