I was in a hurry, and the roads were icy. It had been a long shift in the Emergency Room and I was lucky to have gotten off when I did. I couldn’t believe I had had to pull the Christmas Eve shift. Drunks all night… except for that awful domestic violence patient. You didn’t know whether to feel sorry for her husand or angry at him. Just in my short time with her I felt like beating her up myself, “Nurse” this, and “Nurse” that… always laced with profanity, never quick enough, never right
I came round the bend and saw the car in the ditch, headlights on. Oh great. Another drunk. I didn’t have time for this. Someone else would stop, someone else would call DPS and EMS. I have to get home. It’s Christmas day.
I hope that they had everything ready for the program this year. I hadn’t had time to check with everyone. The last few days at the EMS station had been crazy. Accidents, and that overdose yesterday afternoon. Twenty three years old and she was dead of an overdose. We worked her twenty minutes at the scene, and they must have worked on her for forty more minutes at the Emergency Room.
I came round the bend and saw the car in the ditch, headlights on. Oh great. Another drunk. I didn’t have time for this. Someone else would stop, someone else would call DPS and EMS. I have to get to church to set up for the program. It’s Christmas day.
I was tired. But then, this was my busy season. As an Atheist, and a Jewish Atheist at that, this was my busy season. Every Emergency Room in the country needed a moonlighting doctor at this time of year. My wife and kids hardly ever saw me.
I came round the bend and saw the car in the ditch, headlights on. Oh great. Another drunk. I didn’t have time for this.
I pulled over and looked in the car. Well, maybe not a drunk. Man, wife, looked to be three kids in the back. I got on the cell phone and called 911. The kids were fine. They started screaming when they saw me. They were just freaked out.
The drivers side window was busted, which I didn’t like, as it had been letting in the cold all the time these poor people had been sitting here in the cold. But it made my job easier now. I reached in and felt for the mans pulse. Good, strong pulse.
The woman, lying on her side underneath the man… her husband I assumed, although you couldn’t tell nowadays, started moving around. ‘Ma’am! Ma’am! Are you all right?”
“Yes. It’s just my leg. Its pinned underneath something. Get us out!”
“Yes ma’am. I called the ambulance and the fire department. They should be here soon.”
When EMS arrived I gave my keys to a fireman and told him I would ride with them in the ambulance. We had to get the man out first. It worried me that he was still unconcious. It took forever to get him out of the car. The firemen got all the kids out first. Of course, it wasn’t hard to get a kid out. The guy was heavy.
I left with the man. I felt better about him then I had before. All the signs pointed to a simple head trauma.
I sat at my desk, finally getting to drink some coffee. Arriving with the ambulance, I had arrived into bedlam… the small town ER already crowded beyond their capacity to handle the load. It only had five beds and before I got there they already had three people in beds in the cooridor. Four hours later we finally had most of the patients cleared out.
What a day.
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