Thursday, June 22, 2006

Know Your Sources

At first I thought I'd call the day "Neb Day," because that was the theme of the first three calls. All elderly ladies, two with difficulty breathing and one with chest pain. All three got nebulizers because all three were complaining of shortness of breath. Ironically, I think the neb did the most for the chest pain patient, who we decided was more likely not cardiac. Nitro didn't touch her pain, but the albuterol and atrovent sure did.

One of the ladies was deaf, and I had to write everything out on a pad. She was terribly sweet, though, and informed me I should tell my mother that she raised a nice boy. I called my mom later on in the shift. Just doing as I'm told.

* * * *

But the defining call of the shift came later in the evening, when we went on an unknown medical that turned out to be a young lady who was, for lack of a better work, flipping out. Not psych flipping out, not upset flipping out, but crazy on drugs flipping out. She reminded me of patients on E and acid and more esoteric drugs (2C-T-7, anyone?) I'd treated at various concerts and events. Completely out of control.

We backboarded her, finally, just to keep her safe and us safe and get her down the stairs. She said, in lucid moments, that she'd only smoked some weed. We got her to the ambulance, headed off. She calmed down a bit, only to rile back up. I put a large-bore line in her, impressing both my preceptors. Fastest stick I've ever done.

Her sugar was fine. Narcan didn't do much. We left her at the hospital. I felt bad for her, really. During her calmer periods it was clear that she was pretty aware of what was going on, and very upset. It came out over the course of the call that the weed she had smoked came from a dealer she didn't really know. Hmm.

* * * *

In the morning, as I was getting ready to leave the fire station, my preceptor dropped a piece of paper in front of me. "Here's your girlfriend's lab results," he quipped. "I called the hospital after you went to bed."

Tox showed
- Cannabis
- Amphetamine
- Methamphetamine

Whoops. Poor girl.

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