More Smiles Dental Spa Dentistry Blog | James A. Moreau, Jr., D.D.S.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Be Prepared

On the way to Boy Scout camp, we made a slight detour to drop our girls and me at my parents' home in N. Alabama for the week. It was the first time I've been there since Christmas and it was mighty good to enjoy morning coffee on their brick patio in full view of the beautiful Oriental Lilies blooming in daddy's garden. Even had to put a sweater on a couple of mornings. We had a thoroughly enjoyable week with lots of family time with my siblings, nieces, nephews. We got to see cousin Kirk's new puppy, Roscoe, who I'm sure will be the mascot of the KA house at Univ. of Alabama by the first of September. Where else but Alabama can a kid buy a puppy at the flea market for $5.00? Kirk says he knows a flea market where you can actually buy goats and America! :-)

And, of course, I had my own two Maltese with me, walked 'em on a leash 3 times a day just like at home. But it was such a pleasure just having a change of scenery for our backdrop. How come they always seem to have so many more flowers in their gardens up there? I've decided that because in their beautiful historic district the yards are smaller than at home so it just seems like there's more in bloom. And their heat is not so oppressive and stifling as it is at home, so there are actually more than 3 different varieties of plant life that can thrive in the natural climate.

We visited Uncle T's farm where I learned what a Kubota is, and we ate BBQ at the lakehouse and then stretched out on an oversized couch for a satisfying nap while summer showers painted wavy patterns across Lake Guntersville. But I digress...

Sometimes it takes stepping back from the routine to really see things clearly and regain perspective. It is only then that you can lift your face from the proverbial grindstone and appreciate what lies beyond that which you can only see with reading glasses on.

And so it was at the end of a week of relaxation and renewal that Jim and I were truly reminded how precious and how fragile life is. He and the boys had returned from scout camp to rest for a night and pick up "the girls" before heading home the next day. I was driving us 10 minutes away to our new favorite shopping spot, me with visions of Brighton and J.Crew, he with dreams (as he napped) of Mountain High Outfitters.

As I exited the interstate and rounded the curve of the ramp to merge onto the 4-lane highway that leads to the new town center shopping area, I saw a small pickup stopped dead in my lane of traffic, debris spread all across the highway and then...another car in my peripheral vision came rotating out of a spin and bounced three times and settled to a stop on the right shoulder of the road facing back in our direction. All at once I realized that all of these elements translated to a very bad scene. I jolted Jim awake and told him there had been an accident. He ordered me immediately to the side of the road. Before I could even pull to a stop, he was jumping out the door with instructions to me to call 911.

He and an R.N. coming from the opposite direction were the first responders on the scene. As other passers-by raced to the scene, Jim asked who was trained and they quickly began to pool their collective resources. The nurse began assessing the passenger from the car who'd been ejected as her vehicle flipped and catapulted off the top of the pick-up truck. Jim went to the truck and, seeing that the passenger was unconscious, bleeding and covered in broken glass, he began talking to him to try to rouse him and evaluate his cognitive state. He sent another man back to our van to ask me for some emergency gear he had packed for Boy Scout camp. Meanwhile he was able to stabilize the injured man's neck, check his pulse and airways and talked the man to consciousness to the point he could give his name. Emergency vehicles were on the scene by then and quickly got to work, each man or woman about the business for which they are specially trained, working in concert around each other in unscripted, unchoreographed perfect harmony.

As the professionals stepped in and went to work, Jim backed out of the scene and began dusting glass from his hands. I gave my witness statement to the authorities, and then we were on our way and back about our business. The paper said the man was treated for his injuries and then released; the woman was not so fortunate.

It's an odd feeling to witness something such as that and find yourself inserted in that way into a total stranger's world. I'm proud and grateful that Jim has advanced life support training and enough experience to confidently and quickly jump to action. I'm sorry for the trouble and tragedy inflicted on those victims and their families. And I'm certain that whatever it cost us to be away from our office to spend that week with our children and other loved ones and hold them close was well worth it.

posted by MoreSmiles at 8:35 PM


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