Please leave a comment.


I love receiving and reading comments ~ please leave one.
If you are a regular I am pleased to see you again ~ make yourself at home. If you are new to my blog, welcome too, and please introduce yourself and I will reply very soon.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

AMBULANCE STORY ~ PLEASE COME AND SEE ME AGAIN


Here I am with Charlie, circa 2008.  We sometimes worked together, sharing driving and attending duties.


This particular day I was attending, which means sitting with the patient and making sure they are ok during the journey, making sure they are at ease and talking with them and sometimes introducing a little humour now and then, or just listening to them, often pouring out their tales of woe.  We were prepared for anything, literally . . . . . but this day surprised me greatly and was totally unexpected.

We arrived with a stretcher to pick up a lady patient to transfer her by ambulance to another hospital 25 miles away, a slow 45 minute journey, because this lady had a back problem and was in a lot of pain. She was due for surgery to replace four worn out discs in her spine.  Quite a dangerous procedure ~ and one incidentally my sister-in-law will undergo next year.



**************

I saw her pretty face, attractive and smiling; marred somewhat by lines of pain, yet still framing her bright, lively green eyes and long dark raven hair.  I suppose she must have been in her mid forties and she was lying on her front, since this was the only position seeming to offer her any comfort.  Her face showed pain, anguish and worry about the surgical ordeal she was soon to face and at once I felt a surge of empathy and sympathy for her.  I started reassuring her straight away that we would make sure she got as pain free a ride as we could possibly give her, and made her laugh when I said she would have to put up with me for 45 minutes or so while Charlie drove us. 

I cannot remember this lady's name now, but on that day her voice and laugh seemed very musical and I could see she really did have a cheerful disposition, currently buried beneath her painful circumstances.  We seemed to make a connection straight away ~ you know, sometimes we can meet a perfect stranger and immediately feel at ease with them, talk with them freely and effortlessly, and genuinely like them ~ I am sure we have all felt this at times.  On this day it seemed to work both ways for us.

Charlie and I managed to transfer her to the stretcher with a few instances of pain unfortunately, but settled her on the stretcher again and wheeled her to the ambulance, still lying face down. She was looking at me with those big green eyes all the way as we talked.  I sat with her for the journey and immediately we developed a kind of bridge of understanding and after several minutes I managed not only to reassure her that I had heard about many successful surgical procedures like she would have, but also I made her laugh ~ boy did I make her laugh. It was such a delight to see her laugh like that and sometimes I had to apologise when she actually belly laughed and I could see this hurt her back a few times.  She just dismissed that with a wave of the hand, preferring to enjoy the humour.  She said she had not laughed like that for many years, and quite frankly I had not heard anyone laugh like that for a very long time. I was just telling her some funny stories and experiences I had in my job and how we 'took the Mick' out of each other sometimes. Charlie, driving at the front, told me later she was highly amused.

Then, at a stroke, her eyes filled with tears when she told me how worried she was about the forthcoming surgery and her fear that things might go wrong, and would she ever be the same again and lead a normal life.  I took her hand and asked her if she would mind if I prayed for her and her face lit up and she really welcomed it, so I did.  She said I was so understanding and approachable and took and held my hand and squeezed it several times, and thanked me for my kindness.  It was a pleasure of course and I thoroughly enjoyed my job and trying to help people.

It turned out that our daughters had the same name and were the same age, although I had a son as well.  She told me where she worked, at a doctor's practice as a receptionist in the town we were headed and she hoped to be able to resume work there some day.  I said I knew the town very well and she actually told me the road she lived, and I knew it well.

It is very strange that the ambulance job did sometimes offer opportunities to really get to know people quickly and occasionally the intensity of the situation did affect emotions in quite a powerful way.

We arrived at the hospital, and transferred her to her new bed.  It was then she turned to me and said, "Please come and see me ~ I shouldn't really be saying this, but I think I have fallen for you and it would be so sad if I never saw you again!" I was so flattered ~ she was so nice and was extremely attractive, and I must admit it did my ego no harm to hear that, whatsoever. She knew I was happily married so there was no question of anything between us.  On my way out I looked back and saw she had managed to turn round and wave to me and I noticed a tear flow from one eye but did not know whether this was a tear of pain, or a tear for me. 

