Sunday, August 14, 2011

Retired or not, duty calls

Yeah, this must be a record for me posting- 2 blogs in 2 days. But I figure this one was worth telling. It just goes to show that you may be retired from your chosen career, but you never know when you'll be called back into action. Case in point: last night.

Last night was a full moon (I think). And having worked in the medical field for 20 years, full moons mean crazy stuff is going to happen. Yup, it sure did last night. Amidst a wicked thunderstorm, our neighbor across the street called. It was after 8 pm and we were all in line getting showers for the night. Hubby answered the phone and told me our friend got home from a long trip, took some pills for back pain and was now having a rather serious allergic reaction- anaplylactic shock- a very BAD thing when you live a long ways from medical help. Calling 911 in a rural area like we live in usually means help is 30+ minutes away. All the EMS are volunteer and have to be called in to get the ambulance. 30 minutes is life or death (usually death) when it comes to a reaction like that.

So, hubby grabbed his medical bag and dashed out into the storm. He jumped in our Gator and went across the street (they live up a pretty steep hill). He worked on our friend for maybe fifteen minutes, giving him what antihistamines he had in his bag, and wasn't having any success getting him to come around. He came back home and informed me that he needed my help. It would be up to us to get him the almost 40 mins to the local hospital. Needless to say, the Prius became an emergency vehicle.

I was in the back seat with our patient, my job was to monitor him and relay info to hubby, who was trying to make a land-speed record to the hospital through some of the most twisty, dangerous roads in eastern KY. I kept our friend coherent and made sure he didn't pass out and stop breathing. Mind you, each minute that ticks by with someone in shock just reduces their chance of survival. Even calling for Life Flight probably would have taken longer. Tick, tick, tick...

--Yes, it was still raining and lightening all the way there. We had to dodge a few deer and stray dogs, but we made it safely to the ER of St. Josephs's in London. It was the closest hospital we knew of and had the most direct route. BTW- there is NO direct route to anything in the back woods of KY. He was admitted, given some steroids to help with the reaction, and admitted over night. He also has heart problems, so it made it even more scary because he was complaining of chest pains as well. Sorry, the Prius just isn't kitted out to handle cardiac emergencies, so all we could do was cross our fingers and hope he made it. I have no clue how fast hubby was driving, and I probably don't wanna know.

Normally the country life is pretty sedate. But when you live so far out in the middle between nothing and nowhere, and an emergency happens, any and all skills you may possess can and will be used to hopefully rectify the situation. I'm pretty sure if we weren't there to help, our neighbor would've died. EMS probably wouldn't have been able to get there quick enough, and hubby's initial treatment might have been what helped extend our "golden hour" to get him to a hospital.

We finally got home about 2 am. Just as we were finally getting to sleep- one cat decided to start a fight with the other. Needless to say, the perpetrator got tossed out into the dog crate on the porch for the night. Then, promptly at 6 am, the alarm goes off. It means there are horses, dogs and cats all wanting to be cared for. Staggering out of bed, we met their needs and then took a long nap. I hope tonight is not as crazy as last night--although more thunderstorms are expected...

Until next time my creatively obsessed friends.


1 comment:

  1. All I can say is that these people are sooo lucky to have you guys as neighbors. And to think that both of you are skilled this way. Hats off to you, my friend!