12.20.2007

Crazy Afternoon

Never saw a seizure before. Until today. More later. Edit: So I'm in the County Attorney's office around 2:00 p.m. doing nothing else other than wasting time. An employee of the office ("J"), who is normally very calm, rushes through the door and yells, "Call 911. A man is having a seizure." Another gal in the office ("T") dialed 911 and handed J the phone and went out the door to check it out. T is a former EMT. I don't know anything about CPR or emergency health care so I stayed put - probably too calmly and, sadly, apathetically - and I kind of wanted to listen to the 911 call to see how calm (or not) J handled it. All went well. After about a minute, I went outside the door and into the Jury Room/Grand Jury Room/Commissioner's Meeting Room to check out the scene. I saw a guy on the floor face down. Things changed then. It was a friend of mine. A close friend. A friend of 20 years. T was by his head, and I got on my knees to help - although I didn't know what to do. The scene was horrifying. His eyes were open but he was completely unresponsive. A small amount of blood was dripping from his mouth. And, horrifically, his body was shaking uncontrollably. All I could do was say his name over and over and rub his back. "It's OK. It's OK," I said. But it was anything other than "OK." The shaking wouldn't stop. All I wanted was for the shaking to stop. T told me to roll him on his side, and I did. But nothing about his condition changed. I was scared. And I was totally frustrated in the realization that I didn't know what to do to help my friend nor did I understand exactly what I was witnessing. And then his left arm began to shake even more violently than before. My dumb brain remembered that your left arm hurts when a you are having heart attack. I just knew his left arm was now out of control. "Is he having a heart attack?" I asked T. "No," she said matter of factly. My mind raced on. "Is he breathing?" (Lord. I'd been in there three minutes watching this horror and it just dawned on me that I hadn't thought about his breathing.) "Yes." T said. "I'm on it. He's breathing." He was sweating profusely and she told me to take his tie off. Finally, I was useful: I knew how to undo a tie and unbutton a top button. The seizure went on for about five minutes and ended about the same time as the paramedics arrived. I had never been so happy to see people arrive that knew what they were doing. My friend finally stopped shaking and slowly came to. He was completely disoriented and responded to questions only after much delay. He didn't know where he was. I sat in front of him for 10 minutes and not once did he acknowledge I was there. He looked bewildered and exhausted. Fast forward. He was taken to the Decatur Hospital (yeah, I know it has a different name) where he was treated quickly and efficiently. The doctors were great. The nurses were great. The facility was great. And, most importantly, all test results were great. It was decided later in the day that he should be transferred to Harris in Fort Worth so that he could be evaluated by a neurologist. He's there now. All looks good. The only concern is why it happened to a guy that has no history of seizures. That's scary. But I contemplate tonight a conversation with another friend of mine who came out to the hospital this afternoon. While we waited for the CATscan to be completed, he said in a serious tone - especially for a guy who is rarely serious: "We are all hanging on this earth by a thread." Long pause. "That's my joyous Christmas thought," he added with a small smile. You're right my friend. But my Christmas gift arrived early today. He's alive and well in Harris Hospital tonight.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was it a drug siezure? Wish I could have been there. I'm runnin low. Can you help a brother out?

Anonymous said...

have you ever seen a search before?

was it an illegal seizure in your qualified leagal opinion?

Anonymous said...

Glad your friend is ok. Sounds scarry. Did you pee your pants??? I bet you did. You just wont tell us.

Mrs. Cleaver said...

8:00 and 11:06...
You have no class...none at all.

Anonymous said...

I peed Barry's pants for him.

Anonymous said...

We have some really great paramedics in Wise County. I have seen them work too. They are caring and professional.

I wish the best for your friend Barry.

collectionsite said...

I am glad to hear that all is well for him and he was lucky to have a friend by his side. You helped more than you may ever know.

Merry Christmas Barry

Anonymous said...

Don't you people have any compassion? Joking or not, it's in very poor taste. I'm glad your friend is doing well.

Anonymous said...

oh my barry! i feel for you in this situation...i too would not know what to do. my sister and my neice both have seizures and if either one of them did that in front of me i would have no clue what to do. i think what you did what all you could do in a situation like this. i hope the docs find what caused this and get it under control, because if there was one seizure there is bound to be another..have a very merry Christmas!!

Anonymous said...

I had taken the basic EMT class years ago just for this very reason. One never knows when you will/may need it. The Red Cross offers a class to take for life saving when needed, seems like this would have been a good example. Merry Christmas and best wishes for you and your friend.

Chris
MN

Anonymous said...

pass the tissue please

mzchief said...

Life can indeed forever change in the blink of an eye or a breath that does NOT come. However, nothing brings that truth home like having it happen to you or someone for whom you care.

Merry Christmas and continued blessings to you and those for whom you care and love.

Anonymous said...

9:16 , Now I have peed my pants . LOL

Anonymous said...

Glad your friend is doing better.

One side note, I wonder if what you witnessed yesterday during that 5-10 minute time span is similar to what a baby endures during an abortion with a vacuum aspirator, except for the happy ending of course?

Silicone Alley said...

