Sometimes life gets in the way of plans. Last week I planned to go to Texas and see my granddaughter play her trumpet in a band concert at a dinner provided by Olive Garden. I planned to paint a couple of chairs and go get plants for the front porch. I planned to do a lot of things; in fact, I planned to write this column last Monday. However, sometimes plans get interrupted.
At 5:30 Monday morning, I was sitting in my recliner, not 4 feet away from the kitchen when I heard a crash. I turned my head and saw my husband sprawled out on the floor. I immediately jumped up and started yelling his name. He didn't move, and for seconds I wondered if he was toying with me. Repeatedly I called his name and asked what happened. His arms lay motionless, his glasses aschew, and his face pressed against the floor; his legs were all tangled up in the chair. Suddenly I thought he'd had a heart attack. My mind raced with thoughts of his heart attack in 2007 on Mother's Day. That triggered the thought of losing my son on Mother's Day in 2005. The feelings exploded in my heart. The room was dimly lit by the living room light. I couldn't see if there was blood, or if he was breathing. I bent over and tried to move him, and finally he groaned. I told him to stay where he was until I could turn on the kitchen lights.
He struggled to get up, but didn't make any sense. His words sounded like words but not words. At the time, I thought I just couldn't understand him. Then he rose up and we disentangled his legs from the fallen kitchen chair. He reached for his glasses and they were bent from the force of his head hitting the floor. He kept saying he was okay, and that it just felt funny when he drank his water. He kept pointing to his throat and kinda rubbing it. At the time I thought he'd tripped. It wasn't until later, after he insisted he was fine, and I took him to work, that I replayed the whole event in my mind and realized that it wasn't normal for him to pass out cold before he ever fell.
I recalled how he didn't utter a word of warning before he fell. When he came out of the bedroom, I said, "you're up early." And he said, "Yeah." I asked, "did you sleep okay?" Again, he replied, "yeah." He had his shirt in his hand and went to the bathroom, came out dressed and buttoned up, then went to the counter in the kitchen. He pushed the button on our coffee maker, opened the fridge, got a bottle of water, turned around, got his thyroid pill off the table, drank some water, took his pill, drank some more water, then put the water bottle back in the fridge. He turned around, took one step, and CRASH.
When I told our daughter, she mentioned he could've had a seizure or something. I thought, no, it wasn't like that. Then it occurred to me, that it may have been a mini-stroke. I called my husband and he said he was feeling okay except the pain was really bad in his side. I spent the morning looking for a doctor who would take him and check him out. When you have VA, there is no such thing as going in to see the doctor. They are booked solid.
When I couldn't get a doctor, my daughter felt I should take him to the ER because they had equipment to xray his side. After x-rays, scans, EKG and blood tests, they decided that he really could have passed out because of drinking the water. Seems like there is a nerve that runs down the side of the neck that could have caused the momentary blackout. Now, hubby sits down when he drinks water. He took the week off because of the pain in his bruised ribs (and so I could monitor him). I am still trying to find a doctor for a follow-up. For now, I am just grateful he is okay, even if all my plans were interrupted.