Little Bodies

I sit on the floor of my living room. I make a circle with my legs and my dog finds his way there. He curls up and seems contented to be surrounded by "the boy." My hands find their way from his head to his hips and I feel his story along the way.

He is young, strong and fit. I can tell this from the shape of him. He is not a big dog, however. One of my hands covers his whole head. He's a burly boy but compact. If I reach, I can place my hands all the way around his chest. My thumbs meet in the middle.

Dogs are not people but, right away, I'm taken back.

My fingers meet between the shoulder blades and my thumbs are on the top of the sternum.

No person should be this small.

I squeeze and shove with my thumbs (We call this "chest compressions")

No person should be this small.

I am simultaneously squeezing and carrying this child.



We push air in. We move the blood around. We do it all perfectly.

We know.

It is still exquisitely painful....for everyone.

Nobody should be this small.



"Big truck...big truck...there you are"

(This one is for my friends, Elvis and Koehler......)

I'm rolling down the road.

I'm not driving a 16,000 lb ambulance. I'm driving my "compact" station wagon. I'm on my way home from work, not on my way to a call.

Big truck, big truck, there you are...

I see you. I rely on you. You move the way a professional (like me) should. You see ahead by 1/2 a mile and move your lane to make your exit.

I see that.

I drop back to let you in.

I know. I'm just a "four-wheeler." I'm part of the problem.

Last week, it was a "four-wheeler" who put herself between you and safety. You put on your brakes and grabbed that wheel like it was the end of the world.

You were in the berm. Soft grass and a gentle shoulder saved you. (along with your seatbelt).

The "four wheeler" had no idea of the chaos she caused with her thoughtlessness. I'm sure she/he was on the phone/checking email/texting. It doesn't matter. The end result is the same.

You, who's income is affected by your safety record, are in a ditch. You did that to save someone's life.

The driver of the "four wheeler?" She (he) had no idea. He did not even hang up the phone.

I check you out. YOU know you're ok. But I do my job (Heart rate, Blood Pressure, Breathing effort and a good sense of "what's wrong"). Your beloved rig is on its side next to the highway and there are things broken beyond what you and I can fix.

Yeah, You're OK. Shaken, angry and ready for a loooooooonnnngggg vacation but, to me, you're OK.

48 hours later, I'm driving my little station wagon home from work....

"...Big Truck, big truck...there you are...."

Yes, you can come into my lane.

Yes, I'll slow down to let you pass.

Yes, I'm not a "big truck" driver, but, somehow...I understand.

My car has four wheels but I'll never want to be a "four-wheeler."

"big truck....big truck....there you are...."