It’s funny how the Universe steps in when needed to either kick you up the arse, to stop you in your tracks, to realign you or in our case all 3, in the blink of an eye.
Stewart & I returned from Indian Bike Week in Wisconsin with a clear outline of what we needed to do and a timeline of how long it was going to take. It wasn’t ideal but was the best plan for keeping everything ticking along. I am not going to lie; I felt a little trapped and disappointed but totally understood the reasoning behind it.
Thick with a cold caught whilst away, we sat relaxed and chatty about the year ahead with a new gusto for life, our dreams and goals were being put in place, slower than we had hoped but happening.
I dosed up on Night Nurse and went to bed, I felt shit and desperately needed some sleep, I always get a few hours before Stewart comes to join me and knew that night my sleep was going to be troublesome because of the coughing.
In the early hours I was woken with Stewart calling out, I thought he was having a bad dream and put my hand on him to let him know all was ok. Our bedroom is pitch black at night and I have no light nearby, as I tried to open my eyes from my night nurse induced sleep, I felt him swiftly move out of bed and fall to the floor. I was at this stage still thinking he was having a bad dream or night terror, not that he suffers with these. I jumped out of bed and put a light on and moved around the room to find him convulsing on the floor and bleeding heavily from his head and eye. His position meant that with each movement he was hitting his head on the bedside cabinet and was restricting me from opening the bedroom door. I couldn’t move him and there was no room to move the bedside cabinet. Whilst phoning 999, I tried to soothe him and make his space as safe as I could, but he was unconscious. The phone operator was talking me through the steps to take. Sadly, every step was impossible due to his position and size. In what seemed like ages but was probably 5 minutes he started to come around and I was able to move him enough to squeeze through the door and unlock the front door.
I returned to find him trying to get up and on all fours, he was confused, disorientated and still unable to communicate. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when the paramedics arrived. He had moved slightly but not enough for them to get through the bedroom door and so I had to move our bed and other furniture which took all of my strength.
He was starting to come around and the sense of relief was huge. He was confused but recognised me and was asking what happened. We got him dressed and in doing so I thought, I will put a shirt on him so they can get to his chest but in the mayhem put one of my Indian Bike Week shirts on him, it was too small but they said don’t worry. ( a decision I am now pleased I made)
As he sat on the edge of the bed he started to fit again. One of the things that will stay with me is the noise, it was horrendous. Before I knew there was Stewart and 3 paramedics on the bed, trying to help. With two of them jumping around all I could wonder was ‘Is the bed going to take the weight?’ It’s funny the things that run through your head. Once the seizure was over, they moved swiftly to get him moved. Again, I was moving furniture to make way for them, the whole time thinking, ‘ Is this really happening?’
As they stepped outside I started to pace. Its 2am who do I call? What do I say? What’s going to happen?
The ambulance was still outside and I as opened the front door, I could hear that noise again and my heart sunk. One of the crew said we need to go, meet us there.
I stood there for a second and then decided to call my sister remembering that her phone is always on and next to her bed. She was with me in 10 minutes.
We arrived to a very busy A&E but were quickly ushered into a family room, my mind was in overdrive. Within a few minutes a Dr arrived to tell us they were working on him and as soon as he was intubated they would come get us. His chances were 50/50 and we were told to ring the kids. I was gobsmacked. The night before we were planning our future and in this moment I was thinking, what sort of funeral would he like. I was floored.
Making that call to Jon was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. He opted to call his sister Tara and tell her.
Ann & I were then called in to sit by his bedside. I couldn’t take it all in. He looked so different, cold to the touch and so pale. I remember looking at his clothes that had been cut off and thinking, that’s why he had my shirt on, he would be furious if it was his!
How can someone be so alive one day and on deaths door the next. I was in shock.
We sat there for hours talking to him and touching him. The staff were awesome and suggested we go home for a few hours as there would be no change and he would be kept in a coma for the rest of the day. None of us wanted to leave him on his own but we needed to eat and make some calls.
The reality of what was happening was starting to hit – what the hell were we going to do if he didn’t survive and for that matter what were we going to do if he did. I never want to be in this situation again.
We all drove home in a state of shock and agreed to return at teatime.
The next 72hrs were critical and we were struggling to comprehend what had just happened.
This picture will be a forever reminder for us as to how quickly things can change.
Stewart is happy for us to share pictures, I took them as I know from experience that they actually help with the understanding and healing of what actually happened. this picture was taken in A&E.