There are pros and cons of working on the car.  One of the pros is that you can hand over your patient to the ambulance crew and leave them to it – very handy if they are annoying, smelly or whatever.

However, one of the cons is the reverse of this . . . as in you can be left stranded with a patient for quite a long time (hours in some cases) with no one to help but the kit and wit you bring.  And if you do manage to keep them alive the conversation soon dries up . . . or in this case, becomes ridiculous!

Ironically enough, this job had come down as “Hiccups, with DIB”.  I was 11 miles away and this was given as a Red 2.  Checking with Red Base about the feasibility of actually going on this, seeing as it was so far, I was politely informed that I was actually the closest and yes, they would still like me to attend.

So off I went.

I finally arrived at a large house with several rough looking Eastern European men loitering by the front door smoking cigarettes.  As I approached they nodded slowly in that sort of ‘gangster’ style.  I beamed back at them.

Binder:                    “Hello”

Realising my voice was several pitches too high for the occasion I attempted coughing to make out it was my throat that had caused the child-like squawk before repeating it in an over exaggeratedly deep voice . . .

Binder:                    Hello

It was however, too late, they glared at me as if I was a freak.  Swallowing awkwardly, I ducked my head and hurried in.

I could hear my patient before entering the living room.  Her hiccups were loud, erratic and sounded a cross between a manically frustrated seal and a Chihuahua on speed.  A bit like in that film, “Coming to America” when Eddie Murphy tells the woman to ‘bark like a dog’ . . . only faster.

Patient:                 “YEOW! . . . . . . . YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”

She was an average looking woman of an average sort of age – and was being comforted by an equally average looking woman . . . only slightly less average in age.  At the other end of the sofa there sat “the man of the house”.  Middle aged and with a thick moustache he sat with his feet up and arms crossed.  An austere look covered his face and was directed at anyone and everyone in general.

I sat down next to the patient with ‘moustache man’ behind me.  Looking at the patient I smiled.

Binder:                    “Hello my dear, what seems to be the problem today”
Moustache Man:    “She need to go hospital”
Patient:                   “YEOW!”
Binder:                    “Right.  OK, lets find out what’s happening first though eh”
Patient:                   “YEOW! . . . YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!” Binder:                    “What’s your name my dear?”
Moustache Man:    “She not speak English”
Binder:                    “OK, but what’s the lady’s name?”
Patient’s friend:      “Beatrice* . . . she in pain”
Binder:                    “I know my dear, and we’ll do what we can”
Patient:                   “YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW! . . . . . YEOW!”
Moustache Man:    “You take her to hospital yes?”
Binder:                    “All in good time – what’s th-”
Moustache Man:    “You take her now yes?”
Patient:                   “YEOW!”
Binder:                    “Well, there’s an ambulance on its way.  But let me just get some information first”
Patient:                   “YEOW! . . . YEOW!”
Moustache Man:    “You not the ambulance!!??”
Binder:                    “Well yes, but let me just deal with Beatrice fir-”
Moustache Man:    “Why you not ambulance?!”
Patient:                   “YEOW! . . . YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Patient’s friend:      “She in lot of pain”
Binder:                    “I know my dear.  Let me-”
Patient:                   “YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Moustache Man:    “I said, why you not ambulance?!”
Patient:                   “YEOW!YEOW”
Binder:                    “I am.  Just hold fire for one-”
Patient:                   “YEOW! . . . YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Patient’s friend:      “Can you give her something”
Binder:                    “We’ll see what I can do – just let-”
Patient:                   “YEOW! . . . YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”

Moustache man burst into his language of origin, aiming it at the patient’s friend.  This only seemed to agitate the two ladies more.

**I had no idea what language they spoke so for artistic purposes I’ve made it up**

Patient’s friend:      “NEQUEESSUP DDI Y GOOSO!”**
Patient:                   “YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Binder:                    “So how long has this been happening?”
Patient’s friend:      “For two hours.  Last time, six months ago, she went hospital”
Patient:                   “YEOW! . . . . ”
Binder:                    “And what happened”
Patient:                   “YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Patient’s friend:      “They give her Gaviscon”  **points at Gaviscon bottle on table**
Moustache Man:    “How long we have to wait!!”
Binder:                    “Lets see first!  And have you given some?”
Patient:                   “YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Patient’s friend:      “No we havn’t . . . ALDKJF LAJ Y STEREEREO JADD!”
Patient:                   “YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Binder:                    “How come?”
Patient:                   “YEOW!”
Patient’s friend:      “Its run out.”
Patient:                   “YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Moustache Man:    “Why you ask questions – just go to hospital.  She need to go!!”
Binder:                    “Sir, to be honest I don’t think she needs an ambulance”
Patient:                   “YEOW! . . . YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Patient’s friend:      “She in pain”
Binder:                    “I know dear-”
Patient:                   “YEOW!”
Moustache Man:     “Then take her!”
Binder:                    “The ambulance service is ridiculously busy tonight.  The ambulance might be some time . . . you have a car?”
Patient:                   “YEOW! . . . YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Moustache Man:    “Of course we do!”
Binder:                    “Perhaps you would like to take her in your own car?  Maybe save some time?”
Patient:                   “YEOW! . . . YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Patient’s friend:      “Please!  Can you give her something”
Binder:                    “I know my dear, we’ll see wha-”
Patient:                   “YEOW! . . . YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Moustache Man:    “No!  We go by Ambulance!  She get seen quicker that way.  She need hospital!”
Patient:                   “YEOW! . . . YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Binder:                    ” . . . what?!”

And so it continued.

I spent nearly an hour there and eventually tried coaching the patient’s breathing, all the while the moustache man would be griping in my ear and antagonising the patient and her friend . . . which in turn would set the patient off again.  They would have nothing to do with using their own transport so I was reduced to waiting for the truck.

A bemused crew eventually arrived and took over, saving me from a certain breakdown!  The patient was assisted to the ambulance where the attending [tippy title=”Tech 4″ URL=””]  Technician Grade 4.  These are people who’ve been in the job long enough to still have good worker-friendly contracts and whose stance on any situation, whether from a multi casualty major incident to a disciplinary hearing, is more solid and unmoving than the foundations of Everest.  You can spot a Tech 4 a mile off by their presence – a casual swagger and a glazed expression that tells you they’ve probably been there and seen everything “before you were born mate”.  A Tech 4 will never be wound up and can never be unnerved by a bad job.  But nothing will give a Tech 4 more happiness and satisfaction than when he or she sees some terrible misfortune befall higher management.  They are that magical breed of person that could probably bring a patient back to life with nothing more than a hefty boot and a look of utter contempt. [/tippy] tried a fast one.

Tech 4:                    “Now, seeing as you’ve already built up trust and a rapport with the patient – what with your breathing coaching – and seeing as I’m FRU trained, I reckon its probably best you stay in the back and I follow on in your car”

I pretended to check my watch.

Patient:                   “YEOW! . . . YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!YEOW!”
Binder:                    ” Ah, you see, erm . . . er, I would, but . . . um”
Patient:                   “YEOW! . . . ”
Tech 4:                    “Bastard”

As I left I heard the crew talking with Moustache Man.

Tech 4:                    “You coming along in the truck?”
Moustache Man:    “No.  We follow in car behind”

My shoulders dropped and I sighed.  The night had only just begun.


*Not her real name of course