Yesterday morning, after a sleepless night caused by Adam’s coughing, Jessica decided we needed to take Adam back to the doctor.  He had just finished a course of antibiotics to treat pneumonia.  For many days he was better.  But all of a sudden it seemed as if he was getting worse. He looked pale and weak and his coughing intensified. So although I usually like to wait a few days before going to the doctor since usually things tend to get better on their own, this time I agreed with Jess and decided to go along and help.

The doctor listened to Adam’s chest, looked at the x-ray from the week before, and said there may be fluid in the right lung. He sent us back to the emergency clinic to get another x-ray and get antibiotic treatment if needed.

Very worried, we went to the clinic where another doctor examined Adam. She, too, thought he sounded bad and sent us upstairs for an x-ray.

If you think being in an emergency clinic with a long line for x-rays with a toddler is hard, try being there with Jess.  Jess tends to get very anxious about matters of health and a waiting room full of people coughing, etc, just screams “germs.”  I told Jess to just go home, but she wouldn’t.  She was busy trying to keep him off the floor (practically impossible).  

On the row of chairs beside me sat a father, about sixty-years-old, and his son who looked like he was in his thirties. From looking at them I could tell that the son was the patient, but he didn’t look too sick.

Jess and I were busy trying to keep Adam happy when I heard the man beside me start shouting. I turned around and saw the older man, holding his son who was stretched out unconscious with his head tilted to the side. He looked stiff and pale. His eyes were wide open, but not moving. The father kept helplessly shouting his son’s name as if trying to wake him. It took me a second to grasp what I was seeing and I jumped up and went to get some help.

I thought a team of doctors and paramedics would quickly appear, but that didn’t happen. Instead an x-ray technician came out slowly from his room and headed towards the area when the man was unconscious.

I was certain the man was dead and would have preferred not to go back at all. But since Jess was there with Adam I had no choice. When I got back to the waiting area, I was relived to see the dead man was alive.  Unfortunately, he was vomiting.

 A few minutes later I took Adam to have the x-ray taken. Jess and I were totally shaken when we went back to Adam’s doctor. She looked at the x-ray and told us Adam was fine. His lungs were clean.

Happy Adam was okay, but traumatized by our experience we went home. We kept talking about what had happened, wondering what made the man pass out, and saying how glad we were that he wasn’t dead.  I’ve seen people pass out before, but nothing like this.

The whole experience really scared me, not only because I thought I had seen someone die, and not only because I felt terrible for the father and for that man.  I had the terrible realization that I could look like that if I ever lost consciousness during hypoglycemia. And that whoever found me (if I were to be that lucky) would be as helpless and scared as that father seemed to be.

I have never passed out or lost consciousness and I plan to keep it that way.    

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