Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Lesson learned

So I along with most of America voted yesterday. I am not stating here on my blog who I did or did not vote, nor my veiws on, well anything, as this is not a political blog. If you want that go read Slate or something. I am just a paramedic and this is my blog. So Back to my adventures in voting. I had just got off work, after working all night. I didn't even go home to change out of my uniform. My back hurt from lifting patients up off the floor. I had been puked on and had just gotten off the phone with the coroner 20 mins prior. (I had a woke-up dead) I was tired. I was ready to just go to bed. But I am an American, and this is just something I had to do. So I drive to my voting place ( a local Elementary school) and the parking lot was packed. I had to park a few blocks away in someones front yard. I walk in and get into the line. I'm there for an hour. I'm playing a game on my iPhone, listening to music. Blurring out the maddness, the bitching about the lines, the politcal bickering. I'm in my own world. until I feel a tap on my shoulder. I pull the ear buds out of my ears just in time to hear "She's done caught herself a seizure!"

Sure enough, next to my, across the hall, an elderly woman had passed out in line. Her neice thought she had a seizure. So I go over, and see if I could be an assistance. (I'm still in uniform, remember) The woman was out cold for a few seconds but was coming back around by the time i got down on the floor to her level. Someone screaming about Seizures and "Sugar". I block them out for a minute
"You Okay?"
"Yes. I think so."
You hurting anywhere?"
"You have Sugar?"
"No, but I didn't eat breakfast."
"Well you fell out, Sit here for a second, Whats your name and how old are you?" She told me and I called my dispatchers. As I'm doing that I get pushed out of the way by some woman screaming about "Is there a doctor in the house!" and "Does any one have a BGL machine" I get off the phone. And in my head...Who is this woman ( she never idenified herself as any sort of medical person) and what the fuck, Lady, you are in an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, who do you think has a freaking BGL machine? I lean back down and continue speaking with my now patient. and this woman continues to yell. "she has no radial pulses!. She severaly hypotensive!" she has no radials" Good Greif. "Mrs. M? do you think If I get some helf you can make it over to that bench so we can get you up off this floor?" She said "I can, I'm just a little weak"
"Well lets get you up."
Screaming lady-"You can't get her up she has no radial pulse she will pass out again, she is severly hypotensive"
Me-"Then we will deal with that, But I would like to get her up off the dirty floor, out of the crowd. I already called an ambulance. I work for EMS."
Screaming lady-"Well I ..." and she walked off. well damn if I knew it was that easy I would have said that 10 mins ago. I got some help to get her up and we when to sit down. We got her taken care of. She got to vote. When I went back in I had lost my place in line. I stood there for a second, contemplating what to do. The people running the polls were no help. I didn't want to get back in line a wait 4 more hours, but I still wanted to vote. It wasn;t until a young woman about my age holding a 6 month old infant said "You missed the riot".
"Did I? was there Bloodshed, I hate it when I miss bloodshed."
"Na, you helped that woman?"
"Yep, and now I've lost my place in line"
"Here jump in front of me, you were here at least as long as I have if not longer I saw you." Now she had been holding this kid for god knows how long
"I can't do that, you have you son with you and have been waiting too."
"Don't worry about it, jump in."
So I did. We talked for a few minutes and her little one kept babbling at me and pulling at my hair. I asked her if he would let me hold him. Since she let my cut the line. I held the little one for a while. we had a very deep conversation about the economy ( a little one sided) and health care. Then he napped on my shoulder. Mom and I chatted with the others in line. The rest of the voting was uneventful. No more falling out or seizures.

So I voted. My patient voted. And I learned not to wear my uniform to the voting booth if you have been up all night.


chucker said...

Thank goodness you were there.

Did anyone - except the screaming lady - actually offer to help, call 919 or anything?

I'm glad YOU were assisted so you could vote.

Please do wear your uniform - proudly.

painter in hiding said...

The screaming woman didn't actually DO anything but well, scream....a freak out. Not very helpful in a presumed Emergency. And Noboday call EMS. But maybe since EMS (me) was there, they thought I already did. (Thats what I'm hoping).

And don't worry, even if I wasn't in uniform, I would have helped.

Anonymous said...

I know you would've helped even if you weren't in uniform. I know what kind of a person you are.
I live and work in a very small city; If I didn't come to the aid of someone who needed it (not that I could do that) even while off duty I would be answering to a commissioner within 48 hrs.
The woman who let you cut in line was a gem. Save all of your "gems" someplace special. Pull them out and admire them when you are having a bad day. When I do so I usually realize that I have gotten as many "gems" "stones" handed to me.


Anonymous said...

The word "as" should appear between the words "gems" and "stones" in my previous reply.


painter in hiding said...

OH I know. That woman was MY lifesaver.

EE said...


I'll never understand people...