Hey Epi... Where'd you get that scar?

I need to get a better shot of the scar, I know.
"Unit 152, Code Three for the County, One-Eight-Seven-Seven Collingwood, Cross of Springs Blvd. Code Three for the County, time out 1545."

"Unit 120, A direct call, 15789 Sterns. That's Sterns in Michigan, cross of Laskey. That's code three for a chest pain."

"Unit 262, Code Three for the County, Coral Gables Trailer Park, Lot 15. You'll be responding as the South West car, code three for the county."

"Unit 262 to Dispatch, can I get location on that run?"

"Unit 262 that's Burn and Moses, Burn and Moses. Across from Burning Bush Plaza."

"Two-Six-Two is clear on Burn and Moses, put us enroute."

I take a long sip out of my bucket-sized styrofoam cup of coffee and continue reading the paper. We're posted at one of the 24-hour-stations, but we decide to sit out in the truck. It's almost 9pm. I'm quickly losing daylight so I fold the paper up and stuff it behind the drivers seat with my camera bag and the neon vests we've never used.

Join Quixtar Partner is furiously typing on his laptop. "Epi, it's not a scam, it's not a pyramid... You just have to put some time into it..."

"QP... It's Amway. Which is great. They have some great cleaning products. But I can't afford Amway for myself, I'd have a hard time selling it to my family and friends."

"You're right, they do have some amazing cleaning products but --"

The radio... sometimes I'm saved by the radio. "Unit 260, Two-six-zero."

We focus our attention on fighting for the mic. "QP...My.....truck.....give...me...Yes, Unit 260, go base."

"Unit 260, Code three for the county, 150th and Sunset, Sunset Mobile Home Park, lot A24, Code 3 for the county."

"260 is clear on Sunset, we're enroute" I grab the mapbook and hand it to Quixtar Partner. "I'm pretty sure I know where this is, can you look it up for me?" He nods and flips through the binder while I light the truck up and pull out of the parking lot.


The trip there is blissfully uneventful. After the accident a crew had the week before, I'm a little shaky driving code three. The time of day and resulting lack of traffic help considerably. QP confirms the location of our run as we're pulling up to the same location. The large red firetruck gives it away.

Another of Toledo's finest greets us at the curb. "Hey Epi, how ya been girl?"

I pull my purple gloves on and reach for my sharpie. "I'm doing okay, hows your little guy?"

"He'll be in third grade this fall... Okay, so... Here's what we have," He pulls a small piece of paper from his front pocket. "38 yo female, with psych history, no one on scene can confirm what exactly that psych history is... Her daughter states she hasn't taken any meds today and that she's "just not acting right"... Her vitals are all normal, maybe a little tachy, but she's been running laps around the courtyard for the last half hour." He motions towards the small courtyard in the trailer park.

We see our patient, in her pink nightgown doing exactly what Toledo's Finest said she was doing. Running laps around the courtyard, up one side down the other. Most of the time she was jogging, occasionally breaking out into a sprint. There's a crowd of thirty or so residents, six of us EMS folks, and four police officers watching with rapt attention.

"How long has she been doing this?" QP asks staring at our patient.

"Oh... I don't know, ten minutes," A police officer answers.

Another officer leans towards me and whispers, "Too bad she's not built like my partner here, she would have fell out nine minutes ago." I lean back to get a better look at the partner he's referring to and find myself laughing out loud.


"What's her name?" I ask.

QP looks at the paper the firemedic handed him. "Glenda... No, Glinda. Glinda."

"Like the Good Witch?" I ask. QP does not get the Oz reference. "It's okay, QP, I'll explain it later. So, do we have a plan?"

"Tackle and hog tie her?" One of Toledo's Finest offers.

"No one is tackling anyone, " I start. Eight guys simultaneously look at me like I have two heads. "Okay, no one is tackling or tazing anyone yet. There has to be a better way." I look out at Glinda, her pace is slowing. "Has she showed any signs of being violent?" I ask.

"No, nothing like that, She just need her meds," Her daughter says trying to be helpful. "Please don't hurt her..."

"Let's go talk to her," I say to QP and whoever else cares at that point.

"Like hell you will, I'll go talk to her." QP is feeling way too much testosterone at this point and it's pissing me off.

I look at him directly in the eyes. "My patient. Quit treating me like a delicate flower because I'm female. We can go together." QP is speachless. I start walking towards Glinda.

"Hey Glinda, how are you?" I'm walking next to her now. QP follows protectively a few steps behind. She's taking her pulse at the wrist, just like I've done a hundred times during a workout.

"I'm doing okay, are ya'll here to take me to the hospital?"

Wow, that was easy.

"Actually I am. Are you ready to go?" I can't help but be a little shocked at how normal she's acting. I guess I expected her to be bat shit crazy.

