Tuesday, April 10, 2007


We find a young woman surrounded by firefighters and witnesses. She was walking along, they say, and then just out of the blue fell to the ground and started shaking. Her groceries are scattered across the parking lot, broken eggs and a box of cereal. She is looking upward towards us when we arrive, confusion spread thick across her face. Her brow is scrunched down, her mouth slightly open in absentminded slack. She looks at me searchingly. Her eyes ask questions she is unable to formulate, looking for answers she cant yet comprehend.

A man in his 50's grits his teeth as he sweats. His respirations are labored, deep breaths soak in through lips relaxed from fatigue. His wife pleads with him, pleads with us, but the man will not relent and admit his pain. His face is as hardened as it is ashen. Only the softness of his frightened eyes cry out, desperate for help.

A retired man sits in his recliner, surveying the room slowly. He looks at me and then my partner, long and drawn out. There is no comprehension as he stares right through us. I call his name as I touch his hand, and he slowly turns his head toward me. Looking right into my eyes through halfway drawn lids, he has no expression. I explain the procedure to the face looking at me, wondering if he can still hear. Into the vein goes the clear, sticky goop and life returns to his face. I watch the man return to himself as comprehension stacks up behind his eyes. He blinks a few times, awake now. "Where did you guys come from?"

A young man in his 20's walks in through the front door, lugging a big red bag and something that looks like a television screen. He looks around the room from left to right, searching for what he has been told he will find. A voice calls and he zeros in, finding the light switch and kneeling down. He smiles and asks questions, searching through the bag for what he needs. His manner is confident, focused.

His eyes, though, betray a hint of uncertainty.


Brett said...

Nice! i want a tv for the ambulance! I think i have the red bag

Blue Ridge Medic said...

Excellent writing style, glad you kept up the writing.


polarbearems said...

The eyes tell you so much. One of my first calls as an Basic was for a 50 y/o female who turned out to have had a ruptured brain aneurysm.

She was almost completely paralyzed, but to this day I can still remember looking into her eyes. I can still see the fear reflected back at me... the desperation... her only way of communicating.

And yes, your eyes too can betray you. Nicely written.

scarletto said...

please write more! i miss your posts