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.
at 7:11 PM