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Ambulance: Civilisation

Written by RSS Poster Trauma Queen

Walking through a hotel corridor in Abu Dhabi, the stream of people coming the other way are smiling and friendly. Hotel staff and other guests alike catch my eye and smile = “Good morning, sir.”

In reception, most everybody is in a reasonable mood. The locals in dish-dash sit on sofas and smoke, the enormous families of visiting Russians add ever-more luggage to an already heaving pile in the middle of the floor. The bell-hop is relaxed and happy. It’s his job.

Everybody smiles.

Children run up and down the marble floor, skiting along on their knees. They get in people’s way. The people smile and gently side step them, occasionally someone pats a stranger’s kid on the head as they pass. Nobody immediately assumes that person is a paedophile – some people are just nice.

Nobody grimaces. Nobody screams at each other.

Nobody uses “Excuse me…” as a softener before making some passive aggressive demand. Nobody starts their line with “I’m sorry but…” and then follows it with “You’re a cunt.”

It’s a civilised country, in the most literal sense of...

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Ambulance: Humble?

Written by RSS Poster Trauma Queen

So I have this colleague, hugely senior in his field.

A friend and I once sat down and realised that not only did he have more than double our combined clinical experience, but that he was practicing medicine at a senior level before we were born.

He’s internationally renowned, travels the world lecturing and consulting.

He’s gentle, kind, garrulous and generous almost to a fault. His pragmatism in medicine and in his personal conduct is exemplary.

He is exactly the sort of person you should strive to be.

A true target for one’s future.

But you’d never know it.

Because (and I’m onto him on this) he has this neat little trick. He’ll engage you in conversation, ask you about yourself, find something in your response to hang the next question on (and this may well be a topic that he is very familiar with) and then he’ll hit you with this:

“It’s really not my area, you’ll know much more more about it than me…”

I’ve seen him do this in several situations. I’ve flown into Med-Evac jobs in the desert with him and he’s come over the intercom in my ears.

“This...

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Ambulance: Maslow

Written by RSS Poster Trauma Queen

Over the past few weeks I’ve had a pleasant and interesting experience. I’ve found myself with a drive to create, to experiment and explore.

Mostly I’ve been baking, which is fun, and ends up with cake at the end.

I’m happy. And fatter.

The point that has genuinely surprised me, though, is that my desire to cook, or play guitar, or write, or go for a fine long walk? None of them have arrived with a nagging doubt in tow. Gone is the suggestion that, really, I should be doing something else. That I’m doing those things to the detriment of other, more pressing, tasks.

To a small part, this is due to the ending of a number of training courses. My level two sign language is finished (I have no idea if I passed my final exam, I get my results in a month or so) but on the night I finished that, I immediately turned to reading and preparing for an Instructor’s course I was scheduled to attend a few weeks later.

It was only the other night that I came up for air, looked around and realised…hang on…I have nothing to do.

Nothing is nipping my heels, nagging...

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Ambulance: Sock it to me.

Written by RSS Poster Trauma Queen

Sitting at a bistro table in the sun, Edinburgh has stretched itself out in the light and warmth; though in truth it’s not as warm as we’re all pretending.

We’re cold pints and calamari, I’m telling Kate about the This American Life episode where they double blind taste tested squid rings versus deep fried pig rectum.

We stil eat the calamari.

Out of the bar, a waiter.

Black apron, neat tie, neater facial hair.

He drops something on top of a barrel beside us.

“Anyone lost a…sock?”

We laugh.

“Just found it lying in the doorway…weird.”

We joke about checking our feet, but we’re confident we haven’t lost any socks, thanks.

He returns to clearing tables around us.

In the interests of confidentiality, I shift into sign.

EEEEESH. AWKWARD. LOOKS LITTLE BIT LIKE MY SOCKS!

EXACTLY SAME YOUR SOCKS. EXACTLY. Kate answers.

She’s right, it does, black and grey. I have dozens of the things, because I figure nobody ever faced death wishing they’d spent more time pairing socks.

