I have spoken before about the strange days one can have on the ambulance. Sometimes everyone has the stomach bug, other days everyone is having trouble standing up. Other days you’re on your 3rd intubation wondering “Really? Again?”
I call this the Whine de Jour, the one common thing going through the day. Either they’re whining or we are. Well, today is kind of similar, except everyone has been sick. Legitimately, actually, needing a Doctor, sick. Not Sick, dying, Sick but sick none the less.
We’re getting the calls as code 2 falls, sick evals and even a code 3 diarrhea. I think we’ve all been there for that.
But most days the folks are not nearly as sick as they think they are, or as sick as they try to convince us they are.
“You said your fever is 104.5 and yet you’re not hot…explain that to me.”
Today is the day from the Twilight Zone.
Our complaint of vertigo actually had vertigo. Most folks we get who self diagnose think a headache is vertigo. We arrive and they’re on the phone, watching TV in a brightly lit room and walking around. This guy was seated in the kitchen, holding the tupper ware of vomit loosely in his hands as we entered, eyes closed wincing each time I spoke and unable to lay down the dizzyness was so bad.
Our clogged catheter call turned out to be the beginning of quite the bleed. I’ll spare the details, but It’s a good thing the live in 24 hour care nurse waited 96 HOURS to call for help when the cather was clogged, then suddenly started bleeding. 4 days of bleeding through your…well…we hurried him in.
And wouldn’t you know it, the altered consciousness was actually altered for a medically unknown reason. Every assessment tool came back normal except for the part where he wouldn’t wake up all the way.
No quick one liners, no discussions about the importance of the ambulance, no critical interventions, just some good old fashioned, “You look sick, let’s get you cared for.” But we’re only 6 hours in, maybe things will go back to normal.
Today’s Whine de Jour, “I’m actually sick.”