Friday, March 29, 2019

Keeping Our Sense of Humor

The Birth of Venus, c. 1485, Sandro Botticelli, EPCOT


Luncheon of the Boating Party , 1880–1881, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, EPCOT


Friday, March 15, 2019

Visiting the ER at Disneyworld

It was our first day visiting parks and after plenty of fun in the sun at Animal Kingdom, we returned to the resort to eat a snack and make cocktails. I flopped onto the hotel bed and opened my laptop to watch “The Bachelor” (don’t judge). Meanwhile, Dan went with Raine to the hotel pool.
After I finished the episode I had missed, I wandered out to the pool to hang out with them. I was cursing myself because somehow my swimsuit didn’t make it into my suitcase! It turned out I would be glad I wasn’t wearing it because I had an ambulance ride and ER stay in my future.
After I opened the gate to the hotel pool, I found a crowd of people huddled around Dan and Raine while they were sitting on one of those plastic white lounge chairs. Hotel staff, lifeguards, and hotel medics were in front of Dan asking him questions. I didn’t know if something had happened to Raine or Dan. Raine sat quietly with a towel but he was shaking. They all looked at me when I walked up and Dan pointed at me and explained I was his wife. Everyone turned to talk to me and someone informed me that they had just been trying to call me.
A young lifeguard started to share with me her account of Dan on the waterslide, arriving in the pool with a splash and then not coming up for air. She said he was struggling so she jumped in to help him. By the time she reached him (2 seconds according to Raine—”she was like a superhero!” ) he wasn’t breathing so she had to get him out of the pool and clear his airway. He coughed and regained consciousness.
Daddy went down the slide. He was swimming toward me and then he stopped swimming.”
The lifeguard was still shaking as she spoke with me and I couldn’t help but wonder how someone roughly the same size as me managed to get an unconscious Dan out of the pool. I wanted to hug her and thank her but suddenly all of these people were asking me questions.
“What medications is your husband on?” “Does he have a history of seizures?” The lifeguard had mentioned he appeared as if he was having one. I was surprised because Dan was, in fact, on an anti-seizure medication ever since his first (and only) seizure three years ago. They informed me that an ambulance was on its way and returned to Dan with their questions and concerns.
My beating heart felt like it was leaping from my chest as I sat down with Raine and hugged him. I pulled him into my lap and wrapped his towel around him tightly, rubbing his arms quickly to warm him up. I asked him what he had seen and felt. He explained, “Daddy went down the slide. He was swimming toward me and then he stopped swimming.”
Before I knew it, the ambulance medics were there and testing Dan’s oxygen. It was lower than usual and because he had been unconscious, they recommended he go to the hospital. I called Char and quickly told her to come to the pool. A hotel staff member brought Raine an ice cream bar and I told him I’d be going with daddy to the hospital and he could stay up playing Fortnite with his cousin. When Char arrived, I had her take him and I boarded the ambulance.
On the way to the ER, I made as many jokes as possible and followed Dan’s oxygen level. His arms and hands were blue and he was shaking in his wet clothes. I hadn’t packed a hospital bag for this trip … because, you know, he had already been to the hospital in January and I wasn’t expecting another one so soon. But that is our situation for you. We should be getting hospital frequent flyer points.
Doug would later bring us clothes and dinner while we waited it out. By midnight he hadn’t been admitted but he was having no seizure activity and basically just tired. I had to go back to the hotel to Raine and to get some sleep. The following morning, we expected him to be discharged due to no seizure activity over night and a normal oxygen level. A night’s sleep did wonders for him.
The hospital situation became a nightmare and Dan wasn’t released until our last day at Disneyworld. They had no reason to keep him but they did. They were slow to get a CT and even slower to get an MRI, both of which ended up showing no change than the MRI Dan had just had in December. Being stuck in a hospital is pretty common for us but this situation was the worst we had experienced. We feared he wouldn’t get released until the next day and we would miss our flight home. So I cried in frustration, which made Char cry, so she pleaded with staff in tears until the doctor finally showed up and let him go.
This is our last day of vacation and my grandson is playing basketball in my son’s hospital room with a balled up sock and garbage can. They are supposed to be having fun at Disneyworld!
It was time to go. Dan and I firmly agreed the accident was due to his vertigo and NOT a seizure. His follow-up at home supported our thought and he has been doing absolutely fine ever since. There has been time for us to adjust to what a scary experience it actually was and Dan is doing well coping by using his sense of humor and talking when he needs to about it. We check in with Raine and answer questions he has. Mainly he wants to know what it was like when daddy stopped swimming.