Sunday, May 25, 2014

BUS STORY # 394 (Spell)

Photo by Busboy

I’m sitting on the bench seat facing the rear doors. You tend to track the folks who are exiting through those doors, and that is why I saw what happened.

Guy in his late 20s or early 30s, prematurely receding hairline, dressed in black nylon warmup pants, white T-shirt, and carrying a gym bag. The bus is still rolling, and he’s come up the aisle and taken a position by the exit.

He’s standing in the aisle, holding onto the pole with his left hand, the gym bag in his right, and facing the back of the bus. Staring, actually...

He starts to lean backwards, his left arm stretching out as he continues to hold onto the bar. But his face, I am realizing, is staring blankly, and I understand he is losing consciousness.

I jump up and ask if he’s OK.

He doesn’t answer, and his hand lets go of the rail. Two other co-riders are beside us in an instant. He is rigid and unresponsive, and I’m not sure I wouldn’t have gone down with him if the other two guys hadn’t’ve been there. We drag him over to the bench seat, his legs dragging stiffly. But we can’t sit him down; he’s too rigid.

We’re at the stop now because the back doors are open. The riders in front of us are aware something is going on behind them. I shout, “Call 911!”

And then he sags.

We maneuver him into a semi-sitting position on the bench seat, and watch as he slowly returns to consciousness. His face is pouring sweat. Of course it’s absurd, but we ask him anyway, “Are you OK?”

He is dazed. I think he doesn’t know where he is. And slowly, he recovers his senses. The driver is now back with us. He asks if he needs to call an ambulance.

The guy says no, no ambulance. There is emphasis in his voice.

The driver isn’t sure what to do. We suggest he really ought to go to the hospital.

No, no, he insists. He’ll be fine.

We ask if he’s diabetic.


Has this ever happened before.


Had he just finished working out.

No. He is on his way to his workout.

I tell him whatever just happened ought to be checked out. It could happen again, and he might not be so lucky the next time.

He tells us he will. He tells us he’s fine now.

And he gathers himself up, stands up. He looks for his bag, and one of the co-riders picks it up and pretty much puts the handles into our guy’s right hand. He exits under his own strength, gingerly.

The driver heads back to his seat. We watch our workout guy look down the sidewalk, then start walking that way.

Those of us in the back of the bus retell the story, rehash the details, throw out diagnoses (epilepsy, diabetes, brain tumor, etc.), for the remainder of our ride together.


Anonymous Brenda said...

Your observant nature serves more that telling great bus stories. I bet you had a bit of an adrenaline rush. Well done you and your fellow bus riders.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thank you, Brenda. Adrenalin rush? Oh, yes indeed!

4:32 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Yikes, I hope he's okay. I wonder if a lack of health insurance kept him from wanting the ambulance?

8:37 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Hi, Heather. Yes, lack of insurance crossed my mind when he so emphatically told us no ambulance. (Hence the photo for this story.) However, I find it not uncommon for people to avoid following up on something like this for fear of receiving a life-changing diagnosis, or fear of spending both money and time on tests that come up negative. Who knows what the real reason was in this guy’s case? I hope it was just a one-time event, and worry it wasn’t.

5:38 PM  

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