Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools

It was 9 years ago today. My grandson was 9 and a hockey player. We adopted him when he was a baby, so we think of him as our son. I had gotten up early that Sunday morning. We had a hockey game scheduled. I got the call telling me it was canceled and I had just settled into a long phone conversation with my daughter-in-law. I was wrapped in my robe, coffee at my side and I had pulled a comfy chair next to the phone. I was on the corded phone, because, as usual the cordless handsets were nowhere to be found.

Love of my life came down the stairs and called my name. I looked around the corner and told him the game had been canceled and to go back to bed. "I'm having a heart attack" he said. I was annoyed and said, "That's not funny." It was after all April 1st. Then I looked at him. He didn't look so good. He was kind of gray. Diane had heard the exchange and like me thought he was joking until I told her I needed to hang up and call for an ambulance. Drew, in the meantime went back up the stairs to take an aspirin. I dialed 911 and told the dispatcher that my husband was having a heart attack. The first thing she said was "Don't put the phone down!", then she wanted to know if he was breathing. "I don't know, he went back upstairs and I am on a corded phone!" "Drew, are you breathing?" I hollered....she told me to stay on the phone, didn't she? No answer, so by now Danny is looking at me wondering what is wrong with me and upon spying him I say, "Go upstairs and see if your dad is breathing!" At the time it didn't occur to me that I was scaring the hell out of my kid; but I did not put that phone down, even when the dispatcher told me to do just that after she heard me instruct the child to go.

Drew was breathing and appeared at the top of the stairs to tell me so. Then he came down the stairs and sat on the couch to wait for his ride to the hospital. I was still clutching the phone like MY life depended on it and reporting all of this to the dispatcher. The first team arrived and I let go of the phone. We lived in a culdesac and soon it was filled with emergency vehicles. One of the EMT's was a rather large woman, who upon arrival pushed me and my kid into the kitchen and then began moving all the furniture in the living room to one side. She was very heavy set and soon was red-faced, sweating, and breathing hard. She kept pointing her finger at me and telling me to calm down. She looked as if she were at risk for a heart attack herself and she was really pissing me off.

While they were assessing Drew, I called my daughter-in-law back and was told that my son was already on his way to the hospital. I tried to call my youngest daughter, but couldn't find her. I hesitated calling Jill. She was pregnant and I didn't want to scare her. So, I called her number and asked yo speak to my son-in-law. That didn't work so good, she knew something was wrong and I had to just tell her. She made it to my house before the ambulance left and stayed with her little brother/nephew.

Throughout the whole ordeal, Drew stayed very calm and rational. All the blood work was drawn and he was admitted. I am a nurse. I haven't worked as one in over 20 years, but when I did I worked in the emergency room. That's actually how I met the love of my life....he was an EMT. So, you would think I could handle this, right? Not when it is someone I love. I am sure that in the event of having to handle an emergency with no help available I could do so. However since that was not the case and I had my kids to help me......... Fear is a funny thing. Not just a feeling, but very physical. I had absolutely no saliva after arriving at the hospital. The release of adrenaline had left me spitless! Guess I must really love him, huh?


Jilly said...

It's funny how you remember little bits and pieces and it's so different from the way everyone else remembers it. I remember that phone call the same way though. No woman in our family is able to hide her emotions whether it be on the phone, in writing, or in person. Layla is already the same way.

scarlethue said...

How scary!! We learn a lot about ourselves in situations like that, don't we?

Andrea said...

I would say so! I often wonder how I would respond in an emergency. I "know" CPR but seriously doubt I would remember any of it!

Lover of Life said...

Wow! April 1st?

We have had a bad week - death of father - sister-in-law from hell - taxes - and my husband says his chest has been hurting all week.

Time to calm down, get a grip, and be grateful for every single day! You just never know, do you?

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Crikey what a story. I don't think any amount of prep as a nurse can prepare you for the massive emotional hurdles you jump when it is one of your own in a life threatening situation. Just goes to show how professional you were in that you didn't feel like that when it was a non related patient. Bless, and he's still with you - great, long may your love be with you.

Jeffy said...

I remember going to the hospital but I forgot that my wife was on the phone with you. That was not a fun day.