BY A JOHN ROSE
When I left work at 5:58 p.m. on September 22, my main thought was that it was nice to be on my way home at a rational time on a Friday evening. My wife, Judith, and I headed to the post office to throw a package into the bin and started discussing a friend’s recent brain surgery. We didn’t make it home.
I suffer from vasovagal syncope, a brief loss of consciousness due to activation of the vagus nerve. It has to do with a sudden drop in blood pressure from a variety of causes. My issue is discussing medical procedures. It doesn’t always happen, but you never know when it will. You learn to live with it.
“Honey, I don’t feel so well,” I said. “I think I need to pull over.” I made it to the right turn lane, stopped the car, and that’s when the lights went out. As I was coming to, Judith told me she would drive the rest of the way home. In a semi-conscious state, I opened the car door—and promptly fell onto the pavement.
When I awakened, I heard a voice I recognized. I opened my eyes and saw my neighbor, Dale, a physician. He and his wife happened to be driving home at the same time, headed in the same direction. Moments later I heard a woman say she was a pediatrician, and she ran to grab her medical bag from her car. Within seconds, I had two doctors looking after me.
It wasn’t long before the EMTs arrived and went to work. They soon had me in the ambulance and on my way to IU Health Bloomington Hospital.
To say that the emergency room was a busy place on a Friday night would be an understatement. Let’s put it this way—I never made it into an actual room. I spent my time in Hall C. I’m a funny guy: At one point, I said to a nurse, “You need a new hospital!”
I can’t tell you how many people I had contact with in the ER, but I can tell you that every single one of them—doctors, nurses, and techs— was kind and caring.
We read a lot about the downfall of today’s health care system, but when you are injured and scared, there is nothing more comforting than to have people attending you who genuinely care. That night, I was cared for by doctors and nurses who studied at IU and Ivy Tech—real people who chose to live and work here.
My experience at the hospital is just one example of the kind of community in which we live. Suffice it to say that there are a lot of folks who get up every day with the intention of making Bloomington (and the world) a better place. I am thankful and proud to have chosen Bloomington to be the place to build a business, raise a family, and grow old(er).
Thanks to all who got Judith and me through a scary Friday night with just a few stitches and a black eye!