Print Story on xenophobia
Diary
By BadDoggie (Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 08:09:17 AM EST) stuff, things (all tags)
Go into your kitchen. Pour out a glass of milk. Tip the glass over and pour all that milk on the floor. Now do it again. That's a pint. Do it 14 more times in a row. As neat a package as a gallon of milk might be, it's a surprisingly large amount of liquid when you see it on the floor. That's how much blood a sub-250-pound human has inside. Normally.

This one's no happier than aph's Jury Duty and while a bit expository, considerably less informative. You may wish to ignore.



You never forget your first bleed-out. The amount of liquid -- about a US gallon -- is astonishing on arrival. Luckily it's not terribly common for most people to come across such an incident. Ammo has probably seen it and the hunters here will have some idea (though prey animals generally die from hydrostatic shock and massive trauma), but most people never have and never will see a bleed-out. You lucky fuckers.

Once you get past that first incident, however, it becomes surprisingly easy to deal with. And the bigger and more violent the city, the more often you're going to have to. You quickly start making jokes. Someone you work with will have a phial of 70%, rocket fuel grade hydrogen peroxide to both clean his boots and make some fizzy funsies. It gets you through the reality of what you're dealing with.

I am a xenophobe. I do not like people. I like single persons, but I hate people. I don't hate them in the lazy way of a racist; I can find all sorts of reasons to hate each and every person solely on his or her own lack of merit. I owe a lot of you (especially in the Bay Area and Londonium) an apology; I was going through a rather extended bad patch. I no longer drink like I did nor act as I did in public. I am quite regretful for a few of my... antics and know that most of you saw it even when I didn't. Millman can probably tell you about the Jekyll & Hyde differences between me at home and me, then, in transit.

While I hate people, there's a Samaritan streak in me which first drew me to medicine and emergency services. I never fail to offer help when someone inevitably exhibits some sort of distress. The only reason I did nothing when that guy across the aisle went grand mal on the flight back from Tenerife is that the cramped seat held him in position and a doctor self-identified before the seizure was over. I listened for any call for further help but the guy was a seasoned epileptic and didn't even get mildly annoyed much less violent. The flight back to Madrid continued unhindered.

But that first bleed-out never leaves you. There's no escape.

About four years ago a stinky old drunk was in front of me going to the only till (register) open at the local supermarket. He seized, let out a truly classic sound, and fell backwards into me. The big shocker for the ambulance crew was that I gave them every bit of info they needed, from incident description to vitals to treatment. Thank fuck he kept breathing, the scumbag. Jeebus wept, I had to throw away the T-shirt because it stank so badly from holding him.

It's what you do. It's the right thing to do. It's what you damned well expect others to do for your <%important_person_in_life%> under similar circumstances. But some shit you never forget.

It was that incident, but not in the way anyone involved recognised. It wasn't the bleed-out on its own. It wasn't even that she'd been beaten so badly almost every major bone was broken before she finally expired. It was that we managed to save the guy who did it to her.

Pratchett's "Death" is famous for the sentiment, "THERE IS NO JUSTICE. THERE IS ONLY ME." I think this explains much for me, happiness and awesomeness of my new family notwithstanding. You do what you can, you get through as best you can, you take the happy where you can find it and you apologise if you spread a bit of misery. Sorry.

< noooooooooo | excerpt from the dream journal >
on xenophobia | 27 comments (27 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
*hug* (nt) by tierrasimbolica (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 09:53:05 AM EST
 

terminology niggle by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 10:41:36 AM EST
Are you a xenophobe or a misanthropist? If there's some effort put in, I would say the latter.

He's the grinch by brokkr (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:10:29 AM EST
[n/t]
--
Deyr fé, deyja frændr, deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn, at aldrei deyr: dómr um dau∂an hvern.