To this day I still don't know why she said that to me, or what caused her to say it.  Maybe she saw a temporary relief from her plight, which clouded her judgement . .  . who knows? . . . . maybe it was the uniform . . . . :)

I did go and see her again, a few times when I was in the area, because I wanted to see if she was alright after surgery. She had her operation ok, which was a complete success.  She was transferred back to Bristol for convalescence and I saw her again during my job, transferring another patient to that hospital. It was then I said goodbye and wished her well. I have often wondered how she is and whether she managed to get back to work, whether she is happy and enjoying life ~ we often wonder these things when our job with patients is over.

Well ladies, you can put your box of tissues away now . . .  I am afraid I cannot promise you another story like that one.
Aw . . . lol


Next week ~ how a blind man was able to direct me to his home, 30 miles away, from being strapped in a wheelchair in the back of a vehicle ~ quite unbelievable, but true.




40 comments:

  1. Surgery - no matter how big or small - is always daunting. We just don't know what might happen, complications, etc. How lovely that you were able to focus her attention elsewhere, and also calm her fears a little. Means such a great deal when your mind starts to go into overdrive. You were put in the right job, Eddie. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Suzie ~ yes glad I could help her . . . . and maybe I was put in that job . . . :) x

      Delete
  2. Eddie, I agree with Suza. Having the ability to calm someone and help them to focus on something else, more positive, is a talent not given to everyone. Beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Linda ~ an ability that can be acquired and developed but we had a few naturals there in the service . . . :)

      Delete
  3. I would hope if I ever were in that lady's situation in an ambulance that there would be a person to give as much attentive care and compassion as you did to her that day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen ~ hope you don't have to experience that situation but I know and appreciate what you mean . . . :)

      Delete
  4. coming across people in those instances...when they are facing such odds...with so much fear as well...you were the right person for her to have in that time...to set her at ease...ha. of course she fell for you...smiles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor girl couldn't help herself . . . . wish I had kept that uniform . . . . haha!

      Delete
  5. Hi Eddie....
    I had surgery a few years back....it would have been so nice to have your bedside manner at the time...
    Do you have a medical background? Or strictly a driver....have you told me, and I forgot?
    Sounds like a lovely lady....do hope she recovered fully...
    Enjoy your Saturday...
    Raining here....geesh!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Linda
      It would have been a pleasure to attend you and I might even have made you laugh . . . . haha!
      But would you have fallen in love with me I wonder ? . . . lol
      My background actually was non medical and I came into the service late in life for the last 6 years of my career. I loved it. I qualified as an ambulance driver on a four day residential course in Dorset, and I had an intensive First Aid Course, followed by First Responder Course and some more advanced in house medical training. So I was not qualified as an Accident and Emergency ambulance man, but well qualified for patient transfer.
      I have often wondered how that lady is ~ next time I am in that seaside town I might call into that Doctor's Practice and see if she is there . . . she was/is a very nice person.
      Sorry about the rain there ~ must be that creepy lady doing a rain dance. . . . :)

      Delete
  6. Attentive help in any kind of medical situation is always much appreciated! I'm sure she still remembers you, too! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Betsy ~ I know for a fact that it can be worrying having a medical condition because I was rushed to hospital once as an emergency long before I became an ambulance man. Fortunately it was not a heart attack but severe indigestion ~ yet I remembered the care and assurance I received on the way . . . :)
      Yes . . she probably would remember me . . . :)

      Delete
  7. A little patience and attentiveness can go a long way, even get you a date when you are happily married lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Pat
      and I'd did watch out for that . . . lol

      Delete
  8. I love your stories, Eddie. And I can totally understand how she felt. Attentive caregivers in the medical world are angels and can easily evoke feelings of love.. or intense fondness and appreciation. And the same goes for those who can make us laugh. You happen to be gifted with both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Hilary and I am pleased you like the stories ~ another next week . . . :)

