December 8, 2010

Is this what marriage feels like?

Tuesday morning, around four am, I am in the bathroom calling out to my unconscious husband. He has gone into shock and passed out. White face. Gray lips. Vacant eyes. Raspy breathing. I have never seen anyone go into shock before, and I never want to again. It looks like death.

I’m propping him up, calling his name, and he comes back to consciousness but is not able to comprehend anything. He is cold and clammy in an instant, then in the next he is out again. I'm supporting him as he sits there, but getting ready to move him to the ground when he comes back to. This time he is able to talk to me and understands that things are going terribly wrong.

He does not want to move, but we both know we have to go to the hospital now, so we get some warm clothes on him, and head out. He is able to hop to the car with my support and we get him in. The few mile drive is terribly long, and I can barely concentrate on the road or where we are going. I don’t even know where the hospital is!  (Turns out what we thought was a hospital near us does not have any emergency capacity.)  But Brett is back to awareness and able to give me directions to a hospital downtown St. Paul, so we finally pull up to the emergency room, get him in a wheelchair, and checked in.

This entire fiasco was all started by an ankle sprain. Monday night, Brett was playing basketball, came down on someone else’s foot, and severely twisted his ankle. We knew it was bad from the swelling and how tender it was, but after talking with a triage nurse we didn’t have any evidence that it might be broken, so we were going to wait to assess it the next morning. In the meantime, we wrapped it, iced it, and had Brett pop some anti-inflammatory pain meds.

He was feeling a bit better by the time bedtime rolled around, so we set him up to be comfortable as best we could. He woke up and had to go to the bathroom, though, so I helped him hop his way there and sat him down. This is where he tells me he feels like he’s going to be sick.  I gave him our bathroom wastebasket, but it was full of tissues so I went and grabbed an empty bucket. On my way back, I heard the wastebasket fall and came back to the bathroom doorway to see the basket and tissues at his feet and Brett passed out.

It’s easily one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced in my life. To see your favorite person in the world in a situation where there is little you can do to help just sucks. Feeling so terrified for them but so helpless while at the same time thinking, “F*ck if I know what to do but f*ck if I’m going to let anything happen to you. You are mine and I will do whatever I have to for you.”  It's crazy.

X-rays were done at the hospital and they didn’t see any breaks or fractures, so we’re just dealing with his sprain as best we can now. They gave him a brace for his ankle, crutches to hobble around on, and some lovely pills to numb the pain. We came back home and got him settled in for the day. I finally hugged him and cried a little, so happy to see and kiss his pink lips.

Now, I’m totally babying Brett and trying to make sure nothing can go wrong again. He keeps telling me that he’s fine, but I say, “If you saw my face looking like that, you’d be protective, too.” This is his second day off work, but he wants to try to go back tomorrow. Of course, I’m trying to convince him that he should take it slow and take a few more days.

I keep flashing back to his face that morning and think three things. One, thank goodness it was, although dramatic, nothing more serious than it was. He didn’t fall, it’s just a sprain, and he’ll be okay. Two, thank goodness he woke me up to help him so I was there. Three, thank goodness we are married, and he is now on my health insurance!

Ok, four.  I also think it's a really good idea to be more prepared than I apparently was.  To know what to do in emergency situations and where to go as well as how to get there.  Take some time to look over those things.  Then, go hug the ones you love and give them extra kisses on lovely pink lips.


  1. Oh my! Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your husband!

  2. oh no! I'm so sorry you had to go through that or see him like that (I just tried to envision that situation with Marrv and me and it makes me shudder)

    I'm so happy it's nothing more serious!! baby him all you want - I support!

  3. Oh my goodness! That is so scary, I'm so sorry you went through that. I'll send healthy vibes to your husband and hope he recovers quickly.

  4. oh my! I hope all is better now! sorry for the late comment on this!