An “83 year old female with back pain and can’t move.” Great. This sounds serous. At least the dispatcher didn’t say “new onset of immobility.”
That’s the catchphrase lately.
We arrive at the residence, a two-story attached townhouse in a nice area. The door is locked. The fire department meets us at the door, and refuses to allow me to kick in the door.
Something about a “hidden key.”
“But she could be dying in there!”
One day, they are going to let me kick in a door, I can just feel it.
So we find this lady, who, sure enough, is 83 years old. And, what do you know, she says her back hurts. And, if you can believe it, she says she can’t move. Dispatch is 3-for-3 on this one. She is laying in bed, with her dog standing next to her. I notice the dog has stairs to get up and down the bed.
I learn the dog is a Bichon Frise’. His name is Hercule. He looks like a fluffy soccer ball. The patient/lady/owner/doggymommy says she is a big fan of Agatha Christie. She thinks I won’t get the reference.
I do, but just don’t care.
“Ma’am, we are going to put our stretcher next to your bed, then we will lift you and move you.”
“Okay. Is someone going to take my dog?”
“We will put him in your bathroom while we move you over, then we can let him out once we get you in the ambulance.”
“No, he needs to go with me.”
“Ma’am, he can’t go with you.”
“But he has separation anxiety.”
I cannot believe that I am actually hearing this shit. My eyes roll so far in the back of my head, I can see my senior prom. Slimm is dumbfounded. The fire guys are scratching their heads.
“He has separation anxiety?”
“Yes. It’s very bad.” She looks at Mr. Poirot, and kind of whispers to us “He probably needs…medication.”
“Ma’am, we can’t take the dog.”
“But you have to.”
“Is he a service dog?”
“A service dog. Is he trained to help you with some sort of disability?”
“No, he’s like my son.”
“He’s not coming to the hospital with us.”
“Then I’m not going either.”
Sigh. “But you said you can’t move.”
“I’ll call my daughter, and she will come take Hercule, and then I will call 911 again.”
Sigh. “Sign here.”