Monday, October 26, 2009

Tips on Overdosing - A Guide for the Do It Yourselfer

EMT's are not quite as dumb as you think we are, so here are some tips on doing and calling in your own OD. Following these tips will make the call more interesting for EMS and more fun for you, so please pay attention and follow along.

1. If you are going to make a heroic effort in your current condition to move your normally barely ambulatory body to your living room, unlock your door, and position yourself on the sofa, so we can see your barely alive self slumped on your couch, please remember to unlock both your main front door and your screen/glass door or we most definitely will break the door down to get to you. Also, please buy a door with a stronger handle. If I tug on the door because I think it's just stuck and the handle breaks and I cut my hand, I might lose focus on your plight for a moment.

2. If you forget to unlock the screen/glass door, please do not move your nearly lifeless body suddenly to the door to unlock it when you hear me asking for tools to break in. It kinda blows the illusion you're going for.

3. If you do choose to hop up and unlock the door you forgot to unlock because you do not want us to break it, please do not return to the sofa and resume the exact nearly lifeless position you were just in. Maybe fall on the floor or something. Just a suggestion.

4. If you plan to vomit for our benefit upon our arrival, at least swallow some empty capsules or sugar pills, so we see something in your vomitus. If you OD'd 15 minutes ago, trust me, particles would still be in your stomach.

5. Vomiting should not take the much effort if you just OD'd. If it doesn't come easy, don't force it. Again. You're really trying to make me believe.

6. If you want me to believe you really did OD on prescription meds, pick one that would match up with the effects you are play acting. If the pills and the symptoms don't match, I'm not gonna buy it. Again, you really have to work a little to keep the illusion going for me.

7. If you tell me you OD'd on one of your prescription meds, toss them in the toilet or something and present me with the empty bottle. If you tell me you took XXX drug, and I open your prescription bottle and count 28 pills, and the label says there were 30 in the bottle ... again with the illusion. It just faded a little.

8. Please specify WHICH top drawer you are talking about when I ask where you keep all your meds. I am planning to go get them and bring them with me to the hospital. I will be opening the drawer to do this. If I open the wrong top drawer and find your porn stash, I could be traumatized for minutes, hours or days. It's not nice to traumatize the person who is trying so very hard to save your life. You OD'd remember? I'm here to help.

9. Oxygen doesn't fix everything. Even though I will swear it does, it doesn't. So when you improve DRAMATICALLY in the ambulance on 2 liters of O2 and nothing else, you are once again messing with the illusion.

10. Precipitous drops in vigor and acute onset blindness are not symptoms of many drugs. Hardly any actually. So if you're pink and chatty and happy in the amalance, don't expect me, the nurses or the ED doc to believe you have suddenly become so lethargic that you literally cannot lift a finger, and that you have suddenly gone blind as we pass thru the ED doors. Not even the phlebotomy student is buying this.

11. I absolutely will tell the ED doc that your are full of shit if you push me far enough. And yes, in case you're wondering. You pushed me far enough.

Try again another day. With these tips in hand, you might be more successful.

12. One last tip. If you print these tips out, do not have them within sight when I show up. I actually enjoy well acted plays, and I'd like to play along as long as you can keep me interested.

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