•January 17, 2009 • 7 Comments

Lurking is my new “thing”. I am now an official rapid response car driver/pilot. The advise given to me by my crewmate on our last shift together was “try and keep it shiny side up” – I always do as my crewmate says, although the car does have a nice 0-60 it’s important to remember it’s a zafira and not supposed to go too fast! The whole point of this is for me to get there in 8 minutes or less then begin treatment of the patient… or as is more likely, have a nice chat with them about their sore toe which has caused the “difficulty in breathing”. Even on the car I am a magnet for the “had backache for 6 years but needs ambulance for it at 4am on a Sunday morning” and that suits me just fine.

The thing about working as a solo responder is just that, you’re on your own. When you have a properly, seriously, genuinely an emergency there’s just you. When the patient or other person on scene kicks off – there’s just you. People are often surprised to see a female out on her own in the middle of the night. The thing is I’m very good at reading body language and picking up the general atmosphere of a place, I’ve been doing it for years, and now I find it a very handy trouble avoidance tool. Add into the equation the fact that I’m quite laid back and generally friendly and it makes for a some nice experiences.

So far on the car I have had 17 offers of marriage – albeit from drunk old men and 2 offers of adoption. I have had to decline all of these so far! When I started on the car I hated it (more on this later) now I’ve been doing it for about 4 months I’ve got into the groove and have started to relax a little.

I’m back to work tonight after a sudden panic on whether my trousers would still fit after 4 weeks resting my foot (generally just laying about on the sofa) then realising that all my uniform was stuffed at the bottom of the washing pile. Poor washing machine, it’s had a busy day. Pleased to say that it all still fits, it’s all clean and it looks like we’re going to have a wet and windy night tonight – that’ll make work fun…

Hazards of heels

•January 10, 2009 • 2 Comments

Since I joined the ambulance service my feet find themselves in steel toe-capped boots or trainers for the majority of their time. I have found that when I go out now I have lost the tom-boy-ness of my wardrobe and prefer to wear dresses or skirts, perhaps it’s because I’m in quite a masculine uniform for a lot of my time and my inner female wants out or maybe I’m just growing up – who knows and who cares! On the night of our work Christmas party it was an ideal opportunity to buy a new ensemble. I brought a dress, new undies, handbag, super shoes and various other accessories. After 2 hours of grooming I have to admit I was looking pretty good! So I called a cab and arrived at the pub to meet the guys, however the guys weren’t there and had already begun to go to the restaurant just across the road. So I decide to walk, and this is where it all went horribly wrong…

There was a wall, it looked like it was only about an 8″ drop to the ground and I figured that with a 30 something inch leg it wouldn’t be a problem. However, some helpful soul had swept all the dead leaves into the area I wanted to land in, as I stepped off and didn’t feel floor under my foot I realised it was more of a 2′ drop – plus my 3″ heels…

Of course, I landed badly, my right ankle went over outwards, I landed on all fours, heard a snap and felt a pain like I’ve never experienced before and hope never to again. A short burst of interesting language later and I regained enough self control to realise that laying on the floor in a badly lit area of E16 is probably not the best idea in the world so I crawled over to a wall and tried to compose myself. At this point I was unsure if I could weight bear at all so rather gingerly I tried putting weight on it… it hurt like hell but was do able. A quick call to the ambulance station later and my station officer had offered to come and find me, however, I was hungry so I limped – rather slowly to the restaurant. Once I had visited the ladies, had a good cry, reapplied makeup and taken pain killers I entered the restaurant and explained what had happened to my colleagues, once they had finished laughing it was agreed that my ankle was deformed, about four times the size of the other one and probably needed a trip to hospital.

Not wanting to spend a Friday night in accident and emergency I treated it that night with ice packs, painkillers and red wine . I didn’t sleep at all because there was no position I found where my foot was comfortable, even crawling around my flat had me in tears, it’s the closest I’ve come to calling an ambulance for myself… I badly needed some heavy duty analgesia.

After a week on crutches my foot went from an interesting shade of purpley/black to a more normal lilacy type colour. An x-ray showed that it was just soft tissue damage but it still swells if I walk on it and although not painful any more it’s still sore. I blame the fact that I was sober when I fell, if I had been drunk at the time I probably would have rolled.

Still, back to work next weekend, safely in my boots again.

You know you’ve been off too long when…

•January 8, 2009 • 1 Comment

Firstly – Happy new year everyone.

