Thursday, November 09, 2006

Moments of beauty through the frantic work day

I had walked over to the HR building to ask about the AED device which was supposed to be posted behind the lobby security desk. The air was crisp, and rain was falling quietly, whispering off the last few leaves still on the trees and darkening the sidewalks. The ladies behind the desk were helpful, but knew no more than I, and I turned back around after politely thanking them. Yesterday I'd been trained on how to use the device, paired with CPR, to save a life. The procedures have changed in 16 years since my last certification and I must admit I felt a bit out of date prior to the training. Now I feel better.

The AED, if you are not familiar with it, is a device which is battery powered and can deliver a 300 joule shock to a defibrillating heart. If you are having a heart attack, your heart goes in to arrhythmia and gets confused. The AED shocks it, and between it and the CPR procedures (30 compressions to 2 breaths), the vascular and respiratory system can be held on long enough to keep death at bay 'till EMS gets there.

In the old days, if you were just trying to resuscitate with CPR, you had a 7% probability rate of bringing the person back. The figures are much less grim with the AED, and a fast EMS--75%. Amazing isn't it? These little devices can save you long enough till the EMT's get there if you have a viable heartbeat.

I was contemplating this gnarly responsibility when I heard a noise--it sounded familiar yet came at me from a distance, and I stopped and dropped my hood, baring my head to the rain in order to listen more closely. Geese! The sky was dark, consequently they were as well, but listening to their call as they flew in a loose formation made me reason they were Canadian geese. I counted them quickly and watched all 58 of them making their way darkly across the sky. The moment streched like an hour as I stood transfixed on the grassy parking median in front of my building. They flew past the roofline; I could still hear their calls as I made my way to the front doors. On the sidewalk below me, the last of the Ornamental Plum leaves were strewn across the sidewalk, still yet un-raked by the groundskeepers. It was a moment of beauty amidst a day of hurley-burley, and I winged back to my desk, my spirit awing with the geese.

-Jay