Getting out before it’s too late

I ran into an old friend from the ER while I was at the supermarket. Five years have passed since I saw her, she looked ten years younger now.

She’s still a nurse, only no longer in the ER, oncology her calling now. She is happy.

Its amazing what time away from the nuthouse we call work will do for a person. While immersed in the madness our bodies are aging far faster than normal, the stress we ignore beats us senseless, relationships suffer and we are the last to admit we are being eaten alive by what we see, and what we must do…



Saturday morning, 10:00. Twelve calls last night, two so far today. Ten yesterday. Seven hours to go. An overdose, heart attack, numerous drunks, a fall or two and a guy who smashed himself in the head with an ax three times before stabbing himself with a key hole saw and slashing his wrists with a razor knife. Those are a few of the calls I remember. MVA’s, maternity’s and kids with fevers filled out the rest.

10:01, gunshots. Rescue 1 and Engine 10 staged at Elmwood and Ontario. Cops speed past. Private auto’s speed past. Two teenaged girls, one critical, the other shot in the arm and shoulder taken to the ER.

10:10, a man jumps to his death from the Crossroads building, narrowly missing the crowd he fell in front of. How he missed I’ll never know.

10:15, a man attacks his girlfriend’s sister with an ashtray and vase, splitting their heads open, blood everywhere, hysterical family members gone mad.

The day goes on, a man gets third degree burns to his legs trying to stamp out a fire that he started.

An elderly lady with the first signs of Alzheimer’s worries she is going downhill. Her blood pressure, normally normal is 225/120, then 230/130 with weakness and facial droop. I don’t think she’ll have to worry about the Alzheimers.

A guy on a bike is struck by a car, at least thirty stitches and some plaster to put him back together.

I left at five. I was full.

Twenty-four hours from now I’ll do another thirty-eight hours.

Maybe things will quiet down.

At least it’s quiet here, at home.

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