Down For The Count On Main Street

It felt like kind of a long day today. Levi woke up about 6 with his usual beautiful smile and wanted lots of attention so we were up and running a little earlier than usual. Not that there is a usual at this early stage. He has been waking up a lot through the night but sleeping until eight lately so that’s been nice.

This morning at 9:30 I had my first structural integration session! Rolfing is something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. Several good friends have recommended the therapy for improved posture and dealing with aches and pains that have accumulated over the last 40 years. Trauma left over from playing sports as a kid, car accidents, hunching over a guitar every night, sitting all day in a van, spending too much time on Facebook, writing blogs and general wear and tear have left my body feeling like it’s been rung through the wringer….

In my opinion, Rolfing is truly the deepest of massages. It really was amazing. I wouldn’t call it pleasant per se’ but it sure felt therapeutic. The idea is to do ten sessions and hopefully not ever have to come back. I’ve tried different things over the years and they all diminish the symptoms but none of them have seemed to get to the root of the problem. Barry Davison is a neat guy and a qualified practitioner so I am looking forward to my next session in the New Year. 2010 already!

So there I was afterward walking down Main Street a few blocks from my apartment feeling empowered that I was doing something good for my health when I heard a man frantically yelling for someone to call 911. There was a lady in her mid-fifties lying face down on the sidewalk not breathing and literally turning blue. He asked me to help roll her over to administer first aid. A passerby called 911. It seemed like she had choked on something so he was trying to sweep her mouth. I am trained in first aid but have never had to use it. He was too and started doing the Heimlich. I could hear the sirens fire up further down the road. The guy/hero doing the first aid was doing everything by the book but emotionally he was totally losing it so I was trying to calm him down as he was continuing the Heimlich. When the fire department and ambulance quickly arrived he was gone like a flash sprinting to catch the bus he had been waiting for. He made it.  I was hoping he would stick around as I was going to take him out for a cup of coffee or something. But he was gone like Superman. Only in Vancouver do superhero’s ride the bus.

The professionals cut the distressed woman’s shirt off right there on the cold wet sidewalk and applied the defibrillator. A fireman came over and asked me the timeline. I saw them shake their heads a few times. People walked by all the while. Some were horrified. Others were nonchalant and seemingly disinterested. Maybe it was a built in defense mechanism.

Those awesome professional people that do all the things they do day after day put her on a stretcher and took her away in an ambulance. The remaining ambulance driver came over and told me that they were able to find a pulse but I could tell by her face that things didn’t look good. I was thinking maybe there was no pulse. She told me to call a number if I wanted to talk to a grief counsellor. It was surreal. Time slows down dramatically in these situations.

But it’s also the way of the world that we live in. Nothing is permanent that’s for sure. Today was a harsh reminder to make the most of the days we are given. That woman out to pick up groceries or do a little Christmas shopping probably wasn’t thinking her day was going to go that way. I said a little prayer in my mind for her and her loved ones and hoped for the best.

Earlier in the morning, Barry had noticed during the Rolfing session that my shoulder felt kind of weird. So we talked about the night we rolled the van in Utah and how my shoulder hasn’t felt right since 2002. And how one can go from playing an awesome rock show in Salt Lake City during the Olympics; meeting celebrities, greeting the locals…to lying upside down in a van on the side of a snowy highway a few hours later. We talked about how the highs and lows in life can happen pretty close to each other without fair warning. And I was thinking as I was walking home in the sad rain that one of the songs I wrote this year is called Sirens on Kingsway. A song all about knowing those sirens are heading somewhere for someone and maybe tomorrow or the next they might be headed your way. But today you can rest easy and count your blessings, but maybe feeling a little survivor’s guilt that it had to be someone else…It’s a work in progress. All I know is the sirens are going at least once an hour past our place on Kingsway and they are all headed somewhere.

I was happy to find Amanda and lil’ Levi at home when I arrived. We had a chat and some playtime with the baby. He’s so much fun and such a joy to be around. Later I took him for a long rainy stroll way up Main Street and back all the while thinking about the events of the day. On the way home, we went past the spot that had been the scene of so much commotion earlier on. On the surface it looked the way it always does, but the feeling I had walking by Main and 11th was quite different from the way I normally feel at that corner.

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