Sometimes perspective finds you

Unemployment can be a blow to the ego. It can undermine your confidence and make you question things you never before thought to. It sucks on many levels. But don’t feel sorry for yourself. Things could be a lot worse.

This morning I was walking down Queens Blvd. to the gym when the man in front of me had a seizure. He staggered and convulsed as his body tensed up. Unable to keep balance, he pitched sideways, leaving his Crocs on the pavement and slamming his head into the hood of a parked car. His body came to rest splayed over the curb with his head against the front tire.

I asked if he was okay, if he needed help, but got no response. I waved my hand across his face but got no reaction. He didn’t move or communicate in any way. His eyes were blank. Snot spilled out of his nose, spit out of his mouth. Then his body tensed up again, and he went into another seizure. His back arched as his arms reached out to nothing in particular. His hands instinctively balled into fists, but some fingers stuck out in odd directions like spokes of a broken umbrella.

I called 911, gave them the location and explained the situation. Then I waited for an ambulance to arrive. In that time – maybe ten minutes – I watched the man from a few feet away. He was wearing dirty sweatpants and a mismatched sweater with the sleeves rolled up. His hair was gray, and his body frail-seeming. Scabs dotted his arms. A fresh plastic bag holding his stuff read New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Many people looked over in curiosity or out of concern before going about their business. Some didn’t seem to notice at all. Two people stopped and waited with me. The man didn’t move.

The paramedics rolled him onto a board and strapped him to it. With a three-count they lifted him onto a gurney and strapped him to that as well. One held the man’s hand as he had another seizure. Then they put his bag and shoes on the gurney with him and loaded it into the ambulance.

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One Comment

  1. Dr. Wittenstein wrote:

    This is a very true thought. Life has a way of placing us exactly where we need to be. In fact, it could be said you were destined to be at that spot at that time to do exactly that. Maybe saved his life.

    As far as unemployment, I think its helpful to consider it as a state of mind. Choose your perspective wisely, and with happiness… and life will again find you exactly where you need to be!

    Dr. Wittenstein

    Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 4:07 pm | Permalink