Thursday, June 04, 2009

Que Sera Sera

We all waited, out front. When I worked in London, we used to wait for the Ambos most of the time, but we don't seem to do it so much here. Maybe just when we think it really maters.

The weather struck an odd balance; it was glorious, warm air, cool, crisp skies. Quiet, while we waited. Everyone's faces around me very serious, very drawn; I wondered if I looked like that. Too much thinking in the quiet time might drive you mad; fortunately, we don't have long.

We hear them first, and that's never a good sign; usually the sirens go off as they roll up the ramp; if it's proper bad, they stay on blues and twos until the last minute...

The door opens, more or less on the fly, and they're asking for help in back; this is also bad - the Ambos never ask for help - they don't need to.

I jumped in, and did what I could, which wasn't much really, just be another pair of hands, share in the anxiety; a problem shared, if you will.

We whipped into resus, only briefly held up by me having my foot trapped under the hydraulic 'lift' the Ambos use to offload trolleys - that's what happens when you get in the way.

Resus is a blur; bodies everywhere, and we try to focus. Lots of punters 'helping' is nice enough, as long as you don't get in the way. There's a bit of flail, but we find our way, find our rhythm, and soon the situation is being run smoothly. Or as smoothly as it can be. We're all on edge...

He's a big, and that makes life difficult - we're told he's asthmatic, so he gets his chest needled, and followed with tubes. We do everything we can, as if our sense of urgency will be felt by the patient, or maybe by God, and translated into tangible results.

But he's been down a long time. A long time, and we know what that means; we all glance at each other, but no-one wants to say it. My boss doesn't want to, but she knows someone has to, she has the courage, and is steeling herself, when the patient makes it moot; his heart coughs and splutters back to life.

I think we're all a bit taken aback, maybe too tired to be pleased, yet.

The drill continues, and he gets packaged up for the Unit.

I turn away, leave the room, have no more to offer.

I need space; sometimes it's best to do your grieving alone.

He was, he is, for now, four years old.

2 comments:

patientanonymous said...

Hey Shroomy. Yes, my pet name for you (whether you like it or not!)

I haven't been by in ages and I know quite a while ago, you hadn't been writing so it's good to see you back.

Tough call on this one. Very. However, nothing wrong at all in just stepping back and grieving on your own, taking the time (provided things aren't going nuts with multiple patients falling through door!) Although that might prove as a good distraction?

You know I have always loved the way you write. It shows (at least to me) how much you do care and that is so rare to find in a physician.

Hugs and take care,
PA

bOrderlineDrugjunkie said...

I salute you on your courage to handle life-and-death situations such as these, especially when children are the ones whose lives are on the line. And the way you have written it is so realistic, so of the moment, so true.