Mar 20


Tag: JournalKal @ 2:06 pm

A weekend of night shifts hammered me into the ground like a cheap peg, leaving me last night grumpy and brittle.

Digitalkate and I went to the cinema because I couldn’t bear to sit and think and en route I decompressed, pouring out images and thoughts from my new Worst Job Ever.

I told her about listening to a relative screaming.

Over and over.

The problem with your worst job ever, is that as you gain experience and exposure, the things that would rattle a non-medic diminish in one direction down the scale.

In direct proportion, the things that get through the armour, the things that have you snapping at your housemates and tearing up in traffic?

Those things are, by their nature, exponentially horrific. If they’re awful enough to affect front line workers, they are of a scale of awfulness that many people, thankfully, never have to face.

They’re stories that I’d normally write, but in the face of increased public awareness of clinician’s privacy responsibilities, I won’t be writing about any more patients.

For those of you who have asked, this is the same reason my archives are private.

My registration is too precious to risk.

I’m sorry.

Instead I’m sitting at my desk and writing about my morning.

How I got up later than I planned

How I’ve a Sign Language exam tonight that everyone tells me I’ll breeze.

How I’m not so sure.

How I’ve procrastinated from what I need to be doing, but in doing so I think I’ve figured out why our dishwasher is broken.

How I’m going to have to focus on some overdue paperwork this afternoon.

This will be Trauma Queen from now on.

I suspect many of you dear, sweet people won’t mind in the slightest – you’ve told me enough in the past that you’re happy to read whatever I have to say.

That’s a nice thought and one that I’ll hang on to, I’m just not convinced that I’d want to read it…though I guess I don’t have to, right?

28 Responses to “Deadlines”

  1. Fee says:

    Totally get it, mate. Your adventures aren’t all about your cases, and your engaging style keeps me reading, not just the gory details. You write it, I’ll read it.


  2. Pcwizme says:

    Much as ill miss your fantastic insight in to what happens in an ambulance and on an emergency call out, im glad your not going to close TQ, Many a happy hour has been lost reading your posts in the past, Keep up the good work Kal.



  3. Sewmouse says:

    Sweetie, you’re family. I don’t need you to be eloquent about your job, or thought-provoking, or anything else, really. In fact, the video of you wrapping a present was one of my favorite “posts” from you that I’ve ever “read”. Well, except for you and ZW doing the COOCHD back in Harry’s Bar all those years ago… You may have a job in the medical service – but your job isn’t “you” – you are so, so very much more!


  4. Cath says:

    I am sure “new” TQ will find its shape, there will be other fun and interesting stuff to write about. Or take pictures of. I agree about the privacy thing, it’s not worth risking your job for. And for added sentimentality: I believe the time for war stories is over. Or so it seems around the interwebs, and judging from the questions I get about my job.


  5. Bonnie says:

    Will you still be able to include stories about Dubai and the various races you go to? Those are among my favorites; it’s a look into a world I’ll never, ever see.


  6. RedHillian says:

    Kal, if you put them up, I would read your shopping lists.

    Everything you turn your keyboard to is engaging and enlightening, and lifts me from where I am to a new place.

    Thanks dude.


  7. blogdog says:

    You figured out a dishwasher fault? I need to develop your procrastinatory skills! I’m procrasting from a deadline just now and am pretty certain there will be no domestic engineering breakthroughs happening anytime soon.

    No need to apologise to anyone about the blog direction. Seems a wise decision. From the perspective of a resident of Edinburgh I’d rather talented people like you kept your registration and are there to come to help when it all goes wrong for people I care about.

    Sorry about the horrific job. I know it’s no consolation, and the horror in my line of work is different to yours, and unlikely to be as bad, but that it can still affect you despite experience and exposure is a good thing. It’s when the worst stuff stops affecting you that there is a problem. Hope you find an outlet to help deal with the screaming memory. That doesn’t sound a pleasant thing to have to carry about.

    Met a couple of your colleagues in the park the other day. We’d called in an injured guy and they were first on scene (before the police/fire/medic 1/RAF!). They were lovely. As were the police. Respect on the job you all do.


  8. Piper says:

    Ditto (and if you have any tips about how to stop small people getting injured as I’m walking past them in a leisure centre I’d be most grateful – it would be nice to be able to relax while DS is having his swimming lesson, not cursing the “first aid kit” that doesn’t contain anything remotely useful to put on a head wound….)


  9. Johndog says:

    Shame. Wonder if the censors have considered the tsunami of positive which dwarfs the ripple of possible negative they imagine your posts have generated? Gosh, paramedics are sensient intelligent articulate beings who can describe their role in the context of an uncertain volatile world. That’ll never do – soon they may question protocols with unproven benefit designed to protect the service rather than the patient.


  10. Lola says:

    I have to agree with you (TQ), and disagree with Johndog above. I too have decided that I can’t blog about real people, which is frustrating and dilutes my blog of interesting and thought-provoking material. But the cases and situations where I have learned most (and which provide the most bloggable material) contain details about individuals, real people, which are not mine to share. Privacy and confidentiality are absolute, and not negotiable for what is, however you look at it, a leisure pursuit providing entertainment to readers.

