When in doubt …

I was driving down Foul Bay Road today on my way to the grocery store when I saw a man holding up an elderly lady by the arm. She was flailing around and I couldn’t figure out if he was helping her or hurting her. We made eye contact and he smiled at me … and it creeped me out so I did a U-turn and asked if they needed help.

Turns out he wasn’t trying to rob her – but instead she was having issues standing. I asked him if I should call 911. He said “She says she’s fine and just needs a ride home but her legs aren’t working.

In my experience at the tattoo shop with people who aren’t feeling well (passing out, etc) they will always tell you they are fine and that they want to go home. It’s a flight instinct … so I took charge. I told him to have her sit down on the curb and I would call 911.

The ambulance came about 3 minutes later and in the meantime I had a little chat with Isabella while I held my umbrella over her to keep her dry. She is 85 years old and needed milk from Safeway so she walked to get it and on the way home became so exhausted that her legs stopped working.  🙁

She told me she was terribly embarrassed and I told her there was nothing to be embarrassed about and then told her about a time when I passed out from taking medication and I was glad someone forced me to sit down because I ended up passing out and if I had been standing I could have hurt myself. During my story I had to tell her several times to not to try and stand up (people who are passing out will try and run so you sometimes have to physically force them to stay put until they feel well again).

Ambulance arrived and one of the paramedics started talking to her and taking her vitals. The other paramedic asked me what happened and while I was in mid-sentence about her not being able to use her legs – he said “Are you a celebrity?
“Um. Kind of.”
“Are you on the cover of a cookbook?”
“Yes. I’ve written 4 cookbooks.”
“I thought so. I love food and spend a lot of time looking at cookbooks in the bookstore. I’ve seen your books before.”

It was a weird moment. *laugh*

They loaded Isabelle into the ambulance and I told her to take good care of herself … I’m sure she’ll be fine … but better safe then sorry I always say.  🙂

I stopped at the beach to give Fergus a run – and he promptly found something VERY dead on the beach and rolled in it. I mean… he practically made love to the carcass before I had a chance to stop him. 🙂

I gagged all the way home and wrapped him in a plastic bag so I could carry him into the house without getting any stink on me. I gave him a throughoug scrub down and now he smells like tea-tree oil with a light scent of dead animal. 🙁

I think another bath is in order.

Lesson of the day: When in doubt about a stranger who is in physcial distress. Call 911. And never let your dog roll around on dead things.

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0 Responses to When in doubt …

  1. Kirsten says:


    This is the best story. I have tears in my eyes and am laughing at the same time! [btw I’m gonna tell Ben this story when I see him at the U of W! ;-)]

    You MUST start writing books woman! I’d read every one of them over and over….


  2. Karen says:

    As I was reading this, I kept thinking what a great person you are and that you probably made her feel comfortable in an embarrassing situation. You are right, I fell once in NYC and really hurt myself. I immediately panicked and told everyone I was okay, took a step forward and then collapsed. Everyone immediately helped me, even a store owner got me a chair. I was mortified though! It’s the natural reaction. You probably saved her from a potential fall.

    Then I got worried, what if the women didn’t have health insurance and couldn’t afford to go to the hospital. THEN I remembered you live in Canada, where issues like this are not a problem. You guys are very lucky in this regard!

    And you are a celebrity! 🙂

  3. Kelly says:


    You are so sweet. Do you know how many people would have just passed by that woman and not even thought about stopping? As a social worker, I give you the “social worka at heart” award. Cheers!

  4. Renee says:

    Sarah, you are an inspiration. This is a wonderful tale. Like Karen, I too wondered about insurance and then remembered, Canada. Sigh. I had to laugh at the Fergus story as I have the same challenges with my (much bigger) dog rolling on dead birds. Ugh!

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