Saturday, 2 August 2008

'This is not a drill' Friday.

By the time I have breakfasted at diggies with friends - it's already been a busy work day. But there's a whole new day ahead, and I'm certainly not expecting what comes next.

A short time later as I'm walking out the door of the hospital where I'm based, to go do a series of home visits, a whole movie scene plays out literally at my feet.

There's a car pulling up urgently in front of the hospital. As it stops two men drag this limp body from the car towards me. Through the automatic doors they deliver a man with a congested blue face to my feet. He's unresponsive. They're yelling urgently,' he's been blue for a few minutes', 'he's overdosed on heroin', 'he needs narcan' as they slap him about the face and yell his name, hitting him again as if it might reverse his drug induced coma. 'Do something!' they yell as I stand in a vacant entry corridor in a hospital with no emergency department. There's no alarm to press, no equipment to speak of and not a lot of people around, just a lot of wind that has also just blown in from the west.
I put my briefcase and files on the floor and go through the routine resuscitation steps,  he is breathing but hardly and ineffectually, he has a strong pulse still, thank god, but he needs a working airway and the narcan (which rapidly reverses the effect of the heroin) as his fellow junkies have said. Still, despite much yelling and sending off of staff who have wandered by, no cardiac arrest team has arrived and we have no equipment, no oxygen, and he's still blue. 

Ultimately equipment arrives and with an ad-hoc team he is brought back to life. [Think airways, Oxygen, IV cannulas, and the revered Narcan.]

It's a very irregular start to my day in palliative care. I wander off as he sits up and starts vomiting. He's breathing, he's alert again with the general hospital staff now looking after him. I'm a little shocked, and a little pissed off at the people who so carelessly come close to death on a daily basis.

my gym

The patient I am going to see doesn't answer when I knock on his door; despite me prearranging the visit. I call his mobile and he's shopping at the supermarket. I'm exhausted and I really haven't started. Eventually I finish work and get to the gym where I run for 35 min and gruel through weights, abs and stretching which actually replenishes my energy levels. On my way out of the mostly straight gym I am propositioned by a cute guy who's also just finished there. I smile. 

Oh, what a day of contrasts.


SYNRGY said...

What a nice ending to your day... The start tho was a little sketchy...

Love from Atlanta

Superchilled said...

synrgy: I wholeheartedly agree.