Opinion

ER George Clooney to the rescue

Having watched “ER” for a good many years, particularly the first installments, I join a multitude of people who, when emergency strikes, want to have George Clooney for an attending physician.

After four trips to the emergency room this past year, I didn’t have to fantasize for each fireman who appeared at our door at four o’clock in the morning was a dead ringer for the star.

Heart failure is serious and I could not breath because fluid was building in my lungs. Building in my lungs! I could not breath and my first question to those heroes who swooped in to keep me alive was, “Am I dying?” It was that bad.

I survived that one event and all others that have assailed me.

I have had no trips to an emergency room for two months, but, not missing the anxiety and the feeling of drowning, I have missed those handsome medics “dropping in.” I feel left out.

Where are they? I was a good patient, an alive good patient, I must add, so don’t I get a visit or two to see how I’m doing?

How foolish of me. They stay busy. Their work is never done. They rescue victims of car crashes, bicycle accidents, house fires, and stand by those who have fallen or, like me, need desperate care.

As Thanksgiving looms it is time for me to publicly give thanks to those medics who have whisked me off to emergency rooms, comforted me with oxygen and medical care as we sped across the waters to doctors and nurses who welcomed me with needles, a good bed and solutions to my heart problems.

Each moment of sheer terror has it’s own foolishness. For example, as I was struggling for breath, I said, “These are not my best pajamas.”

I could have been seriously inquiring about my will or making a last statement. But no, it was my attire I was considering in my foggy state of mind.

“What must they have thought?” I asked myself later. I realized later that they must have seen and heard such nonsense many times in their professional life. Terror does odd things to the mind.

(Obviously, I no longer struggle for breath. The test is watching me at Bainbridge Bakers chatting away non-stop, appearing to need no oxygen.)

Back to the pajamas.

The second time they came, we had moved to Vineyard Lanes, between breaths, I said, “These are my better pajamas.” They replied, “You mentioned that last time.”

Another George Clooney look-alike said on my third trip, “I just love your columns.” Said I, attached as I was to oxygen, “Let me get you copies, “ obviously a good hostess.

I theorize that my Mississippi background had emerged both times. Being a lady was my back-up position whenever horror strikes. I was a southern belle in distress who always evidenced good dress and graciousness even if struggling to live?

I was refrained from getting up.

I don’t want readers to think I just called 911 to discuss my pajamas or reading habits. I repeat myself: Heart failure must be taken seriously.

The medics were wonderful, noble, kind and caring to me and to the husband who by the fourth visit needed a bit of care, too.

Nobody discusses what a service they give to the community and service they give. We hear the whine of the sirens and know they are on duty but we rarely hear what they have done.

We don’t know what we would do without them, we say to each other, but do we say that to them?

Stories go untold. Children return to parents, grandmothers and grandfathers return to family, bicyclists take up their bicycles, and life goes on as it had before falls, accidents and near tragedies.

Have all these victims repressed their terror? Were they embarrassed when the trip to the hospital was unnecessary? Or, was it the Northwest Paul Bunyan model emerging, yelling, “Me, sick! No way!”

I was one of those who thought I was immune to emergency services, the female Babe the Blue Ox was in charge.

“That’s what we do,” the medics said to me, when I asked, “Maybe I shouldn’t have called,” as I struggled to breath.

I was stable on the last event because after three trips for medical care, I knew I would not die.

I was taken to the fire station, to change ambulances and listened as the medics decided how to service the three others who in those early hours of the morning, needed care.

They had to leave one ambulance on Bainbridge, “just in case.”

They had to consider caring for events yet to come.

I can’t recall the names of those that rode with me to Seattle, but if I recognize any of them in civvies, I will to tell him that they were George Clooneys to me, the George Clooney who saved lives.

I should say here that whatever the medics and the doctors did, I am on the road to health, not on the road to another emergency room, I hope.

Sally Robison is a Winslow artist and the author of “The Permanent Guest’s

Guide to Bainbridge Island.”

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