“Do you guys have a PBT?” I asked.
“No, we’d have to call another car. She says she wants to go to the hospital to get tested because she denies drinking and has nowhere else to go. We didn’t know what to do for her so we called you.”
“Hi, I’m Guy, I’m a paramedic. What’s your name?”
“So what’s going on Cindy?”
“So do you think if we go back to the shelter and I tell the Sisters I don’t find any evidence of alcohol they will let you back in?”
Everyone agreed it was worth a shot. So this unlikely procession of two cops, two medics and Cindy trooped down the street, chatting, until we reached the shelter. I rang the doorbell and a Sister in blue-and-white Mother Theresa-styled robes greeted us. I told her that I had completed a field assessment and found no evidence of alcohol or intoxication, explained the possible effects of the new medications, and asked the Sister if she would let Cindy come in from the cold. She was happy to do so, explaining that they had to maintain a very strict no intoxication policy for the safety of all the women at the shelter. Hands were shaken, holiday greetings given, I got a hug from Cindy, and we went our separate ways.
Well, it was more like, “My leg is broken, I know it. Is my leg broken? I know it is. Is it?”
After a far-too-drawn-out discussion regarding the fact that in order to help him we had to actually get his pants off and look at his leg, we finally got Ben’s pants off and guess what—he was right. I could feel the disturbing grinding of crepitus with minimal movement of the leg. A SAM Splint and a good deal of interfamilial drama later, we finally got Ben into the ambulance. An IV and some fentanyl went a long way to improving interpersonal relations, and on the way to the hospital, to distract him from his injury (and because I find people interesting) I coaxed out his story.
Nothing you could say would add to that story. Thanks to all our emergency personnel who sacrifice their time and safety to take care of us. A special thanks to the Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston, Georgia for their care this week during our two visits to the emergency room which resulted in an overnight stay for my husband. Thankfully, we were able to come home on Christmas Eve. I hope all of you had a wonderful, emergency free Christmas!