A long day continues

1700 hours. Sitting in a café in wellington beside a bunch of french folk. Perhaps unremarkable. But i’ve been having a good day.

Good in that it’s already 32 hours long and I haven’t slept. I’m not gonna make my bed for another 14.

I’m on night shift in the unit at the mo, which is turning into one prolonged entire weekend shift. I started at 4pm yesterday. I left spuddy and phil to go to taupo for the evening (people who know NZ geography know you don’t go to taupo for a night), and plodded into a busy enough evening and night shift with a third of my work being nursing (rolling patients, giving drugs, doing the bloods) cause we’re just desperately short at the mo. Of nurses I mean.

One pretty sizeable overdose, a woman with lungs so stiff we couldn’t get air either in or out of her lungs a little old man with inoperable bowel cancer and four cups of coffee later, i’d made it to morning. I phoned spuddy (weird phoning your own flat to get hold of someone else) and got a groggy, sleepy agreement to a  morning surf. Only slightly less groggy and sleepy than my suggestion.

At ocean beach for 9am. And the surf was pretty big. Not exactly consistent or even that surfable but big. Each wave like a rugby tackle (ta for that one spud) to the chest and a huge rip tide that dragged you down the beach at an alarming rate. Lots of fun. But hard work. Didn’t matter, it was another crisp hawke’s bay morning and I was on the beach.

I’d made it five mins from home (and sweet brekkie) when the phone rang and Ross (my boss) asks was I doing anything important and could I fly a patient to wellington. 20 mins later i’m back in work and facing the usual ‘do you never leave?’ comments.

Because I was on nights at the weekend spud and phil were over, they’d planned to go off and their own and do a few things. Top of the list being NZ v France at the Westpac stadium in wellington. I was jealous, good old fashioned jealousy. The first time since i’ve got to NZ that I didn’t really want to go to work.

Cause i ‘d come back in to do a transfer when I was meant to be kipping, ross said to not bother with the night shift and just come back on sunday night. At which point a cunning plan formed.

I’m about to get in a helicopter to go to wellington, and will in fact get there before spud and phil (who left an hour before). My boss is now telling me that I don’t need to come back to work tonight. There’s  abig rugby game tonight in wellington. Indeed there are tickets left. So in fact there’s no need for me to come back in the helicopter at all. It’s just a cheap and efficient means of getting to the game, well for me anyhow.

So with the encouragement of my boss (‘give me a ring if you can’t get a ticket, I know some people’ dear knows who…) I grab a warm jacket and a camera, and oh yes the patient having the heart attack, mustn’t forget them, and jump in the chopper.

Land on the roof in wellington, hand over the patient and 10 mins later i’m in a taxi to the stadium as the heli goes back to hawke’s bay. I feel like royalty. This doesn’t happen often, let me have my moment.


Turns out wellington is a lovely city, though that’s maybe only because the sun is shining for the first time in 10 months of flying patients here. I get a ticket easy enough, just two rows from phil and spud, which is of course most unfortunate, and in no way intended…


And so I end up here sitting in a café in wellington beside a bunch of french folk. Perhaps unremarkable. But i’ve been having a good day.

So whenever spud and phil finally get here… I mean they left an hour before me… Some people… We’ll watch the game and then spud will drive me back as I try to get a few hours sleep in the back of the car. If only cause I felt bad for abandoning Ross without a registrar on a saturday night. I’ll be back in the unit by 2am, and only another 8 hrs till the day is finally over, somwhere around the 52 hour mark. Pass the espresso…


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June 2007
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