I have been rotated out of my suburban posting and am now back in the city. I had not worked a city shift in nearly three years since I took my second job as an EMS coordinator, and had not worked full time in the city in over a decade, although for many years I continued to work 20-40 hours a week of city overtime.
I forgot how much I loved it. I feel like I am back to my roots. There is a great vibrancy and mixture of life in the city and all its neighborhoods that fascinates me. True, there are some drawbacks — sitting in an ambulance on a street corner instead of feet up in a recliner watching TV — but now that I am the proud owner of a Kindle, I am once again reading voraciously. In just two days I read one of the best war novels I have ever read — Matterhorn — and am halfway through a fascinating book called Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell about what really leads to success that I will post about soon.
My first day back in the city all but one of my patients were ambulatory, two met us at the street corner. The only patient who wasn’t walking on her own, of course, had to be carried on a backboard through the deep wet snow of a vacant field, after having been spotted laying prostate like a frozen snow angel. A touch of narcan in the ambulance to improve her respiratory drive, and some warm blankets and all was good.
And I cannot forget the city cusine. Years had passed since I had dined on cerdo asado (roast pork) con cerito (pork skin), yucca y tostones (fried green plantains). Good eating.
I still knew my way about the streets that I started on in 1995. The only nervousness I had was learning the new computer system, but after two days, I feel if I am not yet an expert, I am at least competent enough not to have to have my partner hold my hand while I write a PCR.
I do want to say that I had many wonderful years at my suburban posting, met many wonderful, compassionate people, who I will always consider my family. I wish all the volunteers there the best, and look forward to seeing them at the hospitals, and at training sessions.