Do Not Resuscitate?

       Oh my goodness… I’m so sorry for the lack of our Wednesday post and our message for Monday post. There had been some changes done on my website and I couldn’t figure out how to do my posting! My husband had been out of town so I didn’t have any other working eyes to look at it and see what was going on. I sincerely apologize! I kind of feel like I stood you up for our dates but please know I really wanted to show up. I hope it is taken care of now and I’ll be on track again.

       Well get comfy and we’ll get chatting. Got your coffee or tea or cider? It’s getting to be that time of year! Grab a doughnut or danish or some toast and settle in.

       About twelve years ago, I had one of the scariest moments of my life. We lived in a small ranch style home that had a gally kitchen. This is the kind of kitchen that you can get to from either side. It’s open all the way around. There was a wall separating the Livingroom from the kitchen and the hallway leading to the bedrooms was off the kitchen. (There is a point to giving the lay out of the house, I promise)

       One evening, like so many, I had gone to bed before my husband as he is a bit more of a night owl then me. It wasn’t uncommon for me to already be asleep when he came to bed. But one such evening proved to be most uncommon.

       It was completely dark in the room and hallway so I knew when my phone rang, it was well beyond the time to receive phone calls. Still in a sleep induced stupor, I groped for my cell phone and it dawned on me that it was my husbands specified ring tone piercing the dark. Confused and half asleep, I answered the ringing with one hand and reached over to his side of the bed with the other. He wasn’t there. What in the world!

       Hearing a muffled moaning on the other end of the line, I quickly threw the covers back and began making my way down the hall. Turning into the Livingroom, I turned on a light. He wasn’t there. Phone still in hand and still hearing the muffled moaning, I rounded the corner to the other side of the kitchen. Flipping on the kitchen light, I saw the reason for the call.

       My husband lay face down on the tile floor with one arm stretched slightly above his head and his smart phone lay face up just inches from his hand.

       Mindlessly throwing my phone on the table, I knelt beside him and tried waking him. He was unresponsive. Just the terrible moaning. I couldn’t remember where I tossed my phone and I didn’t know as of yet how to use a smart phone. By this time my daughter, who was all of seven, had gotten out of bed and observed the scene at hand. Calm as could be she took her fathers phone and opened it to call 911. I was eternally grateful for my young child knowing how to operate a smart phone; I wouldn’t always remain so grateful as they got older and got their own phones however, wink.

       The dispatcher who answered my call said the routine script of “911, what is your emergency?”

What exactly was my emergency? My husband was unresponsive, and I have no idea what had happened. This was what I recited mechanically while continuing to try and rouse my husband. The minutes ticked by with a hollow echo from the clock seeming to mock my anxiety.

       The EMT personnel arrived and I stepped only two spaces back from the man who held the other half of my heart. Thinking about my two young kids standing in the hall watching this “only in the movies” scene taking place before them, I told my son to call his Grandmother and see if she could come over to stay with them while I went to the hospital. He had told me that he already called and both Grandparents were on their way. Praise the Lord for quick thinking little minds. The Grandparents pulled in and the ambulance carrying my husband in the back with two attending EMT’s, the driver, and myself. There had been no alert responses from my husband, and he continued the strange moaning he had been doing all along. I prayed silently for him and for the team tending to him.

       It went silent in the back of the ambulance as my husband suddenly stopped the vocal crackling. The next words I heard made my heart skip a beat.

“Okay, let’s not dilly-dally, let’s get there.” I didn’t have to see monitors or blood pressures or thermometers to know it wasn’t going well. I willed the driver to put his foot heavy on the gas and he did in fact pick up speed. I prayed, they scrambled, and everything was seeming to move in slow motion. I flashed on the scenes from emergency shows and the phrase “Do Not Resuscitate” blinked in my passing imagination. I knew my husband didn’t have “DNR” on his license so I’m not sure why I flashed on that. But I knew I wanted every Doctor in the hospital to pound on his chest if that’s what it took!

       Standing outside his curtained room, I could hear him saying something but couldn’t fully make it out. “She’s here, she’s here… she’s just outside your room right now.” I heard his nurse soothing him. Oh dear God, he’s calling for me and I can’t be with him…

       I’ll continue this story next week and I hope you all will join me at the table for that. Please feel free to invite friends to our gathering here and we’ll get more chairs. There’s room for everyone! See you next week friends.   

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