The 999 call
One beautiful morning a man who had been buying cigarettes in a newsagents suddenly dropped to the floor and had a seizure in front of the startled staff and shoppers. This lasted a few minutes and the concerned bystanders called 999. We arrived promptly and the young man was still on the floor – just beginning to come around. All those who had seen him having the seizure were very worried as it had been really dramatic to witness.
When we arrived we found the young man propped up against the ice-cream cabinet; he was looking a little lost. We knelt down and introduced ourselves to him.
“Hello, what is your name, how are you feeling?” we said.
“My name is Alec and I’m ok thanks, why are you here?”
“You’ve had a fit Alec” we explained.
“No, it’s impossible.” He looked us up and down warily. He tried and failed to get up as he was still very unsteady. He frowned occasionally, still appearing to be very confused which isn’t at all unusual after a seizure.
“I’m ok, I want to go now” he said.
“Alec, are you epileptic?”
“No I’m not, I am well, and I don’t have anything.”
“Do you take any medicines?”
“No – nothing” He managed to stand up from the floor.
“Have you had a bump on the head or been unwell at all Alec?”
“No nothing, why all the questions? I’m ok, leave me please, I just want to go home now.”
“Alec, you need to come with us to hospital because you have had a fit and we don’t know why. You need to be assessed properly to see what’s going on.”
“I don’t believe you – is there CCTV? Get me the film, you are making this up” he said. The shop owner then revealed that the CCTV didn’t actually work so that was no help.
Working it all out
To be fair to Alec, I could see his point. From his perspective, he had just been minding his own business having an ordinary day; now two strangers in green have appeared from nowhere, seemingly attempting to kidnap him and trying to make him go to hospital. In his mind nothing untoward had happened; so why should he believe us? We gestured to him that there were four other people in the shop who had all witnessed the seizure and were very worried about him, and they all nodded dutifully in agreement. He struggled to accept this concept; believing instead that it was all part of some kind of elaborate ‘wind-up’ and looked suspiciously at each of us in turn. By now he didn’t even remember that he had been on the floor when we arrived and demanded to know how we knew his name.
You’ve been framed
After much coaxing we managed to get him to walk to the vehicle to carry out some observations on him. While we were doing this we explained to him that although he had no recollection of the seizure, all these people wouldn’t be worried if nothing at all had happened and that he could trust us to look after him. Eventually we persuaded him to go to hospital although he remained unconvinced (probably expecting Jeremy Beadle to jump out from the bushes at any point!). However, he still seemed rather confused at times; not least when we had gone only a mile or so along the road and asked suddenly “Are you taking me for an abortion?”
“Absolutely not Alec!” I reassured him, smiling to myself: yes, he really was very confused indeed!