I am near-psychic. It’s true.
If you call 999, ask for an ambulance, and I turn up, I can pretty much guess which house is yours. I don’t need to look at a number to get my bearings either, which really freaks out the new recruits.
There are some things that need to be true first before I can call upon this ‘gift’, but ultimately it almost never fails.
Time for an example.
I am called to a residential home for a ‘grey lady down’, which basically means an old dear has taken a nose dive somewhere in the building. I don’t need to know the layout of the building. As we drive up, I’ll take a quick look at which bit I think is the least accessible part of the building, and that’s where she’ll be. If it’s a three story building with no lift, she will definitely be on the top floor. If it’s one of those sprawling amalgamations of seven buildings knocked into one, she’ll be at the back somewhere, probably wrapped around a toilet.
This is 100% certifiable truth. I cannot explain it. It just is.
It also follows that, the higher up in the building you are, the more likely it is that you’re going to be really unwell. Again, I cannot figure this one out either.
I’ve just been to one actually, which prompted me to write about it. Number 67 it said on my job box. I looked at the building as I approached and knew from memory that it didn’t have too many rooms. There was a high possibility that my patient was very sick too.
Sure enough, number 67 was on the third floor, at the back of the building. Walking from the front door, which is the only way in by the way, you simply could not have chosen any other room that would have been further away.
People never ever consider the emergency services when they chose where they are going to live.
Some people are DIY enthusiasts and landscape artists extraordinaire – they create a beautiful garden with shingle pathways, thousands of steps on multiple levels, and an phalanx of Rose bushes and other deadly pointy plant things for the poor paramedic to negotiate.
On one memorable occasion I visited a house that had a garden just like this. I swear the house itself was built on top of a hill. The old boy who lived there had clearly been involved in some D-Day action. Possibly on the side of ze Germans as his house was nigh unapproachable. I can’t imagine I would have been too surprised if I’d heard a machine gun open up on us.
So we arrive in the house, pouring with sweat and cursing a multitude of thorny sores and find this old boys wife on the floor. She’s clearly broken her hip given the amusing angle her left leg is in. She has also, along with her husband, clearly enjoyed life as she’s bigger than both my colleague and me put together.
I can still remember it clearly. I was none too pleased having to hump all that equipment up into the house, knowing full well it was all going to have to come back down again, but the moment I had been waiting for had arrived.
You have to appreciate that this couple have lived in that house for virtually half of their lives and not even considered what would be required if x happened or if y collapsed and broke her hip.
I explained to her what she had done and that we needed to get her to hospital. She just nodded at first, and I just sat there and waited……
And then light dawns. Her face creases into a frown as realisation hits home.
How the hell are we going to lift her out of that position and then negotiate that beautifully, well thought out garden?
She looks at me and I nod. Welcome to my train of thought Mrs Goodlife.
I can’t say it was fun or easy getting her out of her house and down into the ambulance, but we managed. Admittedly it took five people to do it but that’s the way it had to be.
I can’t say she enjoyed the experience either, being carried ever so gracefully like a flying elephant down her lovely landscaped garden whilst half the street looked on, drawn like moths to the two ambulances and the fast response car parked outside her house.
The old boy was great. As we descended with our precious ‘cargo’, he ran on ahead, helpfully clipping Rose bushes with a pair of scissors. I can’t say it made a huge amount of difference, but it was amusing.
So there you have it. Inaccessible places are the haven of accidents and ill health. Take my word for it.
I’m psychic you know.