Sunday, February 24, 2013

Emergency room here I come - again

It's not like I had my own parking space or anything, but I am no stranger to the emergency room.
From my younger years to my present middle-age years, the ER has been a fairly regular stop.
The first 'ER run' I ever made (without my parents taking me there that is) was when I was 16 years old. A friend of mine called in a panic because her little brother had nearly cut his hand off. I could barely understand a word she said, but I picked up enough to learn her parents were out for the evening and she could not get in touch with them.
This was before cell phones so communication was still in the stone ages, you know, the 1980s.
They were goofing around and Lil' Bro fell through a glass door. His hand did the breaking and the glass did the cutting.
And, wow, did it ever cut. When I showed up he had his hand wrapped in a towel that was absolutely soaked with blood.
We piled him into my little Toyota Corolla and off to the emergency ward we went.
I pulled up to the front door, ran in and yelled for help. Nurses came running and Lil Bro was rushed into a room. He looked much worse than he actually was because the entire front of his shirt and pants were red.
Fortunately there was no serious nerve damage, but it took an impressive number of stitches to close the wound.
He felt much better when I told him chicks dig scars.
Oh, and here’s a helpful tip for such situations: when you rush someone out of the house who is bleeding profusely it is best to leave a note or something. While we were in ER, the parents came home to an unlocked house, a broken glass door and blood everywhere.
Needless to say Mom and Dad were freaking out. They showed up at the emergency room where we explained the situation and my time as a paramedic was done, for now anyway.
A couple months later, another friend of mine found herself in need of immediate medical help. She had consumed copious amounts of alcohol and was completely blotto to the point of being unresponsive. None of her friends wanted to call an ambulance or her parents, so they called me.
Once again my trusty little import did its best ambulance imitation, we loaded the 'victim' and off I went once again to the ER.
Again I parked in front of the door and again I ran inside asking for help. Ironically, the same nurse was working and she remembered me from the last ER run.
My friend received the medical attention she needed. The hospital did call her parents who came rushing to the ward with rather unimpressed looks on their faces.
Despite a nasty hangover and being grounded until she was old enough to vote, all ended without major harm.
I would end up taking someone to ER at least once a year throughout my teens. But then I went several years without a visit to the hospital emergency centre until I started having kids of my own.
My daughter brought us to ER a couple times when she was an infant because of her asthma and both my sons have taken turns in their need for immediate medical service.
Fortunately none of the events were too serious.
So making ER runs is nothing new and I have learned to be calm amid such calamity.
That is why I did not panic when Junior called me at work and said he separated his shoulder while snowboarding.
He was in discomfort, but it was not life threatening and considering I was more than an hour from where he was I calmly examined our options. He could not immediately get in touch with his mom so he called his friend (who turned out to also be at the hill) and got a ride to the emergency room where my wife was able to meet him.
Junior will be in a sling for a while, but he will recover completely. And now his friend can lay claim to his first ER run, I just hope it is his last, I don’t want to give up my parking space.

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