911 what is your emergency?

“I can’t wake up my wife!”

“Sir, is she breathing?”

“I am not sure!”

“An ambulance is on the way.”

This is only a part of the conversation my husband, Mike, had with the 911 operator the week after the 4th of July in 2002.  I am sure if I pressed him he could tell me more but there is really no point.

At approximately 1 pm an ambulance arrived at our home to take me to the hospital.  I remember very little about the events of the next several days.  When I finally woke up a social worker came in to ask me questions.  Then a psychiatrist, several doctors and nurses followed. 

They all asked me similar questions, “Are you anorexic?” “Do you take illegal drugs?”  “Are you bulimic?” “Did you harm yourself?”  “What did you take?”  “Do you want to die?”

The answer to every questions was an emphatic NO!

Finally, a doctor came in to talk to me.  He told me I had been brought to the hospital by ambulance two days prior.  I was in ICU for 24 hrs and then moved to a room.  I was suffering from severe dehydration and was begining to show signs of malnutrition.  He told me if I had arrived at the hospital just a couple of hours later I would probably be dead.  He went on to tell me that my husband said I had not been sleeping, so when he left for work that morning and I was still asleep he decided not to wake me up.  But hours later, when he could not reach me by phone, he returned home to check on me.  Mike could not wake me up, so he called 911.  The doctor went on to tell me that my tox screen had came back negative, however, he would like to have me comitted for anorexcia.  I actually laughed.  Then I started to cry because I knew he was serious. 

When Mike returned to my room I was in tears.  I was scared to death.  I had no idea what in the hell was going on.  I had not realized I was not eating.  I had not realized how little I was sleeping.  And I did not want to go back to a crazy hospital. 

My darling husband advocated for me.  He convinced the doctor not to have me commited.  He promised I would get the help I needed.  The next day I was released in the care of my husband and already had an appointment with my psychiatrist. 

More meds, weekly psych visits, an eating program to get me back on solid foods, and a week off of work. 

Then the search for a therapist started… 

Mike came up with a list of about 8 therapist in our area.  And one by one they were eliminated after one visit. 

The interview: “I want to have a real life, I want to be ok, can you help me do that?”  They all said, “Yes, I can help you do that.”  Then I ask, “I want to eventually be ok without being on medication, can you help me do that?”  They all said no… all that is, but one!  And she said “Yes!” 

And so it began… my journey home.  As with any journey there were moments when I was not sure if I could keep moving forward, there were major setbacks, and major triumphs! 

I owe my life to Sinead.  Not the breathing, bleeding life I have.  But the happy, I love my life – life that I have!  She would tell you I don’t owe her anything because I was the one who did the work.  But she was my guide, my parent, and my muse…

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One Comment to “911 what is your emergency?”

  1. Scary post to read. I loved reading the transformation of almost dying at the beginning of the post to finding the life you never had. Such a great juxtaposition.

    I can’t believe we are just in 2002. I can’t wait to read year 2003 – Now.

    Love reading your stuff Veronica. Love it.

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