Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Muny emergency

My last blog post was about the musical Oklahoma at the Muny.  This post is about something that happened during the show.  So, there's a song where Curly comes up to Jud's cabin and is talking about what would happen if Jud died or something like that and in the middle of this song, I hear, "help".  Seemed like a weak cry, yet I could hear it.  I look around trying to figure out how that fits into the show.  Next thing I hear is, "Is there a doctor?" That's when I realize that something happened 10 seats forward, a bit towards the left.  I'm not sure what to do.  Am I a doctor?  I am a pediatric dentist, but what do I know?

I try to focus on the musical and have a rough time with all the shuffling of people going on in the front.  I lean over and whisper to my husband, "they better stop the show!" and he nods and we continue to watch.  The shuffling in front increases.  I say again, "are they going to stop the show?"  Nothing.  The show must go on, right?  Then the shuffling gets quite ridiculous.  I lean over yet again, "What is going on?  They have to stop the show!"  I'm missing the musical as I can't focus and I don't know what's going on, but if it's a true medical emergency as it appears from my seat, I'm disappointed at the Muny.  When are they going to stop the show?  Shortly after I leaned over to my husband a third time, I see someone come up on stage right with a walkie talkie.  Then the woman goes back into the wings and I'm thinking, "this is crazy!" and the next thing we hear is the announcement on the speaker.  "Ladies and gentleman, due to a medical emergency..." and as the speech is going on, the actors are still singing.  How can they maintain such focus?  I'm impressed. The woman motions the actors to stop.  That's when the actors stopped and got off stage.

Back to the emergency.  I don't know what's going on and I'm sitting back where I am and I ask the woman in front of me, if she had heard anything.  She said, "I don't know but I heard they are doing CPR!"  "CPR?" I ask again.  I look at my husband incredulous.  "I know CPR.  I should go help!"  He said, "Yes, you should."  So, I grab my keys which has a CPR mask in the key chain and head on down.  Between the first and second row of Muny's terrace A section, a man was laying with his head and body on the aisle and his feet between the rows.  He was smiling and talking.  I was confused.  CPR?  Emergency?  This man is talking and alert and just laying there.  I go there and ask what was going on.  Someone sitting there looks at me and goes, "Are you a doctor?"  I say, "Well, I am a pediatric dentist and I heard they were doing CPR.  I do know CPR."  The woman says, "Oh!  You are a doctor.  I'm just a CPA!"

Meanwhile, another woman walks by and asks the appropriate questions.  She said she was an EMT and started asking about what happened and whether someone had called for an AED.  Someone there said that the man had gone unresponsive and they had started CPR immediately and had done a minute of it and the patient had become responsive after that.  So, the woman (who works as an EMT) confirmed the facts about the CPR and stated that they should bring an AED just in case.  I think the patient was anxious to have an AED on him and the woman explained that the device will not randomly shock the patient and it would be good to have just in case.  Turns out, the patient was a doctor himself.  I think he was beginning to feel sick and as he was explaining to his wife about it, he passed out.  That's why they started CPR, immediately.  Back to the patient, he was chatting cheerfully at this point.  You would had thought this was a big joke or something.  He was continuing to answer questions.  A man in a clean white shirt and dark grey slacks appeared.  He identified himself as a cardiologist.  He inquired about what had transpired.  I figured they were all fine and they didn't need me.  So, I was going to go back to my seat but then the accountant told me to stick around.  The official EMT came in 10 minutes later and carried the patient off in a stretcher with the audience applauding.  The show went on.

I narrated the story to my husband during intermission.  I told him that I should have gone when I heard the "is there a doctor here?"  I explained that I knew what to do in an emergency but I second guessed myself.  I just thought, What does a pediatric dentist know?  My husband reminded me that I was a doctor and that I did know more than the average person.  I think I don't give myself much credit.  It's only when the facts of the emergency were presented to me that I realized I wasn't so clueless after all.  My training through the GPR and through my pediatric dental residency, not to mention, basic CPR enables me to potentially help in an emergency.  Perhaps, I do know more than the average CPA when it comes to a medical emergency?  I felt badly that I hadn't gone immediately to help, but all's well that ends well, I suppose.

