AKA…How The Husband Scared the Life Out of Me. Before I begin, per the rules, the Husband is fine now. Also, I’ve already talked to my MIL about this and she’s not finding out about it on social media.
Last night around 9:45pm, I heard a strange thud sound. I call out: “You okay?” and I waited about ten seconds. In that ten seconds, Isis freaked out—she is noisy, but not like that. I got up and hurried into the bedroom where I found my husband lying face down on the floor, unmoving, blood pouring from his face.
A lot of thoughts crashed through my mind at once. So many that a day later, I’m still processing them all. They included but aren’t limited to:
- …Why is he on the floor? Is he looking for something?
- …That’s not right.
- …He’s dead.
- …No, he can’t be dead.
- …He’s bleeding. Oh fuck, that’s a lot of blood.
- …Should I call 911?
All these thoughts happened at once in an instant. Then I reacted.
Folks, I am here to tell you if my husband is ever murdered and I find his body, I will most definitely be covered in his blood. There is an absolute panicked animal instinct to touch, to help, to wake up, your loved one when you find them like that. I don’t even remember diving to the floor before I was shaking him, yelling his name, shifting him from face down to face to the side so he could breathe. His blood was all over the carpet, his face, and my hands.
He didn’t respond to me for about twenty seconds. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. Then he made a noise and my heart skipped a beat. I was certain, until that moment, my husband had died.
I helped him up. He was still bleeding profusely from his nose where he’d lacerated the bridge of it. Dripping blood everywhere, I helped him to the sink and gave him a cloth to staunch the bleeding. There was so much blood: the carpet, the bathroom floor, him, me. I kept telling him “We have to go to the hospital.” By the time I was dressed and had discovered that our local walking emergency clinic was closed, he was calm and coherent enough to tell me he didn’t need an ambulance, but yes, he needed the emergency room.
I haven’t driven at night in over 2.5 years. I wasn’t going to let that stop me. The problem is that I don’t have good night vision because I had eye surgery about twenty years ago. It makes my depth perception wonky at night. Still, we made it to the emergency room about fifteen minutes away without incident. The whole time, the Husband was calm and coherent. I kept him talking because I didn’t know if he had a concussion and I couldn’t remember if you were supposed to keep a concussed person awake or not.
Evergreen Emergency was amazing as always (this is the fourth time I’d been there—twice for me, once for Heather, and now the Husband). They immediately started processing him. He explained that he’d had an abdominal pain and had gotten up to walk it off…and that was all he remembered. While he was talking, his nose was still bleeding. I vibrated with the need to help but knew I couldn’t. I talked when he couldn’t. And, while they were checking him in, he passed out again, but had the wherewithal to use his words and warn us. I held him up, keeping him from falling out of the chair. That lit a fire under everyone’s butt and we were taken to a trauma room.
For the medically minded among you: The Husband has a cut and broken nose. The laceration needed three stitches. The break is a minor fracture on the tip of his nose. He has bruising around the eyes, the nose, and the lips where his teeth impacted them in the fall. At this time, the passing out (syncope) is believed to be due to a vagal reaction that caused his blood pressure to fall. He will be following up with an ENT specialist in a week to get the stitches out and to see what else needs to be done about his nose. He will also be following up with his regular doctor to investigate the abdominal pain and the passing out.
We were at the emergency room for about 3.5 hours. Pretty damn good in the grand scheme of things. During that time, I got a chance to wash the dried blood off my hands and wrists. It’s amazing how much the face bleeds when lacerated. It’s awful the way it gets everywhere.
A day later, the Husband is looking rough. Like he’s been in one heck of a fight. However, he’s feeling much better. I can see, for now, his profile has changed. There’s a distinct bump in his nose. We’ve also cleaned up the carpet. It was disturbing to walk around the blood stains. There was so much of it…the biggest splotch of blood was bigger/wider than my hand. A neighbor had a steam cleaner we borrowed.
As I’ve told the Husband, while I appreciate him giving me visceral experiences so I can write about them (and believe me, someone is going to find their most precious loved one dead in some upcoming story because I need to write away these demons), I never want him to do that to me again. I find myself breaking out into half-hysterical laughter and I’m so furious with him in a distant way that I can’t really explain. I haven’t cried. I couldn’t last night, I was the driver. I needed to hold it together. I think I have a stranglehold on my emotions right now because the thought of what could have happened is just too scary to contemplate.
The worst part about all this is that it came out of nowhere. There was no warning. He’s had abdominal pain before. He’s had scar tissue cramps before. They’ve never made him pass out. Also, he was sitting and did not have pain when he passed out a second time. There is nothing we can specifically do or fix right now to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
The Husband is fine now and I am ever-grateful for that. However, this event brings home how quickly life can turn on you; how quickly my whole world could’ve ended. I never want to experience something like this again.
3 Jun 2022 Update. In the Husband's own words: "so, after the ENT follow up today, swelling had gone down, apparent the tip of my nose bone is shifted to the right, and my vomer (a bone like at the base of the nose right above the teeth) is also broken and shifted to my right, both are causing my right nostril to be mostly blocked, I go back on Monday morning when they'll inject me with numbing stuff and then rebreak both to shove them back into the correct position and put some small cast things on."