Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Parents Pain

 I pulled up to the house and was impressed at the neatness and care the grounds were kept in. A large two story home separated from the neighboring homes by more than enough space to allow the neat landscaping to fold easily into the wooded barrier around the home. This place showed regular work by the owner to keep things looking just right. The patient was seated on a large rock, parked just so as to create a border for the two car wide driveway which had a casual bend up to the home.
 I pulled past the driveway and settled my vehicle off the road to allow room for the rig coming in a few minutes behind me. As I grabbed my bags and headed across the lawn I was again struck by the neatness of the yard, the flower beds placed here and there, the freshly turned mulch around each tree, and how much work this would take to keep in such fine shape.
 As I approached the patient, I took it all in. We had been to this address before, although I personally had not. None the less, when the dispatch came over, the address tripped the 'hot list' in my head and I knew there had been some dicey calls there. I didn't want any of my younger crew handling this without back-up. As it turned out, I got there first right behind the Chief who had been in the neighborhood. The Chief walked out to meet me and speaking in a low voice asked me if I knew the deal here. "Yup" I answered back, "Use all caution". He smiled and let me get to the patient only saying "I got your back" in a half whisper.

Last time we came to this address was a couple of years ago and it involved a lot of support from the boys in blue and grey. There was also a call several years before that which involved an overdose and occluded airway. Once we had a midnight call for a roll-over and found a vehicle that had ping-ponged off of rock out cropping on both sides of the road before flipping. I thought we'd have a DOA when I saw the car, but the driver was gone and made his way home somehow. He turned himself in the next day. The patient before me was the subject of all these calls. As he sat there, unable to keep himself erect, his Dad had one hand on his shoulder and one supporting his back to hold him upright. I looked at Dad's hands as I opened my kit. These were the hands of a working man. Strong, meaty, and tanned like leather, they had little difficulty in holding the son erect. I glanced at his face as I asked the basic questions and I was struck by the pain in his eyes. Here he was holding his 30 something year old son upright because the drugs he took had robbed him of the simple ability to do it himself. This was not the first time and he was all too familiar with supplying us with all the details and data he had on his son's condition. Cocaine, Vicodin, Mushrooms, and alcohol, all about 6 hours ago. They had witnessed 2 seizures after finding him in the driveway this morning. As I swung around to the other side of the patient to get a B/P, I noticed the Mother. She was standing 15 feet away and looked too frightened to approach. The look on her face spoke volumes and the title page read "anguish". This family has given all to their son, tried to raise him right, got him the best rehab, and when it failed they did it all over again. I looked back at the Father and saw again the pain on his face, but the patience in his voice showed a resignation that he would not give up on his son no matter what. If they had to go through this all over again, then that's what they would have to do. The only intelligible words I heard from the patient were spoken toward his Mother. He said "I'm sorry you had to see me like this." I 'm thinking to myself that if he was really sorry he wouldn't do it ever again. I wanted to smack him in the mouth and point out what he was doing to his family for too long, But instead I gave my turn-over report to the ALS crew that had just arrived. We got him loaded and I packed up my stuff.

I had no pity for the patient, he had all the help in the world and still kept screwing up. For his parents, my heart cried.

No comments:

Post a Comment