Pardon the Pessimism
Have you ever played out scenarios in your head, wondering how you would react in stressful situations? Have you ever assumed what would happen if you were in a life or death situation, and if the people surrounding would help you? Have you ever helped someone who was in need, possibly saving their life? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then this story may interest you. This past Sunday afternoon at work, I was presented with a situation similar to the ones described above.
I was watching football and having an easy day, and then Randy came to me with an urgent look on his face. Before I go too far into this, I have to tell you that Randy is a bit slower than most people. That being said, he’s also a much better human being than most as well. Anyway, he came to me and said “Tony, there’s a guy in the game room who’s just shaking.”
Although Randy’s description wasn’t straight from a medical book, it was accurate enough for me to understand the situation. I assumed that someone was having a seizure, and ran to the game room to find the person. I’ve seen seizures before, but never as violent as the one Randy had stumbled upon. The victim of this seizure was a young guy, no older than 20. He was laying across a racing game, so that his back was arched in a very uncomfortable angle, with his eyes rolled back into his head, and he was shaking very violently. The scariest thing was that he was vomiting, and it was bubbling out of his mouth, running up his face. I knew that choking was a danger, so we (when I say “we” I mean mostly Randy) lifted him up and laid him on his side, all the while I had my phone on my ear calling 911.
Before I had even gotten to the room to help this guy and call 911, there was a group of people around the same age in the room. These people not only didn’t help this guy, they were looking at him as I entered the room, while reaching into their pockets for change to put in a video game. They had looks of bewilderment on their faces, half smiling. All that was missing was them yelling “Wow!” If you see me on the ground shaking, don’t watch, help! If you don’t know what to do, find someone who does.
After we laid the man on his side, the 911 operator got a description of the situation and sent an ambulance our way. She confirmed that having him on his side was alright, to prevent the man from asphyxiation. While he was seizing though, there wasn’t much more that I could do. All I could do was make sure that if and when this guy came to, that he stayed on the ground until the paramedics arrived. I told Randy to stay with him and just make sure that he stayed put on the ground, while I went outside to direct the ambulance to the nearest entrance.
It only took 3 minutes for a firetruck to arrive, so I showed them where to park, in airport runway fashion. 5 people jumped out, and one of them asked me what the situation was, as if this were a daily occurrence for me. A female on the team proceeded to give a play by play to the state of the building we were in, with cunty comments such as “it smells like smoke in here,” but whatever. When we got to the man, he seemed to be coming around. I was thankful for that, because I honestly feared that he would die. Anyway, the medics surrounded him and began to talk to him slowly, letting him know what was going on. I stepped back to give them room to work, but stayed in proximity in case there were any questions.
Just as the medics were putting him onto a stretcher, the people who were watching earlier started asking me questions. I quickly dismissed them with “I don’t know,” and waited to see if the medics had any questions. After they carted the man away, I asked one of the medics if it was just a seizure, and not something like a drug overdose, and he responded “We don’t know. He won’t answer any of our questions about his medical history, and isn’t being very friendly with us.”
If you want an example of why I think the worst of people, look no further. While I trust and believe in my immediate family and close friends that I grew up with, I automatically assume the worst of others. I don’t ask for, or expect kindness from others, and I am always thankful when I’m surprised by it. As far as my actions go, I’m just the way I am. Part if the reason I acted the way I did was because it was my job. But I do believe that if I was walking down the street and saw this happen, I would do the same thing. I know for a fact that there’s no way I could see this happen and not even get help for the victim. I also know that if I have a medical emergency, I wouldn’t be a dick to the people helping me. Pardon my pessimism, but people fucking suck.