City Life

Two months back in the city and I have already given more Narcan and Haldol than in the last two years in the suburbs.

I like the morning routine of punching in, getting the narc keys and computer, grabbing the ALS gear, checking it out fully, and then walking out to the ambulance and going through the vehicle. I have a different partner every day except Fridays, and I’m in a different ambulance each of my three work day, but I am easy about that. I have never bee particular about ambulances and I like all the partners I’ve had.

I’m over my anxiety of the new computer software and actually think it is a decent program.

I still know the streets, but I forgot how steep the stairs were in some of the city buildings.

Carry downs and carry ups, my arms are definitely more toned than when I was using the tractor stair chairs and the power stretcher, although we do have some of the tread stair chairs and rumor is we are getting the power stretchers in the city.

Today, at the hospital, I put my stretcher in the back of my old suburban ambulance by mistake.

Posting on street corners, and thus unable to ride my bike around the ambulance headquarters for exercise, I have entered my own pushup challenge. Putting my hands on a bath blanket to avoid rocks, glass shards and other nasties, I try to do 300 pushups a shift in groups of 100. I don’t do 100 in a row. I might do 30-20-30-20 over five minutes. The most I have done in a row is 61, but from 50-61 I was cheating, counting small bends at the elbow as full pushups. My dream is to one day do 100 in a row – 100 no cheating pushups. I’ve got a 150 done today with six hours to go in the shift.

“This is why my boots never go home.” A cop said this to me on our last call.

“I hear you,” I said.

GI bleed for three weeks, didn’t feel like going to the hospital. No one to check on him, until another boarder complained of the smell.

Doing lots of psychs, ODs and assaults.

I was worried I wouldn’t get as many opportunities to help people in pain as in the suburbs, but pain is pretty universal. Hip fractures, pancreatitis, burns. But here is who I didn’t medicate:

43-year old man with chronic back pain who claims he was mugged the day before and the thief stole his oxy.

22-year old female from the lockup with undifferentiated abd pain and a discharge diagnosis from the evening before for pelvic inflammatory disease.

37-year old man with arm pain and ETOH on his breath who says he was hit by a car three days ago and got tired walking to the hospital so he sat down on the side of the road and had someone call an ambulance for him.

I been eating a lot of pizza slices. Pizza slices are the best EMS food – hot, ready for pickup, reasonably priced. Available all over town and every place has their own unique style. Shout-outs to Lena’s First and last and Stretch’s.

Still eating the Spanish and Jamaican food. The other day, I ordered some Fish soup which comes in a Styrofoam coffee cup. I walked back out to the ambulance, opened the passenger door, and standing outside, I took the lid off and took a sip. I don’t know if you have ever seen the show 10,000 Ways to Die, but picture this as an episode. Medic sips fish soup – secret Jamaican spice, likely Scotch Bonnet Pepper is sucked into medic’s windpipe, causing immediate larengyospasm. Medic takes five big deep inhalations that bring no air in. My partner was reaching for the mike to call for another medic when I finally got some air in. 10,000 Ways to Die will have to wait.

Time for more pushups, but before I get halfway out the passenger door, its time for another assault.

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