Friday, December 5, 2008

The Concert Hall

The singer is incredible, he has an absolutely amazing voice. I had been a distant fan for a while, I like his music, but not in a rabid, buy all his CDs the moment they come out way. After the first song though, the goosebumps covering my entire body just don't go away, and I'm on the edge of my seat, awash in the rapture of his gorgeous voice. All the stresses and cares of the world melt from my mind as he sings, Christmas carols, Worship songs, his own songs, he just keeps singing and singing.

A hand on my shoulder breaks me out of my spellbound reverie and I jump, startled back to this world. Jakob leans over me, "We've got a call down front," he stage-whispers, "do you want me to take care of it so you can watch the show?" I quickly shake my head no and follow him across the back of the theatre. As much as I was enjoying this man's voice, my purpose for being here is to treat patients, not to kick back and relax.

The usher leads us along the side of the theatre, passing rows and rows of people who drag their attention away from the stage to gaze curiously at us and whisper to each other. We stop stage left, 3 rows from the front, in perfect view of the stage and the entire theatre. I make my way down the aisle, which thankfully, happens to be one of the widest rows in the place, and stop where the head usher is crouched in front of an elderly woman, slumped over in her seat. She gives me a quick report as I sidle up beside her in the dim light.

"She was feeling faint, dizzy and nauseous, with severe pain in her right foot since this morning." I nod and crouch by the woman, running through the assessment questions to try and rule out major issues, like an MI or stroke. A few minutes later, I am relatively convinced that although it is nothing too serious at the moment, we need to get her out of the theatre seating where I can do a proper assessment. Since she says she is unable to walk, we bring a wheelchair as close as possible and lift her into it.

By now the entire auditorium is watching us, and the performer knows it. I am completely focused on my patient, aware of but not focused on anything around me when the music stops. "I don't mean to draw attention to it, but I see we're having some difficulty in the front here." I hear a melodic voice say, and I look up, straight into the singer's eyes - he's almost close enough to touch, staring down at us with loving concern. "Why don't we pray for this woman's healing, and thank God for her life...." He begins to pray for her, for her healing, and for us. In slight disbelief, I carry the wheelchair-bound woman up the stairs as the entire crowd joins him in prayer, then applauds.

We head for the stage door exit, as the woman has requested an ambulance, and she's just not 'right' enough to let her go home. I don't know what was happening with her, but judging from her 6 million index cards full of allergies, medications and conditions, I'd say it was beyond my ability to treat. Just before the paramedics arrive, the performer comes backstage to see the women, wishing her well, and nodding his thanks at us. Since I am a complete professional, I certainly did not grin like a fool for the rest of the evening....