Friday, May 05, 2006
THAT YELLOW EMERGENCY Strip in the Subway Car...
After not submitting my time cards over a three week period, I decided to be all proactive and use my lunch hour/mushing time to drop them up at tempo HQ in person. And, suffice to say, although inspired by one of the other admins here, I have been quite lucky with my lunch hour, time constrained errands. The downed systems @ the Credit Union on Tuesday for example were a close call.
Well, there I was, in pressed mode, because of course, I was waiting for more than 3 minutes[SHOCKING! SHOCKING!] for a train. It comes, we coast - great. But somewhere early in the ride, I notice this guy, super cool in his head, carrying an upside down, shortened tulip that was deep pink in colour. He's walking slow and intentionally down the length of the car, staring at something in the next car. I'm seated right beside the door that separates each car and he walks past me and into the last one. Everyone stares but I choose to ignore him. I'm thinking "great, you selfish a-hole, they'll probadly stop the train because you wanted to see your girlfriend and we'll all be delayed", fraaack!!!
The train continues thankfully without incident. However at Dundas, these two chaps, mildly disabled, get on. One stays standing and chats away, the other sits adjacent to me. The doors close, we take off and boom - the one adjacent to me goes horizontal, drops and has a full blown epileptic seizure. He slowly grazes my knees as he collapses and in a moment, I'm holding his head to keep him from smashing it on the subway floor, his body is writhing and thrashing; I raise him up a little, and I see that his lips are blueish and his eyes are lights out.
His friend is relatively calm, strong - telling us that yes, his compadre is epileptic, that the seizures come in "spells" of at several at a time. He's searching to make sure he hit the yellow strip to get emergency status on the train, tells us his name[I've since forgotten], that his pal left his meds at home, and that he doesn't have a medic alert bracelet. He also tells me that the two of them won't be going to the movies this afternoon after all . I remember now that although he hit the strip, I didn't hear it -like my ears were frozen somehow.
Other folks eventually step in, there are medically inclined passengers converging as well as TTC personnel. He is still in bad, bad shape, lots of writhing, not coherent, completely disengaged pupils, gosh. I can only imagine how exhausting one must feel afterwards. With the exception of one lady who asked WHAT DO I DO and with very little shrill, everyone is cool headed.
Needless to say, the northbound trains had come to a complete halt. I gave the subway personnel my info, had one last glance at the scene, noticing that the guy w/ the tulip was now among the onlookers and took my leave. The tempo HQ trek was a dud and I had to beat it back to 320 Bay. Even when I've returned to King Station there were still announcements of the northbound trains being delayed due to illness.
From the moment I changed trains up until writing now, I've had the strongest urge to burst into tears. Nothing happened to me, but it was such a jarring incident to have experienced so intimately. I've seen my share of seizures and at a young age, but this fellow's suffering seemed a lot more intense than I recall having previously witnessed.
He seemed to be in good hands when I left, I hope he is ok.