Monday, August 28, 2006

Bottom of the World, Ma

Kimberly got a good phone call from her best friend, Donna. So her day started out with a big laugh. I got a call to go to work at the prep school, which is what I have been waiting for, and the painter was painting and the roofers were insulating. Furniture is finally being delivered tomorrow!! All was right with the world.

Then the phone rang yet again. It was the Nelson Hospital, asking if Kimberly would escort a patient on a flight to Christchurch.

Well, duh.

"I couldn't get dressed fast enough and I didn't even need to be in uniform, (picture coming soon...wait for it...)

I arrived at the hospital with the ambulance waiting for the patient and me to take us the the airport.

I was handed the patient chart and a bottle of liquid morphine to keep "Ivan", my patient comfortable. No, Barry, there is none left.

We arrived at Nelson Airport to find a private plane waiting for us. It only held 10 people. But I had been in much smaller planes while visiting Alaska, so this was no big deal.

The reason we were going to Christchurch (CHCH) is that Nelson does not have an MRI machine and Ivan needed an MRI.

Jason, an American RN working for Doctor's Flying Services, along with the Pilots, Barry and Steve, escorted us onto the plane.

We took off into perfect weather. After making sure Ivan was "comfortable", (sorry again, Monk) I was given headphones like a football coach and this was the mode of communication for the next hour.

While trying to read Ivan's chart, I was distracted by what was out the window. I was looking down on the Southern Alps, the highest mountains in the Southern Hemisphere...and we were damn close.

For the next 30 minutes I was speechless and talkative at the same time. These guys take this trip 3 times a day, but it was my first I wanted to know everything. They pointed out sites as we flew. It was simply splendid and unique.

As we neared CHCH, we started our descent.

Another ambulance was waiting to take us to the hospital, which turned out the wrong one. Back in the ambulance to the correct one, 45 Minute MRI, more morphine, back to the ambulance, back to the plane, more morphine. All staff was friendly and efficient.

6:15 PM departure back to Nelson. We took off to a spectacular sunset.

Quiet ride back ending with Jason, the nurse, asking me if I was interested in a job with the company since one of their other nurses just quit that very day.

Stay tuned.


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