Working with yet another trainee. We are called to a ? narcotic OD in town and the police are already on scene. Inside I see a familiar face, he is intoxicated and ranting that he just wants to die. I've met this chap before for similar problems and his wife is a known self harmer and we used to go to his mum who's a diabetic. They all used to live together, what a family! A police officer hands me some tramadol tablets, which are a synthetic opiate. I check his pupils which were like dinner plates. He wasn't being very cooperative and was wandering around his flat looking for his rolling tobacco. Eventually he finds it and starts rolling, fumbling with his papers and then dropping it all over the floor.'Come on mate let's get you down to the hospital.' 'Nope, I ain't going, just let me die!' 'Sorry, can't do that.'
And so it goes on like this for around 20 minutes. He starts crying about his son and saying that his life is crap. This time he manages to roll a cigarette but now needs a light. The police officer tells him that he will give him a light if he goes to the hospital with which he agrees. He shakes the police officer's hand. He's finished, 'come on then let's go' I say, 'Nah, can't be bothered just let me die.' And with that he starts ranting that he has asthma and now can't breathe. My crew mate seizes the chance by saying to him that he needs oxygen and therefore we need him to come down to the ambulance ASAP. 'Quick, quick let's get you some O2!' says my crew mate. Surprisingly he follows us down to the truck with the police locking his flat up. They mouth a quick 'Thank you' to us. You see if we had left him there he would carry on drinking and take more pills and we would either be called again that night or called in the morning for a cardiac arrest. Now on board he is given a more than adequate 2 litres of O2 which seems to settle him and off we go to hospital. because I know what this guy is like I flick on the camera so I can keep an eye on him and my trainee. A few minutes into the journey I can see him lying lifeless on the trolley, I start to chuckle to my self, he's putting it on. Sure enough my crew mate comes up to the hatch and asks if we can pull over so I can quickly check him out, she thinks he is putting it on but wants to be certain. I jump in the back and look at him, a pathetic sight, he is staring at the ceiling, not moving. All the monitors are fine, his colour is good but he wont respond so I flick his eye lash and it flutters. Putting it on! Next he grabs himself round the throat, wrapping his fingers completely around his windpipe. He squeezes so hard that his light bulb shaped head is now going purple.
'Right, stop doing that or you'll hurt yourself!' So he squeezes harder.
I start to read him his fortune and grab his hand, 'Let go of your throat and stop acting like a bloody child. GROW UP!' he doesn't listen so I eventually prize his hand away. 'All you are going to do is cause your self a nasty injury, you're not going to kill your self.' I say. 'I just wanna die, let me do it, let me do it.' he replies. 'Sorry, no can do.' so he grabs his throat again. I manage to move his hand again and pin both hands by his side. 'Think about your son, what's he gonna think of you if you act like this?' he then starts to cry. With him a bit more settled we carry on to the hospital. When we get there the nursing staff aren't impressed and don't believe that he has taken 20 x 50mg tramadol tablets, they should have started to take effect by now. He is then put in a cubicle and watched for a few hours.
The next night I ask one of the nurses what happened to him and I'm told that he was earlier that morning to another hospital over 40 miles away as there was no bed spaces left. He was due to start work at 06.30 as refuse collector but was now in another hospital.
I would like to think that he had learnt his lesson but some how I doubt it.