When you are planning a family vacation, that last thing you are thinking about is a vacation emergency. You plan fun activities that the entire family will enjoy and not a phone call to 911 and an ambulance.
We woke up on August 15th and went about our day as planned. We went shopping, had some breakfast and went for a drive along the beach in Wasaga. Once we returned to the cottage we decided to go for a walk and let our daughter play at the park before we went swimming. When we returned from our walk and decided to sit on the deck and enjoy some quiet time before heading to the pool. All are big plans were for August 16th, our daughters birthday.
It was around 4:30-5 pm, my husband got up and went inside. I figured he was going in to get out of the sun or to just get a drink. My daughter and I remained outside until we heard a strange noise coming from inside. I ran in first and my daughter was right behind me. When I saw my husband on the couch I began to panic until our daughter let out a loud screech. I tried to stay as calm as I calmed my daughter.
My husband was slouched back in a sitting position on the couch. He had drool coming out of his mouth and his eyes and arms were moving frantically. I began asking my hubby questions. Are you ok, can you talk and so on. He would just look my way and struggle to talk. Word slurring and no real comprehensive to what I was saying. I picked up my phone and called 911. Explained the situation and within 5 minutes of hanging up the ambulance and fire trucks were there. That was pretty impressive.
I explained the situation to those attending my husband. I took my daughter into another room so she didn’t have to watch. I came out when needed for more information on what happened and any medical information they were looking for. They weren’t sure what was going on. By the time they were taking my husband away in the ambulance, he could say a few words to us. He hugged and kissed us and he went out the door.
Diverting a Panic Attack
Since we were at a resort in Wasaga Beach, there were 2 hospitals that they could take him too, Collingwood or Barrie. The ambulance attendants weren’t sure if it was a stroke, they said he only had one sign. They were taking him to Barrie’s Royal Victoria Hospital, who were equipped for cardiac issues.
I stayed behind with my daughter although I did want to be with my husband. I was in no shape to drive. I was shaky and didn’t want to risk driving. I posted it on my Facebook wall, I needed someone to talk with, someone so I wouldn’t feel alone. I needed to stay calm and talk with my daughter. What would I say? What would she ask? I had many friends reach out to talk and felt I was not alone with my daughter. There were people willing to get me to him even though I had a vehicle.
Feeling a Sense of Relief
I called the hospital shortly after 6 pm, my husband was there already and more alert than when he left. I left my number for the nurse to call me back once anything was known. I hadn’t heard back by 10 pm so I called back. They were waiting for more blood work to come back and he would probably be released. I asked what they thought had happened and they told me locked jaw (TMJ). A short time later the nurse called me back and made arrangements for him to return to the cottage in a cab.
I have never felt so much relief to see him return. He told me that they weren’t sure if he had a mini stroke or lock jaw. I was a bit confused. We went to bed since it was late. I checked in on him all night long. At one point he made a joke about it feeling like being at the hospital, where the nurse comes in hourly to wake you and then tell you to go back to sleep.
The Next Day
My husband wanted to make the best of the situation. While he wasn’t feeling 100%, he wanted to make it special for our daughter’s birthday. We woke up early and our daughter opened up her presents and was very excited her daddy was home for her birthday. We went for breakfast and take a drive along the beach. Our original plan was to head to Blue Mountain but because of the emergency, we stayed close to the cottage. That day our activities were to play mini golf at Skull Island and go to the beach for a late afternoon swim.
Driving back to the cottage, my hubby looked tired. I decided to make it an evening swim at the beach so he could rest. Around 5 pm that day, my daughter came out to the deck to let me know that it was happening again to her daddy. I jumped up and ran in to see. He had the same sort of look on his face that we had seen the day before just not as bad. He was walking and talking with slurred words. It took a few minutes but he was ok again. We canceled swimming and just took it easy. Later in the evening daddy prepared a camp fire, it was our daughters first time experience one.
We made it an early night so we could get ready and head home early in the morning. A vacation emergency I never want to experience again.
Early Morning Confusion
As the birds chirped early in the morning and darkness still in the sky, I heard my a noise. I jumped up quickly and found my husband confused and looking for the bathroom. I put him in the right direction. He wasn’t sure at all where he was and wasn’t really making sense. He spent the next few hours back and forth from bed to the bathroom to refilling up a water bottle to stay hydrated.
Finally, he fell back asleep. I began packing and loading up the vehicle. I wanted to be pretty much ready to go when he woke up again. By 8 am we were pretty much ready to head home. One stop was made before leaving the beach. We had a smooth drive home.
Home Sweet Home
Being home I think we all felt a little more relaxed. Hospitals and Doctors were close at hand. We visited my husbands family Dr. last week who said it sounded more like a seizure. He made an appointment with the Emergency Medical Clinic at our local hospital and after September 7, hopefully, we have a better understanding of what happened.
As a family, we thank all those who were available to talk and gave support. Without that, I would have been a bigger bundle of nerves than I already was.
Have you ever had a Vacation emergency and how did you deal with it?