Next time, I'm hoping I'll do the right thing.



My nieces live in Oklahoma and the joke when I drive by Oklahoma is this:  I would start off with, "Oh my God, look there!"  My nieces would say, "Where?  What?"  I reply with, "There!  Look, there are people here!"  "Ha ha," my niece would retort.

Yup!  I didn't think Oklahoma had much.  When I used to go to Oklahoma they didn't have a professional ball team.  Not that I care about sports, but come on!  Oklahoma finally got its basketball team thanks to mother nature.  It's quite sad how it all happened.  When Katrina hit, they scrounged and got to pick up some of the pieces from the New Orleans team and didn't want to return it.  That's how the Thunder were born!  Or something like that.  I do tend to down Oklahoma.

I think the only thing really unique about the state is its red clay.  I always considered Oklahoma a wannabe state.  When I grow up, I wanna have an airport!  Ha ha.  OK.  There I go dissing Oklahoma again, but you get the drift about wannabees.   Oklahoma is still developing.  Yes, they have come a long way with restaurants and stuff, but they have a long way to go.  Of course, people don't like St. Louis, but that's a whole different story.

I was at the Muny this past year.  Last show; the musical Oklahoma!  How is it possible that my nieces haven't defended my affronts on Oklahoma with simply, "We have an entire musical about us!"  Well, it's not about Oklahoma, but it is set in Oklahoma and it was the first truly modern musical so that does amount to something.  Yes, we have Meet me in St. Louis, but I'm just trying to give Oklahoma something here.  The truth is that this post is really about the musical; I don't have much more to say about the city.

The musical was very beautiful.  There's a reason a musical from the 40s could stand the test of time and be charming in 2015!  Oh!  What a beautiful mooor-ning! :-)  The music still rings in my ears and the dance from the cowboys and farmers should be friends number was just old fashioned fun.  I smile as I fall in love with Oklahoma.  Oooook-lahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.  Maybe I don't love the city as much, but the musical surely has me taking notice.  I already told you guys it was a Muny production and so you can imagine how well it was done.  So, there you go Oklahoma.  You may not have much, but you have a musical and that's big in my books.

While reading up on the history of the musical, I was impressed by Oklahoma's run.  What show fared better than Oklahoma?  What was the next best musical?  1956, My Fair Lady, my favorite musical stood up and made people notice.  I bring this up because this a musical that is near and dear to my heart.  I love this musical.  I get goosebumps hearing the songs.  I get a big smile on my face, like I'm a kid offered a giant piece of Cadburys.

I was lucky to watch My Fair Lady at the Muny this year.  I was jumping up and down when the Muny had released their 2015 season.  Yes.  I was going to finally watch My Fair Lady live.  It was their opener.  This year was going to be perfect.  I usually get tickets for Thursday night.  My birthday was on Wednesday.  I switched my ticket to Wednesday and have been talking about it since.  Trouble started in paradise as we had rains in St. Louis.  4 of the performances were cancelled.  I cannot imagine how I would have felt if it would have rained on my parade on my birthday for my favorite show.  Rain was in the forecast, but it was supposed to stop at 7pm (show starts at 8:15pm) and the rain was supposed to restart at midnight (Show ends at 10:30pm).  Was it luck?  Was it fate?  Don't know.  It most certainly was a memory that I will not forget.

 Whenever you love something, you want to share it.  A couple years ago, I tried to get my niece to watch My Fair Lady.  This past summer she admitted to me that she wasn't impressed at all.  I think about when I fell in love with the musical.  It was when I was much older.  Strange enough, I didn't appreciate the love story.  How could I not?  I don't know.  Maybe it was just a matter of time.  Maybe I needed to grow up some more.  Who knows?  So, for now, I'm waiting for the day my niece will call me and say, "OMG aunty.  I finally get it.  My Fair Lady is awesome!"  In the meanwhile, I'm just curious if she would like Oklahoma; or perhaps it's better to stop recommending musicals.

