Partner of the Day answers the phone: "Hello?"
Dispatcher: County run, code two to Neighborhood housing project.
Partner of the Day: Okay, we're heading out.
Epi: Woo!!! County run?
Partner of the day: Yep.
We head out to our gigantic taxicab on wheels and call in with the county to let them know we're responding from quarters.
The drive isn't too far, about seven minutes. I'm surprised that the local FD chose to not pick this one up. The snow is starting to come down... Hell, at least it's not -20 outside. 28 degrees feels damn balmy.
We roll up to the scene and park ahead of the fire truck. A very nice (and kinda cute) firefighter meets us.
"She's got something in her eye... She's dressed kinda provocatively, and we're afraid to go near her"
Epi's internal thoughts: HUH?
I grab a small bag of NS and a canula (wonderful for eye flushes!) follow partner of the day up to the apartment. I explain the NC to the firefighter and my partner who think i'm on crack. They've never used this trick apparently.
We walk up the threadbare stairs to her fourth floor apartment. The first thing that strikes me is that it's empty. A couch, a small tv set, and a bistro table. Dora the Explorer is on TV. Two small children run around the apartment, wired from all the activity. The patient warns them to sit down and watch tv while she takes a long drag on her cigarette. She snuffs it out in the ashtray with at least two packs worth of butts. Her eye is obviously red and slightly puffy. I've suffered worse while putting contacts in.
I'm not impressed so far.
She's insisting that she needs to be seen at the ER. Oh, and btw, we need to wait for her mom to show up to watch the kids.
Epi's thoughts: Okay, let me get this straight... You're waiting for your mom to drive over in the snow, so that she can watch your kids, so that you can go to the ER, by AMBULANCE, for something in your eye? SERIOUSLY????
Credit to her mother for trying to talk her into letting her drive her over.
Her Mom: You don't need an ambulance... You're going to get a huge bill.
Clueless patient: I have full coverage insurance, Mom. I wont get a bill.
Epi's thoughts: She has Medicaid. I'm willing to bet my life on it.
Okay, so internally I'm trying to talk myself into a valid reason why she would need to go to an ER at all... I guess if she scratched her eye badly enough she might need some antibiotics or something... But she had a mother who was willing to drive her.
I just don't get it.
The report to the ER while we were enroute was humerous.
ER: Repeat that please? Did you say she has something in her eye?
Epi: That's correct, she has something in here eye.
ER: Copy that, report to triage.
Patient: What's triage?
Epi: That means you're going to the waiting room.
That's right, chica. You're butt's gonna sit in the waiting room. Where your ass belongs.
Here's what I'm trying to say... Lint in your eye does not equal ambulance ride to the ER. And an ambulance ride does not equal an instant bed.
Hey, it's not a bleeding pimple, but it's close enough.