I was being ushered into the house by the patient’s immediate family.
Their looks of grave concern were matched by their eagerness to get me to the patient as quickly as possible.
This sort of behaviour generally makes up your global overview of what is going on and how serious the situation potentially could be.
I therefore decided not to make ice breaking jokes at this particular time and instead, took it as serious as the atmosphere dictated.
Inside were more family members, some of the older women crying.
They all ushered me upstairs to where the patient lay on a bed, one hand clutched to his chest, the other wiping tears from his face.
He was a young man in his 30’s, and didn’t appear to be having a good time. I slowly dumped my bags and
“Hiya guys. My name’s Binder, I’m a paramedic, what seems to be the problem here then?”
The patient, now crying more and clutching at his chest harder, motioned with his spare hand, toward his chest and head whilst shaking his head and crying more tears.
I could see at this point that he had good colour, no sweats and was breathing fine. Something wasn’t right though. I raised my eyebrows to the surrounding family.
“He has pain!”
“Uh huh . . .” I said, as if to say, ‘go on’.
“He has pain in his heart!”
“In his heart?”
“Yes. In his heart. Right there” She pointed at the patient’s chest.
“You mean in his chest?”
“Yes. In his heart”
“In his chest or in his heart?”
“Yes. In his heart. All over”
“So, . . . never mind” I moved forward to the patient and addressed him directly.
“Where exactly is your pain sir?”
“Right here” He said, slowly placing his palm over the centre of his chest
“When did it start?”
“And here” He added, placing his palm slowly on his head
“So you have chest pains and a headache?”
“Pain in my heart”
“Pain in your heart?”
“And pain in my mind”
“In your mind? Do you mean a Headache?”
“My heart and my mind”
His puppy dog eyes were full of tears as he looked up to me forlornly. And with theatrical expertise he sighed and and turned away to stare out the window, continuing to clutch at his chest and head.
Something definitely wasn’t right here. Something I’d seen before. On one or two jobs ages back. What was it now. What was so wrong with this. What was it now . . .
Ah yes! I remember now.
And just like that I stood up. Still looking down at the patient I turned my head slightly to address the family all gathered in the room.
“Has he just broken up with someone?”
“Yes. She told him she no longer loves him. They break up yesterday.”
The patient burst into a new set of tears upon hearing this revisit to his tender memories.
“So. This pain in the heart sir . . . do you actually mean your heart is broken? Do you have a broken heart?”
“Yes. My heart broken. Completely. WHY! JANA, WHY?!!”
This last words set
“Hiya Control. Cancel down any extra resources here. Nothing needed. I’ll um . . . sort this one out”
“Thanks X895*. Red Base Out”
And after a “full” set of obs and a carefully directed talk to the patient and family on what constitutes a 999 call, I left them to it.
In my car I face palmed and chuckled before heading off to my next life saving adventure.
*not my real call sign of course
If you have a story, video or one-off blog that you would like to share with us, then you can contact our team of former emergency services & armed forces personnel either through our Facebook page, via Twitter ( @ES_News_ ) or you can contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you run or manage a ‘job’ social media account and you would like us to share one of your stories then send us a tweet or a message!
If you would like to write an article that you would like us to share (it can be about anything to do with the emergency services / NHS) whether you serve in the emergency services / NHS or whether you are a member of the public who has had a good experience with the emergency services, then feel free to contact our team; anonymously if you prefer.
We are proud to act as a voice for the emergency services, armed forces & health service, with over 500,000 people visiting our website each month.
Before you go...
We need your help. As former emergency services & armed forces personnel, we pride ourselves on bringing you important, fast-moving and breaking news stories & videos which are free from the negative bias which is often directed at the emergency services & NHS by some sections of the mainstream media.
One of the reasons we started 'Emergency Services News' back in 2018 was because we became tired of reading badly informed stories about the emergency services & NHS which seemed only ever to highlight negative aspects of the job.
We want to be the unheard voice of the remarkable men and women who serve in the emergency services, NHS and armed forces. And with around 500k page views each month, we are getting there!
As income from ads, the mainstay source of income for most publishers, continues to decline; we need the help of you, our readers.
You can support emergency services news from as little as £1. It only takes a minute. Every contribution, however big or small, is vital for our future.
Please help us to continue to highlight the life-saving work of the emergency services, NHS and armed forces by becoming a supporter.