The charity golf outing I was playing on Saturday took a grim turn midway through when my friend and playing partner collapsed and had to be taken away in an ambulance. He’s going to be ok. An overnight hospital stay and a stress test indicates that the cause likely was a sugar imbalance.
We had just teed off on ten, when Terry drove off the cart path, got out of the cart, staggered a few steps and then lay down. I shouted for help from the group behind (our own partners were far ahead looking for their ball) and started digging through my bag for my phone. By the time I found it, other players had arrived and one of them was already on the phone calling for the EMTs.
We waited about five minutes for professional help, while the group kept asking Terry how he was feeling. Dizzy. Headache. No need to panic, but still cause for great concern.
First responders were firefighters in a pumper. They checked his vitals and asked a lot of questions about medical history, medications, and so on. Luckily, Terry had a paper with a list of medications in his wallet. Then the ambulance showed, and the process repeated. Finally, they carted him off in the ambulance for a local hospital.
After calling his wife and making arrangements for his car to be delivered to his home, we stood around and wondered what to do next. The firefighters told us that the ambulance would sit in the lot for half an hour or so putting in an IV and taking EKG readings (not the sort of thing you want to do while driving around on bumpy roads). Then, he’d be in urgent care for hours and no one but family would be allowed in. They recommended we continue playing and catch up with him in five or six hours when things settled down.
Continuing the round felt a bit wrong and surreal, though. It was like that old joke where the guy comes home from a ten hour round. His wife asks what took so long.
“My partner Doug died on the course,” he says.
“That’s terrible,” says the wife.
“You’re telling me. Every hole it was hit a shot, drag Doug, hit a shot drag Doug …”
Fortunately, our incident worked out ok. Terry got out of the hospital the next day and is more golf is in his immediate future.
I feel lucky.