Friday, October 21, 2011

I Told The EMTs How Much I Weigh! Really!

The tongue of the wise promotes health.
Proverbs 12:18

This is continued from "My Young Man Of Courage" from 10/19/11...

The ambulance arrived just a few minutes before Jim.  Joshua and Gabrielle ran out front to be sure they knew which house was ours.  They held the door open for the EMTs.  One EMT headed straight up the stairs for me, while Joshua assisted the other EMT as he was bringing the stretcher into our foyer.

Barely able to move, I looked up to the EMT ( his name badge introduced me to him ~ Tom) slowly and said, "Am I having a stroke?".  He indicated that was the first thing he was going to assess.  He quickly concluded that I was most likely not suffering from a stroke.

The second EMT (Zachary) came up to assist,  and soon after Jim bolted through our door and up the stairs to me. He stayed back to give the EMTs room, but the tears in his eyes and the concern on his face reached my heart intangibly with his love.  I was thankful.

They were making immediate assessments and focusing on the pain that had jolted through my head and my vital signs.  They recommended that I go to the hospital via ambulance for a thorough evaluation and tests.  Jim and I both knew that was necessary.

I was still laying in the threshold of Joshua's bedroom.  Once stabilizing me and feeling secure enough to transport me, they asked me if I could move to get in a special medical chair they had brought near to my side.  Crawling to the chair, still clinging to carpet fibers, I made my way into the medical transport chair.  Suddenly they strapped me in from head to toe and told me they were going to carry me down our stairs.

Feeling like a completely constrained and helpless mummy, I insisted that they were NOT carrying me down any stairs in that chair!  I couldn't move my arms or legs or anything in between!

Ma'am, we have to carry you safely down the stairs, and this chair allows us to do that.  EMT Tom was not convincing me at all! 

EMT Zachary then tried to persuade me.  We carry people down the stairs all the time in these chairs. 

Well, they were NOT going to carry me.  I couldn't move and was starting to feel anxious.  I tried to win them over with reason.  Please just let me get down the stairs on my bumper.  I will not do well in this chair, trust me.  You can poke me with needles, take blood, or stick me with an IV, but if you try to take me down the stairs strapped in this chair, I will not be a good patient. Just get me out of this chair and let me go down the stairs on my bumper, and everything will be fine.  Now please unstrap me and let's get me down to the stretcher. ((I was just trying to live out Proverbs 12:18 and use my tongue to promote health and the health of all those around me!)

My rationale was not working.  They explained the dangers of not having me strapped in the chair in my diminished physical state.  They insisted that I had to be in the chair.


Sorry EMT Tom and EMT Zachary, you can't say I didn't warn you that I would not be a good, cooperative patient if I wasn't released me from that chair!!  I had to go both barrels at them to get them to see things my way.

Please unstrap me right now or I am going to lose it.  I am already on the verge of fainting and now these straps are making me anxious.  You will not carry me down the stairs in this chair!

Then, the moment of pure, uncensored truth...

"And besides, I weigh ___ pounds!"

(To protect the innocent and for the sake of a free-flowing story here, let's just insert the number "130" there for fun.)

I TOLD EMT TOM AND EMT ZACHARY HOW MUCH I WEIGH!  THE REAL NUMBER!  Now, you know that I was NOT in the right frame of mind to do that!!  Clearly, the stress of being strapped in that chair was getting to me!!  Not even Jim knew the REAL NUMBER!!! 

EMT Tom chuckled and said to me, "Sharon, I have carried people three times your weight down stairs and they were perfectly safe.  And guess what...I'll tell you how much I weigh, too.  I weigh 335 pounds." 

335 pounds! Nut-uh!  No you don't, I insisted. He assured me he was telling the truth.  Here I was telling this towering EMT that I didn't believe he weighed 335 pounds.  Smart man, he never commented on my number!

I appreciated that EMT Tom and I were taking our surface relationship deeper, you know...revealing our true weights to each other and all, but really...this was no time for trying to convince me of anything!  I was NOT going down those stairs strapped in a chair and carried!