She continues, YOUR TROUSERS NEW TODAY?

YES CLEAN, NEW

She’s laughing.

MAYBE DROP...

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Ambulance: Limp

Written by RSS Poster Trauma Queen

I knew him.
I must have done,
My feet steered me round
A palisade of piss
And chip bags.
Down the kerb and up again
While his stubby staffy
led him, hobbling, past.

A sagging pit prop,
Shattered his knee
Prematurely interred
In shale and clay

Or a bolted horse
Dragged him, trampled him.
While he swung frantically
On the reins.

More likely, round here,
A stolen motorbike,
And misjudged corner.

Or he had a blade
And the other lad
Did too.

Strangelove to Vader,
Richard III and Silver.
Broken bodies
Hold evil souls.

I have no case,
Behind the handles
Of a chair.
Lifts before stairs.
And fuck you
Like you
Think you
Know us.



Ambulance: Early morning, airport, cafe.

Written by RSS Poster Trauma Queen

She dolled up

And he with a yard of cashmere tartanry

Around his ears.

Two muffins (blueberry,

Two croissants (chocolate)

And a cake to share;

For pudding.



Ambulance: Wheely, wheely awesome.

Written by RSS Poster Trauma Queen

So yesterday we all, as a flat, went off to a Go Kids Go wheelchair course. I’ve heard about these guys from Kate and Sean before, they’re a wheelchair skills teaching charity for kids and young people with mobility challenges.

The thing that’s truly awesome about Go Kids Go is that, if they wish, everyone works in a wheelchair. Kids, siblings, carers, parents, grandparents. You want a chair? They’ll give you a chair for the day.

My main drive for the day was similar in my drive to learn sign language. I feel it’s important that anybody involved in the care of kids is able to contribute to that slow, osmotic learning that happens with every child on every day. With a kid who can walk and talk, you’d correct their pronunciation, or hold their hand as they tottered along a low wall.

If I can’t expand the kid’s signing? Or talk him through how to navigate everyday life in the chair? Then I’m not a carer.

I’m a watch-dog.

So off we went and met another half dozen or so families, all of whom had kids with varying degrees of mobility...

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Ambulance: Stop…stop!

Written by RSS Poster Trauma Queen

“Seriously, you guys…I’m gonna peeeee!”
(click for bigness)



Ambulance: Night time.

Written by RSS Poster Trauma Queen

My eyes are tired.

Itchy, dry.

They feel like my contact lenses have been in too long.

I keep thinking I should take them out before I go to sleep.

Then I realise I’m not wearing any…and laugh.

Then I realise that you normo-vision freaks have never had the joy of peeling the ‘front’ layer of your eye off and bathing the under layer with cool, clean saline; such as those of us who were contact lenses might.

I’ve also had a few moments of thinking “Oooh, I can’t see well, I’d better put my specs on.”

Do you poor fuckers really spend your days blundering around unable to manually adjust the focus on your eyes?



Ambulance: Zap.

Written by RSS Poster Trauma Queen

0800

Terrible nights sleep. Hopefully I’d be tired after the op. All advice is that the best thing to do is go to sleep afterwards as apparently it helps the cornea heal.

1100

Sat in the waiting room of the laser clinic, the sun bright and cold outside, four others sitting around and waiting to be seen. I wonder if we’ll become a little happy band of laser victims, cheering each other on as we go in and out, like contestants on a reality TV show. A woman walks out of the treatment rooms, squinting and smiling before pulling sunglasses on and walking out with her husband…”I’m not too bad….” she mentions, sounding surprised. I’m feeling optimistic.

In the corner, rolling coverage of the Boston man hunt. Newsreaders struggle to say something original over and over.

Sitting next to me a young woman reads aloud from a Penguin Classic paperback. I wonder if I can figure out what the title is over the next few hours?

1120

One woman is taken through “just for a chat…” and returns a few minutes later, clutching her coat and handbag across her...

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