Monday, August 06, 2007

Georgia Marathon-Part II

Here are all the Emory Physical Therapy girls at the start line. Notice, it's still dark outside! Two of us ran the full marathon and the other three ran the half. We proudly wore Emory Healthcare shirts, along with about a hundred students, faculty, and health professionals. Emory was one of the race sponsors for Atlanta's inagural marathon.

Atlanta Medical Center...the finish line, well, not really! This is where Scott ended the race and where my tired legs had to take me after 26.2 miles. The full story requires a little background, this March day was unseasonably hot; 70+ degrees at the start, before sunrise, warming up to record-breaking heat in the mid-80's by the time most marathoners were finishing! Around mile 19, I was struggling to stay with my pace group (3 hrs. 40 min.) when someone said "not good, man down" and I looked over to see some guy face down in the grass with familiar-looking running shoes, blue shorts, and a red singlet (much like the one I helped Scott pick out the previous day at the expo). It was Scott...with people surrounding him!!! I didn't know what to do. Fortunately, I knew that he had one of his roommate's phone numbers on the other side of his race number (I handed him a pen the night before and made him do it). I kept running, knowing that a turn-around was coming up shortly. I continued to have an internal debate, should I stop and help my friend or finish the last 6 miles. There were medical people around him (so I thought). So, as I neared, from the other side of the road I yelled his name. I told the guys around him to call the number written, "We already tried that" they yelled back. What did that mean, I wondered? Should I try to help? No, he has people with him, there's nothing more I can do, I decided. So, I kept running, then saw an ambulance coming (for Scott, I assumed). The last 6 miles were the slowest of my entire running life (I had hit the wall and was terribly worried about my friend). Finally, finally, finally I reached the finish line (after seeing my babysitting girls cheering on the course, smiling at Jackie's homeade sign "Run, Lori, Run," and having my roomate join me for the last mile). Then, the next challenge began....get Scott's running bag (fortunately I remembered his race #1007), find his cell phone, call his roommates and girlfriend, find food, visit multiple, multiple medical tents, make phone calls to countless friends for directions to different hospitals, talk to many different ER nurses, and finally (!!!) find out he was at Atlanta Medical Center. Scott's girlfriend helped me manuever the stairs and curbs as we took the Marta train and walked to the hospital. All of this, after 26.2 miles...quite a journey. When we finally arrived at the (correct) hospital, I had to take a picture.

Scott being goofy in his hospital bed. I was actually quite fascinated by all the wires and I listened intently to all the lab results, then translated them for Scott's mom and friends. Scott ended up having heat stroke (temp. 105) and severe dehydration. By the time I got to the hospital he was on his 3rd IV bag! It was crazy! I analyzed his pulse ox (pulse oximetry...blood oxygen saturation) and EKG (heart) readings the whole time. I had a final exam the next day, this was the closest thing to studying! I finally got a ride home from the hospital and my marathon adventures came to an end, another crazy, unexpected day. Oh yes, and I finished the marathon just at 4 hours (off my target, but okay...all things considered!). Scott's ready to try again, we'll see!

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