Friday, June 20, 2008

Human kindness

I'm going to break my general rule about talking too specifically about myself, but I had a traumatic event this week that I wanted to share.

On Wednesday, I had lunch from Whole Foods hot bar--salmon, spinach and rice with vegetables (this was the Whole Foods at 2nd Ave). I was fine until about 3 p.m. when I mentioned to a coworker that I wasn't feeling too spectacular. By 4 p.m., I felt a lot worse and told my boss I was feeling very sick. She suggested I get a cab and go home, but I didn't feel like I was going to be able to leave because I knew I was about to become really ill. Shortly thereafter, I found myself vomiting in the bathroom.

I started sweating profusely alternating with chills, and I was dearly wishing someone would have been around. I got scared because I was suddenly in so much pain. I knew I had to get myself out of there and get help. I started seeing stars and was about to faint. I managed to get out the bathroom door and the six feet across the hall to the nearest coworker. I shouted out, "Jim! Help me!" And then I collapsed.

Two guys grabbed me and put me in a chair, but I couldn't sit due to the abdominal pain, so one of them picked me up and carried me in his arms to the the couch in the front room of the office. A bunch of coworkers gathered around to talk to me and see how I was, and someone called 911. Four people sat and talked to me, and one stroked my hair and put a cold compress on my neck. Another coworker gathered up my things and my jacket and brought them to me.

The pain came in waves where I could barely speak during the peak pain, but then it would remit, and I was able to regain my sense of humor and chat. The paramedics arrived and strapped me into a chair with wheels and took me down to the ambulance. My boss was kind enough to come along for the ride. It was my first time in an ambulance, and I can't say it was all that exciting. They basically strap you onto the gurney. They handed me a barf bucket, and I was proud to not hurl despite the exceedingly bumpy ride.

I was given two bags of IV fluids, which helped enormously. My sister arrived, so my boss was free to go, but before leaving, she bought me a wide assortment of the best trash magazines to read as I recovered.

The next day, my coworkers sent me flowers.

I'm still sick and at home recovering, two days later. This is by far the worst food poisoning I've ever had. But, I just wanted to say how grateful I am to those who came to my aid during a terrible moment of illness, and how touched I am by the kindness and compassion exhibited by my coworkers in a time of personal crisis. Thank you all. I'll never forget it.


shantielise said...

oh my god, karen. i'm glad they were there for you too! and here i was wondering why you hadn't put up a new post in a while. i hope you are feeling better. let me know if you need anything.

jami said...

I'm so sorry to hear about how sick you've been! I'm glad you were still at work where people could help until the ambulance got there. The whole thing sounds like a terrible experience! I hope you are 100% better soon.

Major Generalist said...

Thank you both for your kind words. It was a heck of a few days, but I am feeling a lot better now, and am about to venture into potato and lentil territory. This slow climb back to intestinal health is SOOO boring from a culinary perspective!

Krissi said...

YIKES! I'm so sorry to hear about this scary incident. It's great to know your co-workers had your back...and your sister knew exactly what kind of meds you needed. Feel better!

Rational Answers said...

If you were going to share something specific about your life, this was a good choice. Those of us who weren't there and couldn't help at the time can at least let you know after the fact that we are listening and do care. Am & Do!

Major Generalist said...

Thanks much, Krissi and Rational. It's good to know that both of you are out there in the universe :)

Allergic Girl said...

oh gosh! horrible, im so glad you're okay now and indeed that your coworkers were so lovely.

miss weeza said...

Babe! I'm so sorry. I hope you're all the way back up to speed now. Potato and lentil are yummy but only for so long.

BIG hug.