While I was in my two year RN program, I was working for Da City, on EMS. Once the program director had made sufficiently clear to me that, no, I could not skip lectures, and, since it was, ya know, spelled out explicitly in the program rules that I had to show my fuzzy butt up for all classes and suchlike, well, I showed my fuzzy butt up as directed.
Of course, this meant that I was acutely-on-chronically sleep deprived. I figure that, by the time I graduated, I was on the order of 2,000 hours short on sleep, maybe more. So, entertaining things happened.
Fer instance, TINS©, one day I had arranged for one of the day shift guys to arrive at around 0530, instead of 0700, because I had clinical at 0700. Imagine my disappointment when my friend did not arrive at 0530. or 0600. I called him, he apologized effusively, and rolled in around 0630. I, of course, unassed the fire house, and beat feet towards clinical.
I probably was going around 55 when I passed the patrol car in the 35 mile an hour zone that was East Vernor. He hit the lights, and initiated a traffic stop. I, no surprise, stopped.
At this time, this was the Seventh Precinct. I had caught a run with one of these crews, probably a couple of weeks prior to this close encounter with law enforcement, for a “seizure”. My partner, we’ll call him Johnny, was medic-ing that particular night. As we pulled up, one officer was excitedly directing us to “Hurry Up! She’s seizing!”
Once we made our way into the residence, there was, indeed, a woman on the floor who appeared very much like someone in the middle of a grand mal seizure. Johnny went to work, getting vitals, and I headed off to see if there were any medication on the counter, or other indications of what might be going on.
To my surprise, as I passed her head, her eyes tracked my movements. Startled, I knelt down, and asked her, “Ma’am? What’s going on?”
She spoke (surprising, as this does not happen in an individual having a seizure), saying, “I’m having a seizure!”
Since this was my semester in psych, I had been studying (again, surprising) anti psychotic medications and their adverse reactions. Therefore, I asked her, “Are you taking medicines for your nerves?”
“Any new ones?”
“Yeah, on my counter over there.” (still tonic-ing and clonic- away). I retrieved a nearly full bottle of haloperidol, and asked her, “Is this the new medicine?”
“Yeah, that’s the new stuff.”
I looked at Johnny, and we nodded. “Ma’am, we’ll get you to TBTCIDC, and they will fix you right up! Some cogentin, and you ought to be as good as new!”
The cops looked puzzled. I explained. “Sometimes this sort of medicine causes this sort of reaction. There’s a shot to reverse it, and the doc will either change her dose, or her medicine.”
For the rest of that schedule, the officers in that precinct thought I could walk on water. This was A Good Thing, as I put on my 4 way flashers, put the car in park, and exited the car, hoping to make a rapid explanation, and skedaddle so I would not be too, too late for clinical.
Once I was clear of the car, still in my EMS uniform, the officer driving the car stood up, waved me off, and said, “Oh, it’s YOU. Go on, just slow it down, willya?”
“Yessir, Officer! Will do! Tenkyouberramuch!”