I had a plan. I was going to get up, get M to school and write about my wonderful birthday weekend, M’s first snowboard lesson, and and other happy things. I was going to load up my new Kindle and read some stories I’ve been dying to get to.
But I didn’t. When I woke up, my husband was acting funny. Saying he was dizzy, followed by a panicky declaration that he was nauseous and couldn’t feel his hands. It so rapidly escalated that I had to call 911.
I’ve never had to do that before. I was impressed at how calm and friendly everyone was, from the dispatch to the firefighters and paramedics, who arrived within about two minutes. They were able to calm him down and took him to the ER by ambulance. I was so grateful to have them there. I decided to talk to M and then follow them, leaving my parents to watch the girls.
I’m a total scatterbrain in my daily life, but I have a cool head in a crisis. I talked to M, and then went around to pack up clothes for my husband, find his wallet and insurance cards, get a book to read, and issue instructions for getting M to school. I was remarkably calm, though I did notice that I was muttering, “I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay, right? Yep, I’m okay…”
When I got to the ER, he was sleeping, so I sat and read a book for awhile, chatting with various nurses while they administered a seemingly endless battery of tests. There wasn’t anything immediately wrong: no stroke, no heart attack, no seizures. So we just waited.
While we waited, I saw those same calm, friendly paramedics bring in a car accident victim, who looked terrible. I heard someone in the room next door bring in a baby, who screamed in agony. The mom in me desperately wanted to go try and help the baby. When I went to go get some water, I saw a man kneeling in prayer at the foot of another’s bed. I sat there and thought about how lucky I was that everyone seemed to think that my husband just had a wicked virus, exacerbated by a long day of snowboarding and dehydration. My baby was home and safe with her grandparents, my daughter was at school, and my fear was wearing off.
Eventually I got hungry, so I went in search of a snack. The safest option seemed a cinnamon roll, because bread, cinnamon and icing, right? Well, wrong. I don’t know why it tasted vaguely of lemon, but it was deplorable. It did, however, provide some sustenance.
I went back to the room and listened to a patient nurse try and coax a rather obnoxious elderly man to walk until the doctor reappeared and said it was a virus, and we could go. We tried to use our “Brand new and improved” insurance (that we had to take because our other, perfectly good plan was cancelled) and discovered that the HSA card doesn’t work. The ER is a great place to figure this out.
I was grateful to be home with the girls again, with my husband tucked in and sleeping. Hopefully things will be back to normal soon.