Most of the reading I do is of an educational nature, to increase my knowledge in the medical or sea kayaking fields, or the teaching of same. Rarely do I read for the pure joy of reading, time just doesn’t permit me to do that. Having disclosed that, I had been looking for something in my den the other evening, something I still haven’t found but if you saw my den you’d immediately know why (but I digress). As I worked my way to the bottom of a pile of files and “important” papers, I found a book that I’d gotten a couple of years ago from my wife (not sure if it was for birthday, Christmas, or just because). Hmmmm . . . I was about finished with the current edition of Ocean Paddler, and was tired of reading The Merck Manual of Patient Symptoms, and re-reading The Outward Bound Wilderness First-Aid Handbook. Standing there for a moment I opened the freshly uncovered book, which the spine looked like I had never opened it before, and I just randomly opened it and read a quick story, and I laughed out loud. I realized that what I had just read was what I’ve been living for the past few years as an urban emergency medical technician (EMT). Perhaps even more ironic, the previous evening I’d had a conversation at the station between calls talking to others about EMS in the urban jungle and how it wasn’t much different in any large urban city.
Amazon dot com has the book, as well as the newer one (More Blood, More Sweat, and Another Cup of Tea). Either, or both, would be a good gift for anyone working in EMS. What I like is that there’s no plot to follow. You have two minutes—pick it up and read a short post. Got an hour, pick it up and read several posts. Start in the middle, at the end, at the beginning, it doesn’t matter! One reviewer called it “a great toilet book”. Well that pretty much sums it up, it is indeed a great toilet book!
One passage: “There is something deeply disturbing about walking on a sticky carpet—especially when the flat (apartment) is in a compete mess and the punter (patient) has called an ambulance four times in the last 2 days for a pain in the chest that has lasted 2 years. . . note that the pain hasn’t changed in any way, it’s not worse, or moved around the body, he has no other symptoms . . . It also doesn’t help when the patient smells so bad that I want to leap out the side window.” Now I ask my colleagues in EMS, who amongst us can’t relate to this? If you can’t then you’ve only been working the streets for a few hours, just wait until the next run.
You can keep current with the author of these books by reading his blog at http://randomreality.blogware.com/