Thursday, August 16, 2007


Not quite Casualty

An awfully small adventure has finally jolted me out of my blog apathy and got me writing this post. At 5 o’clock this morning, for no reason I can think of, I suddenly remember that we haven’t got round to paying our council tax and without meaning to do it aloud, say “oh crikey”. This wakes my loved one, which triggers his automatic response to go for a pee and the next thing I hear is a crunch as something, which turns out to be his head, hits the wall. I run into the bathroom just in time to catch him as he’s about to fall and we land in the bidet. Now whenever I get a shock, my stomach is the first bit of me to react so I spend the next few seconds hoping that I won’t actually be sick. A little thing to remember if you lose consciousness in the middle of a pee is that you’ll also lose interest in where you’re peeing, so I’m holding him on my lap with his foot trapping mine, realising that I’ve somehow got to manoeuvre 75 kilos of dead weight into the recovery position, avoiding the little puddle on the floor, while pulling down a towel from the rail to put under his head. By this time his eyes are closed and he’s making a strange snoring noise so it’s going to have to be a 999 job. I say I think my husband’s having a heart attack and wonder afterwards why I said that because I actually think it might be a stroke, but it’s too late now because as far as the guy on the other end of the phone is concerned, he’s helping me to deal with a heart attack. “Bare his chest” he tells me and I have an utterly blank moment when my brain can’t make the connection between the word and its meaning. “What his chest?” I ask and he has to say it a couple more times before I realise that I'm not familiar with bare used as a verb. Then he says “place the heel of your hand on his chest and put the other one on top of it” but I can’t do that because I’m holding the phone with the other one and it’s one of those tiny phones that are too small to tuck under my chin. All sorts of juggling and instructions ensue and I say “yes, he’s breathing, hang on, no he isn’t,” so he tells me to open his mouth and it’s while I’m trying to prise his teeth apart that he wakes up and says “it’s ok I’m fine". And in the short time I’ve been on the phone, the paramedic has arrived but before I run downstairs to open the door I think that maybe I ought to spare a thought for my loved one’s dignity and struggle his unresisting legs into a pair of boxer shorts. The paramedic runs up the stairs with 3 heavy bags of kit, including a defibrillator, to find my loved one looking faintly bemused and unable to remember anything much of what’s just happened. The paramedic declares that’s he’s fainted, does various tests just in case - blood pressure, reflexes and asks him his name - and I apologise and say I feel a bit foolish calling an ambulance for a fainting fit, but it did honestly seem a lot more serious than that. He’s lovely and reassures me that “no, he collapsed from an unknown cause and you were quite right to call us”, which makes me feel a lot better. Normally my loved one and I take it in turns to get breakfast, but I'm wondering if I should take a few extra turns if he’s going to go to such obvious attention-seeking extremes, or if it really is adventure he's after, I'd be a lot less anxious if he took up white water rafting.

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