Let's just say that, after my husband confirmed for the EMTs that the "sit-u-a-tion" might escalate if they did not allow me to get down the stairs in a way that made me feel more physically secure.  Going down on my bumper kept me from falling, so it was perfectly safe. Releasing me from the chair, Jim, Tom and Zachary very carefully ushered me down the stairs.

After securing me in the stretcher, Tom and Zachary wheeled me out to the ambulance.  My first time in an ambulance, the cold, metal interiors did not feel very welcoming.  The EMTs did further assessment and again strongly recommended I go to the emergency room.  Jim and I agreed it was the best thing.

Sobbing and kissing their noggins, I told Joshua and Gabrielle I would be fine.  This was so hard for them to see their mommy being driven away in an ambulance.  Joshua kissed my cheek and squeezed my hand.  Gabrielle kissed my forehead and then the tops of my feet as she left the ambulance.  Waving and blowing kisses, the ambulance door was then closed.

Wanting to fore go any drama, I asked the guys to please NOT put on the red flashing lights or the sirens.  I didn't want the pomp to further alarm our children or cause concern for the neighbors.

Jim followed the ambulance in his car, while my sister stayed at home with the kids.  On the way to the hospital, I told EMT Tom and EMT Zachary, Ya know...Not even my husband knew my real weight until tonight!  See what pressure in the middle of a crisis will do to a woman!  They both laughed.

After escorting me to "Triage 12" in the emergency room, EMT Tom and EMT Zachary kindly said their good-byes to me and Jim.  We exchanged pleasantries and they were on their way.  A few minutes later, their heads popped around the curtain to my room...they came back to say one more thing.  We just wanted to come back and tell you again that your children did an exceptional job with the 9-1-1 call and helping us. They even ran out to the curb to greet us!  More tears of thankfulness and laughter rolled down my checks.

I feel a certain closeness to these EMTs, now that I told them how much I weigh and all.  It brings down walls and helps create close relationships.  [Laugh out loud!]  Jim, me and the kids are going to go by the the rescue squad's building soon and bring Tom and Zachary each a devotional book and some treats.  We want to thank them for their care and kindness.  And for their wisdom in getting me out of that chair and letting me go down the stairs on my bumper!

CAT scan results of my brain showed everything is NORMAL (though some may question that!).  Thank God - my brain was healthy with no bleeding or masses. My heart is strong and my blood work is fine. I go to see an ENT for a thorough evaluation of my inner ear next week.  The doctors believe I had a very violent bout of vertigo (I was completely debilitated for 3 days) that may have been caused by a virus.  I am very thankful to the Lord that the tests results from the hospital were excellent.  Thank you, Lord!

While I would not have chosen to have gone through this scary and unknown incident, I am SO thankful to the Lord that I witnessed God's perfect provision and faithfulness and my children's courage in the midst of a crisis.  I am thankful for my wonderful husband who worked from home that Friday to take care of me.  I am thankful for family and friends who quietly and lovingly prayed, dropped off a meal, sent a card or helped with our children.  I am hushed and humbled by His love.

And yes, I told the EMTs how much I weighed...the real number!


Mich said...

This made me smile. I am so thankful you a re feeling fine. I know you are so proud of the courage your kiddos showed.

Kelly Combs said...

You did a great job of making a very scary situation comical. You & the EMT's are kindred spirits now! haha. I can't believe how stubborn you were about the chair! Wow.

The way I related most to this, was how close you feel with someone after you share a vulnerable thing with them. After my retreat this weekend, I felt "love" toward the attendees, because I had shared my testimony, warts & all, and they related and loved me anyway. That is a special place.

Not only did God keep you safe, but he provided you lots of blogging material. LOL! Be blessed!

Fields of gold said...

Sharon, I laughed and cried and rejoice with you that the test results came back with no negative lasting conditions.

Thank you for sharing the sweet bravery and courage of your cherubs, and you too! Such wisdom in the midst of hardship.

I pray this is your only bout with vertigo ever. Blessings to you friend.

Much love, Sam