As well as my (extremely time-consuming) activities with the Organisation, I am also a member of the theatre and event technical society on campus. I don’t do much for them, I don’t really have the time, but when I can I go down and help out. Recently I signed up to help out with the panto on campus, asking if I could run the lighting desk. I’ll admit that it’s been a long time since I did anything properly like this, but I do mostly know my way around a desk and with a little time I’m certain I could get back to it, and perhaps it would get me back in to doing this sort of thing on even an occasional basis.
I discovered today that I haven’t got the position. I won’t pretend that I’m not disappointed. This would be the first event in a long time where I’ve been able to make the time to help out, so I was really hoping to get the opportunity. I was also a little irritated to discover that the job has been given to someone who already has another (admittedly related) role in the show, when the position was offered up as a separate role. I won’t deny, he’s a lot better at that sort of thing than I am, and a lot more experienced in general, but that doesn’t really help stop it sting. Perhaps I’d be less annoyed if a new member was doing the role (after all, them gaining experience is more valuable to the society), but somehow I doubt it.
I could still do the event in some other role, but I have to weigh the benefits against having to take a night or two off of Cadets, and given that we’re short-staffed as it is, I think I’d struggle to justify it to myself.
This is always the way these things tend to work with me. I’m just a little sad, as I probably won’t be able to do any more of the theatre events after this. They all tend to fall on a Tuesday, a Wednesday and/or a Thursday, all evenings when I’m busy.
Sometimes I regret joining the Organisation, or how involved I’ve got in it, for all the stress that it’s caused and all the opportunities I’ve missed because of it. The fact that I can’t go be part of the University Band, or attend the sort of events I’m interested in with the society, or the other half-dozen things that all fall on a Thursday night.
Of cause, then I remember that because of it I can crew ambulances, and get to cycle around on the cool bikes, and I suppose that does make up for it. A little. I just wish I could do everything…
There are some stories that you just can’t make up.
This week, I was on duty at the UniTown theatre. This time it was a show I wanted to watch, which is almost as bad as using the q word.
My partner and my house-mate sit down, and the music starts. Almost immediately, we are approached by a member of theatre of staff.
“You’re needed downstairs.”
Brilliant. We have brought a kit and an AED to the theatre, and grab the kit as we head in the direction we are pointed. Sure enough, we find an old woman sitting on a chair, looking unwell, accompanied by her daughter.
Daughter tells us that she was complaining that her chest hurt, she is having a little difficulty breathing and is feeling tired. I have a quick look at our patient. She is old and rather a bit overweight, so there is a good chance this is the serious kind of chest pain.
Our patient refuses to answer most of my questions chosen to confirm this, becoming very snappy when I try to get a history. My house-mate wasn’t able to get her pulse, and she wouldn’t stop talking long enough to get her breathing rate.
Then comes the comment from our patient that I can’t believe:
“I’m probably just having another heart attack.”
My house-mate gives me a look that makes it clear she’s just taken a mental double-take. It is a challenge for me to stop my jaw from dropping. Our patient’s tone had been so matter-of-fact, she might as well have been talking about the weather. There was none of the panic normally associated with a heart attack. None of the ‘impending sense of doom’ we joke about in training sessions. I didn’t think anyone could be so blasé about the real possibility of a potentially fatal condition.
Oh yeah, and she refuses to take aspirin and won’t tell me why… It just get’s better.
I skip immediately from ‘trying to work out what’s happening, possibly need an ambulance’ to ‘I want an ambulance yesterday’! I tell Daughter’s son to go grab the bag with our AED in, and the theatre’s duty manager to get me an ambulance.
During my conversation with the ambulance call taker, our patient finally decides to tell me that she’s on Warfarin. This explains why she doesn’t want to take aspirin. Via me, the call taker tries to overrule this instruction, but we both get ignored.
It takes another hour until my house-mate and I get our heads around what we’ve just seen.
I don’t like living alone. I am currently in rattling around in a house designed for four, and nobody else is likely to turn up for at least a couple of days. This sucks. Even though I don’t see very much of my housemates on a normal day, it is nice to know there’s someone else around.
Thankfully I had Theatre Duty this evening, so I had a good reason to get out of the house. It is panto season, one of my favourite parts of the year. Sometimes the Theatre Duty is a drag, with dull plays that I try not to fall asleep in. I love panto season, and this year’s one lived up to it’s ‘brilliantly bad’ reputation. Frustratingly, I ended up doing the duty on my own, not an ideal situation. By the time I knew this, I was already at the Theatre, and I didn’t really feel that I could leave again. Thankfully nothing happened, though I was a little nervous.
I got home just in time for the news. Apparently, there is currently a severe weather warning out for HomeTown, and I some form of warning or caution out for UniTown and WorkTown. I have work tomorrow, and the commute there involves a train journey, preceded by a walk down hill. Last year, when it snowed and they ran out of grit, this walk was particularly unpleasant. I’ll have to wait and see about tomorrow, but I could be getting in late…
Look after yourselves in this cold weather.