Ryann Reflections

A glimpse into the life of one anti-social stripper nerd.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


The adrenaline is wearing off. I am overwhelmed with sudden exhaustion. I am sitting in my hotel room amazed by the physical and mental fatigue… I try to crack my neck, but I’m too stiff. It’s been a long day… I am staring at the computer screen in a haze, remembering…

The roads are compact ice and snow. Treacherous and beautiful the highway appears before me. There are cars everywhere. As I approach I see the destruction. At least two SUVs are crunched. People are scattered, panicked and helpful. I hit the hazards, pull over and jump out. “Gloves and a mask are in the glove box, grab them.” I hear my voice instruct. I grab my kit from under my seat and run across the slippery road.

They are hurt. They are stuck. I start counting patients and mentally triage. 1… 2, 3, 4… 5… I think… They are young, and scared. The vehicle frame has collapsed, pinning her leg. She’s okay, she’s breathing. I flow into autopilot. There are at least three vehicles. The other girl is not okay. I hear my voice...

…hold her head… have the paramedics been called… grab a pen and paper… stay still sweetie… keep talking to her… if you come around me through this window you can hold her head… what’s your name… how old are you… can you hear me… I need my mask… get the blankets out of the car, they’re in shock… do you have a radial pulse on her… how’s her leg… stay with me sweetie…

It’s a blur. The paramedics arrive. I see firefighters assessing the vehicle. I’m locked on. Her weight is against me, I have to support her. Breathe. The door needs to come off. The commotion continues around me, but I am oblivious. Sparks fly as they begin to cut the metal away.

Collar… Spine board… one out. Pieces of the SUV are peeling away.

As I back away I observe the scene. The firefighters are busy with generators, ripping through the metal body. Paramedics are carrying oxygen tanks and stretchers. Patients are being pulled out. The police are wandering, directing traffic and interviewing bystanders. A crowd has gathered. I notice two young boys inching closer from down the hill, trying to get a better look. The little dog is shivering and scared, but seems uninjured.

I have no idea what caused the collision. Perhaps someone else saw it. My gloved hands are covered in blood, and my sweater is muddy. I circle the perimeter gathering my belongings. My blankets are still covering patients and I know it will be a while before I’m clear to leave. I watch as six firefighters lift the roof off, and place it to the side.

I’m cold. I’m out of supplies. I know I need to go shopping tomorrow. New gloves, new mask, new kit…

Someone takes my contact information.

I’m done. I clean up, and disinfect my hands.
I stuff my blankets and muddy kit in garbage bags and we get back into the car.
It will be hours of cleanup and traffic delays, but we have barely begun our journey.

I drive. Carefully.

… That’s my other life… back to dancing... I'm safe in Fort Saint John.
... and I need to sleep.

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