July 5, 2015
The heart monitor begins to come to life. The familiar long, steady tone now signals a heartbeat. Dr. Gandy again asks for the time.
“6:29, Dr. Gandy!”
“Ninety-five point six and rising!”
“Still 6:29, Doctor.”
Dr. Gandy whispers to himself, “I’m not believing this.” He needs to check this out with his own set of ears. Still sitting in his old, vintage lab chair, he pushes himself away from his workstation toward me. The chair rattles and creaks— its castors, squeaky and wobbly like a misaligned grocery cart. The noise it made is only a distraction because he knows there was much more work ahead. “Folks we’re not out of the woods yet.” Dr. Gandy gets to my bedside and uses his stethoscope to confirm what he has been seeing on the monitor. He listens to my heart, and for those nearest to him is overheard saying, “This is insane.” He quickly rolls back and views more results streaming from the printer. Dr. Gandy tears off a page, turns to Paul and says in a low tone, “I’m framing this.”
Unlike her colleague, another nurse, calmly announces that my blood pressure is almost normal, and my heart rate is strong and steady, but we’re not to the finish line yet.
Dr. Gandy checks my respiration. “He’s not breathing! Prepare to intubate!”