I have been writing these pieces for nearly 8 years. I have been sharing my warped perspective with my random ramblings and mindless minutiae. In many of my writings, I am just being a bit goofy as I observe the world around me. Other times, while being goofy, I try to be educational as I teach about funny sounding words. Once in a while, I am placed in a position where my life takes a very unexpected turn which leaves me with a reeling mind a raw emotions. This piece, which is part of a series (consider yourself warned), falls into that third category. I share such stories to remind my readers that while I love to share stories that make people laugh, I am still quite human. I share such stories not only in the interest of being honest with myself and my network of readers. I also do it as a form of healing catharsis for myself. I also hope and pray that, is any of my readers can relate to such experiences, it may help us all realize we are not alone. It all started on the morning of November 20, 2015. However, the story really began the night before that morning.
Like many of us in the working world, I get a bi-weekly paycheck which goes into my bank account via direct deposit. This means that, every two weeks, I can expect my paycheck in my account at approximately the same time of night (which little margin of error). Like most other paydays, I went to my laptop and began paying my routine expenses. Once that was done, I then put on my shoes and drive to a local gas station/convenience store where I fill my gas tank and withdraw some spending cash. When I paid for the gas (and a late night snack), the cashier gave me a John Kennedy silver dollar as part of my change. I drove home and locked the house up for the night. My wife, Renee, was working on homework in the living room and had fallen asleep on the couch. I was the only one awake so I quietly made my way upstairs. As part of the routine, I left a note for Renee to let her know how much available funds were left over after the bills were paid (always good news). I took my sleeping pill and set aside the silver dollar to give to my 3 year old grandson, Taelor, in the morning.
Morning came and seemed like any other. I felt rather sluggish due to being up so late the night before. I put little thought into the rubbery feeling in my legs as I got dressed, grabbed my work laptop and made my way downstairs to get ready to leave for work. It’s at this point where I have had to rely somewhat on the memory of others involved as it’s a bit blurry for me.
Once I was downstairs, I heard my daughter, Brianna, and my grandson, Taelor, talking. Taelor and I have a wonderful bond. I call him Butter Bean. He calls me Pop Pop. I walked into my daughter’s room to give Taelor the silver dollar I got the night before. Unfortunately, when I got to Brianna’s room, I began having trouble standing. I was propping myself up against the bookshelf in her room. Brianna said: “Dad, you need to go sit down.” I responded: No, Baby Girl. I’m just tired. Brianna found something very wrong with the way I said “just tired”. Those words sounded perfect in my head but not at all to Brianna’s ears. She was also afraid I was going to fall on top of Taelor. She walked around me into the living room and woke up my wife, Renee. I don’t recall what I said to Renee but she immediately told Brianna: “CALL 911!” She then directed me to sit down in a chair in the living room. I do not recall the fact of actually doing this or needing assistance to sit in said chair. What I DO recall is that my wife and daughter looked very scared and had called an ambulance and I was presenting very strong reason for that concern and ambulance call.
I pulled my phone out of my shirt pocket and called a colleague from work. I asked her to cover some tasks for me as I wasn’t well and was going to a doctor. My colleague later confirmed that I sounded very sluggish, almost drunk, and that I specifically said “doctor” not hospital.
The ambulance arrived very quickly so I gave my phone to my wife to call my boss. I had never realized how much of a blessing it was to live walking distance from an ambulance hall. The EMT began asking me questions. Again, the answers sounded fine in my head. He flashed a light in my eyes. He had me touch my nose and touch his finger. I did this VERY slowly. This was when I began to feel a bit scared about everything. In 22 of marriage (as of this writing), my wife had never seen me as an inpatient in a hospital. It was usually her or one of the kids. This role reversal was really hard for me to process.
The EMT told me he was taking me to the hospital. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around how I went from just feeling a little tired to riding in the back of an ambulance. As I got into the ambulance, Brianna was holding Taelor. He waved and said: “Bye Pop Pop”. Taelor is fascinated with emergency vehicles. He calls them “Weeow Weeow”. Right before the doors to the ambulance closed. I heard Taelor ask Brianna: “Pop Pop Weeow Weeow?”
It was almost all I could take to have an EMT looking down at me, running an EKG, starting an IV line, all while keeping me engaged in some form of conversation. Renee was riding along in the front of the ambulance. Little would I know the ride was just beginning for me that day.