      Delete
  9. Such a nice story. Your compassion for your patients really shines through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Laurie . . . . I tried my best . . . :)

      Delete
  10. Hi Eddie - I can believe that ... And am pleased she recovered - amazing what can be done for us ... As I get used to a new hip with an extra inch .. Slow but sure recovery. And having experienced many an ambulance connectivity with my mother and my uncle ... We can relate so easily sometimes ... Encourages our near and dear - eases the stress and worry - cheers Hilart

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All part of the job really !!
      Glad your new hip is working well
      I had mine 6 years ago and it is great . . . :) Cheers .. . . Eddie

      Delete
  11. What an amazing job you must have! When people are in traumatic situations, the heightened emotions can lead to a transference of that emotion. I remember reading about that man Christie Brinkley left Billy Joel for. They went through a helicopter crash together and thought they wouldn't survive. The relationship with that man didn't work out but at the time, I was fresh out of college having minored in psychology and we'd studied that very thing. One teacher actually recommended that if you want to make someone fall for you, take them to a horror movie...the intensity of emotions can lead to a transference. The whole thing was about "labels" and how the physical parts of being in love are similar to fear and hate...we put a label on it, though and in a traumatic situation, it's easy to label fear as love/attraction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Stephanie . . . that is a fascinating summary of what could just have happened . . . transfer of emotions . .
      Er . . . can I interest you in accompanying me to the most frightening of horror movies? . . . lol

      Delete
  12. What a kind and caring person your are, Eddie. You gave this lady comfort, and humor, during a dire time. Bless you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Michelle . . . I cannot say I did not enjoy the experience either, if I am totally honest . . . :)
      Do you like horror movies? . . . lol . . Stephanie has a theory . . . see above . . . :)

      Delete
  13. I hope many EMTs are as soulful as YOU, Eddie!


    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^=

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cloudia ~ oh I expect they are . . . it's more of a vocation than a job really ~ few would do it for that money . . . :we all have to love it and once we start helping people it just gets into the blood . . . )

      Delete
  14. Oh, my comment vanished in to the ether! I wanted to say what a difference an ambulance crew mad to me with humour... when my son was little and was blue with asthma the driver put the sirens on and the lady in the back with me joked he only put them on to make himself feel macho - made such a difference and lessened a scary time for me. you all are wonderful; and bless you all. Rx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Rae, how nice to see you. I remember you, you knew my sister, Maggie, and you used to live fairly close on the coast and I see from your blog you have moved. I am pleased you are blogging still, I am a follower and I have just nailed your blog details to my sidebar so I can see when you post.
      Thank you for your kind words ~ I did a lot of ambulance work about 7 years ago in the area ~ this incident was on my way to Weston -S-M. Yes, the remark you got about the Siren is typical. Another we used was, "He is always blowing his own trumpet!" . . . keep in touch ~ I'm on my way over to your place . . . Eddie :)

      Delete
  15. You are the best Eddie. What a gift you are sharing, helping so many people. I hope life is treating you well. hugs, Linda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Linda . . . . very nice of you to say so . . :)
      I also enjoyed the encounter very much and always glad to assist a damsel in distress of course . . . :)

      Delete
  16. Lovely story, Eddie. You truly helped that woman and often we all need someone just like you to make life a little easier. Would be interesting to find her now and see how she's doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie ~ yes it would be interesting ~ might look her up . . . :)

      Delete
  17. That was a very touching story Ed. I think you have earned your wings over and over many times.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks Keith ~ yes that was the name of the private ambulance company I worked for, sadly now disbanded .. . . .

    ReplyDelete
  19. Another of your lovely stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shammickite ~ another next week I hope . . .
      Great to see you . . . :)

      Delete
  20. It takes a special person to deal with all the different situations you have so wonderfully dealt with, Eddie! You are a kind and special person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rose ~ you are too kind . . . :)

      Delete

Thank you for your comment. You are most welcome to my humble abode.