Winters grip locks the country down.
I’m running out of morphine and order more – being a controlled drug we can’t just pop down to Opiates R Us and “get some”.
There are procedures.
The pouch on my belt dwindles.
A heart attack.
An elderly woman with ribs so bust that every breath makes her wish she didn’t.
A guy in his forties slips outside a pub and breaks his shoulder. I pump him full of Entonox instead of morphine. With the alcohol on board it’s enough. Just
She bent over to plug in the hairdryer and her back went. Can’t stand up, can’t sit down.
I keep it in my pouch and touch it occasionally, like a lucky rock in your pocket or prayer beads. I save it for someone who really, really needs it. I’ve seen paras do this before “No morphine unless it’s serious”. But what’s serious…and how do you justify denying analgesia or treating below your normal standard “just in case”.
Not to mention that there are double tech crews working who call on Rapid Response Units for intravenous pain relief. It’s not just me who places demands on my morphine stocks.
But this one’s special. My last one.
It’s gotta be right.
And surrounded by christmas shoppers, on a gutter of packed ice, with glittering buses whizzing past us and three off-duty medics at the same bus stop as him, I find him.
A precious “big tooth” smashed from his face, his forehead split and leaking down into his eyes and the anatomy of one leg turned inside out, he’s crying from fear and pain, trying to get up and run away from sensations he’s never felt before and can’t begin to comprehend.
We have a winner.
I pass the vial to one of the crew who back me up – “Draw that up for me, mate?” and then, because I’m paranoid “Don’t drop it, it’s my last one.”
He thrashes when I jag his hand the first time and miss, he lies still when I push another line into the crook of his forearm, a combination of the A&E nurse singing to him as she holds his head and the off duty GP pinning his arm to the floor.
10 millilitres of pain relief and relaxation, I push the plunger hard for the first 5mls, hoping to make his head spin and the drowsiness of the initial hit to cover our rolling him, pulling his twisted shin and ankle back into place and strapping him down onto the board. In the vehicle he blinks slowly and tells me it’s still a bit sore, but not as bad and can he go to sleep, please?
Not yet, pal.
My pouch is empty, I’m declawed and impotent.
But I’m pleased I waited until I found him.