The Nation's Health + [Policing]

It Happens To The Best Of Us

"23 year old female, ? drink spiked, vomiting"

It was ridiculous-o-clock in the morning and most of the night's revellers were either a) tucked up in bed b) tucked up in a hospital bed or c) lying in a pile of vomit in a park waiting patiently for a good samaritan to call 999. As far as night shifts go, it had been particularly torrid. Alcohol and drugs had been the stars of the show, with the police and the ambulance service run ragged all night long! Some of my highlights of the proceedings included being spat at and threatened by a crack head, having someones dog 'set on me' (the dog couldn't be arsed) and watching a great episode of domino vomiting (one goes, they all go) outside a club. Oh, spending an hour trying to convince a man in only Thundercat boxer shorts, that lying in the road with his hands in his pants wasn't conducive to good public relations and future job prospects was also one for the out-takes reel.

It was about 04:30, I was resembling a wild banshee and looking rather dishevelled! My hair really was a thing to marvel at! Being sent to a vomiting drunk person with delusions of drink spiking hardly filled me with warmth, I must say. I was wildly confident that the only thing her drink had been spiked with was alcohol. We headed on up to the 'top floor' flat as instructed. We were met half way up my a drunk, scantily clad girl who was walking like a new-born giraffe. Funny it was, graceful it wasn't. We followed her, and the noise of crying / wrenching into a bedroom.

There, lying sprawled on the bed, wearing a t-shirt a thong was our patient. Her head was hanging over the edge of the bed and she was indeed vomiting. Her makeup had run somewhat and her hair was....well, matted in vomit. She looked a treat! She was also crying. Stood in the corner of the room as a sheepish looking boyfriend, who wasn't drunk and seemed rather annoyed by the whole situation.

"Hello my dear, good night was it?!"

"Oh my god, I'm so sorry, I can't stop being sick!" she slurred at me.

Between her and her friend they went on to explain that she hadn't drunk any more than she normally would and drunk the same amount as her friends. They just didn't understand why she was so drunk! Must be a spiked drink eh?! Not the lack of food all day and tiredness combined with any number of other things. Oh, and all the Jaegerbombs. And wine. And other spirits. Definitely, without doubt, a spiked drink! Hmmmmm!

Her boyfriend just rolled his eyes! He looked particularly unimpressed by the whole situation. I made a few jokes about the situation and he chuckled. It was then I noticed his shirt. It was white, with flaps on the shoulders for epaulettes and a velcro patch on the chest.

"Is that a police shirt?!"

"Yep! I'm a cop, I'm on early turn, start at 7am, then get a call from this muppet!"

"Sleep's overrated anyway buddy!"

The patient started wailing / crying again! She was apologising profusely and stating how ill and drunk she was!

"What do you do for a living?!"

A sorry pout and half grin appeared on her face.

"I'm also in the police! I'm so embarrassed!"

I just laughed, and laughed hard! She started laughing, and her boyfriend was now seeing the funny side of it!

"And what do you do?!" I said to the friend.

"And what do you do OFFICER!" she said bursting out in laughter!

As far as I was concerned, all her sins were forgiven! Sure, it's favouritism and yes, I have bitched and moaned about drunk people calling ambulances because they are drunk and YES, they should have known better. But, the thin blue line is spread so thin and they do such a great job day in, day out that getting smashed on a Friday night was probably just what the doctor ordered. We spend half an hour talking work, sharing war stories and we left her to wallow in self pity for the entire day before she started night shifts!

Getting drunk and paralytic happens to the best of us at times, even the police. When not in uniform we are all just normal people making the same stupid mistakes as everyone else! I won't hold it against her when our paths cross professionally. I will however, mock her unreservedly!

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