When I was first got sick I had quite a few ER visits, and most of the time I went by ambulance. I had worked for the local police department for a long time (23 years), and because of that I knew most of the fire firefighters and paramedics.
My new endocrinologist was on staff at a hospital that was not on the “preferred and closest” list. Ambulances will generally take you to the nearest hospital, but I wanted to go to one that was approximately a 15 minute drive, as opposed to the ER that was a 5 minute trip.
It is embarrassing to know the guys that are putting EKG leads on your chest, or trying to get an IV into your uncooperative veins. But, I must admit that familiar faces can have a calming effect when you are in a stressful situation…like in an ambulance speeding to the ER.
On this particular day, I knew the paramedic that was driving. I had watched this guy grow up, he was a neighborhood kid. Anyway, there I am strapped into the gurney, IV hanging out of my vein, oxygen mask on, blood pressure thingy squeezing my arm, I’m getting car sick, and I’m a nervous wreck. I hear someone yell my name…”Hey Mo”. I’m so out of it that I don’t know who is calling me….God, is that you? Then again I hear…”Hey Mo!” This time I recognized the voice…it was the guy driving the ambulance. I weakly answered “What Sean?”
“Hey Mo, is the hospital north or south of 55th?”
If I hadn’t been enveloped in a haze of brain fog, I maybe could have answered him. I don’t know how he found the place, but I arrived in one piece.
I have never let him live it down.