    It’s still possible to generalise, or to concoct a representative account combining parts of real situations that illustrate particular issues and which are fascinating to those outside the profession. I hope you can still manage this type of post. And I hope the memory of the worst job ever will fade over time.


  11. Masher says:

    It’s as much about the way you write, as what you write about, that keeps us coming back.
    You may have to change your tagline though: “Slightly more mundane stories… brilliantly written”. :)


  12. Black Dog says:

    As long as you keep telling us about your adventures in Bahrain and at the Grand Prix I’ll put up with the wittering in between ;-) Totally understand mate, I’d love to blog about what I do and conditions I put up with but unfortunately the Official Secrets Act puts paid to my ideas!


  13. World'sMostAnxiousPerson says:

    you don’t know me, I’ve lurked for years. I enjoy your blog. I moved countries. I read it every day. It was a lnk back to my old life, for when I was feeling sad, lonely or homesick. I pop back every so often in the hope that it has been updated.
    I completely understand what you are having to do. I would do the same in your situation I’m sure but at the same time it is so wrong. You never harmed a single person by what you posted. One by one the blogs I followed in the UK are slowly disappearing, most due to the exact same reasons.
    You are an amazing author. I will continue to read for sure


  14. theshortearedowl says:

    I’m a long-time reader, but I don’t think I’ve posted before. Anyway, I wanted to say I will definitely continue reading whatever, but I had two other thoughts.

    One is that most people don’t know – won’t ever think about – what front-line health workers face day-in-day-out. And they should. They should know what the tax money they bitch about is paying for. They should know, even superficially, what it is that they don’t have to deal with, because you do it for them. They should know what the real costs of ambulance service cuts will be. And it’s the human stories that will do that – not statistical reports of percentages of arbitrary targets met. Your stories.

    My second thought was that you are thoroughly de-anonymised at this point :). Your skin and your patients first, no question. But consider de-privatising at least some of the archives? They’ve already been released into the wild, so to speak.


  15. The Jannie says:

    It’s sad but true that in this wonderful society we’re in your first decision must be to cover your back. You can be sure that someone will knife it if you don’t.

    As we get older the rose tint fades from the spectacles . . .


  16. Bobbi says:

    I’ll miss your medical posts, but I that’s not why I read your blog – I could get medical info from the BMJ or uni – I read your blog because the at you write is like you’re inviting us to be a little part of your family, and we’ve adopted you and care about you in return. By all means, never mention the word ‘ambulance’ again; it’s much more important that you keep your registration and your job, and you’re happy. I’m sorry to hear about the bad job. Hope there’s people there for you that you can talk to about this sort of thing, but for now *hugs*


  17. Bobbi says:

    *the way you write


  18. Medic says:

    Sorry you’ll not be putting any more posts up about patients. In the days before I joined EMS, and in my early days in it, I learned a lot from this blog and others like it. But you write so well that, quite honestly, I could sit and read about you taking your morning sh*t, shower and shave, and still be as hooked as when I was reading your pt blogs. I maybe just won’t learn quite so much! Keep the posts coming Kal. You’re too talented a writer to stop.


  19. Tim says:

    You ok?


  20. sarah says:

    aaagh sorry to hear this TQ but I do understand and thankyou for educating me about what the job is really all about (shame it may have been wasted on the political people!!)
    Please carry on about whatever you like, I’m more than happy to follow you.
    Best wishes.


  21. John C. Kirk says:

    I certainly wouldn’t want you to risk your registration, and you don’t owe us random readers anything, but it would be great if you could selectively unblock a few entries. In particular, I had your “Deekie, ay” post bookmarked as a really good explanation of how various internal organs work (, so I’d like to read that again.


  22. calista says:

    It’s like that here in the States too – mum’s the word about things of this nature. It matters not what you write, I’ll read it. Truthfully, your blog is one of the few blogs that I’ve kept reading for the last 5+ years {I can’t remember exactly when I stumbled on your blog via Croila and Kathryn}. Don’t let it go to your head or anything :-}


  23. Amanda says:

    Keep writing…. I’ll keep reading.


  24. Catherine says:

    Yep. I’ll second, third and fourth the above. Keep writing and we’ll keep devouring. x


  25. alison (heyho) says:

    Keep writing Kal…I know I will keep reading, I like your style and I miss your archives but I know you have more joy to impart..keep writing honey xx


  26. Andrea says:

    Everything always seems more miserable after night shifts, you list of things at the end reminded me of how I used to feel after getting off a couple of horrible ones :P.

    I hope your sign language exam went well anyway!


  27. Libby says:

    I loved reading your posts and y’know what? I still do. We’ve grown attached to YOU, not the nee-naw you drive. Keep allowing us into a little corner of your world and I’ll certainly be one of the people coming to looksee and go ‘oooh’.
    Hugs, and here’s hoping you feel better soon :)
    PS. It would be nice if we could keep reading some of the archives. It is, of course, fine if you feel you don’t want that.


  28. Trauma Queen » Sign language exam says:

    […] I said I had an exam. […]

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