You’re supposed to be my partner in this little task of ours today.
Since we started all you do is ignore me. Not a word of encouragement, as if you don’t even want to be here today. Fine by me, I can get along alright on my own.
In Paramedic school I was told you would help me, be there when I had questions, and be ready to give your opinion when it mattered. You aren’t even listening to me now, are you?
You were no help with the backboard, fumbled with the straps, as if you’d never seen one before. You dropped the NPA on the floor and made me get another one out. What kind of partner are you?
I’ve been where you are now, I understand how frustrating it can be when driving lights and sirens to the hospital. It’s hard to communicate with all that noise and all the commotion in the back of the ambulance. But even when I raise my voice, you won’t listen.
Our day started so well. Me in the passenger seat and you in the driver’s seat. Coffee as usual for me, you had nothing. A few hours later, here we are.
We’re supposed to be in this together. Partners of a sort. You talk I listen, I talk you listen, a two way road. But instead I feel like you’re ignoring me. I ask you question after question and you’re not even looking at me, you’re looking past me.
The textbook said I could rely on you in an emergency and they were wrong.
Maybe you’re not talking because I had to intubate you. 15 minutes ago the rescue squad pulled you from the driver’s seat of that mangled sedan you were driving and now you won’t answer any of my questions. We’ve been here for 10 minutes and I feel ignored. You haven’t even acknowledged my existence.
“Can you hear me?” Nothing. It’s like I’m talking to a fence.
“Squeeze my fingers if you can hear me!” Why do I even try, you’re not listening.
“Come on! Get that blood pressure back up!” As if you would if you were even paying attention to me.
You’re my partner in all this mess. You and me, me and you. No one else is here, no one else cares. It’s just you and me. I’m doing all the talking and if you do make it out of this alive you won’t even know my name. The surgeon will be your hero, the nurse your angel, our time together will be but a footnote in your file. “Arrived by ambulance” it will say in the back of that giant file you’re about to start.
But we started this together. You and me in the middle of the intersection. You were in blue, I was in my best turnout coat. I’ll never forget it.
You already have.