Monday, October 06, 2014

Impressed, and Somewhat Useless

I was getting ready to leave campus this afternoon, not long after 5pm, so I went to the women's room as part of the getting ready process.  In the women's room, a young woman was sitting on the floor, looking distressed, making a noise that at first sounded like weeping, but then like some sort of breathing problem. 

I was slow, but she got out an inhaler, and I helped her use it, and then she got out her phone, and I talked to her mom (as it turned out), who said there was medicine in the backpack, but there was no backpack.  Then the mom hung up.

A moment later, another student rushed in with the backpack, and a moment after that, another student (the first student's roommate, as it turned out).  An hour later and she was much better, and we'd taken her to the hospital, and her roommate was going into the exam room with her, and I left (having given the roommate my phone number in case they need a ride home).

Boy, did I feel useless.  I'm totally the wrong kind of doctor.  (But I did get them to the hospital, so maybe I'm not totally useless.)

On the other hand, I'm deeply impressed with the roommate especially, and also the other student.  Both were calm and figured out what their friend needed and helped her effectively.

The roommate, once the student was breathing better, sort of directed her breathing.  And weirdly, I found myself breathing to, and really paying attention to my breathing.  You don't usually think about breathing, but sometimes you have to think about it.

I wish the powers that be in this state would realize that the people like me, the people they trash in the press, are also people who take care of students beyond our job description.  And also, we're people who do a good job at our job.


  1. Hardly useless and, oh, so good to know that you were there to lend a hand.

  2. Wow! That's quite the above-and-beyond story. I'm glad you were able to help!!

  3. Anonymous8:10 PM

    Rocking in loco parentis like a mofo. :-) Glad you were there.

  4. Wow -- not at all useless! I'm so glad you were there for the student, and I'm sure she and her mom and her friends are grateful for your calm presence and help.