Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up, Way Back When... (Emergency? What Emergency?) , Quotable Quotes, A New Panic Attack Story

Good Tuesday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - In order to make the Lake Vacation last as LONG as possible, here are a few more tubing pics for your Tuesday morn...

I call these photos "Brother Tubing."

Just Josh.

And I call this one "Singing Tubers."

They are fine, fine specimens of men, aren't they?

And please don't report us to the authorities because Austin's life vest is five or six sizes too small.

Just Mikie.

RANDOMNESS #2 - A New Panic Attack Story - It has been a little while since this happened, so I feel comfortable sharing it with you now.

Monday morning, June 2, 2014, I awoke with a chest pain in the MIDDLE of my chest.




Chest pain.

I stared at the ceiling from 3:30 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., and when the sensation did not go away, I got out of bed, put on a pair of Austin's gym shorts in a laundry basket in my room and started brushing my hair and teeth.

"What's going on?" Mike asked as he rolled over toward the light.

"Heart attack... or panic attack. I can't be sure because it's different this time, you see," I replied through a mouth of toothpaste.

"So do you want to see if it passes?" Mike asked, starting to sit up.

"Nope. It's too different. If we go to the Emergency Room now, we can be back at the house around 7:00 or 8:00 and you can get ready and head into work. It will just take a few minutes for them to diagnose me and send me home," I told him.

I was having difficulty breathing, so Mikie, like the wonderful husband he has always been, got up, threw on some clothes, brushed his teeth and hair and at 4:20 a.m. on that Monday morning, we headed to the Emergency Room...


As is their practice, they took me to the back as soon as I arrived because... Well, chest pains.

My blood pressure was too high, the pain was persisting and things were not calming down, so I also went for a chest x-ray and what I now call "heart attack blood work."

This was all part of "my" norm, so I was glad they were getting to it so fast because I didn't want Mikie to miss a day of work.

After the x-ray and the blood work, they took me back to Mike and they did something a little different.

They offered me a nitroglycerin pill.

I had never had one, but I had always wanted to have one or two in my purse for such emergencies, so I was happy this might become one of my new "treatments."

Let me re-phrase...

I was happy until five seconds after it dissolved under my tongue.

Headache! Headache!

Jittery hands! Jittery hands!

Nitro is bad! Nitro is bad!

It was at this time, a cardiologist came in to talk with us and told me he was going to admit me for more tests because things weren't "settling down."

Okay. That wasn't part of the plan, but as I've said before, when you have panic attacks, your favorite place in the whole wide world to hang out is the hospital.

It really is.

So Mikie and I settled in for an unexpected "Hospital Date."

And then I looked at Mikie.

"You look pretty rough, Babe," I said. His hair was combed, but not clean and coiffed. He hadn't shaved, and his clothes were not the best in the world.

"I'm pretty sure I look a little better than you," he replied, smiling.

And that's when I walked into the bathroom to see what the world at large was seeing.

Fun fact for you... The right side of my hair always, always sticks straight up, out and about.

This day was no exception.

No make-up.



Ugly gray t-shirt and uglier red gym shorts.

Oh. And let's not forget the non-matching flip-flops, shall we?

"Why did you let me leave the house looking like this?" I asked.

He didn't answer, which was probably wise.

To make matters worse, I had not brought my purse with me, so a brush, hairspray, lipstick and powder were not even options at this point.

"Do you want me to call anyone?" Mike asked.

"Are you kidding me?" I shrieked. "Look at me!"

"I meant the kids, your Mom, etc.," he reassured me.

"You can call the kids and let them know everything is fine, and you can call Mom a little later in the morning." Six-thirty was a little early to be "sharing" on a Monday morning.

The day wore on, and unfortunately Mike and I did not get better looking.

The tests eventually came back and everything was okay.

"Okay" meaning panic attack as opposed to a heart attack.

Mike and I ended our impromptu Hospital Date around 4:30... a mere 12 hours after the "date" first began.

And we were tired, worn out and one of us didn't smell very good.

When the nurse came in to take my IV out of my wrist, she did the normal "hold some pressure on the bandage for a minute while I call for a wheelchair" routine and left the room.

This started a series of unfortunate events.

They were going to wheel me downstairs into the lobby of St. Vincent's Hospital at 4:35 p.m. on a Monday afternoon.

That was not going to be good.

Not good at all.

I swung around to face Mike and tried to talk him into helping me sneak out through the stairwells when he said, "Okay. Okay. Be perfectly still."

Where I come from, that means one thing.

There is a large, poisonous snake right behind you...

Or, in this case, the place where my IV had been hooked up had sprung a leak.

I was losing blood at a very, very fast pace.

It was all over me... all over my already ugly clothes... and all over the hospital bed.

Mike stuck his head out and called the nurse back into the room.

"Well, goodness. Let's try to get this to stop, okay?" and she started applying pressure.

I took this as a chance to maybe upgrade my wardrobe before we took the "ride of shame" into the hospital lobby.

"Since it's kinda your fault I have blood all over my clothes, do you have anything I could wear home? You know... Prettier than what I'm wearing now?"

An old bed sheet would have been prettier than what I had come to the hospital wearing.

