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.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

AMBULANCE STORY ~ WE LOST DEAR JOHN


I like to post an ambulance story from time to time ~ I have done a number of these over the years and have a lot untold. I loved my work before I retired from the service over 5 years ago.  Principally I was involved with Patient Transfer duties, taking dialysis patients to and from hospital three times a week for a four hourly session on a dialysis machine, the only thing keeping them alive as their kidneys were no longer functioning.  

Also, I worked as a two man crew, or should I say two person crew because I worked with lady personnel sometimes.  This work sometimes involved driving and sometimes attending stretcher patients, sometimes carry chair transfer or wheelchair or just helping them into the ambulance.  When I started I quickly learned to relate to patients and to make them feel at ease, to amuse them, make them laugh, be sympathetic when required, and do whatever to make them more comfortable.  I remember on day one of my employment a senior paramedic was flabbergasted at my ability to talk to patients, remarking that he knew qualified paramedics who were not able to do that.

I got to know John very well and for three years I ferried him to and fro to hospital for dialysis.  He was the nicest elderly man one could ever wish to meet ~ he was always cheerful and never complained and always thanked me for the journey.  It was really a pleasure attending him. He had difficulty walking, so the nurses and I always transferred him into his wheelchair which I wheeled up the ambulance ramp, securing it to the floor mountings before we set off.  He shared the long journey with 5 other patients living over a wide area to the south of Bristol. The journey was often very picturesque during warm summer evenings when the sun was beginning to set set over the sea ~ try to imagine just how beautiful that was. We could see for miles and miles and we could just make out the Welsh coast 12 miles away across the shimmering sea, looking across the Severn Estuary ~ a delightful sight, punctuated by rays of light coming out of fluffy white clouds against the commanding backdrop of an angry red sky.

One day I was shocked to learn from a colleague, who drives emergency vehicles that John had had a bad fall at home one night and had to be rushed to hospital as an emergency. Sandy was on duty and was shocked to see it was John. She would have been driving on blues, weaving in and out of the traffic with blue lights flashing and siren, when required.  She knew John very well too and she and her colleague got him safely to Accident and Emergency, but we learned later that John had sustained a fractured hip.

During the course of the week a colleague and I were assigned to transport John from a hospital in Bristol  to another hospital 25 miles away for surgery.  We arrived at his bedside and although he recognised Steve and I, we saw he was very distressed.  With the assistance of two very nice nurses the four of us managed to PAT slide him on a Patient Slide Board onto a stretcher and wheeled him into the ambulance.  


John was in agony and we tried our best to make his journey as smooth and pain free as we could, arriving at the hospital less than an hour later.  We wheeled him to the ward and with the help of two nurses PAT slid him into bed, which was much more state of the art than this illustration shows ~ higher and with safety sides, plus electrically controlled controlled moving mattress in various positions to assist patient comfort.  You can imagine the stretcher moved alongside at a greater height and the patient rolled with four of us at each corner moving him as gently as we could towards us, sliding the board under him and then rolling him back gently onto the board and sliding him onto the bed. Alas John was very distressed as we did this transfer, even though both his legs were strapped together using the good one as a brace to reduce movement of the injured one ~ but we had to do it.

We stayed a while talking to him and making sure he was all right and he seemed much more comfortable so we left him.

Next day we were sickened to hear that he had died during the night before they even had a chance to consider operating ~ apparently the severe shock of the fracture plus the subsequent stress had caused him to have a fatal heart attack so he did not have a chance although they tried hard to get him back.

A week later I called to see his wife to express my sincere condolences. She said he had slipped when trying to transfer from his wheelchair to his arm chair and had fallen awkwardly and thought she had heard the break.  She appreciated me calling, which was the least I could do because we had got to know each other very well over the years. 

We always miss a lost one although renal patients generally do not survive for much longer than five years.  It was always sad in such situations but in spite of the sadness sometimes I really do miss that job, which I loved.  I felt free, useful, and free to be able to help people, almost hourly.  Beside that I got a real buzz out of it.

Patient/ambulance person/ nursing staff relationships sometimes get quite close with the emotion of it all and occasionally sometimes rather unusual things happen, as I will tell you next week, when a lady patient, after just a 25 mile journey told me she had fallen in love with me  . . . . . . . 

. . . . . . now ladies, that pricked your ears up didn't it?  . . . .  but true . . . . be patient ~ you will have to wait for the story . . . . . . . . a whole week  . . . .  lol





I am honoured to receive a Post Of The Week award from Hilary at The Smitten Image ~ 27 February 2015


35 comments:

  1. Honey, I've half fallen in love with you through the posts!


    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What only half . . . . lol
      You are very nice yourself . . . . . :)

      Delete
    2. Cloudia pipped me to the post!
      Jane x

      Delete
    3. Aww . . . . how nice . . .. thank you Jane . . . :)
      Eddie x

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. lol . . . . . don't expect too much but it is rather a nice story and innocent, believe me . . . . be patient girl . . . ha ha. . :)

