Monday, July 22, 2013

Ruthie On The Road, Update--Part Four

I know that I was foolish. I know that I should have considered the possibility that it
would turn out very hot later on that day. I know that I should have carried extra water
with me. I should have checked the Accuweather website on my phone. I shouldn't have
walked out as far on the Interstate as I did.

I should have remembered that not everyone is a decent human being.

When that deputy drove me to Miles City, we had plenty of time to talk. And we did.

He told me about the Rainbow Family gathering. He told me that they had just finished
their annual get-together. The deputy, like most of the law enforcement personnel in
Montana, doesn't like the Rainbows.

Quite frankly, neither do I.

And now that the gathering was beginning to disperse...I found myself constantly
being mistaken for a Rainbow person.

That is just what I didn't need.

But, in hindsight, I still don't believe that excuses anyone who drove past me when I
began to experience the symptoms of heat exhaustion.

As the day passed, I ran out of water and began to get very warm. Warm transformed
into hot. And I became very thirsty.

I knew that I was out too far to make my way back to town. I realized that, in the shape I
was now in, I would never make it back without collapsing. And I just couldn't wrap
my mind around the fact that nobody had picked me up. Nobody did...not for hours
and hours. (From 7:30 am until 4:30pm)

So I made a sign (the actual sign is pictured above) and held it up in full view of every
vehicle that passed by. I sat down on my backpack and began to feel dizzy. Later on,
I acknowledged the fact that I was truly in trouble. I knew that I had to get help, fast.

I kept asking myself, over and over: "What is wrong with these people?!"

Just then, a young man trudged past me, nodded and then kept on going...up the shoulder
of the Interstate.

I pulled out my cell phone (never go out on the road, without one!) and called 911.  I
knew that I had an active insurance card from Kansas. So I requested an ambulance...
and the coldest glass of ice water that they could pour.

The ambulance came and the EMT's carried me into it's wonderfully air-conditioned
back section.

The guys went to work on me and found out that my blood pressure was through the
roof, I was panting way too hard and my core temperature was 101.1F. I usually
operate with a body temperature of 97.5.

Chilled bottles of water were followed by dual IV's. But we didn't go back to the
hospital, right away. Nope.

It turns out that the guy who walked past me, got his poor self over the next hill and
then promptly passed out and fell right onto his face. Drivers who called in the report
thought that he was dead.

I cursed all of those drivers, again.

The ambulance stopped by the guy and a few moments later, he, too, was carried into
the emergency rig.

The good news is that he is still alive. No thanks to all of those disgracefully detached
drivers who chose to make a phone call rather than stop and help him.

I said it then as I rode back to the hospital. And I will write it again, now: SHAME ON

No, I won't excuse them...not now or ever.

Yes, I was foolish...but I went out there on that road, with faith in my heart. Those drivers
drove out and passed both me and the man.

And in the end, they were more foolish than both of us.

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