Right, lets cover important news first – Doctor Who. I was devastated that David Tennant has decided to leave and may well need lots of hugs and sympathy when the time comes for him to regenerate, I already have people on standby to perform this function when the fateful episode arrives and have the box sets from the last 4 series to console myself. That said I know that it will be a proper epic storyline leading up to his departure and it’s always exciting to get a new doctor…

I’m still single – possibly saving myself for a timelord *or* haven’t met anyone who can reach my impossibly high standards – I’ll let you decide. Although if anyone has David Tennant’s phone number…

And… I’ve now had the best part of a month off work with my dodgy ankle, the x-ray results showed it’s just soft tissue damage but it still swells up rather spectacularly if I walk on it. However, this is the longest period of time I’ve had off work since I had my first job at the age of 18 and it’s now getting to the point where I want to chew my furniture out of sheer boredom! It’s one thing to be off work when you’re properly ill it’s another when everything’s working fine except your foot. I have become addicted to “Diagnosis Murder” – oh how I love Dick Van Dyke, and can now tell what time of day it is just by what’s on the TV. My world of warcraft character’s are thriving on the attention I lavish on them at the moment (many thanks to Mr Reynolds for my present) and my rat has got used to having me to play with all day but I’m actually starting to miss work…

I’m sure that by the end of my first shift back I’ll already be planning my next holiday though!

(In my next instalment I will tell you the story of how I managed to mangle my ankle…)

Seasons Greetings

•December 22, 2008 • 4 Comments

Wow, I was gone for ages! You guys still out there? So, I’m off work at the moment after having a bit of an accident on the way to my work Christmas party… I shouldn’t be allowed to wear heels! Nothing too serious, might have sprained/strained my ankle or might be ligament damage, guess it all depends on how quickly it heals. It’s been nearly 2 weeks now and it still doubles in size if I walk more than 200 yards and is an impressive colour purple! Guess that’s Christmas off for me… Plus it means that I’m now starting to get bored, hence the resurrection of the blog. I have lots of stuff sitting in my drafts folder that’s never made it as far as being published so despite not working I shouldn’t be stuck for ideas.

Just wanted to wish you all a happy Christmas, see you all soon x

Poorly pet

•July 17, 2008 • 2 Comments

As you guys know I live in London in a small but expensive flat. I grew up in the country and as my Dad was a shepherd there were always dogs around. Even when I moved in with my husband to be the first thing on my list of things to get for my new house was a dog. Now I live alone in London and work 12 hour shifts so although I really really want a dog I’m realistic enough to know that it wouldn’t be fair on it. So instead of a dog I have a pet rat. I’ve always loved domestic rats (don’t get me wrong if it was a wild one I’d be up on a table screaming before anyone else realised what was going on!) and my ex husband and myself had lots. I now just have the one who I adopted because her previous owners didn’t want her.

While I was away on holiday my neighbour looked after her, I had a concerned phone call just after landing from him because he thought she sounded a bit “sneezy”. By the time I got home she looked proper poorly so as a responsible owner I made an emergency appointment with my local vets.

What I didn’t realise is that at this particular vets they call you into the surgery using your pet’s name… I imagine I may have gone a little pink when the rather good looking vet stood at his door calling “Squidge”. As it goes the vet was lovely and confirmed my suspicion that she had an upper respiratory tract infection. So he gave her an antibiotic injection and left me to give oral antibiotics twice a day. The first two days were fine – she was feeling poorly and was happy for me to look after her but by day three…

I try to get her out of her cage and she runs to the most inaccessible corner, after about 20 minutes of patient coaxing the lure of a yogurt treat is too much and I manage to get hold of her – then the fun *really* started! Rats are surprisingly wriggly and damned fast, so it took another half an hour or so to actually get her to take the stuff… all this twice a day…

I’m pleased to say that she’s much better now and except for the odd sneeze is back to her old adventurous self. If anyone knows a good easy way to get liquid antibiotics down a rat I’d be glad of advice so I’m ready for next time!

Back from hiding

•July 14, 2008 • 4 Comments

Hallo peeps! How’ve you been? So, it’s nearly 6 months since I wrote and you’re still lurking out there… bless ya! I suppose you wonder where I’ve been, actually I have recently returned from holiday in Turkey and I loved it, half way through the second day I felt myself completely relax for the first time in… well, as long as I can remember. I think the Turkish bath and massage along with the all inclusive alcohol helped! It was my first holiday in 6 years and my first time on a plane and I shared my experience with Brenda and her 2 children. I got my first ever “tan” (actually, I burnt very badly but I’m not glow-in-the-dark white anymore) and both Brenda and (once the pain died down a bit) myself found it funny that I managed to burn while wearing sun lotion with an SPF of 45 and sat in the shade, I think my skin was probably also a bit frightened of being out in the fresh air, it hasn’t seen daylight since my pre-teen days! I can’t say enough good things about the holiday though and I feel that I have returned a new woman. Who knows I may even regularly write my blog again…

happy news

•February 2, 2008 • 3 Comments

Firstly thank you for all your lovely messages, it seems that positive thinking has done the trick because at the moment aunty Bren is cancer free! An excellent night was had by all!

