Saturday, January 7, 2012

Stress Response...

So yesterday afternoon I got a call... HWMNBMOTI's number... not him. It was my wonderful Couch to Keg partner... she was at my house because she'd been asked to help... HWMNBMOTI was having dizzy spells... thought he needed an ambulance.


So I said I'd meet him at the hospital (I work for the Med School, so it is just a string of buildings away).

Call 5 minutes later. Same number. PANICKED daughter... sobbing, scared... 'Dad has to go to the hospital'.

“I know sweetheart, but then they will figure out what it is and fix it.”

So I headed over and met him at the emergency room as the ambulance arrived.

His vitals were all stable and the ER was PACKED so we had to wait a fair while. I could tell he was anxious—wondering what was taking so long. But he was also worried about our upset daughter at home. He had me go call and check in, but she was even MORE upset then because he hadn't gotten in to see the doctor yet.

We finally got him in there and the nurse asked a ton of questions, measured all the things he needed to measure, but HWMNBMOTI was getting progressively MORE anxious. He insisted I go home to check on our daughter. So I called daughter (she has a car through a research project and since I walk to work and HWMNBMOTI arrived by ambulance, I was without, so I had her meet me back at my office to give me a ride home.

As it turns out, the treatable disorder is an upper respiratory infection. He was given a few rounds of breathing treatments, prescriptions, and a long list of instructions (including that he had to quit smoking from each of the 47 people who came through his cube). But the dizziness had been a confluence of 3-12 hour days without eating hardly anything, low sleep, a head cold and because of the cold an increased use of his inhaler which can CAUSE dizziness.

He will be fine. Hopefully this is the butt kicking he needed to really quit smoking. He quit two years ago for 3 months, but hadn't tried again since.

What I wanted to note though, was this:

[begin Digression] last week one of our neighbors came over—she'd just gotten home and there was a bicyclist sprawled across the road unconscious. (it was icy, and an apparent bike wreck) HWMNBMOTI went out to check. The man came to—a neighbor, but he was disoriented (and bleeding from a large head wound). He didn't know who HWMNBMOTI was or what day or year it was. He kept trying to wander off, but HMNBMOTI talked him into waiting for the ambulance.[/end digression]

The point of that was how CALM he stayed. He helped the neighbor and told the ambulance people everything he knew, called around to find out if any other neighbors knew how to contact any relatives, as he lives alone. He's really great in a crisis.

Unless it's his crisis. When it is HIM, he gets panicky, and I learned, he and my daughter feed off each other badly. He's worried about her but she's only worried because of how upset he is... but it spirals into both of them panicking.

[note: she is lifeguard and CPR trained and at school has actually helped a fellow student having a seizure and near her work called an ambulance for a person who really seemed disoriented who was hovering outside—she is good in a crisis, TOO, normally]

But that feeding off each other was HUGE.

Now me, I am hard to rattle. But I am also pretty darned useless. I don't know what to do, don't carry a cell phone, so can't call directly. I've been known to knock on doors and ask someone else to call and to stay with someone who has something happen, but I KNOW NOTHING.

Yet had I been home, I would have insisted on driving (no ambulance) and going to Urgent Care (not the ER)--I probably could have talked hubby down a little. I am a person who tends to downplay things though, so maybe that is a lot of it. I am optimistic to the point of delusional and just assume things can't be THAT bad.

So how are you? Are you good in a crisis? Bad? Does it depend on who is hurt? Do you know what you're doing?


Old Kitty said...

Oh what a fright for all of you! I'm so sorry! Oh dear! :-(

Glad hubby is going to be ok but please please please he must give up the ciggies if his breathing is compromised and his immune system is low. Sorry, I sound like some demented spinster auntie! But seriously!!!!

As for dealing with a crises - I think I'm better if someone else is mega panicking. I pull my big girl pants up and get all super bossy (which I hate with myself cos I'd like to think I'm not bossy but then I hear myself organising this and that and I think, I just sound really mean!!LOL!). If no-one is panicking then I'm quite happy to let someone else do the pulling of pants up and just do my best to help whoever is taking charge of the crises. :-)

Super healing hugs to all of you! Take care

Megan Bostic said...

I suck in a crisis. I panic. Yep, I'm a panicker. And an anxiety attack person. Yep, that's me. I am always in need of someone to talk me down from the ledge in a crisis. Hopefully, there will always be someone there to do it so my head doesn't explode.

Jan Morrison said...

hmmm...I'm pretty good in a flap - if someone is hurt etc...and I think I'm OK if it is me too only I would downplay it big time - like a couple of months ago when I had to take an ambulance to the hospital at 5 in the morning from the Inn in Cape Breton where we were doing our murder mystery weekend. I only went because I hurt so bad and I didn't want to wait around for someone to maybe give me drugs...

at any rate - we are what we are and it sounds like you handled things great and your guy and your gal are a bit of a folie aux deux...

Emma Lauren said...

I am awful in crises of family members. Strangers I can manage just fine and I can stay pretty calm for myself, too. But when I see a family member in pain, I just fall to pieces.

I'm sorry to hear about the drama but I'm glad everything looks to be heading toward OK-land. And good luck with the quitting smoking. I've been trying to get people I care about to knock it off for years with no luck. Hopefully your husband can do it and stick to it. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hart! Glad it was something relatively simple. Tell your husband he needs to take better care of himself. I know it's like talking to a brick wall with us men sometimes, but try. And I think you handled it all right.
When it's others, I am calm. When it's me, I don't panic, but I'm useless.

