Wednesday, September 10

...for the abdominal pain...

One of the more vague complaints asiode from "I have a headache" or "I feel tired." We were dispatched to a very busy section of the financial district around 9 AM as we were already overdue for shift change. the call came from a pay phone, telling us it was likely of of the area's homeless, since they're the only ones without cellphones and the ones shop keepers don't allow to use the phone.

A male, self described as mid 30s has called 911 reporting abdominal pain and then hung up. We arrived at the busy intersection to find close to 300 commuters running from subway access stairs to buses and across the streets in all directions. we arrived at the intersection near the telephone and asked the communications division to call the phone back so our patient, who we assumed needed an ambulance, would answer. When the phone began to ring and noone moved towards it to answer, we got frustrated. We waited, ambulance in clear view for someone to approach us. When none of the busy folks came over to admit they called, I decided to use one of the many tools at my disposal, the public adress system. I grabbed the mic and said, "Attention please! If you called 911 from the pay phone because your tummy hurts, please approach the ambulance at this time." My driver looked at me with his municipal transit hat on, which he wore to protest this kind of run, and smiled. Every commuter in the street looked to us and broke into a smile if not laughter. When not a single person approached, I repeated my message and that was when we saw him stumble out of a nearby storefront.

The gentleman approached the driver's window, which was up, and began to speak. My driver motioned him over to me, out of traffic and the man told me about how he hasn't eaten in days and is pretty sure he has "the AIDS" and needs a doctor. I asked him if he thinks his stomach pain has anything to do with not eating. "No" he replied quickly. "What do you want the doctors to do for you at the hospital?" I asked and he replied that he simply wanted something to eat and a quiet place to rest. I informed him that the cafeteria at the hospital is likely quiet as are a nnumber of local shops serving food. "But I have no money, can't you just give me a ride?" "We are not a taxi service sir, if you have an emergency we'd be happy to help but being hungry is not a life or death situation. How long have you been in town?" "2 days." You have a lot to learn about how things work here friend," I told him. He stepped back, rubbed his forehead and wandered slowly away and began pan handling for money. Haven't seen him since.

1 comment:

thebonnetts said...

Aj here- so last shift we were called to the circle K by PD for a woman( i think) in labor. Our patient makes a beeline for the truck and attempts to enter the rescue before we stop. The "woman" weighed at most 110 lbs and 5'2" tall. Obviously not VERY pregnant. Well she insisted she was in the first stages of labor. My driver asked how did she know she was pregnant and she yelled "because I am a(expletive deleted) genius." She reported she was in labor for 4 days and the contractions come once an hour. She was determined to be transported to the ER that deals with psych(No OB). The ambulance says despite her ob claim, kaseman is the place for her. So we prepare her for transport and ask about her medical history, to which she replies: diabetes. I ask is her diabetes type 1, 2 or gestational. She begins screaming at me that she has not been castrated and she is in fact a woman. She gets on her soapbox and screams about what is wrong with society, healthcare and the army. As she is yelling this she pulls down her pants to show us, ambulance and PD that she is in fact a woman. When the ambulance medic tells her to sit down and pull up her pants, she attempts to hit him. Thats when PD jumped in and removed our labor patient in handcuffs. Good times.