Another discovery I’ve had is that I’m a surprisingly good plumber, I had a broken sink so I took it to bits – it’s working again now! (Just don’t tell my landlords – I don’t think I’m supposed to pull the flat to bits!) I suspect my landlords know what I get up to though – their daughter used to live 2 doors away, one night my boiler broke so I knocked on her door and asked to borrow a ladder (I have high ceilings and a high boiler) she said yes and then I think realised what I had asked for… she sent her husband round with the ladder so he could make sure I didn’t break the brand new boiler help! What can I say – I like to fix things…

It’s raining men!

•January 29, 2008 • 7 Comments

Hallelujah! After 8 months of imagining that I’ll never be interested in men again I have turned a corner, and it feels good to be back to my normal (if slightly mad) self. Apparently there’s lots of fish in the sea, my problem is my sea is not very big so I turned to the super-sized sea and had a go at internet dating. I joined up to 2 separate websites and am quietly chuffed that I had such a good response, it’s just a matter of weeding out the numptys now – and so far I have only met one pervert! The unusual thing is the two people who have so far been normal enough to get my phone number are both police officers – I’m starting to think that maybe I have a thing about uniforms…

And I don’t know whether it’s the sunshine we’ve been having but once again I find myself randomly smiling and being generally more friendly to people. Even when I’m not at work. I had a random hug from a paramedic the other day that made me especially cheerful, there are certain people in the ambulance service (ok, most of them) who aren’t really “huggy” people. While having a chat with this particular person (who I had down as a very non huggy type) I mentioned it’s been about 6 months since anyone hugged me – then to my surprise I got a big hug! I think they should be available free on the NHS because they definitely do make you feel better. Seriously, go try it – it’s good and it’s free!

Work’s good generally, I now have a proper, real, permanent crewmate. I’ve been working with him for about 7 months now and have no idea how he puts up with me (he’s not *quite* as lively as I am) but he does and now he’s stuck with me until such times as I do my paramedic training or he goes somewhere else. I like him because he’s happy to teach me, one day I had a question about an ECG relating to heart block – the next day he brought in a book and talked me through it! The only rule we have is that I don’t sing in the ambulance… too much…

On the subject of singing I have an audition this weekend, although I’m well aware that the competition is going to be fierce I’m quietly confident that I could be in with a bit of a chance – in my opinion the part could have been written for me!

And lastly can you all keep your fingers crossed for my aunty Bren, we find out tomorrow if they managed to make her cancer disappear. The whole family’s out tomorrow night for what is hopefully going to be a huge celebration.

Yay me!

•January 23, 2008 • 3 Comments

Well, I do believe I’ve made it to day 16 without a cigarette. This is an achievement I’m proud of but I’m not getting over ambitious as the urge to run out and “just buy 10 and then that’s it, never again, promise…” is still very much there. At the moment will power is winning though.

2008 hasn’t started the way I’d planned, infact there are certain complications which I would have never planned for in a million years. I won’t bore you with details but huge thanks to Merys and my ex (the fabulous Mr Reynolds) who have both been assisting me with my issues! While I work through these things posting will be sporadic – there really is nothing happening in my life, I will of course let you know if I find a new man, if I fall off the smoking wagon and if anything exciting or interesting happens.

See ya soon xx

Reward time for Laura

•January 13, 2008 • 4 Comments

So, I woke up to a beautiful, spring like morning… rolled over and got up eventually to a beautiful, spring like early afternoon. I then hauled myself out of bed and just about managed to get dressed, whoever said non-smokers have more energy was lying! I jumped on the DLR and travelled the 5 minutes to canary wharf intent on getting my nails to look fabulous with the help of a qualified nail technician and some stick on bits. However, when I arrived there was a giant queue, the lady said “pop back in an hour and we may have space” so I went browsing…

The mistake really was to go into HMV, as a rule if I have money I spend it on CDs,  DVDs or books… HMV has a large selection of CDs and DVDs and they have a sale on AND I had cash in my pocket so it wasn’t really a question of if I was going to spend my money but more what was it to be spent on. There was a fabulous Rocky Horror box set which I didn’t get as I couldn’t really justify having 4 different DVDs of it! Then there’s the Simpsons Movie, Shrek 3, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz which are all waiting to get into my collection, but then I was pulled to the TV boxsets, and there among the other stuff was the last box set of Doctor Who series 2 (you may remember I got series 3 for Christmas) How could I say no and leave the Doctor and Rose sat there on their own?

While making my way to the tills I had to walk past the sale CD’s and there among the 2 for £10 or £7 each was Take That’s new album… so obviously that had to be done….

The sad discovery was that of the CD there’s a couple of really beautiful songs that made me cry – I think giving up smoking has made me weak! So I was delighted to see that Shaun of the Dead was on TV, I’ve just finished watching that and now I’m snuggling up with the Doctor, not quite the manicure I was expecting but it will certainly last longer. I just have to keep off the cigarettes for a while longer now – the list of “rewards” for me grows longer by the day!

And a little video for you today too – it makes me laugh and the song has some nice memories attached for me too! (The clip does have a couple of swear words so be careful who’s listening)