Saturday, July 25, 2009


I was in Alaska last week and flew back by way of Seattle. Sat next to Ben. Ben is 84, built ships in Newport News during the war, raised three kids and has had a good life. Ben is also one of those guys who would say "Excuse me" if he was Bleeding out on your foot. One of the things was things Ben did was cut and install Asbestos in ships. OK, We know now but then it was doing the job and it was what had to be done. Ben has asbestosis and a litaney of other things that happen when you get old. What Ben had at 35,000 Ft was shortness of Breath. Know I have been where Ben was at the moment and I gotta tell you it REALLY sucks. But Ok, He tells me he ain't felling very good and is a little short of breath. By the way, Ben's got a Pacemaker installed. Now when you are at 35,000 over the Canadian Rockies and the old buck in the seat next to you tells ya he ain't felling very good, you should pay attention. Ya know why, These guys didn't bitch, moan, Complain or run to the shop steward every time they suffered some slight insult to their fragle psych. They did their job, raised a family, put their kids through school and pretty much did what we all did or at least should do. And Ben tells me he ain't feeling good. The attendents are good, plugged in and started doing what what they needed to do. Before I went to the Dark side, I was a paramedic, Pretty good one I thought and it has stood me well over the years as when the stuff is hitting the fan I can do the cool thing pretty well. Ok, little O2 and a basic survey and away we go. Med Com plugs in and I give a patient report, Doc sounds cool and recommends continue to Destination as it does not sound like Ben is about to crater. Keep a eye on him and we get in to Sea-Tac with no further hiccups. Off the plane and into the loving arms of Sea-Tac Fire-Ems. Hand him over and give report. Shake his hand and walk away. God Bless you Ben. Thank you for what you have done and what you have accomplished. May He hold you in his hand on the last day.