All she had was a wheelchair, a couch, a bed and a picture of Elvis. The place was clean, when you don’t have anything it’s easy to keep up. From her bed she told us about her pain. Four days now, getting worse every day. Diabetes for twenty of her fifty-three years had taken it’s toll. What little I recall of my grandmother’s mother is an old lady in a wheelchair with no legs. She lost them to the “Sugar” was all I was told.
We brought her to the truck, got her comfortable and headed toward Rhode Island Hospital. It was a long transport for us, about twelve minutes. I settled into the Captains chair and started the report while “Louise” sobbed in the stretcher. It was a busy night, the radio blared in the back; “Rescue 2 and Engine 14 to Manton Ave. for difficulty breathing,” “Rescue 5 and Engine 7 to Benifit Street for a man who has fallen.” “Rescue 4 to 100 Broad Street in the Lobby for an intoxicated male.” “Engine 4 with an East Providence Rescue to Blackstone Blvd. for chest pains,” and on and on. I turned the volume all the way down.
From the cab came a familiar sound.
“A little Elvis for your listening pleasure,” Jeff yelled back as we rolled down the highway. “Don’t be cruel,” “Hound dog” then “Teddy Bear.” Louise sat up in the stretcher, stopped sobbing and actually smiled. It was the best ride of the night. Sometimes Jeff’s music is the perfect medicine