Sandwiches

A busy main street. The tiny house is sandwiched between larger neighbors; almost lost in a sea of red and blue flashing lights. I count two fire engines and what appears to be the entire on-duty police shift scattered around the block.

I thought this was a simple diabetic. . .

Preceptor/Partner laughs at me. “Haven’t you met him yet?”

A tiny old woman clatters about the kitchen as we enter. She turns to us, waves her hands, and utters one word: “Upstairs.”

Two companies of firemen and a heck of a lot of police officers crowd into the small bedroom. All are staring at a man; a large, muscular man sprawled on the floor in a classic crucifixtion pose. He lies unconscious with his arms straight out from the shoulders, palms up. We each take an arm and begin to look for an IV site.

And I have nothing. Brand new medic, first big diabetic, and I’ve got NOTHING. I’m mortified. P/P chuckles. “He never has anything in that arm. It’s OK, I’ve got one over here.”

I sit on his arm as P/P cannulates the other one. Suddenly I begin to rise off the floor. I top 200 lbs in full medic battle dress, yet this patient is curling me off the floor with no more effort than if he was lifting a beer can!

“Hey guys. . .?!” The blue crowd descends, and now I know why they have come. Lots of wrestling and shouting ensues as P/P calmly pushes Dextrose into the patient’s vein.

As suddenly as it began, the struggling stops. He relaxes, takes a deep breath, and utters one sentence.

“Sorry guys. You can let me up now.”

He opens his eyes and sits up.

Behind us the small old woman arrives with a large platter of sandwiches.

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