Crisis – Part I

The good news is that I’m great in a crisis while it’s happening.

The bad news is that I had that tested to the limit on Monday evening.

If you haven’t read CBG’s post on what happened, go have a little read and get filled in.

We had just landed in Newark when CBG told me that he wasn’t feeling well. We’d been on the plane longer than we wanted to, thanks to a delay leaving Chicago. We sat on the tarmac for an hour or so while the plane was being de-iced. I was annoyed, frustrated and grumpy about the whole thing. The plane was full of people, stuffy, and I just wanted to get the heck home. The plane finally left about an hour late and we were on our way. The trip itself was fairly uneventful. My grumpiness and general annoyance continued to hang over us like a big ugly cloud. CBG could see this and made several frowny faces in my direction. I just gave him a shrug and told him I was fine. I just wanted to get my tired and grumpy ass home.

Immediately upon landing in Newark, CBG said, “I don’t feel very well….” He started taking some deep breaths and turned the air on full blast. I figured he was just feeling a bit nauseous from being overheated and sitting on a stuffy plane. He hadn’t really eaten anything at all since the night before (no…a bag of M&Ms at the airport doesn’t count as “lunch”) and I just assumed that he was feeling a bit “off” and could be fine in a minute or so. Besides, we were getting off the plane shortly.

He said, “I think I’m going to get sick.” I passed him an airsick bag and to be honest, felt a bit of worry. Mostly about sitting in close quarters beside someone who might throw up. I also felt bad for CBG, because who wants to throw up on an airplane sitting between your wife and a total stranger?

And then it happened.

His head went back against the seat and his body stiffened up, his arms stiffening out in front of him. My stomach sank. I asked him if he was okay. His eyes rolled back into his head. I called out his name…nothing. This wasn’t right. At all.

The man sitting on the other side of CBG made eye contact with me. “We have to call someone.” I told him. I knew there was panic in my voice. I shook CBG a bit, continuing to call his name.

“We need help.” I said, louder. “Something is wrong. I don’t know what to do.”

He slumped over, his chin hitting his chest, his eyes fluttering closed.

Panic shot through me. Complete and utter terror. I have never felt more afraid and more alone in my entire life.

Oh my god. I don’t know what’s wrong. What’s happening? Is he having a heart attack? Is this a stroke? Oh my God. He’s dying. There’s something horribly horribly wrong and he’s dying right here in front me and I can’t do anything about it.

Oh my God. What am I going to do?

* * * * *

…to be continued….

6 Responses

  1. Oh my goodness, I think I had a slight anxiety attack just reading this. Hoping for the best outcome. It is so hard watching your love ones and not being able to help!

  2. UGH. That’s like… worst nightmare.

    Funny how we never know how we’re going to be until it’s happening.

    • I’ve been in some pretty awful situations like this before (though never as awful as this one). I have the great ability to remain calm and level-headed in the moment. It’s always afterwards that I have a meltdown…

  3. […] (In case you missed it, you can read the first part of this story here.) […]

  4. […] What happened on Monday night with CBG ranks right up there on the list with the most traumatic experiences I’ve ever dealt with. I know that it sounds dramatic to say that, but honestly, during the time that it was happening, not knowing what it was, it was one of the most frightening things I’d ever witnessed. […]

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