Thursday, April 19, 2007

Leitmotif

Some days it feels like the universe conspires to make me think about things I'd rather not.

Yesterday afternoon, we all got an e-mail that explained how X number of people per year die of sudden cardiac arrest, but this can be helped with immediate intervention, blah blah, so the company is installing defibrillators at various locations around the building for us to use in an emergency.

I thought of the paramedics working on P, and my own useless efforts to bring him back, and I nearly got sick. I don't ever want to have to try to resuscitate another person, no matter what sort of equipment I have at my disposal. Obviously I will if I have to, but given the choice I would prefer never to find myself in that situation. I had thought that by now I would have forgotten what it was like, would have started to get over it, but I haven't. It's right there beneath the surface, just waiting for the slightest scratch to expose it all over again.

I tried to go on with my day and not think about it, but the universe had other plans for me. A couple of hours later, when I was on my way to pick up G, I turned a corner and saw a fire engine stopped by the side of the road and a small group of people gathered around something on the pavement. I slowed down, and it was a middle-aged man who had collapsed and was lying there all white and limp, with his shirt torn open and two firefighters giving him CPR.

Thanks a lot, universe. I really needed that.

I hope the man ended up making it, even though it's not very likely that he did. What a crappy thing it would be to die on the dirty ground in front of a Mexican restaurant and a doughnut shop, all sprawled out for the motorists to gawk at. What a crappy thing for the family, left to imagine their father, husband, brother's last moments out on a street surrounded by strangers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that you get reminders of such a horrific experience. :-(

I know it's on a much lesser, MUCH lesser level, but I felt a sliver of what that is after my first boyfriend died. When I was 18, my boyfriend was in a car accident and died. He had not been wearing his seatbelt. For a long time, I could not bear even driving past a car accident scene because it'd remind me of him. I had a hard time of it. And all those public service announcements and notices everywhere about wearing seatbelts drove me nuts. Especially since it had been so preventable. To this day, actually, it still really bothers me if someone does not want to wear a seatbelt in my car, and I refuse to drive. Obviously, it's been a very long time since then, and we weren't married or involved for that long, so it was nowhere near the level of having your spouse die, but ... I wanted you to know that on an itty-bitty, teensy-weensy level I caught a glimpse of the terrible thing that is a sad reminder ...

Hugs and prayers, my friend.
Pixilated Mum