      Delete
  3. What a sweet story. I'm sure John appreciated all you and the others did for him. Hard not to create a bond when you see each other regularly like that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Betsy. Yes John did appreciate all we did for him. It was just very bad luck he fell like that. We all loved him, as we did with all our patients and when they passed there was sadness and sometimes some of us attended their funerals. A strong bond was formed between ambulance personnel, nursing staff and patients and it was hard not to get involved with the situation sometimes . . . . . you nailed it Betsy . . . :)

      Delete
  4. Sorry for the loss of your friend, John. It seems this type of work is your calling. I'm sure you made quite a difference in not only John's life, but all those you attended.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was just one amongst many, Laurie . . . . . yes I was glad to serve for about 7 years . . . .
      In a way I still do caring work as a volunteer during my Dial-a-Ride work . . . :)

      Delete
  5. Oh, you hit them with the great story to hook them in, then go to the one of sin lmao

    Sure every act was appreciated indeed as you must grow close to many during those years

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Pat
      Glad at my blog you are at.
      Yes I did get very close to 'em
      And that's why I'm doing posts for'em . . . :)

      Delete
  6. Awww.. what a sweet and tender story. It's too bad that Johns last hours were so distressed but I'll bet he was able to find some comfort knowing you were there to help tend to him.

    I loved your description of the sunset.. that paragraph is a beautiful piece of writing.

    And you left us with a cliffhanger... what could be better than that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Hillary ~ these stories crop up in my mind from time to time . . .
      Glad you enjoyed the sunset . . . :)

      Delete
  7. ha i bet you have lots of those stories...
    and you are there when they need you...in sometimes the darkest hours
    so i am sure there are some close relationships developed...

    sorry it was his time...but you were one of the last people to see
    him, which i am sure for him was a good thing...smiles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes . . . I have a few stories which come to the fore occasionally . . . :)
      Thanks Brian

      Delete
  8. What... a senior paramedic was flabbergasted at your ability to talk to patients? See, that's when you know you're being underestimated. Well, I'm NOT surprised. What I didn't know is you were a poet as well. That's one heck of a description, Eddie! I'm now enjoying the view you've so eloquently painted for us. I bet you loved your job. I can tell. I know your patients loved you too.

    O I hate it when someone dies. It's the only reality I refuse to face.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked the sunset, blue, even though it is not quite your colour . . . lol
      Yes . . . very sad when someone dies, particularly if close to you . . . :)

      Delete
  9. That's an interesting story Eddie, and very well written. I can understand how you miss that job, it was the sort of job I picture someone like you would do. Mixing and interacting with people who depended on you to get them where they needed to be at the right time.

    I am a robot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Keith . . . yes I loved the job and was able to help a s few people . . . :)

      Delete
  10. Hi Eddie...
    I keep stopping by, and getting sidetracked.
    It must be very difficult to get to know people, and then see them fade...
    Nice of you to visit the mans wife...
    It takes special people to work in this industry....for sure.
    Enjoy your day..
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Linda . .
      Yes . . that was the downside of the job when they faded . . of course we all knew that 'renal' patients were very sick and maybe would not last five years without a transplant ~ but we did what we could.
      I know of two of my former patients who did have kidney pransplants and they are leading normal ;lives ~ that is the good side.
      I visited a few widowed wives and widower husbands in my time ~ not everyone did but I did not like to see a sudden 'cut off' from knowing them without paying my respects. They were all special guys and gals in the service, man and woman, and sometimes those of us who have left the service have a get together for a meal ~ flight nurses and ambulance personnel . . . which is very nice . . :)
      Hope Florida is being kind to you . . . :)

      Delete
  11. You are right....I can't wait for the story!!! I absolutely admire the great people who work jobs like this. So much is owed to them for the difference that they make in many peoples lives. This story is very touching and I felt my heart cry for the loss of John. I'm guessing that you have many stories to tell and that so many of these stories have made a significant difference in your life. Blessings to you Eddie...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shug:
      The story won't make best seller status . . . . lol
      But I was rather surprised when it enfolded . . . :)
      Glad you liked the story about John ~ he did have a reasonable lifespan and was happy when he was here so that is a big plus ~ hope he is smiling down on us from Heaven . . . :)

      Delete
  12. i have no doubt you made a big difference to a lot of people. i am sorry that john went through so much pain at the end...

    congratulations on your POTW.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you TexWisGirl
      I loved the job . . . . :)

      Delete
  13. Hi, I'm visiting from Hilary's blog. Congratulations on your POTW. That was a very touching story...sad and sweet. Thanks to you and all who provide emergency care. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Linda . . . I've just been over . . . :)

      Delete
  14. I am honoured to read it! Congrats on POTW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The honour is mine to have you here, Sandi . . :)

      Delete
  15. I want to hear the one about that lady. Congrats on the POTW for this one. Touched me when you talked about the bond between those in the medical field and their patients. Often in our grief, we forget to thank them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Julie ~ well I fulfilled my side of the bargain and wrote a post about that lady ~ but where were you? ,. . . lol

      Delete
  16. I can imagine that would be the worst part of being in that occupation, losing those you've gotten to know, or losing anyone. But it must have been quite rewarding at times, too.

    And you definitely know how to get people to tune in next week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bone . . . Yes, both emotions . . . :)

      Delete
    2. Thanks Bone . . . Yes, both emotions . . . :)

      Delete

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