Tuesday, March 26, 2013

To feel fear and calm on the same time.

Yesterday, it happened something a little bit impressive, at work, after lunch time.

I was drinking a coffee with a friend of mine, at the our company cafeteria.

In France, we don’t drink coffee during our meal, but at the end of it. It’s a way to close this day’s moment. 

So, I was sitting with my friend, when we heard a terrific yell.
We were numerous at the bar, but after this terrific sound, a deep silence fell.
I think I will not forget this yell for a long time.
It was terrific and full of distress in the same time. 
I thought first it was someone who received a bad new.

I did not see what was happening, then I saw my boss running to a corner. 
I got up and I went to the place the yell was coming. 

A young man was lying down and I saw immediately he was having an epileptic crisis.

He was a new 30 year’s old employee, just arrived this morning. 

My boss was close to him.
In my job, fortunately, we have first aid lessons every two years.

His body was twisting by violent shock.

I slipped my scarf under his head, who were striking the floor. My boss was trying to hold him.
We turned him on the left side and waited for such a long time the crisis stopped. 
I was talking to him, quietly, with comforting words, telling him rescue were coming soon, to not worry, he was not alone, we were here, taking care of him...etc.

After some two minutes or so, he made a second crisis. I thought he would die.

Maybe it’s ridiculous for some of you who know this illness, but I don’t.
It was the first time I saw an epileptic crisis and the first time I had to interven. 

While I was looking at him and reassuring him with soft words, I thought : 
“He’s going to die on my knees”. 
And this is a very, very bad feeling. 

When finally it stopped, I was feeling so sad for him. We covered him and waited for rescue to arrive. 

I work in a high building… Well, high for us, French people. Of course if we compare with NYC, for example… But everything is higher in NY ! 

There are 14 floors. And cafeteria is at the twelfth floor. 
And believe me … When it happens something, you’ve got time to die twice !

When rescue team finally arrived, everything was over and he was almost ready to get up.

I know there’s nothing to do against epileptic crisis. Just wait and try to protect the epileptic. 
When you take first aid lessons, your first will is to not have to apply them. Never ! 
And I just hope this is the worst situation I’ll have to live !

Today, he came back to work. He doesn't remember nothing. 
I feel so sad for him. I think we just know what to be healthy means when we're confronted to health problem.

I know this post is a little bit sad. But ... c'est la vie, n'est-ce pas ?


  1. Axelle, I have been away traveling and I am catching up on your blog. I like the new format. And that you are sharing more of your life with us.

    This true-life story, your experience - really grabbed my attention. I can well imagine your concern for this man. I'm so glad you were there to reassure him and be with him til help came.

    I will keep reading as time allows, to catch up.

    Today I come to France, myself! My husband and I are taking the TGV to Avignon to do some sight-seeing. We hope to go by train to Nimes to see the historical buildings, and to Alres perhaps.

    Have a good week :-)

    1. Dear Susuan, I'm happy to read you here again !! :)
      Thank you for your comment, really.
      So, you're not too far from where I live. Here, we've got sunny sky ! I hope you'll spend a great time in France, Susan !

  2. Today was beautiful in Nimes - a great day of exploring. not sure if we will make it to Arles, but for sure Pont du Gard :)

    1. I'm glad that you're spending good time. I went to Nimes .... 20 years ago ! It was during Pentecost Celebration ! A crazy moment ! :)
      I never went to Pont du Gard. My husband and my son yes. Tell me if you likes it :)