"Someone's Down in the Shower!"
Those are the words I heard earlier this morning at the gym coming from an elderly lady named Betty. In fact, I keep hearing those words resonating in my head. I know that about one person reads my blog, or so I've heard. My new step-dad told me last week he checks in regularly to see what I've posted. So, I guess this is just cathartic for me, getting it off my chest, writing about it. My hands are still shaking.
I was in the pool with about 25 other ladies. We were nearing the end of a water aerobics class. Betty is older, tall and has a boisterous personality and a loud voice. But she had a mortified look on her face as she peered out from the bank of showers and yelled out to those of us in the pool.
"Someone's down in the shower!"
I knew that we were dealing with a situation that needed immediate, urgent attention. Any of you who know me, know that in such instances, I don't think, I just react.
I pushed my way on over to the pool stairs muttering "come on Amy." My best friend was working out with me today. So, with friend in tow, I raced to the showers and entered the corridor. I expected to see one of the very elderly ladies who work out in the mornings lying in the aisle way on the floor. In my head I was thinking, brittle bones......try not do anything that could cause a fracture......call an ambulance and get the old gal onto a stretcher. But I saw nothing. At the opposite end of the showers I saw Betty standing there overlooking a shower stall with the door open.
What I saw was not what I expected, as I peered into the shower stall. I didn't see an elderly lady. I saw a gal about my age. (I'll be turning 40 in a couple months) And she was naked, lifeless and crumpled/wedged into the bottom of the stall. Her head/neck was wedged in an awful bend against the wall and her eyes were open and she was staring forward. She was completely lifeless.
Now, I know you aren't supposed to move a person who has fallen because there could be a neck or spinal injury. But in that instance I decided that breathing was the top priority. Those of you who know me know that I have issues with my wrists, elbows and shoulders and various other joints due to an autoimmune disorder. I've been using 2 pound barbells in the pool and have been considering going back down to one pounders since my elbows have been bothering me. But I was telling myself, 'you need to pick her up so she can breathe.' Fortunately, by this time, the adrenaline had kicked into overdrive and in a flash I was reaching down and grabbing her around her chest and lifting with all my might. As her head was relieved from the awful crink, she just popped back to life. She looked at me frightfully and I reassured her, "Honey, you passed out and I'm here to help you."
I assessed her the best I could. Her coloring was good. I checked her pupils. I didn't know if she had banged her head or not at this point. She told me that the last thing she remembered was turning off the water. She then told me that she thought it might be her sugar. I asked her if she was diabetic. She said no. I asked her if she had worked out on the gym floor. She told me she had done 40 minutes on one machine and 12 on another. I asked her if she had eaten anything today. She said no. I asked her if she had s0aked in the hot tub and she said yes. At this point, I was trying to cool her with wet towels on her forehead and get her blood sugar level up so we were in a mad dash to find something for her to eat. However, no one there had anything. Not even a cola. The machine vends water bottles and gatorade but the gatorade slot was empty. Finally, a lady came forward with two pieces of hard candy. So I unwrapped one and she popped it in her mouth. A few minutes later we got her to eat the second piece of candy. She perked up and we finally were able to get her to a standing position and get her into the locker room.
She was doing much better and after awhile I was able to leave her in the care of a gym employee and I returned back to the pool. The second class was about to start and the pool was packed. I lost my spot so resorted to swimming to a more secluded area in the deep end and just took a few deep breaths. I was shaking and felt like I just needed to go somewhere and cry. So, After a bit, I told Amy I just had to go shower off, get dressed and get back home. And so I write....
Glad I could help.