101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Saturday, September 12

My Healing Hands

I'm working a 48 at a decently busy house when, early on day two we start to notice something extraordinary. Everyone I've touched has been cured on the spot. Call them miracles, call it a practitioner's energy, what have you, but don't burst my bubble by saying they weren't sick in the first place. That's just cruel.

PATIENT 1

A middle aged man at the local gym. The staff heard him singing one minute, then passed out cold on the floor the next. We arrived and found him supine, the water off, his skin still warm. I reached down to check his pulse when his eyes opened and he came to life. "What happened?" he asked me, standing and covering himself with the towel nearby. "You tell me," I tell him and he does. He's been up for two days straight and just finished a basketball game with friends. He remembers the water being so warm and inviting...then found himself on the floor. He awoke to my touch. Miracle.

PATIENT 2

Activated to a street corner for the severe asthma attack. The address is well known for drug traffic and asthmatics who rarely refill THAT prescription. the Police officers at the corner are waving frantically as we turn the engine down the last block. They run to my door, not the lieutenant's door, but mine. This must be serious. "She's barely breathing, hurry!" I'm told so I grab the bag and hustle over to where they pointed. A woman is leaning over the bed of a pickup truck with her head down. I quickly reach for her chin to assess her breathing when she slaps my hand away. Effective motor control for someone in distress. "Can you breathe?" I ask. "No, I can't. I have asthma real bad." Is her response. the stethoscope is out and under her intentional grunting is clear air movement, even way down in the lower lobes.
I can hear a bit of the conversation in the background between my lieutenant and the police.
"She wants into the apartment, hubby won't let her in, she told us she needs her asthma machine and to call you."
"I don't think this is asthma," reaching down to check her pulse rate, "is there anything-"
"Fine, thank you." She interrupted standing, straightening her shirt and walking over to the officers. "Will you let me in now or not?"
As the ambulance crew arrived I told them the situation and they agreed I had the magic touch. For sure.


PATIENT 3

An elderly man was seen being escorted from the commuter train, pale and sweating, by two adult males. In this time of increased security, the guard decided to give 911 a ring. When I arrive in the bathroom, the man turns out to have been escorted to the train by his two adult sons, who were concerned he wouldn't make it to the toilet in time. They reluctantly open the stall door and there he is, pale, cool skin covered in sweat, and a look of embarrassed discomfort on his face. "I'll be fine as soon as I can go." I'm thinking the same thing you are so I reach for his pulse rate when he groans. Honestly, the moment I touched him, he pooped and instantly felt better. "My medication makes me constipated." He says. And my supernatural powers do the opposite my friend.


PATIENT 4

Sometimes you really can talk sense into your regulars, especially when they try playing your game. This time our friend in the lobby of the motel tells us of an elaborate cardiac procedure performed earlier that day that should have meant a scar and a few more days of observation, but hey, at least he's trying. I explain the details of the procedure and how long I spent in school to learn that as he fidgets with 3 of his 4 extremeties. As my EMT is taking vitals and holding one arm still, the other begins to fidget around. This man's nervous system is clearly in massive overdrive and the blisters on his lips give me a good idea what's happening. When I place my hand on his shoulder to get his attention he straightens up, looks at me and says, "If you think nothing is wrong then I don't care, I'm going back to sleep." And wandered back up the stairs.
The lieutenant walked up and asked if I'd be willing to touch his throat, he's had a cough as of late. I told him he should wait until I wash my hands. My miracle hands.

PATIENT 5

Anxiety impacts a large portion of our population and our friend called today because he refilled his prescription for anti-anxiety pills, but sold them for heroin instead. We've all been there, right? He walks out of the hallway alert, oriented and breathing fine, all the while telling me he can't breathe. I talk him through some breathing exercises, slowly calming him and he feels better. As the ambulance pulls up he waves them off. I haven't touched him yet and am wondering if it's a fluke. As the ambulance turns the corner he starts to breathe quickly again telling me he needs the pills or he won't get better.
"Look at me," I say taking his arm to focus him, "You don't need those. We didn't use them today, it's all about controlling your breathing." He smiled, turned around and walked away. I turned to the crew, each with a different variation of "WTF" on their face and thought to myself, "This is totally going in the blog."

5 comments:

Gayland said...

Man you have to touch never worked like that for me. The guy pooping would have pooped on me

Gayland Grant
Retired old Fire Dog

Triple Beeper said...

I don't know what you're talking about before you go into the scenarios. You clearly have the magic touch. And also the gift of patience because sometimes I think you get to deal with the lowest common denominator of society.

Ben Yatzbaz said...

You need to get over to the UK soon! Maybe you can heal some of our regulars too... :)

The Grumpy Dispatcher said...

(singsong voice)

*Bloggable!*

Love it.

TOTWTYTR said...

Have you ever found yourself singing "You've got the magic touch..." after one of these calls? I have.

On a similar note, I've taught any number of patients English. When we arrive, everyone swears that the person doesn't speak a word of it, so we use a translator. Only the translator can't go to the hospital with us, so there I am alone in the back of the truck with the non English speaking patient.

"Do you speak any English at all?", I ask.

"Oh sure, I speak English fine.", is the reply.

"Why didn't you say anything before."

"You were using the translator."

Ooooooookaay then. I can only conclude that sitting with me taught them English by osmosis.