Saturday, 30 August 2008

A Different Kind Of Journey


I saw the ambulance coming along the road and the paramedic driving it, slowed down when he saw me and opened the passenger door and I climbed in and sat next to him.
No one seemed to take much notice of him parking on the wide pavement. Maybe they thought someone had a medical emergency. But we were going for fish and chips!

My brother works for a private ambulance company as a paramedic, ferrying sick patients to different hospitals, mainly for dialysis. Once they have been taken to their hospital wards, Godfrey is free for several hours until he has to pick up the patients again and take them to their various homes.
As I do not work during the school holidays, I have been free to meet up with him a few times in the town where one particular hospital is located. There is plenty to do there and we travelled far and wide, taking in the lovely countryside and going for walks.
He is dressed in his green outfit and we might even be taken for husband and wife. I am really proud of him and he tells me that some people say, "Can I shake your hand? You do a really good job."

On the last journey that I went on with him, we travelled through some lovely picturesque villages and the scenery made a good change from the city where I live. It was good to be sitting so high up and to be able to see over the top of the hedges, though scrambling up to the seat was as difficult to me as mounting a horse and my back twinged with the effort!

While he drives, Godfrey tells me funny stories about his patients! One day he had dropped off some people to an old folks home and he knew a very frail man there who never goes out anywhere from one day to the next. The man needed oxygen regularly to keep him alive. My brother asked his carers if he could take the old man for a ride as he had an hour to kill. Obviously they knew him well and thought it would be a very good idea. He was told that the man must have a supply of oxygen on hand at all times. That was no problem as there was oxygen on board the ambulance.

The patient was put in a wheelchair and they set off down the long driveway towards the ambulance.
Once there, Godfrey looked for his keys to open up the vehicle. They seemed to have vanished into thin air and he searched all through his pockets and medical bags. After some time searching, the man said that he needed oxygen. As he couldn't get into the ambulance, my brother decided to take him back to the ward and give him oxygen there and look for the keys. He went to the desk where he had signed the patient out, but no sign of them there. A thorough search was made by all the staff and no one could understand where the keys had got to. All this took a long time and phone calls had to be made to see who had a spare set of keys.
Godfrey had a feeling that there was just a slight chance that the elderly man was sitting on the keys as they might have slipped down as he was fixing him in the wheelchair. Extra staff helped the man into a standing position and sure enough the keys were right in the place where he had been sitting.
The old man's face lit up on finding the keys and he had felt better for the oxygen on the ward.
"Are we going now?" he said. 
"Sorry mate," my brother replied, "We've run out of time."

I felt it was a bit sad that the old man never got to go out, but my brother now wears a thick cord round his neck holding his keys securely, that the nurses gave him. They were all falling about laughing for some reason!

23 comments:

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

And a different mood, Maggie. A lovely story. Hope you are feeling a bit better? M xx

Granny Smith said...

A delightful change of pace for you with the brother of whom you are obviously proud. I can see the advantage of that high perch to see over the hedgerows!

aims said...

What a shame the man didn't get to go for his ride. I bet he was really disappointed. I hope your brother went back and took him out at some time.

Your brother sounds like mine. I love being with him and I'm incredibly proud of him! (as if people can't tell that)

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

A lovely story which was enjoyable to read. Thanks for sharing.



YVONNE:

david mcmahon said...

Brothers really are exceptional, aren't they?

Have been AWOL because I'm travelling with my cameras in the Yukon.

Keep smiling ....

Rose said...

Too bad the elderly gentleman didn't get to take that ride!

I'm glad you get to spend some time with your brother. A change of pace and scenery is always good; I hope this means you've gotten a little break from everything.

cheshire wife said...

Congratulations on your Authorblog Post of the Day nomination.

It is good to see that you still have your sense of humour.

Zip n Tizzy said...

Breaks my heart he didn't get his ride, but your brother sounds like an exceptionally kind person.
Lovely story.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Very engaging story, I've often thought paramedics must have an interesting job (though must also be pretty stressful at times!)

Lavinia said...

What a cute story. I hope that man gets a chance to go for a drive one day!

Suburbia said...

Lovely story Maggie. I was imagining you sat next to your brother driving through the countryside. It sounds a great way to spend time together!
Hope it has lifted your spirits a little. Sub x

leslie said...

I sure hope your brother is able to go back and take the old fellow out for a ride. Lovely story that I found through David.

CrazyCath said...

Hmmm. Reminds me of being a schoolgirl with the front door key on a string around my neck!

I'm glad you can find some peace with your brother in all the madness that is going on around you.

Lovely post.

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Thanks for visiting my world of poetry, also for the kind comments.
much appreciated.



YVONNE.

Eileen said...

Your brother sounds like a wonderful man. I'm so glad you get to spend some nice time with him. I miss my brothers so much. Your brother seems to have a gift, making others feel safe and comfortable. How lucky for you.

Jules said...

Hi Maggie! That was a lovely story and your brother sounds like a wonderful guy. Lucky you.

Casdok said...

How lovely that you have had some time to catch up with your brother.
Hope he is able to take the man out another time.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Great story Maggie. How lovely that you are able to spend quality time with your brother - can understand why you are proud of him.

Hope you and your family are all OK.

A x

Stinking Billy said...

maggie, I thought it was only police cars which went out for fish and chips? But I'm all in favour of your brother doing it, he sounds like a nice bloke.

Maggie May said...

Thanks for all the kind comments.
Unfortunately the old man passed away as my brother was recounting a story to me that had happened previously. Maybe he is on a continual lovely journey.... it would be good to think so.

Omykiss said...

My brother-in-law is a funeral director. Sometimes he gives my sister a ride in his black limousine when he is on his way to a funeral and she is off to do the shopping. She does get some funny looks when she jumps out with her shopping bag at the supermarket ;)

Carol said...

Oh boy, Maggie! Dealing with my elderly mom, those things happen all the time! Your post made me laugh!! Thank you!

Minnesotablue said...

Your brothyer sounds like a great man. How many folks would show that type of kindness to another Kudos to him and also you for posting it