[ Parent ]
The resemblance is uncanny [n/t] by Herring (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:21:33 AM EST


christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
Both by BadDoggie (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:19:00 AM EST
I am very clearly misanthropic but while I don't actually fear people I certainly do my best to avoid them wherever possible. That I managed to meet my wife was a very odd accident, one for which I will be eternally thankful.

woof.

OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
Accidents happen. by sugar spun (4.00 / 3) #6 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:37:51 AM EST
I like that you still feel like you're the luckier one.



[ Parent ]
We've seen the pictures by notafurry (4.00 / 3) #15 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 09:49:26 PM EST
I think we generally side with him.

[ Parent ]
I like you. by sugar spun (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 03:13:32 AM EST
Thank you.

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by mellow teletubby (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:36:33 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by mellow teletubby



[ Parent ]
That's funny. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 3) #13 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 08:11:19 PM EST
My Krautreich-passport-holding Kraut landwirtin and I were just yesterday discussing how Krauty most Krauts back home are. Krautkrautkraut.

Kraut.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
I mock USians, too. by BadDoggie (4.00 / 1) #16 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 09:49:58 PM EST
What ti_Ammo wrote, and remember that I adopted this country as my home and it has accepted me even if not everyone is on-board.

woof.

OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by mellow teletubby (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 06:01:34 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by mellow teletubby



[ Parent ]
While I hate to pull up painful memories for you by FlightTest (4.00 / 2) #7 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:55:08 AM EST
this brings up an issue I've wondered about for a long time.  Feel free to not answer if you don't want to.

Assuming I'm reading between the lines correctly and the guy intentionally and with no possible justification beat this woman to death, was there any feeling of "why are we saving this guy" at the time?  Or does training take over and you don't really think about who you're saving?

Yeah, I know you're SUPPOSED to save the guy and let the legal system do its job, but one of the reasons I decided never to go into law enforcement was my fear that my lack of faith in the system would eventually lead me to vigilantism.  I never thought about it, but reading your account brings up the possibility of EMT's doing their own brand of vigilantism by simply not trying very hard on someone they didn't really think deserved to live.


It's a long time ago. by BadDoggie (4.00 / 3) #8 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 12:34:58 PM EST
Yes, you're supposed to let the legal system deal with it, and most often you have to because you simply don't know the backstory. In this cases there were two pieces of meat; one silent, stiff and clearly exsanguinated, one slightly responsive.

When you arrive on-scene in ES you triage fast. There's no time for thinking. The happiest sound you can hear is someone screaming because that person will probably stay alive for the time it takes you to scoop, run and drop. It's annoying as fuck, too, because of the giant whingefest, but they's gonna make it. It's the quiet ones who get attention first. Either they're long gone (and helpfully stiff) or they need immediate treatment. Anyone yelling is functional and can wait.

I don't know what happened to the guy. I hope he died such a painful death that it makes shooting up apomorphine look like a trip to Disneyworld (junkies never shoot up apomorph a second time). I put it out it out of my mind.

I stayed legal and always provided care, but once I realised I was jaded, it was pretty much over. One of my profs complemented me on recognising the limitation. Luckily the Econ classes were taught by an awesome prof.

woof.

OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
Funny. by sugar spun (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 04:10:51 PM EST
Or not.

In psych (although there are always exceptions) the screamers are generally the ones we deal with first. The people who are clearly in so much trouble that they can't help but shout for help from anyone who might be nearby, real or imaginary, hostile or otherwise, are the ones we triage to the front of the waiting list or the emergency bed that officially doesn't exist.

The quiet ones either need an extended period of time for someone to coax them out from wherever they've retreated, or they're of the sort that induce the thousand-yard stare. We had an outpatient who was having therapy because he was a self-confessed paedophile who had decided that, since he had become impotent due to age, obsessively reliving his experiences to someone who was bound to listen and attempt to help them without reporting him was the safer option to watching videos at home. Officially only his therapist knew which of the patient load Herr XYZ was, but I had a good idea and he was a dapper, smiling gentleman with so many skeletons in his closet it's a wonder he had room for his clothes. I don't know how his therapist, a father of a little boy four or so months older than my daughter, was able to sit for the 50 minutes and not lose control.

