The Nation's Health + Paramedic

Funny Patients and Funny People

"40 year old male, ? hypo"

Badly controlled diabetes, quite frankly causes havoc for ambulance services up and down the country. These patients are generally regular callers, but ones who always require treatment and intervention and as such, little can be done to reduce the constant flow of resources sent to them. With a reduced level of consciousness it automatically means an FRU and an ambulance are sent and quite often, takes a significant amount of time to deal with. This particular patient was very well known to me with a mix of good and bad experiences. The last time I dealt with him he was naked and extremely aggressive. Trying to cannulate or give an injection into a patient intent on swinging arms, kicking and spitting is a tricky business! I was hoping on this occasion he would be completely out of it, and thus, easy to manage. As if I'd get want I want.....

I pulled up, grabbed my bags and headed inside. This guy's housemate is less than sympathetic to his plight and as soon as he saw me, he slammed his bedroom door. Just how most 40 year old single men act, right?!

Today, one blessing was that he wasn't fully naked. He wasn't fully dressed either but beggars can't be choosers! He was lying on his bed, thrashing around as per usual and spitting in sporadic intervals. Joy! Luckily for me the ambulance arrived a few minutes after me so there were three of us on hand to deal with his stray arms and bodily fluids!

Working on the FRU, I meet a lot of crews, often crews I have never met before and to be honest it's a mixed bag. Some are friendly, some are indifferent and some are just plain rude. Tonight, the crew were awesome! A great sense of humour, both dry and toilet and enough sarcasm and cynicism to amuse anyone. Despite dealing with a man intent on covering us in saliva we had a great time. I know it seems strange, but in this job, it is possible to spend a long time with a patient like this and enjoy yourself. Bear in mind, we all generally have the same, warped sense of dark humour so if you mix three like minded people with a bizarre patient, even more bizarre surroundings and a housemate acting like a sullen teenager, you're going to have fun. Throw into the mix a collection of Viagra scattered around the flat and you're left seriously trying to hold on to a professional demeanour, despite the obvious urge to burst out laughing!

The patient was quickly medicated and then it was a waiting game for him to come back to his usual, strange and eccentric self! Needless to say, that time was passed sitting on sofas getting to know a great pair of people discussing everything from triathlons to drawn-on-penises. Seriously, how it got to that I'm not sure. It just happens. Anyway, once the patient was back to normal, he declined hospital, signed our paperwork and I left in a thoroughly good mood!

This job has its ups and downs. It can be the most demoralising and the most fulfilling, the saddest and the happiest. There are great patients and truly shocking patients but what makes it infinitely easier, is getting to work with great people. Tonight was a prime example. I left the patient, needing to change my uniform due to being spat on but did so with a smile. Thank you to crew the who came to help me with the funny little man with a silly haircut and an apparent addiction to Viagra! It was a pleasure!

They probably got in there truck, looked at each and said 'what a bitch!'

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