Chair Bound or Lonely….?

December 18, 2006



A Nice Old Lady 

I was on the RRV last night til the wee hours of the morning. A very quiet shift for me though my oppo on the other RRV was run ragged! Did 2 jobs all shift! Did,nt need to do any interventions i.e. cannulation, defibrillation, intubation or drugs (on the patients, not me).

The first call was to a woman in her 80s who was stuck in her chair! I had visions of a very large lady wedged into a very small chair! Control asked me to go and assess and to call up for a crew if needed. Fair enough, off I went in search of the address which I found with my Sat Nav system. Knocked on the door and opened it and called out..”Hello, Ambulance service, anybody there?”

A voice called out from the living room. I opened the door to the living room and saw the lady sat in her chair. She must of been in a bad way….she was watching cricket on the telly!!! I asked her if she was okay and she said that she could not get out of her chair. She had no pains or acute conditions and did not want to go to hospital. She just wanted to go to the toilet…..oh joy!

I moved her zimmer frame closer to her, and moved the telephone from off her knees back to the other side of the room where it belonged! (bells start to ring in my cynical mind!). With a heave and and a pull I manage to get her standing on her own two feet and guide her towards the toilet. I wait outside to make sure that she gets back to her living room safely. After about 5 minutes, while I scan a cursory look at the photos on the wall, she comes out of the bathroom.

Its then that I ask where she wants to go now to which she replies “The living room please back in my chair.” I ask if she is sure as it is nearly one in the morning and the heating has gone off. Yep, shes sure. So I guide her back to her chair and surround her with the remote controls, medications, T.V. papers, biscuits and fetch her a fresh glass of water. All the time I am doing this I am thinking that she is going to ask me to clean her windows or paint her fence shortly!

With my last instruction/request carried out…the nice fluffy blanket for her legs, I bid my farewell. She was a nice enough lady, living on her own, fiercely independent and pleasant in her manner but I really do think she is pushing it by living in her chair. She must have got up to get the phone to ring for us so it might be that she just wants to see and talk to someone. A sad state of affairs in this day and age. Time spent on scene approx. 25 mins. At least she saw someone even if it was only me!