Friday, July 30, 2010

Seizures are scary

While I was working on a computer in the No-Shhh!-Zone of the library yesterday, the man sitting right next to me had a seizure. He was an overweight guy, probably in his 40's. I thought at first he was just leaning back to stretch, but then he was leaning back, looking at the ceiling, and his body was rigid and shaking all over. He fell out of his chair and hit his head hard on the ground. He started to foam at the mouth and his lips were turning blue. At this moment I realized that everyone around him was just staring and nobody was doing anything. I jumped out of my chair and yelled that someone should call 911. I really didn't know what to do. I heard that you might need to stick something in his mouth, but that didn't seem like a good idea. His face was turning a deep purple now and the white foam was thick in his mouth. I turned him over to his side with the help of another guy (which was no easy task) and he started to cough up a lot of junk. Then he urinated on himself. A girl ran up and said that she was an EMT. She said to roll him over to his other side. I guess you can breathe a lot easier when you are lying on your left side than your right side. It makes sense. I just learned in my anatomy lab that your right lung is bigger (the heart takes up room on the left side) so if you are lying on your left side, your big, right lung can do most of breathing. The man was breathing heavy but still wasn't focusing his eyes on anything. Some people searched his wallet to figure out what his name was. One guy said, "I think his name is David." Another said, "I think it's Curtis." Still another said, "Is his name Craig?" I'm not sure why he had so many ID's. Maybe he was a con-artist or something. Anyway, I had to leave to go to work, but when I walked by that area all that was left was a yellow custodial sign saying "WET FLOOR."

8 comments:

Lisa Lou said...

WHAT?!?!?! Wow. Crazy! Last night at Traffic school we watched a video of a guy having a seizure while driving. So scary! Also, with the laying-on-the-left-side thing, that's why pregnant women are suppose to sleep on their left side. It's easier to breath.
Man, hopefully that man is ok...

Chris said...

seizures are the best calls because there is nothing to do. you make sure they dont smack their head on anything and then you make sure they don't drown in spittle or vomit and you just wait.
Panic attacks and hyperventilation are good too because you talk to them until they calm down and breathe normally, but if you fail and they don't breathe normally then they pass out and default to normal breathing.
good reaction instincts.

Bryan said...

So guess what. I'm working on my application essay now in a different part of the library, and the guy who had the seizure came in and is sitting next to me again at this very moment. I guess he doesn't recognize me. I hope it doesn't happen again...

Kathy Haynie said...

We have a man with epilepsy in our ward. He has seizures sometimes at church. I hate to say that we've gotten used to them, because I don't want to seem callous, but what can you do? He takes medication, which prevents some of the seizures, but not all of them. The hardest thing is when he has a seizure in the middle of class, and you don't want to be rude, but should class go on or not, because you don't want to make a big deal and embarrass him, too, right?

Anyway, yes, they DO look scary. I'm glad you were there to help.

Polly said...

So far so good?

Greg Lewis said...

Did he change his pants?

Bryan said...

It turned out OK. He was dressed in much nicer clothing today. He even had a haircut. I think he was probably so embarrassed by what happened that he dressed up really nicely today to make up for it in someway.

Patricia said...

And he probably went to a different part of the library so none of the same people would see him....
But there you were in a different part of the library, as well.
Go figure.