"Well, I need my purse, but other than that I'm ready."

"Glinda, I'll have your daughter grab your purse," I start, motioning to her daughter. Our crowd's collective jaws have dropped at how smoothly things are going. It's gotten very quiet at the scene. I help her climb into the back of the truck, sit her down on the cot and sit next to her on the bench seat. QP climbs in as well and starts on getting her blood pressure and other assorted vitals.

"Glinda, how are you feeling?"

"I'm okay, I guess. My head feels a little funny. And my neck hurts."

"Your neck hurts?"

"Well, yes, Ma'am... I fell down the stairs earlier..." She brings her right hand up and rubs the back of her neck.

QP is already reaching for the collar and towel rolls.


"Alright, Glinda. We need to get this collar on you. When you fell you could have fractured your neck. I realize that you've been running a bit since you fell and that you probably feel fine, but I would feel better if we got you on a backboard and put this collar on you. Now my partner here is going to hold your head perfectly still, and any questions you answer for me I'd like you to answer without moving your head. Let us do all the work. Okay?"

Glinda nods her head.

"Hold still hon, Don't move your head at all, okay?"

QP holds c-spine while I put her collar on. If she shows up in the ER without a board and towel rolls the Doc will lose his mind. As a Basic I have no c-spine clearing protocols. Everyone with a fall and neck pain gets a board and a collar.

It was right about the time I was taping her down that I realized something might be wrong. My arm is caught on something.

My arm is caught on her mouth. I scream. "Jesus CHRIST she's biting me she's biting me!!!!"

QP lets go of c-spine and starts yelling at her as well. He finds a pressure point on her arm and presses down hard.

Glinda screams out. "Shiiit that HURT! Why did you do that???"

"Are you serious? You were BITING ME! You FUCKING BIT ME, GLINDA!" I'm so angry I find myself having a hard time not kicking her ass while she lay on that backboard. My heart is racing along, blood is running down my arm and pooling at my feet. I grab a hand towel and hold it to my fresh bite mark resort to taking several deep breaths in an effort to calm down.

(Eta - So that pretty much dispels all rumors that I'm a hand holder, right?)

We finish taping Glinda down and QP runs up to the front of the truck to drive us the short distance to the ED. My partner gives the radio report as I'm still cursing under my breath. Today I'm not so much feeling like a good Catholic Girl.

Glinda is whimpering. "Why he hurt me? I didn't do nothin' to no one..."

"Glinda, calm down. You bit me. You hurt me. You need to get some help at the ER. You need to take your meds when you're supposed to take them. You need to know that it's not...nice...to...bite...people." I'm fighting off the feelings of anger by telling myself over and over that she's sick.

It's not her fault, right?


The rest of the run was uneventful. Several crews greeted us when we arrived at the ED, including Pseudo Dad, who was demanding that I go home for the night. I was a little shaken up. But honestly, she bit me, there was some blood and a few butterfly bandages involved. She didn't have any diseases that I had to be worried about.

She was just a little off.

I spent a few hours in the ER getting everything done. Paperwork, some ibuprofen, more paperwork, a visit from a Supervisor, and a few high fives on my first EMS scar.

As I was walking through the ER to find QP I caught a glimpse of Glinda. She was sitting up in bed laughing with her daughter. I started to get angry and considered popping my head into her room to say... Goodbye.

I kept walking.


Hammer said...

I had the quixtar bandits chase me..it's infuriating. Here's my experience: Amway scam

As for glinda I would be really really pissed. I knew a police officer that was bit and almost lost his hand to infection.

Fyremandoug said...

I got bit by a lil ol lady once

hurt like a MOFO

Laura said...

LOL - great post, epi! The good ole days!! My first work related scar came from being thrown against a wall/window in a group home by a developmentally disabled client because I redirected him back to bed at three am.

I'm glad I got out of that line of work, but I did learn to assess clients and handle myself in a crisis pretty quickly!

:o) Love yer blog, Epi!


Odie said...

Congrats (?) on the scar... lol

Never been bitten, but i have been swung at, she clipped me once, just once before she got a face full of cop arm and a brand new set of silver bracelets.

I'd have been pissed if i were in your situation, glad to see you took the high road. I don't know that i would have had the same control.

Good job with the Amway scam too though...

Carol said...

Epi - my first EMA scar was about 5 inches long and burned like mad. Compliments of a very upset woman that was attempting to stab her man-friend in the head because he at her Mars candy bar. She nailed me in the left shoulder when I was tending to the man-friend. Wanted to kill her!

Medic61 said...

Haha wow, that's ridiculous. At least you have a scar with a sweet story to boot!

Did you ever find out what the little bitc--er, lady had wrong with her?