He's forty-two, sitting in a chair in a lush lawyer's office downtown, eyes vacant, body limp, brain frazzled from the after-effects of his latest seizure.
His wife stands near him, nervous, lost, afraid.
I have no idea why they are in a lawyers office, but have my ideas.
The wife is nicely dressed, doing a great job of holding things together.
He's a dad, I find out, father of two, ten and twelve. His kids are growing up fast, just like all kids do, just finding their own groove, making the first steps toward the inevitable separation from parental control.
His seizures began a year ago, following an accident. He suffered a head injury while at work. Prior to the accident he was the picture of health, his family the picture of happiness. They were a team, both held good jobs, the kids doing well, nice house, two cars, a vacation now and then and a bright future ahead of them.
Mom and Dad need all the help they can get now, the heart and soul of the family unit has been stricken, the once strong, capable man now walks with a cane, and wears a brace on his left leg. His job is gone, disability a fraction of his earning potential, expenses far exceeding income.
He's coming around now, his eyes clear a little, he's able to tell me his name. He cannot tell me the day of the week, however. Not yet, he will in a few minutes.
The wife looks on nervously as I assess the man. What I say to him and how I think are worlds apart. I notice her body language from the corner of my eye, the facial expression giving way to despair. I think, and hope that I'm right, that she is tired of making decisions for now, is overwhelmed, and just wants to sit in a corner and cry.
I know how she feels.
I ask her husband the right questions, he's coming around now, knows the day of the week, knows Obama is President. He speaks slowly, the head injury caused a stroke, and his speech is affected. His blood glucose is in the low nineties.
He takes Kepra, and his doctor has increased the dose last week, following the last seizure.
The patient has lost his confidence for now, and is looking for help, the lawyer wants to proceed and the wife is near tears.
Somebody has to take charge, might as well be me.
"Peter, we're putting you on the stretcher, taking you to the ER for an evaluation. One seizure sometimes begets another."
The lawyer is annoyed, the patient cooperative and the wife relieved.
"I didn't know what to do," she tells me, once in the safety of Rescue 5.
"I did." I tell her, and give her what I hope is a reassuring smile.