It’s a relatively normal morning. We get our first call before coffee. She’s a regular chest pain patient; an uncontrolled angina. Oxygen, IV, monitor; 12-lead ECG and nitroglycerin. The only hitch is with the aspirin. She doesn’t like the taste and refuses to swallow it.
The early morning traffic is light, and we make easy work of the dance.
As I turn into the driveway of Local Suburban Hospital, I am greeted by a duck. A lone mallard stands authoritatively in the middle of my path. He’s a beautiful specimen with shiny green plumage on his head.
Spring is finally here, and I’m glad to see the birds returning. I don’t have time to admire this one though. He refuses to move. I creep up with the ambulance; he stands his ground. I consider the siren. It would be reasonable, but I’m reluctant to use it on hospital grounds. It’s just poor form.
The standoff lasts a few seconds. I creep forward. He stands his ground. He knows I won’t hit him.
I blink first. I put a wheel over the curb and creep into the bark mulch, silently praying that the ground is solid enough to hold a Ford. I don’t want to have to explain this to the men from the Motor Squad.
As I pass, the duck turns his head to watch. In my mirror I see him waddle (saunter?) off in the direction of the retention pond.