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Friday, January 13, 2012


As we pulled into the Lowe's parking lot we could see a couple of workers waving frantically at us (almost as if we wouldn't be able to find the store). We pulled up and my engineer hit the air break. The steps unfolded as I opened the door. After grabbing the equipment we were led to the appliance section of the store.

There we found a nearly 90 year old man sitting on a chair. The man and his son had been shopping for a new washer and dryer when, according to his son, he passed out. The son went on to say that he had helped his father to the ground. Fortunately he had seen his father's eyes glaze over and was there to catch him when he fainted.

My patient told me that he was still feeling a bit light headed. He also said that he wasn't going in an ambulance. A few weeks prior he had fainted and was transported to the hospital. He had just received a bill from the private ambulance company for the amount that his insurance did not cover. He didn't want another such bill. I assured him that I understood but I still wanted to check a few things. He readily agreed.

My patient's initial BP was low. Everything else was great. He had been seen by several specialists all trying to figure out why he was having these fainting spells but to no avail. While we checked what we could (12 lead EKG, blood sugar....) I talked to my patient.

He had served in World War II in the army. He had stormed the beaches of Normandy. We talked about basic training in 1942 and going across the Atlantic in a Liberty ship. He talked about giving up cigarettes and alcohol when he got married. We talked about his wife and his son and about his daily exercise regimen. He was full of stories and was happy to relate them to me.

10 minutes later my the WWII vet looked better. I asked him again how he felt and he said 100%. We again checked his BP and it was now 118/78.

After signing him out AMA I asked if it would be ok if I escorted him to his car. He declined. So I asked him if he would escort me to my fire engine. He laughed and agreed, saying that I was a persistent bugger.

They just don't make them like they used to.
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