Downing st. Requiem

  I open today with a question.Does your job have a bathroom around some corner or in a hallway,easily accessible to you?Does your job have a water fountain and coffee maker?Perhaps an area with a microwave?We do,but in the garages we have.Three in total.Platte,just outside downtown,Boulder and my garage,East Metro,just off Colfax and Billings.But alas our jobs as drivers requires us to be driving and not necessarily hanging out at the garage.When one is need of food and water we must carry and provide such ourselves.A restroom can be tricky.Most places off Colfax don’t offer public restrooms, even to us in uniform.Certain privileges such as those mentioned are not alloted us.We must find our own means.
  Sometimes we have issues that require us to get relieved early.Does your job allow you to leave early if you are sick?You clock out and leave if you just can’t make it through the day?Our job is a little trickier…Once a friend of mine had a heart attack on duty.He was doing the 32.Something went wrong,he slumped in the driver’s seat and put in the emergency call setting to dispatch.He was pulled over at 23rd and York st.He was gasping for air and all he could get out to dispatch was “ambulance,ambulance…”At this point he fell to the floor of the bus and lied there holding his chest and trying to breathe.An elderly man walked to him and said “Can you just drive to Colorado Blvd and drop me off,then back the bus up here for an ambulance?” Another passenger blurted out “Can’t you see this man is having a heart attack??If you ask again I’ll take your skinny old white ass and throw you to Colorado!!”He ended up surviving and got healthy enough to continue driving.He was saved.
  Sometimes I get migraines. They come on from time to time.I have learned many techniques to stop them,but sometimes they happen and I can’t deter them.It’s at this point I have to call in for sick relief. I can’t just tell my supervisor I have one and leave.I have people on the bus.I am out at some point in the city,often miles from my garage.Once I call in for sick relief,dispatch has to call my division. From there they work out which extra board driver has the hours available to cover me.From there,they have to figure out how to get that driver to me.Sometimes it can be tricky,because each division has only one car for these situations. Sometimes street supervisors are on calls as well.In the meantime you have to try and continue on unless it’s too unbearable,but when you have people on the bus depending on you,you want to try your hardest to continue service. It has been well over a decade where I worked at a job with luxuries like a bathroom and food available. Where I can just clock out and go home if I start throwing up or have a migraine.
  Out on the road you really have to rely on yourself for many things.We don’t have a kit with bandaids and headache relief.We provide these things ourself.You as passengers see us as drivers with backpacks.Our backpacks provide us with the things we need.
  I drove,and got a call to pull over.I had a migraine and had been vomiting from the pain.I was pulling over at bus stops and vomiting in the trash cans at each one. When I got the call to pull over,it was over an hour since I called it in.The driver taking over wandered out of the supervisor car and I relayed what information he needed like detours and where the person who needed the lift had to get out.The passengers sat confused and wondering what was going on.In the meantime I made my way to the supervisor car to be carted back to the garage.The bus sat at Downing st as the new driver set up the mirrors.I put my head against the window because the pressure felt good.At last I could get home and get to a nice dark place to rest.At home with accessible water and restroom….At home with things I needed…In a place where I could stretch out and have all basic human necessities available.


4 thoughts on “Downing st. Requiem

  1. Yes, I feel your pain with the migraines. I get them frequently and very bad ones at that. I had one so bad last week that I ended up in the ER where I finally got some much needed relief.

    Liked by 1 person

      • They gave me a migraine cocktail which was a steroid and some reglan and benadryl and gave me fluids that didn’t work so they gave me toradol and that didn’t work either they finally gave me a shot of imitrex which finally gave me some relief. I got in to see a dr on Thursday and she put me back on a preventative and gave me imitrex for breakthrough migraines and then also told me to take magnesium and vitamin B2 so far so good with all of that.

        Liked by 1 person

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