After the stress of applying for jobs this August pivoted over the past two weeks, just getting the green light from my supervisor chillaxing in her home turf of Melbourne and then a well deserved break in Dundee over tea, muffins and cakes with Reem, I’ve been hanging out with the SAS in my spare time to gain a deeper appreciation of the vital community work done by these extra-ordinary people day in and day out that many just take for granted. I interact with them constantly but truth be told I still know little of the travails that face them in the front line of pre-hospital medical care so I figured…why not? I had previously hung out with SMUR and SAMU in Lille in the 90s and enjoyed the experience even though they were French (heh).
In the space of a shift, we had covered the run of the mill overdoses, domestic disputes, assaults and stab injuries, unconsciousness, fits, difficulty in breathing, falls with fractures, transfers, bleeding, rushed food and toilet breaks, police, drunk teenagers…it makes you wonder how some people live, if you can call it that.
The down to earth chaps were great to hang out with, the bum numbing bumpy rides in the dark and screaming flashing blue lights may get the pulse racing, but the most extracted from this experience was seeing patients in their own microcosms of existences that put their concerns and illnesses in perspective, the difficulties of caring and extracting confused, scared and sometimes violent people and seeing how we are all interconnected as team members to keep the veneer of civilisation from breaking down.
One notable patient I came across had Parkinson’s disease whose condition contributed to her fall resulting in a closed spiral peri-prosthetic fracture of the femur. It reminded me of the high profile publicity the condition got from the amazing Michael J Fox and this led me through a trip down memory lane when I was randomly surfing the Net…I couldn’t believe I found a particularly memorable episode of Family Ties ("hip parents, square kids"), one of the quintessential 80s sitcoms I grew up with, after something like 20 years. I remember having a crush on Justine Bateman and thinking Michael J Fox was oh-so-cool. Shit, can you imagine TV these days having such a cheese mush fest of an opening song? Isn’t it bloody brilliant?!?
I still recall this particular mushy yet poignant episode of “The Real Thing” as if it was literally yesterday and how massive the song “At This Moment” (by Billy Vera & The Beaters) was back in 1987…a song that I had slowed dance to *sigh*. Wow…I haven’t heard this song until like, uhm...just now…and all the synesthesia and emotional feelings it brought back was….*puppy dog noises*. It was one of the more memorable episodes in which the conservative Republican money-minded Alex .P Keaton met the sensitive insightful artist Ellen Reed, both actors (Fox and Pollan) later marrying in real life and are still together after all these years…which I guess is something akin to forever in Hollywood.
Still, the best two-part episode of Family Ties was and still is the Emmy winning “My name is Alex”…but I can’t seem to locate the whole damn thing yet. Surely the series must be on DVD by now??