Juneteenth

Worked the city yesterday.  It was a beautiful day, a little on the hot side.  There was another large protest at the state capitol with the people later marching to city hall and then the police station.  People seemed to come from all over, white black, young and old, most carrying hand made signs.  The police blocked off streets.  I don’t think I’ve worked a day where there hasn’t been one rally or another.  I am glad it is continuing, that we are coming together as one people.

Thousands gather at state Capitol on Juneteenth

While the rally was going on, I was buzzing back and forth across the city responding to emergencies.  Increasingly there are people filming us on their smartphones.  I wonder if they are truly concerned or are hoping to have the next viral video.  A kid on PCP, who instead of making a racket and taking his clothes off, was just enjoying his dissociation, a man who fell and cut his leg, and another person with dehydration from the march, vomiting — all captured on bystander’s iphones.  Not much to see here.  When I pull it to a call, I have to put the car in park, sign off on two radios, put my surgical mask and face shield on,attach my portable radio to my belt (the car is so cramped, I can’t wear it while I drive)  get out and go around to the back and grab my gear (monitor, house back and isolation bag. It seems like it takes me forever to do all this.  All the while I am on multiple cameras.  I walk over and set them down next to the patient and introduce myself.  I’ll do a quick assessment and get some demographics on the patient while waiting for the ambulance.  No big drama.

I did do one call that might have made for some good video had it been outside.  Instead it was in a dark dusty apartment where a large and very strong half naked woman with low blood sugar, cold and diaphoretic, shouted and yelled and rolled about on the floor.  We had to try to hold her down so we could treat her.  Low blood sugar can turn even the most mild mannered person into a potential world wrestling federation star as their brains, depleted of sugar, can make them lose normal consciousness and go crazy.  She was shrieking and battling us.  Between the fire department and the ambulance crew we had four people on top of her.  She had poor IV access so I had to go for an EJ (external jugular vein)in his neck.  That meant I had one person on each leg, another holding his shoulders down and the fourth holding her head to the side stiff-armed to the pillow we’d put under it while all the while she was struggling against us.  I stuck a big needle in her neck, and then had to tape the IV down and hold it, as her neck was too sweaty for the IV tape to hold. I held my hand against her neck to keep the IV from pulling out as a firefighter held the bag of D10 I handed him and it ran into her neck as she fought us like a woman possessed with demon strength.  I started with a surgical mask on and a face shield, but the shield got knocked off, and the mask started to slip to.  I was just inches from the woman’s face and turned my head and closed my eyes to keep the spittle from getting into my eyes, and hoped to the good lord she didn’t have COVID.  And then just like that she stopped fighting opened her eyes and was back to herself.  Someone filming it might have thought their footage was going to go nationwide of uniformed people beating down an unarmed defenseless person, but then it was all over.  The patient was back to normal, smiling and thanking us for helping, apologizing for being difficult and signing a refusal of transport AMA.  We made certain she had something to eat and someone to monitor here, and then we went back to our vehicles and on to the next call.

Happy Juneteenth all!

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