First a little confession: I’m not always the friendliest person. I try to be nice and pleasant, but I don’t always say good morning to my colleagues as I walk by their offices or goodnight as I leave for the day. I’m certainly not the most outgoing person. Sometimes I’m just focused on getting to my desk and answering those waiting emails or beginning my work for the day. Not any more…
Yesterday, I was getting ready to leave for the day. I waited on my colleague, Katie, so she could gather her belongings and we could walk out of the office together. On our way out, we peeked into a friend’s office to say goodbye. He was slumped over with his hand on his head. We asked if he was alright and he said that he was dizzy and had been vomiting. I told him he should give our boss, who happens to be a doctor, a call. My ill colleague looked at me, a bit confused, a bit disoriented, he had trouble responding. I knew/had a feeling that something was seriously wrong at that point. Katie and I found the doctor quickly and he went to check on our friend. The doctor came out a couple minutes later and asked that we call 911. Luckily, the fire station is within walking distance and the paramedics were on site quickly. Another colleague directed the paramedics to our offices and I held the door while they carried in their equipment. They asked for privacy and Katie and I headed home. When I arrived home, I texted another colleague (who is very good friends with our ill friend – they were in each other’s weddings and have worked together for several years). He was headed to the hospital and told me he’d let me know what he found out. Soon after I received a phone call. Our friend had suffered a brain hemorrhage. An MRI (or maybe a CT? – I’m not sure) showed bleeding at the base of the brain. My good friend is still in ICU, but I hear that he is alert, talking, and even cracking jokes – I can’t imagine him any other way. He’ll be meeting with a neurologist today and will hopefully he’ll get some answers.
It’s just sinking in how serious this situation was. At first, the medical staff suspected a stroke. I overheard a colleague saying that they had prepared his mom for the worst and that she broke down in tears. Hearing this made me cry. I’ve known my friend for 10 years. I was in his office yesterday for a long time talking about houses (he happens to also be my realtor). He came to my neighborhood on Sunday to show me a house. He’s in his early 40’s. Way too young for something like this to happen.
I’m so thankful that a doctor was just down the hallway.
So here’s a little lesson (for myself)… take the time to say hello and goodbye, check in with your friends/coworkers/neighbors. Checking up on someone could make all the difference.