Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tough Guy

My husband is the quintessential "tough guy." Sure, he's sentimental and a big softie when it counts but for the most part he is no muss, no fuss. He's big in stature and makes me feel tiny when I'm wrapped in his arms.

So you can imagine my surprise when on Saturday morning my tough guy called to me from the other room and said, "Um, Kendra. I think you need to take me to the emergency room."

I came around the corner and he was doubled-over in a chair, ghost white, with sweat pouring down his face and seeping through his t-shirt, saying his heart was about to beat out of his chest and he was fighting not to pass out... I didn't hesitate. I immediately called my FIL who lives 1 minute away to come be with the kids, I threw on some clothes (it was early and we were still in PJ's) and I attempted to remain as calm as possible as not to alarm Little C.

We headed off to the ER and as we were driving Hubs said he was feeling much better and we should think rationally about whether or not this constituted as an "emergency." His heart rate slowed, and he said he was starting to feel normal again. We pulled the car over and just sat.

Together we decided to get him some food and some hydration and we'd call the after-hours doctor to see what they thought. The doctor advised that if he felt the slightest bit faint again we should not hesitate and get to the ER immediately but if he felt better then pumping him full of fluid and taking it easy would be a good idea. They also said he should make an appointment to actually see the doc on Monday.

Fast forward to Monday afternoon's doctor appointment... After explaining what happened Hubs' doctor hooked him up to an EKG machine and based on what he saw ordered him to go next door to the hospital for more tests.

Queue me at home with both kids making dinner and getting the call, "Um, Kendra. They need me to stay overnight at the hospital for a battery of testing, I'm about to be admitted." Once again I attempted to remain calm, make phone calls and arrange care for both kids overnight. There was seriously one point that evening that I had P-Nut on my hip and Little C following me around asking questions about where Dad was.

I was walking around the house swiftly and seemingly on a mission but I was not doing anything. I knew I needed to pack their bags, get bottles together, clothes together, etc., but I just paced for a minute or two with a rock in my stomach, a lump in my throat and an ache in my heart. Two tears rolled down my cheek...

Then I snapped out of it. No good was going to come of being sad and there was no time for that nonsense with two kids to take care of and a husband to rush to.

The rest of the story is typical hospital protocol. A lot of testing, a lot of questions, and a lot of freaking waiting. The good news? They found nothing wrong, all tests came back in good shape. The bad news? They found nothing wrong, all tests came back in good shape.

It takes a lot to knock down my tough guy and I'm telling you, what happened on Saturday was not okay. There was fear in his eyes and unsteadiness in the voice of a man who is always rock solid. So now we move forward to get some answers. We have a plan in place regarding follow-ups and doctors galore. We are all hoping for explanations and resolution.

To say we are feeling really lucky is an understatement. This was a wake-up for so many reasons and we intend to be focused on being as healthy as possible and taking care of ourselves. It seems the tough guys need to be reminded of this more than others. ;)

I'd have to say the hardest part through all of this is how your mind can be your own worst enemy. When faced with these situations it is so hard not to think of the "what ifs."

Last night as all four of us were back under the same roof all tucked in our beds I felt so blessed and grateful. Hubs and I fell asleep holding each other tight and as we were dozing off I reminded him how we just don't work without him... I don't work without him.

Each day is a gift, people. Don't forget it. The daily grind can distract us from that but it is so important to remember. Of course you don't have to get super sentimental and mushy every single day. Simply telling the people you love how you feel about them will do the trick.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go snuggle up on the couch with my tough guy and do just that.


  1. I wonder if it could have been a panic attack. I don't know much about them, but I seem to recall reading an article one time that reminded me of his symptoms. They can just happen - you don't have to be worried about something in particular. Glad to hear all his tests came back negative. Hopefully it was just a weird, one-time thing. Best of luck to you both!

    1. Thanks, Julie! I hope that it was something like that. There is some family history that leads us to believe it was heart related and I think that's why the doc's took that approach. I appreciate your comment!