Good to hear your friend is doing good.
God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Cleaver, you have no sense of humor. We both posted before the edit. Have a solemn Christmas.

Ellie Bay said...

8:47 grow up and quit your tasteless opportunism you cowardly vulture. Not everything in this life is a metaphor for abortion. This man is a friend of mine as well and I'm truly concerned for his well-being. If you're going to use this man's tragedy as an opportunity to railroad us with your unrelated soapbox melodrama the least you can do is finish your callous statement with well-wishes for a man in danger.
I pray for the health and safety of all my friends, family and good hearted strangers that wander this world this Christmas, and I hope Karma finds you and kicks your butt!

Anonymous said...

ellie bay, I'm still waiting on your Karma to show up. View my comment as opportunism if you will, but helping even one choose life, especially this time of year, is well worth your spewing.
For some strange reason through BG's description of this incident, I was reminded me of how many tragedies take place in this country everyday through the murdering of completely innocent lives with so few being concerned.

Maybe you can get your panties out of a wad later today?

BTW, I wish this gentleman well and hope he recovers very soon.

Anonymous said...

10:03 Amen and I agree with you.

10:24 For someone who values life as "Pro-Life Individuals" do you and others have one hell of a way of showing you care. I personally don't agree with abortion but I also don't feel the need to make a statement such as yours. The way you people approach your cause is sickening. It doesn't take a genius to realize how a child is taken during an abortion and I don't need you "Goobers" reminding me of it. I understand your agenda but you people need to find a new way to promote your cause. You people have worked the "shock factor" for so long it really doesn't bother me. What does bother me is the hatred coming from the mouths of those who supposedley care. You may not be one of those and if you're not I would probably associate myself with a more caring organization or at least one that's calmer. Now that I have probably "tinkled" on your parade you can go ahead and reply with some kind of trash, I really don't care. I won't read it anyway. Hey, have a joyful Christmas, thanks for apologizing to 10:03 and Barry I truly hope your friend will be O.K.

Anonymous said...

10:46, you give me tired head. On one hand you say being reminded of the value of all human life is sickening, but on the other hand you say you're not bothered by it anymore.

What better time of year is there for all of us to be reminded of the value of life than at Christmas?

Anonymous said...

I hope your friend is recovering quickly and they are able to find what's wrong. I had a friend a few years ago, in his 30's, who had never had a seizure. He was on his way from Arlington to Fort Worth and decided to stop at Whataburger to get a drink. He had the seizure as he pulled in the parking lot and crashed into the cement pillars in front of the restaurant. Without those concrete barriers, he would have easily killed people inside. He still has severe "grand mal" seizures and they can not figure out why. I thank God everyday that he was in a parking lot going 20 instead of on the highway going 70.

Anonymous said...

For Christmas, sign up for a CPR class and a basic first aid course.
My employer offers this for our supervisors and managers. Unfortunately, I been in situations at least 3 times that this training has helped.

Gorilla said...

Hopefully your friend will get a nurse that looks like the Southwest Airlines chick.

Anonymous said...

Barry,

So many terrible things happen and sometimes that tradgedy in complexed by the time of year in which it occurrs. I wish him, his family and his freinds a Good Christmas anyway and I am sure he is Thankful for the early Christmas gift your brung by just being there.

Anonymous said...

Hope your friend is doing better and they identify the cause. Do you feel the response time from the 911 call was adequate?

As for the anti-abortion comments - did you see where the fertility rate in this country is actually UP? Does anyone think we are in dire need of more over-population? If a woman chooses to not have a pregnancy go to term, I think it is her decision and hers alone. If a baby is born, then it is the parent's and society's responsibility to properly care for it.

Anonymous said...

11:13 Go ahead and keep aborting the babies because the one positive is that one day there will be no more liberals!

Anonymous said...

Would a pro-life individuel be willing to give up everything material that they own on earth (cars, property, money, etc.) and have just basic life needs such as an old shack or tent, old car, old clothes, no jewelry, to stop just one abortion? If not, does that mean they are not pro-life? They could probably bribe a mother to not do it if they offered enough money. And then be willing to adopt the child and take care of it by raising to adulthood as their own. And take in as many babies as possible until the only resouces are basic survival to care for the family.

Anonymous said...

I love it.

How did this discussion turn to abortion???

LMAO

Anonymous said...

what kind of idiots have you got down there? to watch a seizure is very unsettleing to say the least. No one as yet has told what to do in this situation. A: Protect the individual from hurting themselves by hitting the floor, chair, etc. Do not restrain the movements. B: An old wives tale was putting something in the mouth so they would not swallow the tongue. DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN THEIR MOUTH!. c: Watch for ABC's(airway, breathing, and circulation) but do nothing unnecessary. D: When the seizure is over, the person nomally feels tired,confused, or disorientated. Continue to monitor until paramedics have arrived.

Anonymous said...

WOW 4:13 CAN QUOTE FROM A FIRST RESPONDER BOOK I AM VERY IMPRESSED AT THIS PERSONS MEDICAL ADVISE THEY PROBABLY GOT THEIR TRAINING FROM THE GIRL/BOY SCOUTS