Last night I had to call 911 for my husband. ACK!
We had taken Bex to the park to play and my biggest concern had been how a mother of three kept leaving her baby near us in a stroller and walking like, 50 to 100 feet away from her baby with her back to it.
I wouldn’t have minded if she had asked us to keep an eye on the baby, she had three kids and that’s a handful, but her lack of concern in a large public city park was pretty shocking to me.
I thought about saying something to her, but unwanted parenting advice usually doesn’t end well. What would you have done?
Anyway, it was getting dark and cold- I had thought about not bringing a coat when the sun was still out, but changed my mind and man, was I glad I did. I was already saying my hands were getting numb without gloves or mittens and that we should head home.
Nick had just been running like, sprints in a game after Bex (5) and two other kids. He came to sit down on the bench afterwards and he didn’t look good.
He was dizzy and his chest hurt. He couldn’t get his breath back. He kept leaning over and spitting, like he felt sick. At first he said “Remind me not to ever run like that after them again, I feel terrible.” But soon, he became unable to fully describe how he was feeling.
I expected this to pass in a minute or three, but it was getting worse, not better. He stopped answering me.
His eyes glazed over and became unfocused, he couldn’t even look at me.
That’s when I really got concerned. “Are you having a heart attack?” I asked. He couldn’t say no.
“Should I call 911? Should I call an ambulance?”
He couldn’t answer. This was scary…I am good in a crisis, usually.
I get calm, compared to other people. It’s one of my weird quirks and few good qualities, ha. (I freak out later.)
So rapid thoughts flew through my mind, these took only seconds:
1.) This looks like what I’ve heard a heart attack or stroke looks like.
2.) If I don’t call an ambulance and he’s having a heart attack or a stroke, I would regret it forever.
3.) If I do call 911 and it’s nothing, I’ll feel stupid, but nothing compared to #2. (I called the ambulance.)
4.) I could lose my husband and be a single mom tonight. This happens to people. No one expects it to happen to them.
5.) If that happened, I would have to find some way to make it for Bex. I would have to be okay. (These must be my brain’s survival skills kicking in.)
On the phone with 911, they asked me where we were and I did not even know the name of the park, let alone the cross streets or address. We go to many parks in our city and this one we call “the new new park.” I just know how to get there.
Normally I would ask my husband for these answers. He was still unable to talk. So I asked the woman with the baby she kept leaving, she was the closest person to me, now. She knew the name of the park! So I judged her, then she helped me when I needed help- there I go.
They came pretty fast. In a firetruck red ambulance. They drove on to the grass with loud blaring sirens and flashing lights. Everybody looked. Little kids were worried. My kid was scared, his big, strong Daddy was now laying on the ground on his back and then put on a stretcher. They are so close, so bonded…
I said it was going to be fine, it was just to get him checked out. My kiddo and I were both shivering and had to wait standing outside the ambulance while they worked on Nick. Official looking people approached me to fill out paperwork.
I was level headed and knew all of the answers, which is good for a person who sometimes forgets her own phone number. Bex complained he was cold and I gave him Nick’s vest and the coat that I almost didn’t bring off my back- of course.
We did end up going to the ER, I followed in the car with Bex- and hubs lived, yay! Nick has very low blood pressure, he’s an athlete who played squash at an almost pro level for years…
He got an elbow injury and had not played for three months. We think him going from almost no exercise (other than walking) to sudden, intense sprints may have given him a weird reaction, but it wasn’t a heart attack. Possibly super low blood pressure, the kind that can make people pass out, combined with over-exertion.
Funny parts: Bex overhearing me say that Nick is 43 years old.
Bexon: “43, Wow! That’s a LOT of birthdays!”
And gross/funny: I had to pee REALLY bad on the way to the hospital, I had a big coffee with me at the park and didn’t think of going during the crisis. We finally made it after getting a bit lost in the car, and in the public hospital women’s bathroom, I had to go err…#2. (Skip the next few sentences if you don’t like potty humor.)
Bex stands there in the big stall and starts coaching me, like we have for him during his potty problems.
Bexon: “Ok, Mommy, are you done yet? You can do it! Is it a big or a medium? Can I see it?”
*cringe* Motherhood. I had to laugh so that I didn’t cry.
Always, always do call in situations like this, even though this was not a heart attack, the medical team told me across the boards that I did the right thing, better safe than sorry.
I felt good knowing that I handled everything right and that I can do it again if I have to, the blessing is it showed me that I am capable in these situations. Part of me trying to become a full fledged grown-up, I’ll take that win.
And my husband got to see that I really do want him to live, or I would’ve waited it out- ha.