Thursday, October 19, 2006

Angels Among Us

This morning I was waiting in line to get on the bus..normal everyday long line for the bus.. and the guy standing in front of me fell down and started having a Seizure.

And people stepped over him to get on the bus.

No before I sound all self righteous, let me tell you I have definitely stepped over, walked by, and general avoided homeless and "street people" while I've been here. This guy, however, was a normal everyday average person on his way to wherever when this happened.

And people stepped over him to get on the bus.

Maybe people stepped over him because he was Chinese, or maybe because his "members only" jacket didn't match his sneakers, or maybe because the citizens of this city are so desensitized to other's needing our help that they just ignore it because really, what day doesn't go by that some homeless crack addict collapse and foams at the mouth while begging for change.

But this guy was different and really needed help.

This guy could've been me or you.

So, not really knowing what to do (again!) I rolled him over to his side and tried to keep him from beating his head on the concrete. He was bleeding pretty bad from a cut on his face already, but my main concern was to keep him from choking on his vomit, which was pouring in small amounts from his mouth.

And People stepped over BOTH of us to get on the bus.

And I sat alone,with this man struggling and fighting whatever demons his brain had given him and just held him.

Finally a man sat down with me and said "You are doing good, keep him on his side and keep talking to him." The man looked and sounded like Mohinder from Heroes so it helped calm me down a bit. Finally a beat cop came up and told us help was on the way.

The Chinese man finally stopped seizing. He tried to sit up, but Mohinder and I kept him lying down. He said his name was Jerry, then he started talking gibberish. Mohinder kept talking to him and I told the cop what had happened, you know, so if the Goddamned Ambulance should ever show up. (I swear the response time in this City SUCKS). Finally, I realized I really didn't know what else to do and if I stuck around, I'd really be late to work and possibly get fired.

So I stepped over him and got on the bus.

And cried the whole way work.

Thank You Mohinder for sitting with me and Jerry this morning. I don't know if you know it, but you helped me believe there are good people out there. I really needed you there this morning.

So yes, Virgina, there are Angels among us.

*UPDATE*

Since I seem to cuase siezures to random people around me I decided to do some research. If you someone around you has a seizure and you want to help follow these instructions:


What to Do if You See Someone Having a Seizure
If you see someone having a seizure with convulsions and/or loss of consciousness, here’s how you can help:

-Roll the person on his or her side to prevent choking on any fluids or vomit.
-Cushion the person’s head.
-Loosen any tight clothing around the neck.
-Keep the person’s airway open. If necessary, grip the person’s jaw gently and tilt his or her head back.
-Do NOT restrict the person from moving unless he or she is in danger.
-Do NOT put anything into the person’s mouth, not even medicine or liquid. These can cause choking or damage to the person’s jaw, tongue, or teeth. Contrary to widespread belief, people cannot swallow their tongues during a seizure or any other time.
-Remove any sharp or solid objects that the person might hit during the seizure.
Note how long the seizure lasts and what symptoms occurred so you can tell a doctor or emergency personnel if necessary.
Stay with the person until the seizure ends.
Call 911 if:
-The person is pregnant or has diabetes.
-The seizure happened in water.
-The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
-The person does not begin breathing again and return to consciousness after the seizure stops.
-Another seizure starts before the person regains consciousness.
-The person injures himself or herself during the seizure.
-This is a first seizure or you think it might be. If in doubt, check to see if the person has a medical identification card or jewelry stating that they have epilepsy or a seizure disorder.

After the seizure ends, the person will probably be groggy and tired. He or she also may have a headache and be confused or embarrassed. Be patient with the person and try to help him or her find a place to rest if he or she is tired or doesn’t feel well. If necessary, offer to call a taxi, a friend, or a relative to help the person get home safely.

Kel's Addendum: Head immediatly to the nearest bar and order a shot of Jack Daniels.

16 Comments:

Blogger Atari_Age said...

Oh, man... you did good. :-*

1:04 PM  
Blogger The Persian said...

What a traumatic experience! You were wonderful. :)

2:11 PM  
Blogger David said...

You did all you could. Sometimes you have to let go of the situation and let the other angels take if from there.

Note that I said "other angels."

2:59 PM  
Blogger Kalvin said...

That's so wonderful of you Kelly. I admit that I would have been inclined not to step over him but to move to the next door. Who knows...

3:23 PM  
Blogger Chox said...

You did well, Kelly, and I thank you. You are a decent human being, even if some people may disagree with me. A Catholic angel was testing you this morning, and ya passed. ;-)

Seriously though, what you did is what you were SUPPOSED to do. I once saw a guy on a motorcycle get run over at the corner of 18th and Castro. The neighborhood IMMEDIATELY mobilized. Since I was the first one at the scene, all my old emergency medical training from the Air Force came rushing back. It was for naught, however...since the man died in my arms right there in the middle of the intersection in front of his destroyed brand-new Harley Davidson, as he was staring into my eyes with a terrified look on his face. The people who worked at Body Shop across the street immediately ran over with hot wet towels and soap to clean the blood off my hands and arms, then once the ambulance arrived, they took everyone who helped into the store to clean up and make sure there was no blood left on ourselves. I was supposed to go to dinner after that, but instead of ordering pasta at Fuzio I had a couple martinis.

I didn't cry until I got home.

Not everyone in this city is cold and callous...but I will say if the guy was white and not wearing a Members Only jacket he probably would have had a little more help. San Francisco is NO different than other towns in that aspect. Is it right? No. Is it a fact of life? Unfortunately.

Had he been black, nobody would have helped him, unfortunately.

And you all know that's the truth whether you like it or not.

3:39 PM  
Blogger geolab1701 said...

Dear Kels, You are an Angel for just being there and lending a helping hand! You actually stuck around despite the conflicts within you. You did everything right! :)

G

5:24 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Good job man! I would have done the same as you, except accidently tripped a few of those senseless fucks as they got on the bus... I am glad someone was able to help you out and you were able to get to work...me on the other hand, would have been totally distraught and drunk by noon... and fired! You came to a fork in the road and took the right one...Kudos!! You are an angel!

5:31 PM  
Blogger StratoCade said...

Wow Kel. The seizures seem to be getting better. Maybe that was divine providence telling you to be an EMT...

8:18 PM  
Blogger DanNation said...

Chad - you just cockblocked Kelly's story...

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Tony (LT) said...

Good for you Kelly. Good to see that SF hasn't jaded you.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Matty said...

You could have been fired for being late because you stopped to help someone who was having a seizure?!? Wow! You're right you DO need to find a new job!

12:21 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Good job Kelly. I shall have a drink for you as well!!

8:19 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

This comes as no surprise to me. You are one of the good ones, Kel. Way to go!

8:57 AM  
Blogger Pookie Pie said...

Kelly... wow. You're such an amazing guy. Love you to pieces.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Jimmi said...

Kel! That is awesome! I just knew you had "good" in you! I can't believe that only one person helped you. That is what is wrong with people, they turn a blind eye to anything that might inconvenience them. This inconvenienced you, however you took that risk because this may have caused someone their life.

Smooches to you!

10:48 AM  
Blogger Phaolo said...

Kel, I think you earned your Boy Scout patch. That's great!

3:54 PM  

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