Sometimes when I feel like everything is going right in the universe my clients pull me back down to earth kicking and screaming. I never doubt what they tell me, good heavens no, but I always wonder…if they purposely seek out, pay for/barter, then ingest “speed,” what did they think was going to happen? Sleep?
First job of the morning has us responding to a reported shortness of breath at a restaurant.
Anaphalaxis, my first thought too. I had only just checked the jump bag, knew I had 4 good doses and three needles ready to go. Benadryl also at the ready, we park in front of the somewhat questionable eatery and are waved to the rear entrance.
A few twists and turns into the kitchen and I’m asking my usual questions,
“Did you report a life or death emergency?”
No response, only a wave to follow.
“Did you call? What’s going on?”
Come on, come on, over here, over here he waves. It would have been cooler if he went to one knee and did some of that cool Navy Seal hand gesture stuff. I totally would have done the same.
“Employee or customer?”
“Is no employee no customer, he come running in.”
And it is then we find our client wearing a new hole in the carpet running back and forth ringing his hands together.
“Are you alright Sir?” i ask trying to slow him down enough to assess him.
“I can’t, can’t, breath, I’m going to die.” He tells me in clear, yet quick breaths. The decision is made to guide our almost olympic sprinter towards the cool morning air.
Outside he’s grabbing onto my jacket arm asking me to help him. With our almost embrace I can see his pulse racing at the carotid, easily over 150.
Finally giving him something else to grab onto, a dumpster nearby, so I can actually assess him properly. It’s then that the lies start to fly.
“I’m dying.” He screams.
“When was the last time this happened to you?” I ask while listening to clear lung sounds and making a safe assumption (educated guess).
His eyes shot to mine with a hint of anger and more than enough embarrassment.
“What? Um, never. What do you mean?” He’s scrambling, looking all around trying to think of something to explain away his condition.
“When did you take it? About 20 minutes ago is my guess. Slow down your breathing, you’re going to be just fine.” I turn him to me, man to man, and try to show him how to take deep breaths. That so rarely works, but I always try.
“Yesterday.” He suddenly speaks slowly, relaxing.
Turning his shoulders back towards me I call him on it.
“How about just before you ran into the restaurant? Yeah?” Was my response, then I just let him wonder how I knew.
The ambulance arrived shortly after our discussion and he of course requested transport to discover what on earth could have caused his heart to suddenly race, nay, hurry, no, speed.
Gee, I wonder.