In Focus


Years ago my mom used to be an EMT. I remember her bolting out of the house when the pager went off and she would come home hours later sometimes. It never bugged me. Seriously, what teenager wouldn’t mind being home alone?

There were times I could tell whatever happened at the scene affected her, but she wasn’t allowed to talk to me about it. But she did enjoy what she did and helping others during their time of crisis.

One night she and two other EMTs responded to a call. I remember it was getting late and she had called me to tell me they were in a serious situation and I was the only one available to bring all three of the EMTs a change of clothes and shoes.

They were basically quarantined after they helped a patient that ended up being diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and it was contagious. The EMTs had to stay at the hospital until medications arrived for them. In the meantime, they had to shower and change their clothes.

This is where things got awkward for me.

Gathering a change of clothing for my mom and the other EMT who was a family friend was no problem for me. The third person happened to be the local cop at the time. So, I let myself into his house and had to search through the dresser drawers looking for a change of clothing. It wasn’t the shirt, pants or socks that got me, but I had to find a pair of underwear for a stranger. I remember using a plastic shopping bag to grab them. I just couldn’t bring myself to touch a stranger’s underwear. I’m sure that was a little awkward for both of us.

I took the clothes to the hospital and dropped them off. I was kind of glad I didn’t have to speak with anyone. They were all released the next morning and the patient eventually recovered. But there was a while after that I just couldn’t make eye contact with the cop...and now you understand why!

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