Monday, October 20, 2008


After a really long 12 hour sift yesterday. I had some time to sit and reflect on some of the calls that we responded to. At first glance, they weren't anything out of the norm for an EMS crew to respond to. First was the DOA (Dead On Arrival), followed by several refusals, two MVCs and then one poor gentleman with leg pain. It was this gentleman that tied it all together for me. Now the following description might make some people sick to their stomachs, so you might want to skip ahead.

We were dispatched for leg pain and we walking into an elderly man living with his developmentally challenged older son and his neighbor who was just there to help clean him up out of the goodness of her heart. The sad fact of the situation was that this man should really be under supervised care. He is bed ridden and covered in sores.

As we walked in, we discovered that he was unable to speak so the only way he would get people's attending was to demonstrate what he needed. At the time of us walking in, he needed to be changed and to get everyone's attention he decided to throw his feces at everyone in the room. Now barring the cleanup before we packaged him up for transport to the hospital, the rest of the trip went smooth.

After the shift was over and all things settled down, I began to think about how alone these people must be. My DOA was found in a field, face down against a fence in the cold. Covered in blood and not a soul around. My elderly gentleman was in a warm bed and still alone in a room full of people.

Most days are like this, seeing people at some of the worse moments of their lives. And some days it just reminds you that in the end, we all die alone.

1 comment:

Michael Morse said...

Very thought provoking post, thanks! I have this unsubstantiated fear of spending my last days in one of those places, alone. We have to keep our relationships thriving, even if ultimately for selfish reasons.

It's about time I found this blog, I'll be back!