"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

what happened in the park

Yesterday was gorgeous.

If you live in a warm climate, this might not seem like much, but here? In October? Oh, this is heaven, baby.

And here's why I'm thankful.

I'm thankful I have a paper due tonight, so I was up SUPER early yesterday, working at home, and not eating breakfast.

I'm thankful I then had to take the car in to get some work done, and wait for the shuttle which took for-e-ver to get me to work.

I'm thankful that by the time the shuttle dropped me off, I had realized how beautiful it was outside, and also that I was really hungry, so I walked down a block to get some coffee before going into the office.

I'm thankful that by the time I got back, an appointment had cancelled, and I was hit with the rare urge AND freedom to go work in the park - haven't done that all summer or fall.

I'm thankful for 20 years of experience working with people in the city, so that as I walked into the park, the older man stumbling towards me, muttering incoherently, caught my attention and raised caution flags, but didn't scare me away. It meant that I heard him when he said, "I'm in trouble."

And I'm thankful for basic crisis response and first-aid training I've had along the way, so that as he veered past me, and then dropped slowly to the ground, my brain clicked in to call 9-1-1, and accurately and quickly report where I was and what was happening to this man who seemed to be having a seizure. I'm thankful I could sit with him as it happened.

And I'm thankful for another older gentleman who had heard him say, "I'm having a seizure" so we could tell the paramedics that. And for a younger woman who asked, "Do you need me to flag down the ambulance when they get here?" And for a 9-1-1 operator who confirmed that it sounded like a seizure, and told me what to expect. And for both fire and paramedic services who responded quickly and compassionately, listening to those of us that were there, and thanking me for calling.

I'm thankful for an unexpectedly warm day today, and all the meaningless bits that led to me being in that spot, at that moment, able to help for a few minutes.


AlwaysARedhead said...

You are a very good person, sadly there are some who would have ignored the man.

M.Christine Duncan said...

Bravo for it all coming together like it did so you could help, and for being willing to help!
I once watched an entire crowd of people ignore a man at a festival who was having a seizure, and after my daughter and I called for help, someone leaving the scene said, "wow, all this commotion for a drunk..."

old_black said...

Interesting post which gave me some cause for reflection. Just yesterday I signed up for First Aid training at work - but only because I will get paid a (small) allowance for being a qualified First Aid officer (I have a low level clerical job in a large business) and I need the money. After your post I'm thinking that maybe I should have done this even if there was no financial reward. If I feel more confident of being able to deal with the sort of situation you have described there just might be a pay off for someone else.

Patti said...

Hey old black :) Always nice to hear from you! Yeah ... I never wanted to take the first aid courses either. I was soooo uncomfortable. But honestly the most important thing I learned (for that situation, anyway) was to figure out quickly where I am and what is happening, so I could communicate it well when I called 911. And communicate to others around - "Yes, please go flag down the ambulance..." That stuff.

Seems so obvious. But I'm glad I had learned to think that through before it happened.