Code 3 for vomiting blood. It’s 3am.
A young woman meets us outside, and she leads us into the house. There was clearly a large party with dozens of other college students still hanging around.
“My friend drank a lot and puked his guts out. There was a little blood in it. I called my friend, who’s a paramedic, and he said that it could be serious and we should call you guys.”
I seriously doubt that ANY actual working paramedic would suggest calling 911 at 3am for a drunk kid with some blood-tinged vomiting. For that, a jury of his peers would burn his license on the spot before stoning him to death.
I do not say anything.
Anyway, a 22-year-old college student/athlete is prone on his bed. He is mostly fine, meaning he is not completely wasted. He can answer questions and is even able to walk. He just feels “terrible” after all the alcohol, as if that’s news to anyone.
They show us the vomitus, which is in a plastic bag as well as a small paper box. (Don’t ask me why; I don’t know either.) Sure enough, there is maybe a tiny strand of blood-tinged mucus among with the copious amounts of food and alcohol.
Perhaps noticing that no one is jumping up and down over this, his girlfriend says, “This is pretty much a nonsense call to you guys, right?”
Right about now, I have what I can only describe as an explosion of thoughts in my head, all of them less-than-appropriate responses to being asked that question at 3am. I almost have to put my hands over my mouth to stop myself. My eyes are twitching as I struggle to keep myself from saying anything satisfying.
Sometimes, the silence is deafening.