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Tough call


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Hello all.

I am a paramedic by profession. Although I just started I am pretty strong stomached. Last shift I saw something that has finally managed to shake me since it involves roaches.

A call reporting “difficulty breathing” pretty standard call. When we arrived to the duplex, the door was open there was an overwhelmingly strong waft of “roach” pouring out of the door. Upon entering the residency “11:00 am”The walls were covered and I mean COVERED with B. germanica and as the ray of light poured into the room the roaches ran for the shadows. There was so many of them that they fell off the wall in clumps. There was also a huge number of dead and live P. Americana on the floor some struggling to pull their feet out of the carpet as we walked across them.

We found the patient lying down on his couch. He was wheezing heavily and claimed he ran out of his medication of albuterol for his asthma. We pulled the patient outside on a scoop stretcher since there were so many roaches we couldn’t put down our equipment on the carpet. While treating the patient with albuterol and O2 I noticed there was B. germanica scurrying out of his jeans. Upon closer inspection of the patient I noticed his finger nails were short and all had a certain shape to them can’t really explain it. The hair on his arms looked as if they have been cut with old scissors. I asked him about this and he straight out told me “The bugs be eating me.” He even stated they would eat his scabs. After the treatment he felt much better and decided that he did not want to go to the hospital. I told him to take down the curtains and open the windows during the day and close them at night. He had a A/C box at one time but when he turned it off roaches would get in and die.

This was a tough call in many different ways. But I just can’t help and feel terribly upset for this poor older man who has little means to take care of himself and cannot even afford air conditioning. Let alone call an exterminator and have the entire building purged.

Just a short roach related story everyone I am sure their are worse.

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That is definitely no easy sight to see. I was living with a friend last summer (we are no longer friends, BECAUSE of that house) and their house was like this as well. Sleeping was a nightmare, whenever I woke up I'd have to get all the roaches off of me and out of my clothes. Heartbreakingly, there were children in this house (they no longer live there) and they would be sitting at a table covered in roaches, they themselves were covered in roaches, and it got to the point where I was the only one reacting to them, everyone else got used to them. Well, I suppose my point is, when someone has been living like that for so long, they get used to it. :[ I got out of that house ASAP and I just can't imagine someone living in a situation where they are quite literally being eaten alive.

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What a great, sad story!

Check with your employer first, but please call this man's landlord and threaten them with a lawsuit! This story epitomizes unsanitary conditions.

Better yet, call the media (or threaten to). They would LOVE this story and would surely pressure the landlord to address the issue.

You saved his life in the short term, but he's not done livin' yet! It will happen again.

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Sounds like Joe's apartment and they were just keeping him well-groomed. :D

I'd rather have a house full of American roaches than Germans. X_X

Sounds like a nightmare living there. I'd love to live in South America where there are Blaberids scurrying around in every room, but I think a wall covered in anything is just scary. I hope something gets done about his living conditions.

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I am a little hesitant to do anything since I would violate some privacy laws such as HIPPA violation and such.

We offered plenty of help but in some lower income inner cites the patients can be brutally ignorant and even worse would call a lawyer’s whom Medical transport companies and fire departments so lovingly call ambulance chasers.

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Feel bad for that guy. Well sounds like he needs a lot of caulking at his place. Reminds me of living in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Woke up one morning getting tickled and it wasn't my wife just some germans that wanted to cuddle. Boy we just caulked and treated my lab for ants those buggers moved to the ceiling cost a 200 at cost to do the floor level pesticides/caulking/labor.

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