Until next time,

Talent and the mirror

I think I've always considered myself a writer.  Not always.  Since I was about 13, I would say.  I remember a conversation with a friend about how well her sister wrote; she showed me some of her essays for school and that's all it took.  I was fascinated.  I wanted to weave those words into intricate patterns to make it seem like the author really knew what s/he was talking about.  Writing became crucial to my identity.  I felt I would only be a second rate person at best, if I didn't write.  Somehow, writing well meant bragging rights, and who didn't want bragging rights?  I think I started writing poems;  I wrote other things too.  I was fascinated by the story of Moses and I remember re-writing the story in my own words.  I was going to submit it to a writing contest in the newspaper, but never did.  I never really lead on to anyone that I truly enjoyed this new thing I was doing.  Bragging rights or not, I felt a strange compulsion.  No one told me to put pen to paper.  I just did.

I remember when I came to America, when everything felt new and out of place, my written word served as my clutch.  I wrote.  Anything I could think about, I wrote about. In college I remember I would explore short vignettes.  Random stuff.  Between studying, I wrote.  It was around that time I felt I maybe identified myself as a writer.  I say "maybe" because I couldn't convince myself that I was good enough.  At 16, I started the first 2 handwritten pages of a novel, that didn't go further than that. So, I couldn't be an author or write a book, but I just kept writing.

I think somewhere in my 20s, I figured it out.  It wasn't about bragging rights at this point.  I had started writing at 13 because it was cool, but nothing propelled me forward except myself.  I tried to pin it down as to why I wrote so much.  Why did I continue to write?  One day, the answer hit me in my face.  I write because I can't help it.  It was at that moment I realized that the words I was cooking up came to me because they did.  The stories I wrote about came because I didn't have a choice in the matter.  It was a part of me.

In my late 20s, I started to take writing more seriously.  I took some courses and tried to study the art of writing fiction.  In Indianapolis, I even started a writing club.  We met at a church every Tuesday night and we had rules about submissions and discussions.  It was this club that helped propel me to start writing my first novel, which is still not finished (75K words later).  Funny thing with life;  it throws curved balls at you and makes you balance and surf through storms and you find yourself immersed in a new, terribly disturbing situation.  When I lost my job and was very much in the process of losing my marriage, I lost something far more significant in the shuffle.  My words.

10 years ago, that 75K novel, called Color Of Rain, died.  Well, didn't die, the characters just left me to go to the other side.  Words failed me.  I stopped writing.  For the first time in 20 years, I stopped writing.  That is an inaccurate statement.  I think I wrote little bits and pieces, poems and sorts, but I felt I wasn't writing anything major.  I had gotten to the point of trying out for the majors and suddenly I was punting at the little leagues.  So, yes, I would say I wasn't really writing.  I wanted my novel and I wasn't going to have it.

That's when I met my husband.  In normal circumstances, the person that I was, would not have considered hanging out with someone like my future husband.  The carrot he dangled was something no other man had dangled in front of me - the challenge to write again.  He introduced me to the medium of writing plays.  I worked at it.  I have written 1 full length and 3 short plays so far.  None have been produced.  I look at the other playwrights and their plays and I meet my talents eye to eye in a mirror.  Do I stack up?  No.  Not really.  My husband thinks so, but what does he know?

I have to be honest with myself.  I don't have the best stories to tell.  Someone can make an amazing heart wrenching story about a cat that walked the street.  My story would be:  A cat walked the street.  Period.  The end.  I guess deep down it hurts that I don't have it in me.  I have to live by my own saying.  You do the best you can.  So, for now, I have to say, I'm writing.  This blog has gotten more words out of me; that's great.  Where to from here?  It's pretty much doing what I can't help; putting words together to make sentences.  Little at a time, about this and that and waiting.  If nothing else, it keeps me moving forward, talent or not.

Until next time,