So there I was, minding my own damn business, when the tones go off over the radio. My partner and I hop in the ambulance and immediately crank up the heater as the outside temperature was 28 degrees (Fahrenheit, for all your blokes across the pond). We arrived at the residence of an elderly male that had a complaint of abdominal pain and requested to be transported to a hospital about 40 minutes away from his house (St. Furthest as The Happy Medic would describe it).
Getting to this patient wasn’t easy, as the hallway and living room made maneuvering a gurney very difficult. With me being the
lazy bastard creative gurney navigator that I am, I found a route through the back door that seemed much easier than attempting to bring the patient back through the front of the house.
After loading the patient on the gurney, we started through the back door and found that there was no lighting whatsoever in the back yard.
No big deal, I got this.
I instruct my partner to continue forward as I reach for my flashlight. About the time I heard him say “Woah!”, I felt my left foot slipping into what initially felt like a puddle of water……only my foot kept slipping until I was up passed my waist in water. I somehow managed to push the gurney away from me to avoid it falling in on top of me. The next thing I knew, the chief of the volunteer fire department that responded with us was on his stomach trying to grab me, and my partner was pulling the gurney away and asking if I was OK. I quickly jumped out of the freezing water and continued about what I was doing like nothing happened. I turned to my partner and said. “I’m fine, just needed to go for a quick dip to cool off”. I figured I might as well own it with pride.
I had fallen into a fish pond in the patient’s back yard that I obviously was unable to see. I was covered in water, and miserable. My partner suggested that I call the on-duty supervisor and have another ambulance responded so that I could go back to the station to dry off. I respectfully declined and insisted that we continue to St. Furthest.
After 40 minutes of misery, we arrived at the hospital and offloaded our patient. Still soaked in fish-pond water, I stood next to the receiving nurse – completely oblivious to my condition – and gave a bedside report. The conversation went something like this:
After finishing my verbal report…..
Nurse: “Do you have a medication list”
I reach in my pocket and pull out a soaked medication list and slap it on the counter….water and all.
Nurse: “What the hell happened to to this?”
Sean: “It fell in the fish pond.”
Nurse: (looking at me for the first time) “Whaaa……what the HELL happened to you?”
Sean: “I went in after it.”
Nurse: “Are you kidding me? Why would you do that?”
Sean: “I know how you nurses get when we don’t bring in a med list. It’s called dedication. Have a good night.” (utilizing the biggest shit-eating grin I could come up with).
Not another word was spoken to me from anyone in that ER. I walked out of there like a boss, grabbed a towel on the way out, threw it on the front seat of the ambulance, and looked right at my partner who was still looking at me with disbelief.
Sean: “Drive it like you fucking stole it, I’m freezing”.
Partner: “You know….the only thing that could have made that better, was if you had come out of the water with a fish in your mouth”.
Sean: “Fuck you”