Fast and Well

It's crazy in there, people screaming, confusion and chaos so contagious even the dog looks worried. The old lady islaying in her bed, struggling to breathe. Surrounding her are her well intentioned but completely useless family, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, and a grandchild or two.

The old lady is sucking on her empty inhaler for all it is worth, her skin a pallid blue, eyes wide, jugular veins distended.

"Move it!" I say and the assembly ignores me.

"Get out of the way!" I say, and they move closer to the patient, suffocating her, She says something, the crowd roars, more pandemonium ensues and things begins to go downhill even faster than they already were.

"Who speaks English?" I ask, elbowing my way through the crowd,

Nobody. Not a one. Seven thousand people crammed into a 12 x 12 bedroom and a language barrier keeps us worlds apart. It doesn't matter, though, an Asthma attack looks the same in Spanish and English.

So does a medic on a mission.

The message to make room sinks in, and the seas part, and I'm able to get to Amaryllis, whose panic subsides a little. The stair chair arrives, I put a non-rebreather that had been deftly modified by my partner into a breathing treatment delivery system over her face, the airway clears, just a little, but a little is a lot for the patient and we begin to move.

Like the sun breaking through the clouds a little angel appears in the doorway. Everybody looks at her, dozens of eyes on a little seven year old girl, whose grandmother is masked, panicking, tied to a chair by men in uniforms and being wheeled out of her home.

"That's my Granmama," she says, nervously.  "She has Asthma."

She hands me a bag of medications, and asks if she can come in the ambulance.

"Of course, you can. You are the most important person here right now," I tell her, and she leads the way, the nervousness gone. Her family stands to the side as we wheel the patient out, and follow the little girl, who in the Dominican Republic would be just a little kid, but here is the leader of the family.

She tells us all about Granmama as we treat her, switching from Spanish to English with ease.

Kids grow up fast when everybody is depending on them. Fast and well.

 

 

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Michael Morse

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Michael Morse
Visit
Gramma Muggle passed away yesterday. She will be missed. Thoughts and prayers to Erin and the family, those still with us, and those who are with Pat now.
2015-03-28 15:42:46
Michael Morse
Three at Three
Thanks for commenting Stephan, Great to hear from people in far away lands!
2015-03-20 13:17:39
Grenzlandmedic
Three at Three
The world is a small village,sounds like a thursday or friday night at my station in southeast Germany at the border to Austria. Stay safe and watch your back Stephan
2015-03-20 11:03:34
Andrew Randazzo
Classmates
Those are some of the best reality checks. I wish I had them more often. We take for granted what we have, what we do, and where we're headed. Looking back at history, and our history particularly can be so helpful to recalibrate our minds.
2015-03-18 15:09:47
Michael Morse
Narcan or Recovery
Thank you for your comment Carolyln, you are welcome here anytime. Your husband took hostages when he married you, I'm sorry he never got the help he needed. I live very closely with an addict and alcoholic, and hope other people with addictions get the help they need before what happenned to your family happens…
2015-03-02 18:03:48

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