[ Parent ]
then again by bobdole (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 05:22:04 PM EST
I suppose psych don't get many trauma cases. At least not until the trauma level has been bumped down slightly by other units :-).

The reverse is not true, there is quite a few psych patients coming in through trauma though, as some of them seem to be able to hurt themselves in the most incredible ways.
I never cease to be amazed at what the mind can convince some people to do to themselves.
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
We have constant on-call for trauma by sugar spun (2.00 / 0) #19 Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 03:20:54 AM EST
Sometimes it's for suicide attempts, sometimes the $pick your drug crazies, rape or assault victims, maybe someone who's come into A&E to find a relative deceased, sometimes just an assessment because one of the other staff members can't pinpoint anything wrong but has a feeling, sometimes to debrief the staff after a patient's died on their table, always the regular existing-psych-patient-does-him/herself-a-truly-bizarre-injury. -It's a busy job and a very mixed bag. Interesting, but the shift is normally 12 hours and in many cases by the end of the ninth hour there's very little left to give.

It's best to catch the trauma while it's fresh so you can pick out the metaphorical debris before it starts festering and you have to break open the tentative healing to work through whatever happened.

[ Parent ]
Ah language issues by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #23 Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 01:02:21 PM EST
In the local department lingo trauma is somebody who will die (or have significant life altering results) without help within 24 hours. With some local triage scheme to rank them.

Purely physical. Psych consults happen outside our sphere of influence.
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
Yeah. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #10 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 04:30:49 PM EST
I wouldn't work long with anyone who dicked around with 70% H2O2. As in, measureable in seconds.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Nothing cleans up blood faster by BadDoggie (4.00 / 1) #14 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 09:44:23 PM EST
You ever see what happens when that shit hits meat?

woof.

OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
or any lipid. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #17 Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 10:30:02 PM EST
Jumpin' Jiminy!

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Nerd tangent. by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #21 Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 10:52:26 AM EST

I don't have much to say on the main piece, just to add a bit of inconsequential ephemera.

'There is no justice; only me' is from 2000AD's Judge Dredd. Pratchett used it as a dark joke: i.e. that while, in Judge Dredd's hands, it was the kind of intentionally jingoistic but fundamentally hollow excuse for might-is-right fascism and authoritarian notions of justice, it was actually true, and made a lot more sense, when it came to ... well ... Death.


----
Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
Discworld predates Dredd by BadDoggie (2.00 / 0) #22 Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 12:22:10 PM EST
The first time Death utters the line was the book Mort (1987) and then again two years later in Guards! Guards!.

woof.

OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
No. It doesn't. by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #24 Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 01:31:02 PM EST

Dredd's been running since '77 (2000AD #2). It was a deliberate and obvious homage / pastiche -- the kind of thing Pratchett's made his name doing.


----
Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
Fair fucks to you. by BadDoggie (2.00 / 0) #27 Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 11:14:13 AM EST
I have no real comic-fu and concede to your greater knowledge. I know Pratchett reads some comics/graphic novels if for no other reason than his work together with Gaiman, and having had a peek, the line does seem quite Dredd-esque (even if I'll always first associate it with Pratchett's Death).

I wrote this comment two weeks ago and was sure I hit "submit".

woof.

OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
+1 FP by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #25 Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 10:13:34 PM EST
Catchy rhythm, handsome combination of horror and empathy. Plus, nice use of dairy.

Rock on.


Science-fiction wallah, storytelling gorilla, man wearing a hat: Cheeseburger Brown.
Thank you. by BadDoggie (2.00 / 0) #26 Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 05:17:20 PM EST
I wasn't crazy about the flow but the story wanted out. It was never going to be pretty.

woof.

OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
on xenophobia | 27 comments (27 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback