Friday, July 25, 2008


Rescue calls in that they're bringing in a patient found pretty much unresponsive on the sidewalk. Nothing new in our little part of the world. We rush him in and find him sweating profusely, obtunded, pinpoint pupils. Can't talk, can't give a history. Well dressed and is wearing the biggest solid gold chain and gold coin I've ever seen. Doesn't react to Narcan or Romazicon reversal. Has alternating periods between lethargy and combativeness. Lucky for us, since he's built SOLID. It takes 4 or 5 of us to hold him down when he stirs. We get labs, and rush him to CT. Clean scan, no problems there. Labs are unremarkable. NO drugs or alcohol in his system. Vital signs stable throughout. EKG perfectly normal. Wife comes in and tells us he's an extremely healthy, hard-working fellow. WE ARE STUMPED!
What the hell is wrong with him then?

We start hydrating him and PRESTO! He starts coming back slowly. First he responds to verbal stimuli, then he answers questions. He loses the combativeness. Within two hours of hydration, he's awake, alert, oriented and cracking jokes. HEAT EXHAUSTION is the official diagnosis! Amazing! By the time we transfer him upstairs, he's perfect. Except for one thing. He's missing his solid gold Rolex watch. He didn't have it on arrival. He was truly afraid it might have been taken from him while he was unresponsive on the sidewalk. It was a possibility he had to seriously consider.

At 3AM the same rescue crew rolls back in with another patient. They happen to ask about the man. I ask them to check the back of the truck to see if the watch might be in there. PRESTO! One solid gold Rolex watch is found. I personally deliver it to him upstairs in his room.

How lucky can you get in one day?

No matter how crappy my night was (and IT WAS CRAPPY!) he was the bright spot in my shift tonight.


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