There is a large crown of perhaps forty people clustered around the three cop cars and rescue truck. It is four AM, and we've been, well, we've been getting hammered. No, not hammered, where you wake up with a screaming brain next to some girl who's name you can't remember and oh God you're wearing her underwear again oh God oh God what is wrong with you.
No, we've been dick-scratches favorite nail this evening, and although I would like to try and look interested in this patient, I cannot.
"Why are you crying?"
"I (wuuuuuuuaaahhh) ba...ba...broke my nail! Wuuuah!"
I look at my partner, who looks like shit. He looks at me.
"Wow, yeah. I'll grab the trauma bag."
I turn back to the patient, and squat down to her level, and take a deep breath.
"Wow," she says, "that's a mighty big vein you've got throbbing in your forehead!"
"Yeah," I say. "It comes and goes. How'd you break your nail?"
"Sumdood was swinging a 2x4 around in the club."
"Oh." This, at least, is marginally interesting. I gamely try to engage my brain into full interrogative mode. "What...uh...where...where was this at?"
She points toward the RR tracks. There's a club, not too far away. "Over dere."
"Oh. Ok. You want to go to the hospital. You're hand could be fractured." It wasn't. It wasn't even close to being fractured. Nothing was wrong with her. But they don't let me tell that to people, so instead I lie. "If it's bothering you , you need to see the doctor."
"No, I'm fine."
Silently, I thank providence. Maybe I can get a whole 45 minutes of sleep before waking up to clean the station and wash the truck.
"Uh, March?" says one of the cops. "We've got another one here."
This patient is a young man who's been struck on the head with the 2x4. He has a minor lac, and also does not want to go to the hospital, even when I tell him that he could be seriously injured, slip into a coma, or die, if he does not want to go to the hospital.
"Yeah, man. Fo Real."
"Well I'm just gonna get my cousin to take me to BackWater Hospital."
I'm too tired to argue. He's awake, alert, oriented, and vitals check out. I'm too tired to argue (although somewhere in the back of my head, a little voice says I should never be to tired to argue.)
"Yeah, man, sumdood was going CRAZY with that shit. Swinging it around like he was fucking Sammy Sosa or shit."
"Sign here." Well, at least I can get thirty minutes of sleep.
A girl walks up, with pain in her shoulder.
"He caught me on the backswing, it don't hurt though."
Then why the fuck are you standing here?
I give her an icepack after assesing CPMS, and get another refusal.
The ink isn't dry before a Firefighter walks up, a young lady in tow.
"Some guy were swinging, like, a stick! He hit a bottle, and it hit me! He were crazy! He was a meaniac!"
She has some minor lacs to the inside of her right leg. The only thing hurt here is my eyes - I mean, I'm no prize, but she is absurdly too large to be wearing shorts like this. If she would've worn some proper sized and fitted clothing, she would've escaped with no scratches.
I obtain the last refusal, and grab the PA of the ambulance and address the crowd.
"Attention, Attention. If anyone else has been struck by the 2x4 wielding psycho, please report to the back of my ambulance for treatment. "
Forty or fifty pairs of eyes turn and look at me like I'm crazy.
postscript: instead of sleeping for 7 minutes before having to get up again, I watch an infomercial for Shamwow!...that thing is awesome.