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14/06/2019: Research is Everywhere

Recently I visited Los Angeles. It was essentially a research trip and while we were there we had great time.

Sadly, there was a need during this trip to call 9-1-1 because I'd become so ill an ambulance was called. It wasn't a decision taken lightly and for me, barely able to comprehend what was happening, it was a scary situation.

Details of my complaint aren't necessary, the taking on board of the processes are useful especially if a situation like this cropped up when writing a novel. Despite remembering very little of what went on - only recalling some bits in part - I've been told about it by my family who witnessed all of it.

As an ambulance was called, we expected to see an ambulance; after all, why wouldn't you? My daughter and husband waited at the door as the siren was approaching but instead of an ambulance, a firetruck showed up. Puzzled, my family saw the paramedics get out and showed them the way to me.

Fortunately I was going to be okay but it would take some time. Between my husband and daughter they gave the person in charge my details (husband forgot my birth date, presumably due to the intensity of the situation, and gave them his!) They remained for about 15 minutes but to me it felt like hours, not because it was boring but because i had lost all ability to comprehend and track time.

With copious amounts of sympathy for my situation, they advised two options: wait for the ambulance which was on its way anyway/use our car to get me to the hospital or tough it out. I chose to tough it out because the thought of taking up their time and utilising an ambulance and hospital bed that someone else worse off than me frightened me more than what I was going through.

Information and advice was given by two very sympathetic paramedics and the woman in charge (plus the firefighter/firetruck driver) and they advised my family to send the details to our travel insurers once their bill had been received by us when we were back in the UK. Our bill came through this week and we're in the process of sending it to the insurers.

All of this would have been a mystery to me unless I had seen it first hand. Hollywood movies and TV dramas don't necessarily show you the ins and outs of paperwork processes - essentially because it would be boring. But it is real life.

A month on and I can take some positives from my ordeal like some vital research information that I wouldn't normally have known. It seems the Anaheim Fire and Rescue Department share equipment (like the firetruck that brought them to me) like they do on, say, Chicago Fire (TV drama) but to witness it in real life means I can write about it with authority. After all, who sends a firetruck to someone in need of an ambulance?

Finally, if they ever read this blog, I want to extend my sincere thanks to the guys who came out to me that night and to my family to whom I gave quite fright.



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