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This Is Why I'm Not an EMT Anymore...
[Misc] Flowers
brookiki
So, when you break down and go to law school in order to find a profession where no one will bleed on you, it's pretty disheartening to have it happen for free.

Backstory: Four years ago (well, it will be four years on December 23), my mother had a very massive stroke. Even after prompt medical treatment, she was initially completely paralyzed on her left side and unable to swallow properly for a really long time (they had to puree her food, so everything looked like mashed potatoes...even barbecued pork...which is wrong on so many levels). She was in the hospital for a week, and rehab for five weeks. Now, she's doing a lot better. Fortunately, she suffered very little mental damage and she can walk now,but she's a bit unsteady on her feet and her left arm is still paralyzed.

That's part of the reason I'm always here on weekends and breaks and why I'm so stressed out a lot of the time. She doesn't necessarily need a caregiver (though she did for a long time. After she came home, I went about three months sleeping only two hours at a time.), but she does need a lot of help and my dad, while wonderful, doesn't really have the right temperament for that.

I don't like to mention it, because it seems whiny, but it's relevant to what happened tonight.

I had to run to my apartment to pay my rent and pick up some study guides. On the way home, we stopped at the drugstore to pick up some prescriptions and my mom wanted to go in to get something else. She started in the store and I was trying to pick up some cough drops that had spilled out on the car when a man came out and said something like "Excuse me, but she just fell down."

(She said her leg gave out or she missed a step coming up on the curb in from of the store.)

Anyway, I get there and she's face down on the concrete. I get her on her feet and I realize she's bleeding, but her hair is over her face and it's dark out, so I couldn't make out what was bleeding. I get her inside and take her to the pharmacy area, where there are some chairs. The pharmacist saw what was going on and he grabbed a first aid kit and tried to help, which was nice.

The blood was all around her eye and there was quite a bit of it. Facial cuts always bleed a lot because there's a lot of blood vessels there and my mother is also on blood thinners. I actually have some blood on my sweatshirt (old) and on my shoes (not old and not cheap) now. After I got everything cleaned up, I realized that there was only a very small cut above her eyebrow, but that it looked pretty deep. At this point, I'm thinking stitches.

Then I think "Crap." It was 10PM and all the urgent cares were closed. To make matters worse, even though didn't actually hit her head (she apparently hit her classes, which cut her eye and gave her a small bruise under her eye), I had visions of longboards, x-rays, and CT scans. I also had a vision of a very long night. (Seriously, at the service where I worked, if we had been called out to a call like Mom's, we would have had to put her on a longboard and fully immobilize her.) But I figured better safe than sorry, so off we went.

Fortunately, no one at the hospital was an idiot who was afraid of the legal boogie man. They did get her back pretty fast. I think that was because her BP was like 151/93 in triage (It was 116/63 when they discharged her, so she was just really stressed. So was I, though. I checked my heart rate and it was about 120, down to 80 after it was all over.) The doctor was really nice (but so were the nurses) and he decided to put in some sutures just in case, so she got four. She also got a tetanus shot, which was the longest part of the thing because the nurse came in to give it when the doctor was working on her, so she decided to come back. Apparently, she forgot, because the other nurse came in to discharge her about thirty minutes later and he went ahead and gave it.

Then she got a prescription for painkillers (even though she said she wasn't in pain), so I had to go back to the pharmacy. I mentioned I was pretty stressed out, and he said it was understandable with that much blood. Now, personally, I don't think there was that much blood. Yes, it was bleeding pretty freely, but I only got about three drops on me. Of course, I guess if you're not used to dealing with stuff like that, it seems pretty bad. I always take comfort in the fact that all bleeding stops....eventually.

It occurred to me tonight that I'm much more squeamish in theory than in practice. I personally hate the idea of facial injuries (and broken bones...they really freak me out), but generally while something might bother me to think about, when I have to actually deal with it, I just tend to focus on what's going on, not how gross it might be. (Again, though, this really wasn't gross.)

Anyway, after all this, we got home at about 1:45. I got a little studying done while we were waiting (and realized after I got the book that it's a little morbid to study Wills and Trusts in an ER), but not a lot. I had planned to write about a few other things tonight, but I'm just too tired to think about it. My jaw is a little stiff (stupid TMJ), so I think I'm going to take a muscle relaxer and crash, so I can start working tomorrow.

Also, I think I broke my desktop, but it's like five years old, so it's not a huge tragedy.

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At first, I didn't really know what to say, but honestly, you're an amazing person at dealing with so much.

It certainly is not whiny, it's something you're totally allowed to be vocal about without regret.

You're very brave, considering you said you're squeemish with blood even.

I have a story I'm not too proud of dealing with some blood and stuff. This made me remember it somewhat, but I don't know if I want to post it really.

I'll always be here at the end of the day, if you ever need anything. I'm sorry I've been so clingy lately.

I'm only squeamish with my own blood. I'm totally okay with that of others. :-)

And you haven't been clingy at all. :-)

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