Driving an ambulance most days is a thankless task. From having to lift the morbidly obese to dealng with drunks throwing up on you, it’s just not fun.
99% of ambulance workers are unsung heros who do it because they care, but the service they work for in the Australian state of Queensland has a lot to answer for. When the average ambulance pick up is admitted to a hospital ward, once stabilized they are allowed to walk around with no orderly required because mother nature did a great job, you come with all the equipment needed to do it yourself.
Every now and then, whether mother nature makes a mistake or by some unexpected event, the right of birth to stand up and walk is taken away. For those of us fortunate enough to recover to a certain level they put wheels under our asses and we need those wheels 24/7 to maintain as normal a standard of life as possible.
Recently, this writer, while enjoying a leisurely Sunday found herself gripping her chest and her partner calling emergency. The ambulance arrived and it was decided I need transportation, but when leaving we were told “leave the chair, bringing it is against state rules.” Really? Do you then tell accident victims “choose a end, we have to amputate the other?”
So if, as was the case, 24 hours later I am discharged — do I swim home? Crawl? Or does my main squeeze carry me (other than emotionally)? What the hell!
A lie was told that there would be a chair provided for me at the hospital during my entire stay. No, there would not be. Chairs are strictly for transportation in the control of a orderly from one department to another. If I want to use the toilet, are orderlies required to move me 6 feet from my bed when I’m totally capable of doing it myself? Really Queensland, after devastating floods surely you can find more important ways to spend your ever dwindling health budget.
Queensland, this is the worst kind of bigotry. Disability, when it comes, doesn’t care your race, religion or color so when you seperate us from the one thing that helped us get back some level of dignity you show you don’t give a damn. If chairs don’t fit in ambulances, stop wasting money and redesign your damn vehicles because WE CANT REDESIGN OUR BODIES.
It’s love me — love my chair.