Last Friday morning, January 24th, at approximately 10:00 AM, my husband collapsed. He didn't just collapse, he had what appeared - to me at least - to be a seizure. He was sitting in his chair at the dining room table, and we were having a conversation. I don't remember the topic. Suddenly, mid-sentence, he went stiff, his hands and feet started to shake, and he slid out of his chair, face first onto the floor.
I panicked. I screamed his name. I dove to the floor.
And all at once, this is what happened in my head:
As he stopped speaking and started to shake: PANIC!PANIC!PANIC!PANIC!PANIC!
A stern voice in my head called out "STOP." Cue full stop to the panic. The voice continued: "Emotion will not help. Not the details. Count the time - that will be important later. Is he conscious? Speak slowly. Speak clearly."
At this point I was rational, calm, precise, logical. I had counted five seconds between the cessation of conversation and the fact of him being face down. I was acutely aware that his breathing had not changed, his limbs and trunk were not shaking - only his hands and feet. Not a convulsion then. His eyes were open. He was coherent and speaking - telling me he was fine. I determined, even before he did, that he had sustained no injuries. Not because I saw that he hadn't, but because my mind quickly replayed the events, calculated the distance to the objects around him, and concluded that nothing lay within his path. He had not hit his head, I knew, because the sound of the fall hadn't included the sound a skull makes when smacking against hardwood floor.
The dogs were going nuts, upset, trying to get to him to lick him. He looked over at me and said "Kennel the dogs. I'm fine."
The inner war resurfaced - the human, emotional side of my mind shouting "NO! STAY!" while the Vulcan, logical side arched an eyebrow and murmured: "This is a logical request. The dogs are a hazard. Your thirty-second absence will have no impact. Kennel the dogs."
I hesitated. I jumped to my feet, yelling at the dogs to follow me, ran to the bedroom and slammed them into their kennels.
I came back into the dining room and hovered near him as he righted himself, stood, and sat back down. I established that he was fine. Uninjured, save but for a scrape on his knee that hadn't really broken the skin, and that slightly amused, slightly confounded, incredibly pissed off look on his face of What the fuck just happened?
Hubby apologized for scaring me. I told him that was illogical.
I asked him to let me take him to the ER. He agreed, but only if I'd take him to lunch first. O.o
After lunch - and a drive through the car wash!? - we arrived at the ER.
I won't go into that adventure, but suffice it to say, I've rarely been as annoyed. Okay, that's not true - I've been far more annoyed far more often that I'd like to recall.
They did an EEG, EKG, ECG, an ultrasound of his neck, a CT of his head, and several rounds of bloodwork. They admitted him and kept him Friday night and Saturday night.
They have no idea what happened. There seems to be nothing wrong with him.
They referred him back to his regular ear doctor, who has ordered a CT of his ears and neck, as well as referred him to physical therapy because apparently we all have crystals in our ears that sometimes fall out of place and can cause us to drop over, and there's a way to right them which involves physical therapy. Yes, it does indeed sound like something out of Star Trek. But I Googled it - it seems legit.
I managed not to cry until I was driving myself home on Friday night - for all of 45 seconds. I haven't cried since, and I don't intend to.
It isn't that I hate to cry. On the contrary - I'm not one of those macho men who believe that tears somehow lessen the length and girth of my penis and make me less of a man. The beauty of having a silicone penis is, well, nothing can ever really diminish my manhood. Except perhaps a house fire.
No, I don't hate to cry, I simply am annoyed by crying at inopportune times. I have no time to fall apart when things need to get done. Falling apart is something you do in the shower, or at 3 AM. It's not something you do in the heat of the moment. It's not something you do when everything is on the line.
I grew up with very emotional parents. My father could get angry over anything, and my mother would cry at the drop of a hat. I found it - disturbing. Not just because the emotions were overwhelming, but because they interfered. Yes, your situation is quite tragic and I'm certain you're very upset, but I'm six years old and hungry and can't reach the kitchen counter - be a dear and make me a sandwich before you fall apart, okay? Yes, yes - you're angry - we all get that. But do me a favor and drive us home safely, so I don't have to fear for my life because some guy cut you off in line at the bank.
Everything they could react to, they did. Largely. Loudly. Excessively. Often.
Imagine my delight when I first met Mr. Spock.
In any event, Hubby is basically on house arrest - he can't drive anywhere by himself, at least until we get the results of the newest round of testing. Which means I'm driving him around.
Understand, I learned to drive when I was a teenager from a teenager. My parents had no desire to teach me to drive. Mother claimed the "water in the ditches is too high" and she was convinced I'd somehow drive off the road, crash into a ditch, and we'd drown. Mind you, the ditches weren't as wide as any cars, so in the midst of driving off the road I'd have to somehow perform an impressive feat of vehicular acrobatics, wherein I lodged the car in the ditch on its side. Of course, it should be noted that the ditches weren't even four feet deep - I could stand in them. So even if I did somehow pull that magic trick off, the odds of us actually drowning were slim to none.
I was taught to drive by one of my best friends. Her idea of teaching me to drive was pulling in my driveway, declaring she had a migraine and telling me to drive. In hindsight, not incredibly smart on either of our parts, but it worked out. She had a Chevrolet something - I think it was a Cavalier, and I recall it being blue, but it could've been another color. I do remember that it fit me perfectly to drive in, and I loved it. I didn't love it as much as the Dodge Omni my other friend owned - but then who didn't love a Dodge Omni? I did, however, get to drive it more than I drove the Omni - which was all of once.
Am I the world's best driver? Of course I am. What - did you think I was going to say "no?" Don't be silly. I'm a great driver.
Hubby is also a great driver. Especially from the passenger's side. O.O