The Minimum Stress Practical Guide to coping in a medical emergency

Welcome to my ‘Minimum Stress Practical Guide to…’ series of blog posts. After a complete rollercoaster of a few months when we had the stuffing knocked out of us, I decided to turn my journey into something positive.  Last week I addressed the subject of helping your child through bereavement.  This week I’m looking at how to cope in a medical emergency.

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It’s approaching midnight.  Our little girl is tucked up in bed and dreaming of fairies/princesses/being a vet/singer (or a singing vet – a blog post for another day!).  We’re tucked up in bed and I think I’ve just dozed off when hubby calls out, asking if I’ve just jabbed in the stomach.  Apparently it’s not uncommon for me to do this if he’s snoring!…

On this occasion though, I’m not guilty.  Hubby can’t get comfortable and says he’s in excruciating pain.  So when I ask him if I need to call an ambulance and he says, “not yet”… I know it’s not going away with painkillers alone.  Bearing in mind that we’ve just gone through the shock of a family bereavement, there are all sorts of scenarios vaguely flashing through my mind in my I-had-just-dozed-off daze!

So, after speaking to NHS direct and then the out of hours doctor, hubby is advised to go to the walk-in centre for further assessment.  It’s at this point that I ask if I should drive him because I don’t want him to get a taxi.  But our little girl was tucked up in bed oblivious (thankfully) and we didn’t want to stress her out with a post-midnight adventure.  So hubby drove himself slowly and promised to pull over and call 999 if it all got too much.

A short while later, hubby rang me – he had to go to A&E within the hour.  He had suspected appendicitis.  While he was driving home, I rang Grandma.  At gone 2 am, there’s no easy way of asking someone if they could possibly come over to babysit.  In the 30 minutes that it took her to shake the sleep from her head and drive over, I was grabbing a few overnight essentials for hubby.  I even managed to make our little girl’s packed lunch to save Grandma the job!  Funny how your mind works in an emergency…

…like making sure the ‘go-bag’ that you haven’t got ready to ‘go’ is packed with the essentials of toiletries, ipad and earphones to drown out the inevitable (often unpleasant) noise of A&E/ward.

…like making sure that while you’re driving, you go round the houses to avoid the speed bumps…

…like making sure that you’ve packed a couple of snacks for yourself because chances are you’re in for a long wait (eaten discreetly while hubby is nil by mouth of course!)…

…like making sure that when your hubby needs you most, you’re there for him when he dozes off while waiting for obs to be done in A&E…

…like making sure that the house still runs as it should the next day, including the school run, because the patient doesn’t need that added stress…

…like making sure you get an early night the next night, having been in A&E until gone 5am.  Because sleep is really not overrated and lack of it causes stress…

…like making sure that when your patient has their appendix out and are told they must rest up, recover and not lift a single thing… that you make sure they do just that.  Even if they are really not the words you want to hear when you’re about to move house! (grateful as I was that he was okay, obviously!)

With that in mind, next week I’ll talk you through how to move house with minimum stress (and a hubby who can’t lift a thing)… but for now I’d like to hear how you’ve coped in a medical emergency?

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13 comments to “The Minimum Stress Practical Guide to coping in a medical emergency”
  1. Oh wow – Carol that is a bit of a nightmare isn’t it? But it sounds like you took it all in your stride and got everything and everyone sorted. I guess you probably just go a bit into automatic pilot doing what you know needs to be done as and when. It makes me wonder what would happen if you were a single parent and woke up with that kind of pain. Scary thought… Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout this week X

    • Yes Sam it was certainly a nightmare and my feet didn’t touch the ground for a good while! But like you say, auto pilot is a wonderful thing… As for dealing with that on your own. It doesn’t really bear thinking about does it?

  2. Wow – sounds scary! But you coped really well. Aren’t things different when you have kids though? My husband was really ill last year and drove himself to the hospital at 2am because if I’d driven him we’d have had to wake the boys. There are so many different things to consider when you have little people! xx

  3. Crikey! That does sound scary. I have to say that Ross cut himself badly last year and I was at a loss as it was around midnight and Grace was in bed. An ambulance had to take him in the end and he got a taxi back but it was very scary. Well done for staying so calm – and thank goodness for Grandmas. #TheTruthAbout

  4. Goodness! I hope your Hubby is okay?
    So far (luckily) I’ve only ever had to deal with the kids when they’ve fallen. My immediate reaction is to take care of them, make sure they’re okay and if the hospital is required to get them there asap. 🙂
    Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo

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