Monday, October 8, 2007

Don't Fear the Reaper....

I turned the radio on as I drove home from work this morning. I tuned the FM band to an oldies rock station and "Don't Fear the Reaper" was playing. Fitting, I thought. For the past week I've been seeing dead people.

I've run more code blue's this week than any other in my short history in EMS. The total is up to 11 I think, but really, who's counting? Only three of them have been actual working codes. The rest have been a mix of different varieties of suicides, fatal wrecks and the others were just found dead.

Two of the codes were a hopeless cause. Both were unwitnessed arrests and both were asystolic when we got there. I worked them both because I felt like I needed to and other than the flat green line on the monitor there was no other reason not to. I didn't even get any Epi blips with either one.

It's a statistical fact that there are more suicides attempts in the county that I live and work than in any other in my state. I don't know why, but the people here just hate to live. I think I've seen just about every kind of suicide attempt that there is.

A man hanged himself naked in the front yard, his kids found him while they were going out the door to catch the bus to school. Another man put a hose from the tailpipe of his car into the interior and gunned the engine until he fell asleep and woke up dead. His wife of 23 years found him. A troubled woman ran her brand new Mustang at over 90 miles an hour straight into a concrete bridge pillar. A 16 year old kid put his hunting rifle under his chin and pulled the trigger with his toe. A 70 year old woman put her pearl handled revolver to her temple. All her affairs were neatly laid out on the couch in the front room. And pills....Jesus, the people around here love their bottled death.

The man with COPD found dead in his living room. His O2 and neb treatments almost within reach. The diabetic dead on his cold kitchen floor. His power had been turned off and someone had noticed the smell. The list goes on and on.

The other code that I ran actually had a shot. His was a witnessed arrest in his front yard. We were just around the corner and found him in V-fib. Shock, drugs, pump. Loaded him up, tube down the throat, more drugs, sirens, lights and diesel. A rhythm came back but it was way too slow, drugs wouldn't raise it. Gave him some juice through the pads, just enough. Bump. Bump. Bump. That's it, just to 60 beats a minute. Pulse check, yep, there they are, nice and regular. We got capture. He died anyway. Not long after we got him on the table in the ER.

The song goes off and something else comes on by the Beatles. I'm not a big fan of the Beatles so I turn it off and drive on in silence. I glance up in the rear-view mirror and see Him. He and His black hood and grim stare. Him with His cold hands and fathomless heart.

"I don't fear you", I say out loud to him....



NYC EMS said...

Suicide is man's way of telling God, You can't fire me - I quit.

Loving Annie said...

Good Thursday morning to you, Blue Ridge.

Suicides always make me sad when I hear about them. It is cruel to let your family find you, though. They never get over it...

Sometimes the stress of life or the pain you think you can't handle anymore becomes overwhelming...

Life is so precious, and ending it, well, everyone has their reasons, even if on the outside you wish they had felt different or circumstances had been different if it was a health-related thing.

Loving Annie

Holly said...

Great post, BRM. Sounds like you've had a real bitch of a time lately. Just keep tellin' that fella with the sickle to get lost.
Thanks for doin' your job.