Sunday, October 31, 2004


Generally speaking I don't believe in magic, the paranormal, or the occult, and I refuse to dress up in costumes, so Halloween is kind of wasted on me. I like the candy, though. The kids always save some mini M&M packs and Hershey bars for me.

In the category of things that scare me, in the early eighties I had an elderly patient I was walking from the hospital out to his car have a heart attack in the parking lot. We were talking and I had a light grip on his arm, and he stopped speaking and walking and dropped like a stone.

I was by myself, and it was the first time I ever administered CPR to anyone. I thought for sure I was breaking his ribs, and I had to yell for help while I was doing compressions. To this day I can't tell you what I yelled. It felt like forever before someone came to help. When we got him into trauma I looked down and saw blood on my whites. I'd scraped all the skin off my knees, kneeling and shifting on the asphalt, and hadn't felt it.

Patient died on us after a second MI.

Scariest moments of 2004: seeing the first outer band of Hurricane Charley fill the sky. Trying to get hold of my parents for three days after Hurricane Frances's eye passed directly over their house and getting that all-circuits-are-busy recording. Watching the roof lift as Hurricane Jeanne roared over us. Realizing the "wrist" my son supposedly "sprained" (according to the school nurse) was actually a broken arm. Waiting for his father to come out of surgery.

To save someone you love from being scared: get your cholesterol checked, quit smoking, quit using alcohol and drugs, and lose some weight. And Happy Halloween.

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