I thought for a moment from my elder partner’s glance that perhaps I had yelled to loud, however, the wind was deafening and her look may have been in reference to the foul weather.
We heard a scuffling and finally the door clicked open. A young woman gestured us inside and we wiped our boots on the doormat.
“What seems to be the problem, ma’am?” I asked, glancing around the front room of the house. There wasn’t anyone around that could be a patient, except for the woman, and she looked fine.
“My daughter, she’s hurt her hand badly, and I’m afraid that I can’t drive in this weather.” She said worriedly, a shy and somewhat ashamed look on her face. I imagined the ambulance sitting outside and understood. It was a big deal for the woman.
“Alright, mind if we take a quick look? And then we can drive her to the hospital if need be.” Mary offered a smile to the mother and we were led up a flight of stairs.
“In here,” the mother stepped aside and opened the door to a small room for us. I glanced around to make sure it was safe and stepped in. The walls were pastel in color and the floor was littered with toys. However, it was a clean room.
A young girl at about four years sat in the center of the floor, holding her hand and trying to withhold tears. I walked up and set my supplies down.
“Hi, my name’s Gloves and I’m a paramedic. Can I have a look at your hand there?”
The red haired girl gave a shy nod, her pony tail rippling with the gesture. She held out a small hand and I took it in my two gloved ones.
“What happened?” Mary asked the mother.
I sensed the mom shrug as I gently palpated the girl’s hand. She winced but kept quiet.
“I have no idea. I just heard her crying and rushed up.” The mother then approached me and leaned down. “Is it broken?”
I looked at the girl and then up at the mom. “No, I think it’s just been strained.”
“Strained?” The mother asked.
“Yes, I think she may have bent her fingers back from falling and strained the muscles and ligaments.”
“Do I have to go to the doctor?” The girl asked nervously, her bottom lip trembling.
I smiled at her in a comforting manner. ” Yes, but it’s okay. Your hand will be fine.”
“Do I need stitches?” She asked.
I shook my head with a small chuckle. “No, you don’t need stitches.”
Opening the trauma kit, I removed a roll of thin bandages. “We’re gonna wrap this around your hand, okay?”
“Will it hurt?” The girl asked.
“No, it won’t hurt.” I proceeded to wrap the bandages around her fingers, grouping them together and leaving only the tips exposed so I could check circulation later on.
Finished wrapping, I grabbed an ice pack and punched it, feeling the cold spread out beneath the plastic.
“What’s that?” She asked.
“It’s an ice pack.” I replied, placing it on her hand. “Feel good?” I inquired.
“Yes.” She nodded. Throughout Mary and the mother had been talking.
“If you’re ready, Gloves,” Mary cleared her throat. “We’re gonna take these guy’s to the hospital.”
“Okay.” I stood up and helped the girl to her feet. “Unfortunately we aren’t going to be able to take you back home again.”
The mother shook her head. “I know. We’ll find our way. Thank you so much.”
The four of us proceeded down the stairs to the front door, where the mother swaddled her child in thick coats to protect her against the rain.
I opened the door and braced against the wind. The mother, child in arms, and Mary ran out to the ambulance. I opened the back doors for them and climbed inside after they did, instructing the mother to lay her child on the stretcher and sit in the crew seat beside it.
Up front, Mary had started the ambulance and we began to move through the town.
“Can I get some information from you ma’am?” I asked, holding a clip board with a sheet of paper attached.
“What’s your and your daughter’s full name, date of birth, and current residence?”
“My name’s Margaret Thompson and this is Ginger.”
Ginger, I thought, Of course.
She proceeded to tell me their birthdays and address, which I scrawled down.
“Does Ginger have any allergies, or does she take any medications?”
“Any medical history I should know about?”
Ms. Thompson shook her head. “No, there’s nothing significant.”
“Okay. When was the last time you ate, Ginger?” I then turned to the girl lying face up in the stretcher.
“Lunch.” She said brightly.
“About noon.” Ms. Thompson assured me, and I wrote that down.
After taking a set of vitals-pulse, respirations, and blood pressure-I took the stethoscope and listened to Ginger’s heart. The quiet th-thump, th-thump, th-thump sounded normal.
“What’s that?” the little girl asked as I leaned back in my seat.
“It’s a stethoscope. You can use it to listen to people’s hearts.” I explained.
“Can I try?” She asked.
“Sure.” I placed the stethoscope’s ear parts in the girl’s ears and pressed the bell to my chest. A smile split her face.
“I hear it! I hear your heart!” Ginger exclaimed, giggling.
“Isn’t it cool?” I asked.
“My heart. . .my heart never stops beating.” She stated, somewhat solemn.
I nodded. “Yep. It never stops.”
Or, at least, its not supposed to.
I am the main character in this story, a paramedic called Gloves. I am not a paramedic. The medical information is based off my own personal knowledge and is not guaranteed to be correct. This is a work of fiction made for the enjoyment of readers.