Morning commute

Nurses General Nursing


Just another morning, sitting on the train studying and on my way to school. I was exhausted due to a limited number of hours slept last night after a long, busy and chaotic weekend at work.

All of the sudden i hear an announcement over the speaker "any medical professionals please come to cart 00, there is a medical emergency." My natural instinct is to get up and react immediately. "Whats going on !?!" I asked with urgency. "Follow me there is a passenger on the train that needs help!" One conductor said.

As i approached the area I saw a lady that looked really ****** up (current health-wise), excuse my language but this woman was all twisted up, in a way that I haven't witnessed before! Her face had a massive twitch, left lower side of body numb and she couldn't talk anymore, the passenger next to her said she was talking and reacting normally and that "all of the sudden" she was having these symptoms. How long has she been like this? " Well since about 3 stations after Speonk." Said the passenger. Did u call 911? What the ****? Speonk station was 45 minutes ago! Well we told the conductor to call an on board " medical professional" he said. "Do we have any first aide/ medical/ safety equipment? " I asked, " ummm no, sorry" said the conductor. I lovingly looked at the lady and told her to breath and to focus on me, She was making sound effects, i gave her a pen and paper and she wrote down "panic attack" "scared" no doctors" Her eyes were tearing and the fear in her eyes was extreme. She appeared to be a professional woman in her mid 40s, well groomed. I auscultated her apical pulse and her heart was very rapid 124 bpm. I asked her "Can u tell me what your name is?" She just stared at me making sound effects. THIS WAS NO PANIC ATTACK! One passenger got the woman's daughter on the cell phone for instruction and notification. I held the woman's hands and told her to just keep calm, that she is safe and we are all here to help her. The conductors were there with an unconcerned smirk on their face. "Did you call 911 NOW? We need to stop the train NOW and get her to a hospital NOW! I said. " Well the next stop is Penn station" said one conductor, scratching under his train cap. This woman needs medical attention now!! and we cant wait until Penn station which is 45 minutes away! (I believe she was having some sort of brain hemorrhage, stroke, ischemic attack) "Oh, o.k said the conductor as he called for help via his work phone. I smiled and continued to comfort the woman, telling her she is safe and to take deep breaths, deep, deep breaths and look at me and to feel safe, that we are all going to make sure she gets the best and fastest treatment. She continued to have her eyes fixed to mine but non-verbal. Approx 1 minute later the woman tilted her head back, eyes rolled and began seizing violently. One passenger began to hold her hands and try to contain the seizure, i told her to not touch the woman! There was no safety equipment or any first aide on the train! What a shame! I acted as a cushion for her convulsions so she wouldn't bump her head on any of the metal walls or structures, the episode lasted approx 1.5 minutes, the woman just suddenly stoped moving and all her body went limp, pupils unilateral, one dilated, one constricted, she had peri-oral cyanosis and large amount of saliva coming out of her mouth. I moved her limp body into a safe position on the floor with head supported up on me and kept telling her to BREATHE, BREATH, TO STAY WITH US and the train stopped. Her pulse became weaker and I was afraid she may need to be resuscitated very soon, the cyanosis was getting worse! She was fixed eyed, pupils unilateral, no blinking, flaccid extremities. The announcers stated "this train has been cancelled and you must transfer" etc. People began complaining "great! Now I am late!" On their smartphones scrolling and ******** away, aware of the situation that has caused the delay! The train came to a platform and there were about 6 police officers and 4 paramedics. " Quickly this woman is having major neuro vascular symptoms, gravely ill, she needs help now! She needs to be transported immediately!" The staff of emergency personnel looked very chill and worked very slowly without any urgency, taking her blood sugar first as I told them the obvious symptoms. Its cool to be chill under pressure but if this woman had a clot in her brain she needed a throbolytic/ tpn stat! The longer u wait the more brain damage! Approx 15 mins later the emt uses a penlight and sees the pupils, lack of blinking, HELLOO!!!!! Thats what I keep saying and being ignored! Ughh! She was placed on a monitor and on a stretcher, the poor thing, she hasn't regained any consciousness,I gave report to the police officers and paramedics, but had to get on another train to make it in time for school 😞 I gave them my phone number in case a question arrises. I got on another train, realizing I forgot my case with all my HW, important study material, everything I needed for this semester

😞 bummer!