Chary Johnson said...

I'm pretty good in a crisis. I am that take charge person who tells someone to call 911 or rolls over an individual on their side when they are having a seizure. Several times, for my hubby, I had to put aside all those panicky feelings and focus on getting the situation under control.

Now, when it comes to myself, I wait until I can't take it anymore to go to the hospital (kidney stones, contractions 1 minute apart) because like you I think "maybe I'm not as bad as I think I am." So yeah, for everyone else I'm good but not really good for myself.


Chary Johnson said...

Happy your boo is better! Maybe this will be the year I quit smoking too!

Hart Johnson said...

Jenny-I get what you mean about not liking being bossy, but it's great you CAN when it is needed!

Megan-Uh oh! Glad you've had people to talk you down! I usually CAN talk people down. It is the physical stuff I am worthless on.

Jan, I bet you are GREAT in a crisis. But yeah... hard when it's us...

Emma-sound like you are very similar to my daughter.

Alex-Yeah, he KNOWS, but he sure can't hear it from me. Causes a rebellion response.

Chary-it's great that you can do that, especially as your hubby has needed it!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Oh my God! Well not eating and being sick and overworking - that's just not a good combo. Thank goodness he's all right.

My husband passed out on me one morning many years ago. When he came to, he couldn't see. Rushed to the emergency room. By then he could see again and found out he had a serious sinus infection. (I guess when there is a problem breathing, the whole boy freaks.) I remained calm, much to my surprise. Same with the time he tried to cut off his finger with the hedge trimmer. That was fun, too.

Bonnie Rae said...

I am pretty good. I was in the military and a law enforcement dispatcher for 4 years so I just go into calm mode like I was trained.

Cold As Heaven said...

He should try snuff (snus) instead of the cigarettes. It gives the same nicotine kick. I'm using this stuff all the time (Swedish snus). I'm not gonna claim it's healthy, but it's a lot better than smoking, since it doesn't harm the lungs >:)

Cold As Heaven

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

wait, you took an ambulance and STILL had to wait at the ER? My experience is that Ambulance = front of the line.
Anyway, glad to hear he's fine (well, ill, but not severely) I am not good around injured or sick people. I have a hard time having empathy for them.
BUT. To be fair. I've never had to deal with someone badly injured or sick. I'd like to think i'd remain calm and in control.

Stacy Gail said...

Ugh, I'm so sorry you had to go through that! *hugs* Thank goodness it's something that can be taken care of relatively easily.

I. Am. USELESS. My personal motto: when in doubt, PANIC. If there's ever a problem, my greatest hope is that I'll hyperventilate and faint so that I miss all the drama.

Give Nat an extra hug for me. From one panicker to another. ;)

Laura said...

Oh goodness - poor you!
I don't know what I'd be like in a real crisis. Dumb and numb probably - either that or I'd turn into super woman....

Romance Book Haven said...

Oh poor you. I sort of freeze in a crisis.

All the best!

Tonja said...

I'm like your husband - the person you want to be there in a crisis as long as it's not mine. I cry once everything is under control. I hope he gets better quickly.

Erin Kane Spock said...

I hit a motorcyclist when I was 18 (with my land yacht old cadillac). I was pretty good under pressure in that situation.
Nowadays not so much. I tend toward panic and throw up. Not good in a pinch.

Nancy said...

Glad he is okay and your daughter too. I'm pretty good in a crisis when it is others, when it is me I tend to downplay.

Rebecca Bradley said...

I'm glad he is doing ok and hope it has given him something to consider over the smoking issue.

I'm great in a crisis, unless of course one of my children is ill/in major trouble, then I'm just an everyday whittling mother.

Trisha said...

I can see where your daughter was coming from - it's weird seeing a parent unwell, especially if they're the scary kind, i.e. nearly fainting or whatever. Generally in crises I don't tend to panic, but I haven't really been in any really scary ones like this. When my mum was in hospital at death's door, I didn't actually see her when she was at her worst so I'm not sure how I would've handled that...but I still saw her with tubes in her nose and so on, and that was weird. But I didn't fear for her at the time. In hindsight when I realised how sick she'd really been, I was way more relieved than anything.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

That to hear that you man is doing better. I understand his anxiety though. I am always the first one to step in when there is a crisis. I have a gift for it. Add to that all the military and teacher training I have had and it would give me stress not to jump into the fire. Sitting around and not making a decision stresses me out. However when I am the one in crisis I don't handle things well at all.

Julie Musil said...

Wow, I'm so glad he's ok! And I hope this time he'll be able to quit smoking :(

I'm horrible in a crisis. Hubby is awesome in a crisis. Hopefully the crisis will never be him.

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

phew! how scary!
i'm pretty level-headed in a crisis... even when there's a lot of blood. it's AFTER the crisis that i freak out more than necessary.

i hope he'll give quitting another try.
my father found cold turkey to be the only effective method (five years smoke-free!)
my hubs is a respiratory therapist, and my oldest son a severe asthmatic, and the thought of not being able to breathe... man alive! that's TOO SCARY!!!
i'm glad everything will be alright!