Thursday, March 12, 2009

Its paid for, but please don't......

I finally got to ride in our sweet new ambulance Tuesday night. After countless bone jarring ambulance transfers in a 4WD vehicle that would have eventually resulted in breasts I could kneel on, we got a 2WD that offered a smooth ride and steps you can negotiate with a wide butt and short legs without looking like you just fell off a Mardi Gras float. Yaay for me!

It still has that 'new ambulance' smell, which is kind of like the 'new car' smell, if new cars came with extrication tools and the smell cost about $160,000 extra. Everything is shiny and unused.

We set off with a patient onboard who had difficulties that were not of the elimination variety, so I was alarmed when she had a whispered conversation with the nurse on board that ended with said nurse saying, "You have to POOP?" This was followed with a reassuring explanation of how very close we were to our destination, a place where she could do what needed done, possibly even without three onlookers in close quarters. This reassurance lasted exactly 45 seconds. I was at the head of the cot so I couldn't hear much of what was being said, only "Right NOW? Are you sure?"

A bedpan (which I prayed to the Patron Saint of Inopportune Defecation was actually IN the storage bin) was located, and we pawed through the layers of straps, tubing, non washable and very vulnerable-looking wool blankets, and ether blanketing to get to the patient and slip it in place.

Have you ever gotten on an elevator and experienced that awkward silence that settles in after the doors close? Or been witness to the 'party lull' where everyone stops talking at the same time for no particular reason? I would submit to you that these experiences run a distant seventy-third to dropping trou so you can poop in front of strangers in a moving vehicle.

We got the patient sorted out, then field tested something called the 'Power Vent'. (Ambulance manufacturers, whoever thought of a ceiling-mounted fan that sucks smells out of the back so they can hover malevolently over random municipalities, THANK YOU. It works like a champ.)

And nothing cheers up the staff of my favorite ER like walking in with a big red biohazard bag and saying, "Do you have someplace I can put this?" I wish I had one for them every day.


Tricia said...

I'm sorry for your poor patient but laughing my ass off here at the picture you painted. Pray to GOD I never have to poop in front of strangers in a moving vehicle please! :)

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I also once held a man up so he could pee (he had double charley horses to boot, and needed to stand to make them stop). He was very weak and sick, and I realized at one point that all of us (the Medic, the patient, and myself) were staring at his penis like it just lost the Super Bowl. The patient sighed and said, "Its hell getting old."
He did eventually pee.

Junk Drawer Kathy said...

How do you even get the pan under there in time and isn't it terribly uncomfortable? Oh, you know what? I don't think I want to know until I have to know and I hope that time never comes.


Shieldmaiden96 said...

Its the same sort of timing and wristwork that serves one well when playing lacrosse, with the possible negative outcome being somewhat more disconcerting than dropping the ball.

flit said...

they clearly do not pay you enough

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Hee, they don't pay me at all...I'm a volunteer!

But the occasional nudity and bodily fluids are their own reward.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

And I know the ER you speak of so I wish you had one for them every day too. :-)