Tag Archives: syncope

A funny thing happened on the way to the…floor restoration

It’s funny how house projects go. Sometimes they progress quickly and other times slowly. The current kitchen floor project falls into the latter category….not for lack of interest. The interest is there. In droves.

But like Stephen Sondheim’s 1963 Broadway musical, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”….we’ve had our own variation on that. Yep, a (not-so-funny) thing happened on the way to the floor restoration.

In retrospect, the hubs can laugh about it. Not so much me. I still shudder when I think about it and remind him that he is never to do that to me again. In fact, I have told him that in three years, I will order his offspring to babysit him for 24 hours as he suffers through the prep for the dreaded colonoscopy. He actually listens to them.

How does a colonoscopy interfere with a floor restoration? Here’s the short version. If you’ve had a colonoscopy or live with someone who has, you know the spiel. Drink 64 ounces of a clear liquid texturized with a product that — when ingested in short order — is guaranteed to clean out your system. This is serious stuff.

Since your diet during that period is so restricted — clear liquids only — the general idea is to mix it up — pop, broth, apple juice, popsicles, water, etc. So…if it’s a hot day and you don’t drink enough liquid while your system is nearly void of all food products? Yup. Dehydration.

And what happens when one becomes dehydrated? Let’s just say, there we were upstairs — him in the loo, me in the sewing room. Suddenly, there was a loud thud, then silence. Yup. Fainted flat out. Just as he came to, his eyes rolled around, he gasped a few times and went right back down.

I reached for the nearest phone and in my loudest voice said, “I’m calling the squad.” Worked like a charm. He came to and said, in his best “Nelson Steiner” voice, “Don’t.” So there we sat for a half hour, waiting for his color to return and he was ready to move to the closest bed.

This was when we discovered the reason the floor project would not progress as quickly as we’d hoped. When he fainted, he injured his back — likely a pulled muscle but painful enough to prevent much physical activity.

So while he’s in recovery, I’ve stumbled a bit through the ripping up of vinyl and have come to the conclusion that the project will wait. After all, what better reason for not having to mop the floor?

Hubs tries to even the ER score

This has been a month of hospital visits I’d rather have done without. First there was my mom’s early morning trek to the ER, then my dog bite visit. Not to be left out of the excitement my husband tried to even the hospital ER score by snipping off a bit of his left index finger. Well, technically, it wasn’t the finger snipping that sent him to the ER, but it was the initial catalyst.

Here’s how this happened. We have a composter to which we regularly add garbage, such as vegetable and fruit skins. To help speed up the composting process, Fred cuts it into smaller pieces….usually with scissors. So on Sunday, while I was minding my own business grading papers, I heard a muffled curse word. This is usually my clue that my assistance might be needed, so I zipped down to the kitchen. There he was, water running over his hand — not exactly hitting the finger in question.

Momentarily forgetting his dislike for blood, I foolishly suggested he keep an eye on the hand to be sure the water was running over the finger while I fetched bandages. That was my first mistake. The second was leaving him without telling him to sit down. I returned to notice he’d gone white and as I steered him toward a nearby stool, he suddenly passed out. It was like one of those movies where the person just goes down, in what I can only describe as a dead faint.

Smacked his head on a metal strip between the kitchen and laundry and then had what I initially thought was a seizure but was more likely the result of syncope. His eyes were unfocused, he thrashed around and then suddenly went completely still. Where was I? Standing there stunned, screaming like a ninny, as I fumbled for my phone and tried to remember how to call 911.

He suddenly came around, looked at me disgustedly and asked why I was screaming at him. He had no idea what had happened; in fact, he said it seemed like a long dream. He thought he was in bed and had overslept.

This is when it is helpful to have a neighbor who is a nurse anesthetist. Once I helped the hubs settle in a the recliner, because “I just want to rest for a few minutes”, I zipped across the back yard to fetch Bill Swartley. He came quickly, armed with an airway thingy, checked Fred’s vision, inspected the various cuts (finger and head) and suggested we stop by the ER — if only for a tetanus shot.

Which we did. Two hours later, having undergone an EKG, various blood tests, a tetanus shot, and dressings of the finger and head, we returned home. Having been warned to do nothing much for the rest of the day, the hubs retired to his basement office to watch his computer screen.

I think it’s time to install a garbage disposal.