She took a look at blood splattered hospital apparel and said, "We're going to take a shortcut... and no one will see you."

Not as good as getting some clean scrubs to put on, but better than the-middle-of-the-lobby scenario.

She "snuck" me down to a side door in the lobby, Mikie brought the car around on two wheels and we headed home.

I talk about my panic attacks, not because I think they are particularly interesting or in any way, shape or form funny, but because there remains a stigma about so many mental disorders and illnesses... panic attacks among them.

I have panic attacks.

It is what it is, and rather than hide behind a happy "my life is great, and everything in and around me is going extremely well" facade, I'd rather just tell you the truth.

I hope you or yours never have one.

I really, really do.

But if you have had one or have one in the future, it is not the end of the world AND you are not alone AND you are not crazy.

Take comfort knowing you and I have something in common!

And feel free to discuss it openly with friends and family.

It's not easy, but I truly believe it is an important thing to do!

Quotable Quotes

"Go the extra mile. It's never crowded."

Way Back When...

This was first posted in August of 2009.

Emergency? What Emergency?

I told you I'd post another story about how well I react in the event of an emergency, so we'll go ahead and get that out of the way.

I had met my sister, niece and nephews at the ice skating rink at Oak Mountain. While most of the kids were enjoying the ice, my nephew, Zac, was not. He tried, but ice skating was not his thing at the time. He preferred playing at the top of the stadium with a little girl he had met there who was around his age (6 or 7). Beverly and I sat below watching the other kids skate and looked up to see Zac and his little friend standing on the bottom rung of the railing. It was a perfectly normal thing for kids to do, but in this situation it was dangerous because of the height and the cement floor beneath them. Beverly told both of the children to get down, which they immediately did.

Seconds later, we heard the awful thud or pop or thud-pop of a child's head hitting cement. (You've probably heard it before at Wal-Mart. I know I have.) It is a sickening sound. Whirling around, we immediately saw Zac standing looking down. By process of elimination, we knew it was the little girl he had been playing with who had fallen.

We took the steps two at a time and we found her face down on the cement crying. When we lifted her to her feet, blood started pouring from her mouth... pouring, gushing. You get the picture. "Oooh, oooh. That looks bad," I said.

Beverly put her hand under the little girl's chin catching the majority of blood. "Zac, what is her name?" we asked him.

"I don't know. We were just playing together. She got back up on the railing after you told her to get down," he told us... but we had already figured that one out.

We started walking to the entrance of the ice skating rink, Beverly holding her hand under the little girl's chin, Zac walking a few steps behind us, and me trying to think of the best way to help.

That's when my extensive CPR training came into play once again. "MOTHER OF A LITTLE GIRL WEARING A PINK SHIRT AND BLEEDING! MOTHER OF A LITTLE GIRL WEARING A PINK SHIRT AND BLEEDING!" I started yelling at the top of my lungs.

"What are you doing?" my sister asked.

"We have to find her mother so she can take her to the hospital," I replied.

"Am I going to have to go to the hospital?" the little girl asked.

"No, no. You're going to be just fine. It's just a little cut," my sister replied.

"Are you kidding me? She's going to need stitches and from the looks of things, a blood transfusion, too," I said, stating what I thought was the obvious.

Beverly glared at me. Since I wasn't getting a good response from my first announcement, I quickly fell back to my old tried and true way of getting help quickly.

"PARAMEDIC! PARAMEDIC!" I started bellowing.

"Now what are you doing?" Beverly asked. She was getting a little exasperated by now.

"This really works. I've had to do this before in a CPR situation," I told her.

"What's a paramedic?" the little girl asked.

"It's like a doctor," Beverly replied.

"Do I need a doctor?" she asked, sounding a little panicky.

"No. You're going to be fine," Beverly again reassured her.

"She needs an ambulance driver," I mumbled. Again, glaring from Beverly. And again, I used my CPR training until finally her mother appeared.

Surprisingly, her mother was much like Beverly... although unlike Beverly who was just trying to keep the child calm, the mother really didn't think she needed to go to the hospital, or the doctor, or the plastic surgeon, or the dentist, or the blood bank.

I disagreed, so I went up to someone who worked at the rink and pointed out the little bloody girl, and guess what? They called the paramedics... but they used the phone. And I was right. They said she needed a stitch. And guess what else? You bleed more with a head or mouth injury than other places on your body, so she didn't end up needing that blood transfusion after all.

Yep. I was a hero, all right. I think I missed my calling. I definitely should have gone into the medical field doing something. My "bedside manner" is second to none!

I know what you're thinking.

I hope if I or someone else I love ever needs emergency medical attention, The Enchanting Belinda is close by to offer her assistance.

For your sake, I hope so, too!

Have a fabulous day. I'm going to meet a friend for lunch I haven't seen in about ten years, so I guess you can say I'm pretty excited.

Take care, and I'll talk to you Friday.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Look what I found on my sidewalk yesterday evening.

Pretty cool, huh?

At first, I thought it was the first FALL LEAVES of the season, but on second look, it was two awesome, giant, exotic moths!

I bet they're from Australia!

1 comment:

  1. Belinda,
    Those Australian moths are GORGEOUS!! Thanks for sharing them with us and the rest of today's post. Andrea


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