Thursday, February 10, 2011

Of Brown-Shirted Thugs and Unicorns

We have a love-hate relationship with our local brown-shirted thugs.

We love them when things are getting dicey, and they are step between us and a Bad Person, with a little curl of a smile on their face as they fondly stroke the handle of their batons or tazer grips, hoping like Hell for a chance to use one or the other on Bubba.

We are not quite so fond of them when they try to dump patients on us to avoid having to deal with either the patient or the resulting paperwork.  When I resist their efforts to dump said human refuse in the back of our truck, and thus hinder their ability to clear from the scene and mosey back to Dunkin, they get downright testy.

That why we naturally cringe whenever we get a call to "Assist Law Enforcement."  Usually that means "We're Going to Totally Waste Your Time In Order To Cover Our Butt" or "We Don't Want To Deal With This Person, So We're Going To See If We Can Dump Them On You."  Our call last night was a little of both.

Called out for "injuries from a fall," we arrived to find a 20-something female, obviously impaired but not on alcohol, as far as I could tell, lying in the median next to the local hospital.  And when I "next to," I mean you could literally throw a rock and bust a window.  In fact, she told us that she had just come from the ER there, and proudly showed us her bandaged wrist.

Officers told us she had "fallen down a hill," and "hurt too much to move... anything."  But when I asked the patient, she told us that she had had the flu for 2-3 days, and just had body aches.  She did slip and fall down a little embankment, and was afraid that the glue holding her wrist lacerations closed had popped open.  I did a quick check, and they hadn't.  Since she was alert and oriented, and didn't have Beer Breath, or a ring of white powder around her nostrils, we couldn't take her against her will.

I made sure to explain to her that if the nice officers wanted her to go, they would have to either take her themselves, or ride with us if we took her, and the Brown Shirts started glaring.

They were putting a full court press on her to go to the hospital.  I was telling her that she didn't have to go if she didn't want to.  When she indicated that she "just wanted to go home," one of the brown-shirts almost imploded.  "You mean to tell me that you're REFUSING THE SQUAD?!"  I could see his neck veins almost ready to burst.  She meekly said, "No, I just want to go home now."  I smiled.  Brown-shirt glared.  The patient started babbling about her mother's brother's roommate's boyfriend's dog's most recent drama or something to that effect to no one in particular, and I told her that the nice officers were VERY interested in her story... and we packed up and left.  Of course, this meant that they would have to either take her home, or take her to the ER themselves, or to jail, whichever... and they glared after us as we whistled our way back to the truck.  Sometimes it's nice to be on the medical side.  :)

Chief Wannahawkaluggie

I've never been a huge fan of middle-o-the-night calls, for obvious reasons.  The older I've gotten, the more attached I've become to my mattress, it seems.

So when I get toned out at 3:20 in the blessed am, it better be something good.  And it rarely is.  In fact, it so RARELY is that we've dubbed it the "3:00am BS Call."  Seems to happen almost every night.

This night was no different.

It's 3:20am, and we're called out to a "general illness," which can mean anything from "grampa's gone on to greener pastures" to "I have a sniffle."  With apologies to Forrest, our calls are "just like a box 'o chocolates.  Ya never know what yer gonna git."

What we got on this call was a 21 year old kid whose chief complaint was "I think I need to hawk a luggie."  Not quite knowing if I heard him right, I asked him to repeat it.  "I haven't been sick in a couple 'o years, and I think I forgot what it feels like... I feel like I have something caught in my throat... I feel like I have to hawk a luggie," he said most emphatically, as if he were describing a blossoming abdominal aortic aneurysm.

I looked at my partner, tried not to laugh, and in the most empathetic voice I could muster, told him to drink plenty of fluids, and to call his doctor in the morning.  Of course, I made sure he knew that we WOULD transport him if he wanted to go that badly, but let him know that it would probably involve a LONG wait in the waiting room if he did.  He chose to sit tight.

It never fails to amuse me what people will call 9-1-1 for.  We joke about it sometimes, but honestly, our imaginations just can't compete with reality... you just can't make this stuff up!