Monday, August 25, 2008

More Than a Fan

From Michael D. Baratz, MD, Resident Physician at the BIDMC Department of Surgery:

From the time I was a 6 year-old boy, I have gotten an adrenaline rush when walking into Fenway on a summer night. Still today, at 29, the feeling remains the same. When I walked into the park on July 12th as a member of the Emergency Medical Staff, the buzz was twice as potent. I was for the first time, more than just fan. I was going to work.

The first 6 innings of the game were exciting as a fan, and nearly event-less as a doctor. I stood atop the Green Monster and saw a view of the field I had never seen. I was in earshot of the now maligned Manny Ramirez. I saw 4 home runs (3 by the home team). As the Red Sox cruised to a 10-1 lead, all I had to do was give out a few Tums and some Tylenol.

At the top of the 7th, I traded places with another resident and went down to the main First Aid stand underneath section 112. I instantly switched back to being a physician, and placed my fan-hood on hold. In addition to the usual complaints of a hot summer night: dehydration, blisters, light-headedness, and a young woman who was hit in the temple with a Kevin Youkilis foul ball (she kept the ball).

With a win in the books, and 'Sweet Caroline' on the minds of 35,000 I was expecting an uneventful end to my night. But at that moment, an EMT and a Fenway security guard knocked on the door. "Peanut allergy in the bleachers. Need a doc and an EpiPen!". The attending on staff asked me if I would go. This story would not have been interesting enough to get onto Paul Levy's blog if I had said no, right?

I grabbed an EpiPen and jogged out of the makeshift ER. I was following the EMT to our destination, when it finally hit me: we were in the first base grandstands, and she was in the bleachers. For us to get to her without playing slalom with thousands of fans, we would have to go onto the field. We did just that, and before I could even soak it in, I was jogging where J.D. Drew had been just moments before. It was a surreal moment in which I had no time to bask. The visitor's bullpen. The bleachers. My hand on the end of an EpiPen. The back of an ambulance. Over to the BI. Time finally slowed back to normal pace, and I was alone as I walked out the doors of the BIDMC ED. The events of the past few hours had just sunk in, and I felt almost like Moonlight Graham from 'The Field of Dreams'. I don’t think I can ever go back to JUST being a fan.


Anonymous said...

My favorite scene from that movie....

Anonymous said...

Me, too, especially when she is about to get arrested, and he asks her what the grass felt like!