One Turn Of The Earth
It all starts on Saturday night after getting home from work.
22:00 Saturday night.
After a 12 hour shift I'm tired, but need a bit of time wind down. I open the fridge to start preparing my food for the next day and am very happy to find my wife has been a few steps ahead of me. Just about everything I need is done. Left with setting up the coffee and cereal for the morning I am happy. A quick rummage through the drawers and I have my uniform ready, plus my training gear. Already for the next day.
I vegetate my brain by watching some mind numbing tv with my wife, before falling asleep at some time after 23:00.
The glass is now empty. Not half full. Not half empty. Completely empty. Time to start training.
From 07:00 I'm in the garage. It's well set up with my weights, and within a couple of minutes I have my bike set up on the mag-trainer. Today is marked as WM. Calling for some power work and anaerobic tolerance training.
After a good 15 minute warm up, I build up to the main set of Push Press @ 43kg for 4x3, followed by Split Jerk @ 38kg for 4x2. The emphasis was on speed of the lift. Plenty of rest between sets allowed my mind to actually stay on task when it counted. The second part of the workout I hit the bike, going nowhere fast for some anaerobic tolerance. After an extra warm up/build up period I hammered it for a simple set of 6 x 1:00 at an anaerobic effort with only 1:00 spin recovery. By the end of the fourth interval my legs were burning and the last two efforts really required me to ignore my body's signals to stop. My respiratory rate was through the roof, my legs felt like they had been plunged into an acidic sea of hydrogen ions. Exactly what was required.
The fun part was now over. I hit the shower at 8:15, giving serious contemplation as to whether or not I can get away with not shaving today. It just seemed like too much effort. Yes I can be very lazy at times. I decided I couldn't get away with it.
A bag of food, a warm jacket and I'm out the door at 8:30. The the good thing about working Sunday, is there's hardly any traffic at this time and I'm at branch within fifteen minutes. It is great working close to home. I check the ambulance is stocked with my partner. It is, but it should be since I was on it yesterday. I sign in the drugs and have a few minutes to get in breakfast before logging on at 09:00.
We're lucky enough to then have time to make use of the branch espresso machine and actually finish the coffee before the bombardment of beeping alerts us to the first job the day. Two portable radios beep, a pager and the computer in the ambulance all blast away with a discordant symphony. My first thought is I'm glad tomorrow is the start of days off. I must be tired.
Being the attendant today which means I get to be the one in the back with the patient. My partner flicks on the disco lights and we make our way through the streets. That's right, it's Sunday morning. Amused by how people switch their brains off on this day and fail to notice a big white truck, with flashing lights and a noisy siren we soon find ourselves at the first patient. Easy and straight forward enough, she has cardiac chest pain and is sick enough we soon pass her over to the MICA crew to continue on to hospital with her.
This is only the start of a busy spell. Job after job roll on. A lady with a chest infection. An elderly man who has a gastrointestinal bleed, complicated by the fact he was a bleeding disorder takes us across the other side of the city for the specialist services he requires. While the transport is long, the time passes quickly with conversation. Everyone has a story and this man creates the perfect picture of what it was like flying various aircraft in World War II.
Our meal break was due at 12:30, but one hour later we are still trying to get back to branch. I have already consumed the various snacks I carry in the ambulance with me, but I am really looking forward to lunch. Unfortunately all the beeping starts again when we are only a few blocks. A man having a heart attack states that his only medical history is "married man syndrome." Finally we pull into branch. Echo. Jargon for meal break. We get our thirty minutes. I down my rolls, talk some rubbish with the other crew and get in another coffee. Those thirty minutes is all we get.
The evening is a bit slower, in that we actually get back to branch for a few minutes between patients. I am getting over the day, despite the patients being good friendly people. A pleasant change from the day before. The last patients blur into one. It is all routine, no one overly sick, and not really needing an ambulance, but it is how the system works.
20:10. Again back in branch. I mop out the truck, and make sure it's all stocked. Now we're in the danger time. Finish time is 21:00, but if we get a job before then, we'll definitely be clocking the overtime. I eat "even more food" according to my partner and this fills in the time until 21:00 rolls around. Today is my lucky day. We finish on time.
On the way home I go through a booze bus, naturally blowing zero. An ice cold beer is waiting in the fridge at home. A change out of uniform and I flop down into the couch with my wife. It's good to be home, soon I'll be in bed and I can sleep in as much as I need. Tomorrow is a day off.