It’s a little late, but Happy New Year. I’d planned to post on Monday, but I was at the hospital Sunday night through Monday morning with an elderly family member who is fine now.
I did learn one very important thing Sunday night. Don’t take the ambulance. When we called 911, the fire fighters arrived first. They were courteous, eager to help, and professional. Then the EMS people came. Actually, they didn’t. We waited and waited and waited. (The fire fighters were volunteers, who were home with their families, got the call, met at the station, and came out. So a chunk of time was involved.) And still we waited for the ambulance. Turns out that they got lost. M’kay...this does not bode well.
My relative needed to be carried to the stretcher. EMS1 told the fire fighters to help his partner—he didn’t want to get dirty. His partner EMS2 was not happy, and yelled. (The fire fighters picked up the patient without rolling their eyes. Very impressive.)
EMS1 mumbled that he needed to check the patient’s blood glucose, but he couldn’t find his glucometer. He checked every cupboard in the ambulance. But it wasn’t there. He asked the fire fighters if he can borrow theirs. They told him that they don’t carry one. (I’m not sure why he thought they would—fires don’t usually need their glucose levels monitored.)
I was asked to ride in the ambulance because my relative doesn’t speak English very well anymore. That was fine. Then, EMS2 asked the fire fighters if she could follow them, so she wouldn’t get lost. The fire fighters said, “Okay.”
On the drive, the ambulance driver EMS2 picked up her cellphone and made a phone call. EMS1 rebuked her—they could get in a lot of trouble for that. EMS1 got hot and turned on the air conditioning. My relative complained that she was very cold. I told the EMS guy, who put a thin blanket on her. It didn’t help. After I told EMS1 three times that she was very cold, he finally sighed and turned off the AC. Then my relative complained of nausea. EMS1 handed me a barf bag and told me to take care of her—he didn’t like vomit. At this point, I considered advising him to find a new job. But I didn’t.
Thankfully, we made it to the hospital. Though things didn’t fair much better there. While my relative did receive very good medical care at the hospital, they lost her glasses, hearing aids, dentures, and medications (all things that they told us we had to leave with my relative when she was admitted).