Wednesday, September 17, 2008

- Gustav, pt I

There is shit everywhere on the floor. If I was a betting man, I would bet that in the end it's going to be cheaper to rip out the carpet and lay down some more than to try to shop-vac the poop out of here. I don't know much about home restoration but based on the glimpses I've seen on the Home and Garden channel these guys are BONED.

Then the smell hits, and WOW. Even those jackasses from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition might have to chalk this one up to the game. It almost becomes necessary to wade through it physically as we approach the bathroom in the back of the patient's little assisted living apartment.

Our patient is sitting down in his closet size shower, looking deflated (I mean, considering the amount of shit smeared around on the carpet out side, he'd almost have to be). He glares at us as an eel might glare at an invading fish. "we can't get him to get up or do anything. He says he just wants to lay there. We washed him and he just wouldn't get out of the shower." Well, at least he's not smeared in shit...anymore.

I'm working with Cutsy today, a new EMT with a myriad of self inflicted cuts to the insides of her arms. She did her first ride time with me. She does not handle criticism. Period. She can't even take coaching. We were in a Wendy's earlier that day and she just broke down and started crying when I was telling her about how I like to run my calls - I do patient interview, you get a manual BP, hook up the EKG, pulse ox, and tell me if the numbers are out of whack. I use a standardized approach. I had already taken care to use a gentle tone of voice, trying to make it obvious that she wasn't in trouble, I was just giving her some information to help, and GUSH - sobbing in the middle of Wendy's, standing between me and my bag of food on the counter.

I guess I could've been a little more supportive than throwing up my hands, stepping past her, and walking out of there with my cheeseburgers, but hey. Whatever.

I mean, Jesus. We were at Wendy's.

Taking hold of his shoulders (and sticking Cutsy on the business end - hey, Rank Hath Its Privilege) we throw him on the stretcher. I recognize the sudden bulge on his cheeks. "Fuck, he's gonna puke." I scuttle sideways and use a trick I picked up from one of the LifeFlight medics - I grab a biohaz bag from the back of the stretcher and make him a puke bib. He's starting to go out on me, I think, so we rush him to the hospital. My 12 lead is negative, but his heart rate drops into the 50's and I cannot believe this guy has anything left anywhere in his digestive system. I manage to push some fluid in and we drop him off.

I come back out to find Cutsy crying in the module. The module has not been cleaned. The stretcher is dirty. He face is in her hands.

"What? What is it?"

"I got puke in my hairrrr! Wwuhhhh! (I can't accurately reproduce her keening wail in text, so just imagine you fed a whale a bunch of helium and sped up it's bellow, and that's kind of what I was dealing with.)

I shake my head and walk to the cab.

* * *

The wind is really starting to pick up. We've just run our 4th evac transfer. They've put together a large evac shelter down in my part of Backwater, in a deserted store. I'm in the back, rerolling my EKG wires, when we get a page. "Wind speeds unsafe for operation". OK. Back Home we go.

We swing by the ER and I'm talking to a couple of the ER nurses. I tell them I'll probably end up crashing at the station, because I have to drive 20 miles home through Gustav just to come back to work the next day. "Well, shit, March, come stay with us at my house."

I raise my eyebrow. Both of these nurses are very attractive, recently divorced, well proportioned, and you know, they're ER nurses - kinky!

They must see the look on my face cause they start laughing. "Easy, March, I've got 3 bedrooms. We're not going to have to shack up."

"Oh, I know, but man, this is going to be so awesome for my blog."

* * *
Of course, dispatch doesn't care that we're not supposed to be running, and after my second argument with the dispatcher we find ourselves in the middle of a rainband, the unit getting tossed around pretty solid. But nothing bad happens, and I pack up at the end of my shift, and go home with ER Nurse 1 and ER Nurse 2.

The power goes out at house at 10 O'Clock in the morning. We can't sleep in the house so we're sitting together in the living room and I pick up a newspaper. There, on the coffee table, are not one but TWO of those "Love Positions" books (you know with the pictures, and diagrams? Yeah. Sexy!) and a book entitled "Tickle Your Kitty" - a guide for the ladies to, you know...yeah.

Jackpot.

I raise my eyebrows and hold up all three. Nurse 1 blushes heavily. "Look, I got those at a fun party."

"Fun Party? What the fuck is a fun party?" I believe I actually might have heard of this before, but I'm a dirty pervert, so I press for answers.

"It's like when a bunch of girls get together with wine and stuff -and one of them is a sales person and has like books, creams and oils, shit like that. Fake Wieners. Girl stuff. And she tells you about them, and shit."

"Holy shit. Basically it's like 8 drunk girls and a literal bag of dicks? This has AMAZING marketing potential."

"Uh-uh, hotshot. No boys allowed. And uh, actually, it was a giant Rubbermaid full of dildos, not a bag....uh, are you ok?"

"Sweet Jesus!" I say, tearing up a little. " A giant box of latex dongs, a barrel full of drunk girls, and a whole evening to test the wares...it's...it's BEAUTIFUL."

"Dude, March. You're freaking me out. "


* * *

We sweat our asses off for a little while longer and it's time for the Nurses to go back to work, so I put some scrubs on and tag along. Backwater is trashed. I did not think that there would be this much damage. Hundreds of feet of line are down, debris is everywhere. As we pull past the station I cannot believe my eyes. It's totally trashed - it looks like Godzilla put his foot through the roof. The carport is in the driveway. Inside it's a mess - rain water is everywhere. The station is totaled.

I shake my fist at the clouds. "Gustav, you motherfucker!"

-MM

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dude...how do you find these wacky partners?