At the height of the storm, a seven year old boy began to shake. Then his foot went into involuntary spasms and his eyes rolled back into his head. His mother was alone with the boy, and waited a few moments before calling 911. She was frantic when we arrived, waiting in the wind and rain on the front door step, waving us in.
I’ve been in the habit of opening the door to the rescue before it completely stops, and getting out as soon as it does when people are standing outside looking frazzled. That little act of action calms them down considerably. Knowing that the responders are actually responding alleviates their fears to some degree.
Brian followed me into the home and up the stairs where the little guy waited. His foot was still convulsing, but his eyes were back to normal. Beautiful eyes they were, big, wide open brown eyes that looked right through me.
“What is his name?”
“DANIEL!” I said, feeling his forehead for fever. I’ve noticed that when you do that a little bond occurs between you and the patient; must be a time honored instinctual parental thing.
“How do you know?” asked Brian.
“My hand is a finely tuned temperature detector.”
At one time, when I had two little ones I went ten for ten, temps ranging from 99 to 104. Right on the money. I’m a little out of practice now, but still know 101, that one is easy.
“He can’t speak,” said his mom as I lifted him off of the couch and brought him down the stairs to the rescue.
“Because of the seizure?” I asked.
“No, he has a birth defect. He can’t walk either.”
He looked like a perfectly normal little boy having a seizure. Come to find out, he has never talked, never crawled, never walked, and probably never would.
It was a quick ride to the ER. Daniel lay on the stretcher, his foot still twitching, but otherwise stable. His beautiful eyes moved a little, he looked at his mother.
“He has your eyes,” I said, and she smiled back at me.