We have had a very eventful mid-week here at Frugal in Norfolk.
Our 'ritual' on our walking days once everyone has gone home is to relax, have tea and toast, a bath, watch tv and go to bed. This week was very different.
I had just got out the bath and dressed in my nightie, whilst DB was making the tea and toast or so I thought. I walked through and he was just getting up from a chair.
"Are you alright?" "Yes, just felt a little dizzy, I'm fine now" and off he went to carry on with said tea and toast.
"Actually, it's coming back again" as I began to turn to get a chair, he keeled over. It wasn't a graceful sinking to the ground keeling over, no, it was similar to a tree being felled. Dead straight, straight forward in a straight line.
I couldn't even get to him before he hit the floor, forehead first, with a very sickening crack before the rest of him hit the floor with a resounding thwack! He landed a couple of inches from the opposite tiled wall, literally between the fridge/freezer and vegetable rack. Other than hitting a lino covered concrete floor, he couldn't have chosen a better place to land. I dread to think what would have happened if he had landed on the vegetable rack, being metal mesh!
Shock rooted me to the spot for a couple of seconds before J---- C----- emitted from my lips and I shot over to him, grabbing a handful of kitchen roll to mop up the blood. A quick ABC check ensued (airway, breathing, circulation) which showed he was still with me and several more seconds passed before he opened his eyes and said "Hello, what am I doing down here?"
It is amazing how quickly the mind operates once the sludge has cleared in these situations. Despite my nurse training kicking in, I could feel I was shaking and my heart and breathing were all over the place!
I ran for the BP cuff and monitor, attached it and pressed the button whilst holding the kitchen paper to stem the blood, all the while checking he was still awake. BP 81/47 Pulse 58. Not too bad considering, now on the floor, it should come back up. He wanted to get up but I refused, grabbed a blanket and a dressing gown to cover him. After 5 minutes, checked his BP. again. It was still dropping 65/39 Pulse 54. Not so good.
Time for an ambulance.
Such a split decision to make. Do I go to the land line in the front room and leave him, knowing the medic would be asking lots of questions or use DB's brand new mobile, which I wasn't sure how to use? Opted for the latter. Got thoroughly confused and he had to help bring up the dialling screen (good job he was by now a bit more with it).
Thinking I would remain calm when they answered, I blurted out "My husband has just collapsed, hit his head, and is bleeding" to which the operator replied "I understand madam, do you need, police, fire or ambulance?"
"Oh sorry" said I, "Ambulance please" - Honestly, I can feel myself starting to giggle at the thought of it as I type this up - :)
An ambulance car arrived in about 15 minutes (she was on her way back from another call). The 999 operator on the line once he had established everything was okay, told me help was on the way and did I need him to stay on the line. I said no as I needed to concentrate solely on DB, am resuscitation trained and promised to call them immediately if anything changed. Checking DB was still okay, I dashed off to get dressed in case we had to go to hospital.
DB was by now shaking with laying on a cold floor and shock. The paramedic was very good, took her time, checked him over thoroughly before we helped him onto a chair. The bleeding had by now stopped (I had also given him an ice pack to put on over the kitchen paper). He looked miles better.
Temperature up a little, slight crackle in a lower lung lobe, ECG and BP fine and normal. He had two more BP's done whilst walking and sitting, both fine. A second ECG once he stopped shaking was also fine. She wanted him to go to hospital just to have his cuts glued as she had just done two, used up all her glue and was going back to the hospital to get some more. DB didn't want to go and she was fine with that as she said he was fine and responding normally, not even any concussion! We opted for skin closing steri-strips. She wasn't too keen as they leave a larger scar but DB didn't care.
Duly cleaned and a dressing applied, she left after an hour, instructing him to take 3 lots of paracetamol every 6 hours for the pain. Finally, we were able to get into the warm front room and have a nice, hot cup of tea and a bowl of cereal with hot milk! He went to bed and I prayed nothing would happen during the night!
Here he is just after she left!
Part Two next time...