Make Me a Bird

Sometimes in the ER you get too many codes, too many dead people, see too much pain, etc. You have to protect your mind. And your heart. So sometimes, well, a lot of times, we are horribly inappropriate. Coping mechanism. We are not bad people. We just take care of a lot of scary shit and see stuff many people will never dream of encountering. So, again, we become very inappropriate, to make each other laugh, to get our minds away from what we are dealing with. Try not to judge. We seriously try our hardest to save the lives of others. And we are damn good at what we do. But sometimes, seeing your third dead person and the family that mourns for them, starts to wear on you. 

We had an elderly lady brought in by EMS, CPR in progress, nearing the end of our shift. We worked her for about an hour. This was in addition to the 45 minutes EMS worked on her out in the field. We were all taking turns doing chest compressions and were tired. Normally we were a loud bunch but it had been a long hard day. No lunch. No bathroom breaks. We had an ER tech at the bedside doing various tasks such as compressions, IV placement, catheter insertion, etc. He was quite a large guy, hard worker, and funny as hell. After his turn performing chest compressions another ER tech took over. We had given another round of epi and were waiting for the next pulse check. He turned around looked up, put his hands as if praying, and said “Dear God, make me a bird so I can fly far far away”. Lawwwd Jesus. We ALL started laughing. The doc couldn’t contain himself. We were done. Too much. Forrest Gump couldn’t run faster from that ER.

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