Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sunday, Not a Fun Day

This week has been something else. Last week bulldozed into this one, piling debris on that I am now attempting to brush off my mood.

My husband had four wisdom teeth pulled last Friday, but he wanted to go to 9am Mass on Sunday nevertheless. During the consecration Matthew's head turned towards me with a very weird expression on his face. My husband then promptly passed out as he was kneeling, eyes still wide open as he slumped against the pew in front. My arms stretched out to brace him, and I attempted to revive him with urgent words, but he was unresponsive for many moments. Others gathered around as Mass went on.

It's the ushers' responsibility to deal with medical emergencies, and our usher did indeed come to assist. Matthew revived, and immediately, fear passing, I burst into tears. A doctor attending Mass came into our pew, explaining that he was a medical professional. Someone asked Matthew if he knew where he was. He replied, "In church." Another woman a couple pews back called 9-1-1, and the doctor made Matthew lie down while an elderly woman propped his legs on her lap to chafe them. Other people brought wet paper towels and cups of water or aspirin, none of which were used by the doctor's orders. It was chaos, and people had to wind around us to get to Communion. I apologized for blocking one gentleman's way, and he hugged me tightly. Then a friend who heads Children's Liturgy of the Word took my youngest two. Poor Ella had been crying over "Daddy". (She's the only one who doesn't call him Papa.) Daniel had been stranded on the other side of the Doc, a pliable, bewildered, but stoic expression on his face. I felt badly for Ana and Berto; they were altar serving and could not come to us. I only found out later that they didn't even know who it was that had passed out.

Eventually the firemen came, and we followed them to the long music room. Matthew became very nauseous in there, and so they recommended having an ambulance take him to the hospital. Many tests were performed, but nothing serious was found. Meanwhile, two very compassionate friends, Diane and Geraldine, took care of our children  by feeding them donuts and lunch, playing games with them and then taking them to the park. There were also many other people in our parish who were very kind to our family. It was an adventurous day for us all, but not my kind of adventure.

Of course, in the days since - what a joy to be obsessive! - I have seen Matthew's wide-eyed face as he slumped against the pew play over and over in my mind. I'm afraid I have fussed over him much more than he would like, refusing to let him drive or go to work on Monday. He is never, ever allowed to scare me so terribly again! That was a very helpless and horrible feeling I had at Mass. I guess we should not have gone, though many of our church family said there could be no better place to faint; everyone can pray for you at once and receive Communion.

At any rate, not only have I been very worried about my man, but I have felt guilty about not taking care of him as I should have after his oral surgery. I made and fed him pudding, jello and watery mashed potatoes, and he was drinking a decent amount of water with his medication, but I feel that I should have been giving him better nutrition and shoving glass upon glass of fluids at him, just as my mother used to do for me when I was ill. He probably was dehydrated or, accustomed as he is to heavy-duty protein from red meat and such, malnourished. I have never been a good nursemaid, I'm afraid, though I really did try to serve his needs.

However, I am, in light of everything, grateful that I did not leave Matthew home alone on Sunday as I had planned to do originally. He is well, thank God, but I warn you, my friends: oral surgery is no laughing matter.


  1. Glad to hear that Matthew is feeling better! That's quite a story. : ) One you will be telling for many years to come. (Camille)

    1. Yes, that was a no good, terrible day and not a very auspicious start to the week. I hope he never does that again. No more surgery! And maybe I should read up on being a better nurse, too.


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