Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Friday, July 6, 2012

On top of a drunk woman

Just home from our Friday night drop-in centre. We were just about to close up when a couple who had left came back up the stairs. Nick called me over and said, "It's 'x' (one of our well known women) she's out the door on the foot path drunk as!" I went down and she had decided to visit us, got to the church door and collapsed. I tried to sit her up, but she kept sliding down. I wandered across to the ambulance station to see if I could get help but nobody was home. I went back and she had crawled into the door of the church intent on getting to the drop-in. I thought I might be able to take her home and a guy and I tried to lift her onto a chair. He gave up, and she was determined not to go outside, yelling her protests, while the Korean young people were trying to hold a prayerful service next door. I was trying to pull her up on my own, she pulled against me and before I knew it we were face to face on the floor. In the end I called the emergency number and called an ambulance. I knew the guys and they said they had seen her already tonight. Security at the hospital had kicked her out of ED because she was causing a disturbance. But with their help we got her into the back of the ambulance and they took her back to hospital.
So many questions went through my mind. A human life wasted, why? Anger at all the things that happened to her, even before her birth, in her family and in her life which contributed to her state of being. There was the question as to why there is not an appropriate place where she could be looked after so she is not continually ending up in messes like this? Who sold her the alcohol? Why is there not a detox place where such people do not take up time of the ambulance, police or the Emergency Department? What else could we have done? It was a freezing night.
I drove home deeply disturbed. Here is a child of God. Smelly, dirty, stumbling and drunk. This is how she lives! It is so so sad!
I apologised to the ambulance crew. I feel sorry for the staff at ED. But I could not handle her on my own. I ended up on top of her on the floor... I tried.

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