White Cloud Syndrome

The EMS gods are fickle beings, quick to anger and hard to appease. They rarely give you what you pray for.

If you want good calls, they send you transfers. If you want rest, they send you on back-to-back cardiac arrests. If you bitch about taking a BLS transfer, they’ll send you a ventilator-dependent patient with intracranial pressure monitoring, an arterial line, and seven medication infusions, going to a hospital 200 miles away.

And none of your friggin’ pump batteries will be charged.

Case in point, my current partner. He’s currently doing his paramedic clearance time, a minimum of 12 shifts with a designated preceptor before he’s cut loose on his own. Right now, he’s itching for the busload of hemophiliac Jehovah’s Witnesses in a head-on collision with a truck from the glass factory.

What he gets instead are refusals, public assist calls, little old ladies with minor complaints, and trustees of modern chemistry.

At this rate, he’ll get his first cardiac arrest somewhere in his second year as a medic.*

I have, however, discovered his EMS Kryptonite. On his first call in the right-hand seat, we got dispatched to a woman in labor. While reviewing emergency childbirth, the inverted resuscitation pyramid and the elements of a resuscitation-oriented history en route to the call, I noticed he looked a little pale.

I didn’t think much of it, as we were canceled before we arrived on scene.

On the very next call, we were dispatched to a 14-month-old who had overdosed on Grandma’s blood pressure medication. En route, while reviewing pediatric bradycardia and hypotension, fluid boluses, and using Glucagon for Beta-blocker overdoses, I noticed the same look, along with a peculiar sucking noise.

It wasn’t until after the call that I noticed the puckered naugahyde where he had been sitting.

Unless I miss my guess, I’d say my partner is a wee bit skeerd of vaginas and anyone under two feet tall and wearing a diaper.

Oh, and I’ve saddled him with a new, permanent nickname. Since he looks exactly like this guy:

… henceforth, he shall be referred to as Peter Griffin.

*And hopefully, by making such a blog prediction, I can anger the EMS gods into sending him one sooner. Only, being vengeful EMS gods, they’ll probably send him a pregnant woman who arrests during active labor.