Its unbelievably refreshing to be back on the road after so much time spent in the classroom.
The eight weeks of the paramenace course crams so much information and learning into your mind that you feel sure every cell in your body will implode or that your bones will liquefy. And all the while your soul is perpetually crushed by the imperialist yoke of oppression as the Service threatens suspension to all those who dare fail any exam en route.
So, to be back dodging fists, catching vomit, wiping urine and faeces from clothes and taking a constant barrage of abuse is actually – a relief.
The first set of shifts have been relatively uneventful – as they normally are. The jobs were various, to which some included . . .
– Period pains (“worse ever!”)
– Self harm
– Overdose (15 year old – 5x Paracetamol!)
– Old woman – “Generally Unwell” – don’t think there was anything wrong with the poor lady, I reckon the family just wanted her out of their house for a while.
– ?broken arm on a teenager.
– baby won’t stop crying after an hour
And then there was one that made me giggle. It came down as – 16 year old with a “hurt foot” in a car park. Now, we only got this because we happened to be driving past as it was called. Otherwise it would normally have been down graded to another part of the Service.
It turns out mum had collected daughter from school because daughter had hurt her foot in netball.
Mum had stopped to get something from a shop.
Mum had left her mobile phone in the car.
Daughter phones 999 because “foot is hurting”.
We arrive within a minute.
So does Mum.
Mum looks at daughter holding her phone.
Mum looks at us.
Mum looks back at daughter.
Mum grows the most fearsomely angry image across her face.
After pre-empting a blood bath we calmed mum down and quickly deduced that the foot injury was not life threatening. There was no swelling, no bruising, no cuts, full movement and generally nothing to suggest that this was nothing more than a case of Extremis-Patheticitis (a common ailment amongst young adults).
“Um . . . are you happy to take your daughter to A&E in your car – seeing as she’s already in the seat?” We tentatively asked.
“Oh, I’ll take her all right!” Mum’s eyes hadn’t moved from burrowing into the back of her daughter’s head and started to bulge with a hunger that suggested her daughter might be about to taste her last breath of fresh air.
“Right . . . erm, we’ll leave her with you then”.
As we drove away I’m sure I saw, out the corner of my eye, a large stick baring down toward the young teenager. And I think I heard the muffled sounds of “thuds” followed by screams of pain. But then I think it was just a fly on the windscreen and probably just the fan belt slipping.