Dust Bunnies

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Hey, and welcome to the new people on LJ who’ve friended me. If I’ve not friended you back, and you use the Cyrillic alphabet then, uh, sorry… While I’m sure you’re interesting people I’ve no idea what you’re saying – and attempting to translate your language using Google results in a journal that reads much like the ‘Catalogue’ (or manual as I optmistically call it) for my MP4 player. I have vague plans to learn Russian (hell, I want a Ural so that’s a handy skill); but haven’t done so yet (I used to know the Russian Alphabet, and that’s about as far as I got), but until then, hey! Hope you’re enjoying the English (or Ehglisn as the manual calls it) language version of my journal :)

Anyhow, it’s 1524 and I should be working on ATNC. I’ve been doing it all afternoon (I got up somewhat late and then watched Cutting Edge’s: The Ambulance, 8 Minutes to Disaster) but my builder just unleashed the power of dust on me (with a +4 goggles modifier, I fear). To give you an idea, the windows in the rest of the house are shut, the doors ‘twixt the cutting and here were shut, the door between the kitchen (where he’s cutting) and the rest of the house has been taped over with plastic, then plaster board’s been applied over that.

About half an hour in I got the vague impression there was dust getting in to the room – and looked at the floor between the bedroom and the lounge and noted a cloud of dust slowly rising. I got up, stuck my head in the office to see a room with a white-red tinge and looking for all the world like a set in some kind of dust-bowl film. Taking this as my cue to go outside I shut both doors (the bathroom with it’s tiled floor seems, thankfully, to have more or less escaped (although the ventilator’s open in that room) and went out the front door to our Mars Moonscape. A plume of red dust floated out from the corridor between our house and the neighbours. The minor is coated, the DAF being further away has, I think, escaped. From this mist, coughing, emerged my builder, who looked like he’d been an extra in a Sony Bravia advert.

Now he’s finished I’ve performed a degree of dust clearance by turning the fan on in the office with the window open, I’ve just stuck it in to the bedroom… it does appear to be achieving the desire of keeping the dust more or less airborn and floating some of it out the window.

Strangely the lounge doesn’t seem substantially different to how it was after the first day of building when they failed to tape up the door way (dust sheets are misnamed). In the words of their manager – it’s the kind of mistake his builders only make once, and the room will be cleaned (the carpet, sofa and chair cleaned with a professional furniture cleaner).

My black laptop is currently white. Very mac.

So, I watched Cutting Edge – which features ambulance crews I know. It’s interesting; seeing it from the view of an emergency nurse I think it’s probably not an unreasonable view of the crews on the road – of the dark humour we all maintain which keeps our sanity in check, of the way you laugh. But I can also see that the from the perspective of the general public it could be difficult to understand. When you’ve not met hundreds of people who’ve taken an overdose, often because of an argument with a partner, who massively overwhelm the number of people you’ll meet who have severe mental health problems, or who self harm, then the comments about overdosing because your partner left you almost certainly seem glib. Stella and Ian are a great crew, and I’d be very happy to see them turn up, and I know they are sympathetic with people – but their portrail didn’t seem that way… It’s difficult, in 45 minutes can you capture why people do the job they do.

I just read the ATNC description of Trauma / ER nurses and I’ll tell you something it ain’t that flattering. Looking at it objectively I can see myself there, described in some slightly uncomplimentary ways (Strong need to be needed? Check. Bored easily? Check. Short attention span? Check.), and I know that I sit in the coffee room and joke about the people I’ve treated. If I didn’t then I’d not be able to cope with doing chest compressions on someone nearly 10 years younger than me, when it’s obvious he’s dead but you just want to give it that one extra round to make sure that you’ve covered every possible base, ‘cos you shouldn’t die in your 20s. Or to care for the older patient who’s been left in bed 24/7 because the care home don’t have ‘the staff or equipment’ to give her the physio she should have had to get her back on her feet. Or to deal appropriately with abuse from someone who’s so drunk they’ve collapsed, been incontinent and yet still think the NHS owes them something.

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things in extraordinary circumstances should perhaps be given the leeway to develop appropriate coping mechanisms, and the criticisms I’ve heard from some patients of the staff who were in cutting edge are frankly unfounded. I suspect most of them still think of Nurses, Doctors and Ambulance People as some kind of ministering angel, who’ll make it all better, and forget we are just ordinary soles who need to deal with our every day life, go shopping and cook dinner when we go home…

I think that may have been a bit of a sub-rant review… well, I blame it on coming off nights. That and the fact that our house is filled with dust.


Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at pyoor.org...