Nov 17, 2010
Its not the first time, nor the last time that we'll be on this street. It was the worst road in the city, I stand corrected, the worst in the county for a long long time. Then it became to run down even for the gang bangers to be in. The rats and even the roaches have been moving out in the past few months. We've rolled down the ave on a weekly basis before, now its just for an entirely different reason. Before it was gun shots and stabbings, beatings and rapes, despair and death. Now these shells of building blocks are filled with the poorest of the poor who call for pink eye, slivers and a running nose. We roll down the street for our Alpha call to see the children of the block not riding bikes or skate boards, but rolling around in shopping carts. No baseballs and bats just sticks and rocks in an emptied burnt out lot but one thing is not lost on me, the smiles on their faces. We roll up on what we think is the house by our guess because there are no numbers labeling the homes. Not even sure this shambled hut is occupied as we call on scene, with its boarded up windows and cardboard covered doorways we exit the rig. The city has even given up on this area, the road is more like gravel than asphalt, the side walk a huddled mass of existence. We walk down the stairs to the porch which is lower by at least ten feet than the street. The sound of exiting cars on the off ramp that butts up to the back of the hut. The only knowledge of life being in this place is a faint light coming from behind the tattered black plastic bag used as a wind deterrent. Inside I try not to pass judgment, but heating a home with your stove? I mean there has to be a better way to live than this. Walking my patient out I feel I should wipe my feet before I exit the homestead, feeling I wouldn't want to dirty the environment.
In the rig I know that no matter the complaint, its an emergency to my patient. No matter the ability to pay, this patient deserves the best care that I can provide. No matter my opinion of her hygiene level, or lack of, she is my client and deserves my all.