I sat on the train thinking and feeling like major ****! Why? There was nothing I could do! Nothing I could administer! Nothing at all I could've done to fix this situation quicker, have her get medical attention faster!!! I had her big brown innocent and terrified eyes stuck in my mind! How I just wanted to ease that suffering for her but there was no possible way, she needed to be in a hospital and orders needed to be given for implementation.I don't even know, what is a nurse allowed to do legally w/o an order and consent? I just felt useless at my lack in knowledge yet so eager in furthering it. How safe are trains if someone becomes majorly ill? I remember being trapped in the tunnel at Penn station for two hours without electric. Someone can die in these circumstances! There is no medical safety equipment, no AED, CPR equipment nothing! And no staff that knows how to use it!

I just kept thinking and thinking, those tearful, innocent and scared brown eyes.. The last words she wrote on the paper "work problems". Work problems! What a ****** up society we live in today! A society of financial slaves, a robotic, desensitized society. There is no employer ever worth your own health! EVER! If they bother u so much then u need to let someone know of the situation! Allow for others to provide you with emotional support! There are people and support out there! ( Although a change in system is much needed!)

"Panic attack", per the woman's daughter she was started on Xanax for panic attacks. She was so convinced that her symptoms were psychological, she was writing it on the paper during this life threatening medical crisis! The medical field has become a pill pushing financial bully that treats only symptoms and not causes. "Well, thats normal, its just mental" many Drs say with an arrogant smirk, pushing the next symptom masking pill.

"Scared of doctors" she wrote- you have to be in charge of your body and be your own advocate, if something doesn't feel right then you need to be proactive and seek further advice, by the time u have major symptoms it may be too late! Not all medical professionals have the best intentions for the patient. Regardless of the memorized facts in college managed to remember, some medical professionals lack the passion and true empathy. You need to find a doctor/practitioner that is right and pursue health visits. There ARE brilliant, good hearted Drs/Practitioners out there!

Lastly, take care of yourself! Take time off, meditate, eat right, relax, exercise and love your self! Forget about the irrelevant ****! Such as the 90% of pollution on TV and social media. The **** that is there to structure you into a robot with a complete absence of empathy.

The body is precious, delicate and irreplaceable! We need to focus on the important things, the relevant things, the things embedded deep in our hearts, such as LOVE (the biggest one). We all have different neuro wiring and therefore have different views, opinions, personalities- accept and help one another any time you get a chance. Silence the greedy, miserable ego and follow your heart! Live with passion! Have faith! The financial struggle/ inequality on earth is out of proportions and we are urged to seek ONLY financial and educational success, the rest of the people are rotten tomatoes! This is BS! Do the best you can, live within your financial limits humbly, and assist others as much as u can! If there is a resource you know about, share it! Don't let others struggle! Be a good person, we are all one human race, we are all equal beings and if u have more wisdom/good energy- spread it! Its ok!!! Peace upon y'all! Have a beautiful day ❤️

Specializes in Stepdown . Telemetry.

Wow! Seems like you had all the right moves and right instincts!

As your story moves on to your reflection, I have to say I dont fully see where you took this. Panic attacks can mimick a number of emergencies. But a benzo is not a symptom masking pill! She probably suffers from anxiety and thus her benzo has been her treatment. But we don't know the whole story there.

If she had a brain bleed or stroke, the benzo/anxiety is not necessarily related to her unfortunate emergency.

I will say that I agree with the fact that the medical field is a capitalist enterprise and business should not govern how to treat people, but that is a whole other gigantic issue.

In the end, though, you were a heroic bystander and you should be proud of that.

Specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant.

You did a very good thing to help in this woman in this time of need.

As for the other stuff--well, unfortunately life is all about trade offs. You outline some of the (at times painful) sacrifices we make as a society and as individuals.

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