Backyard Medical Emergency

I had a very scary morning yesterday.

Long story short,

I found “my pool guy” unconscious in my backyard.

(For obvious reasons, I’m not going to use his name in a blog post.  Let’s just call him PG for pool guy.)

He’s okay … at least, I’ve been told he is.

It now appears he might have had a seizure, but I didn’t witness a seizure.

I witnessed a body laying in my backyard.

I wasn’t supposed to even be home.

I had run back into the house for a minute.

I heard a crashing sound in the backyard.

I didn’t pay much attention.

I knew PG was working on the pool.

I thought he had just dropped something.

A few minutes later,

As I prepared to run back out to my car,

Something tugged at me.


I glanced toward my backyard and, through a window, I saw PG’s body on the ground.

I grabbed my phone.

I called 911 and simultaneously rushed to him.

I suck in a crisis.

Everything I did seemed to take way too long.

Dialing 911 seemed to take an hour.

Trying to get to PG seemed like it took another hour.

Eons later,

A couple fire trucks, a couple ambulances, and (eventually) the local sheriff showed up.

It probably all happened in a matter of minutes?

When PG came to, he couldn’t communicate.

When the paramedics asked me, I realized I didn’t even know PG’s last name.

(He works for a company I hired.)

PG was very agitated once he regained consciousness.

I rubbed his arm gently – hopefully comforting him.

He became very frustrated trying to communicate.

He knew what he wanted to say, but he couldn’t say it.

The paramedics continued to try to talk with him as they treated him.

I called PG’s boss (who I do know), and he returned the call within minutes.

The boss was able to provide more information to the paramedics.

He also contacted PG’s family members so they could meet the ambulance when it arrived at the hospital.

Of course, the only thing that really matters is that PG is okay.

There are aspects of the morning I can’t shake, though.

•  If he had fallen in the pool, I wouldn’t have found him until I returned at the end of the day.  He would have drown.

•  Re-read the above sentence four bazillion times and you’ll have a feel for what my brain keeps telling me.  Over and over and over again.

•  The first responders …?  Those people are gold.  I don’t know how anyone can do their job.  They’re so CALM.  I’d be saying, “Holy Shit!” every three seconds if I was the first on a scene.

•  Once it was clear PG would be okay, I might have asked if I could ALSO have some oxygen.  The paramedics laughed and informed me I had “done great.”   I (shaking) was not convinced.

•  I am absolutely not cut out for any type of work in the medical field.

•  What if I hadn’t been home?

•  What if PG had been driving to or from our house? (Or anywhere else, for that matter.)

•  What if he’d fallen in the pool ….!  (My brain repeats this particular “what if” over and over and over again.)

I’ve also realized how rusty my basic CPR skills have become.

I took CPR when my kids were young.

I haven’t really thought about it in the last ten years.

What if PG had not been breathing when I got to him?

Would I have known enough to help him?

Why didn’t I do everything better/differently than I did?

Why didn’t I investigate when I first heard the crash of something falling?

Why did my fingers seem to punch 911 so slowly?

Why did I get frustrated with the nonstop (repeating same thing) questions from the 911 dispatcher?

Could I have made the situation better?

21 Responses to “Backyard Medical Emergency”

  1. Grethe

    I have been there too. My husband fainted a the bathroom floor and I couldn’t deal the number (112 here in Denmark) it went wrong twice. Of course, I managede to do it, and the woman in the other end was calm and kind, but I repete ” I need an ambulance” again and again and she told me it is on it’s way.
    Everything went well.
    So, don’t blaim yourself, You did well, as they told you.

    • Suzanne

      I hope your husband is okay now.
      Yes, it’s very scary when you have a medical emergency right in front of you.
      : (

  2. Jenny in MN now in AZ

    Wow! so glad you went with your gut reaction to check. I’ve been in a few of those situations and the feeling of being helpless and not knowing if you are doing enough or the right thing.

    Just know to always follow your instincts as you just did. The what if scenarios will eventually fade. Lesson to share with all of your kids too – to follow up on the gut reaction to a noise or site of something.

    • Suzanne

      I imagine second guessing yourself is inevitable.
      I know there isn’t much you can do when someone has a seizure anyway,
      But still …..

  3. Erica

    PG is really lucky that something told you to check. Nicely done.

    • Suzanne

      Thank you, but I still just feel bad – wishing I had done more/sooner/faster.

  4. Missy

    Thanks goodness you were home and double checked. Enough said! Good job.

  5. Jan's Sushai Bar

    No, you could not have made the situation better – as you said, it could have been far worse. None of the “what ifs” happened, and I agree with the paramedic: you were great.

  6. Momo

    Wow. How scary! And, yes, I would be replaying that question in my mind as well. Thank goodness he’s okay.

    • Suzanne

      Yes, really that is all that matters …
      But, I think my nerves will be shattered for a few days.

  7. A

    What ifs are scary.

    And I was told it’s okay to “what if” for a bit. Your brain needs to process and that’s one way we do it. But, I was also told to set a limit. What if for a day. Or two. Or whatever you need and then find a way to make yourself stop.

    • Suzanne

      Yeah, I think it’s normal when something like this happens.
      Hopefully it will fade as a little time passes and the reality of HE’S OK sinks in.

  8. Sandra

    Yikes! Scary! Glad he’s okay and Thank Goodness you were there!!!
    It’s always strange to think how many little factors it takes to make one event, and turn it from tragedy to luck (or fate as I like to call it). Yesterday was not his time to go, ‘something’ made sure of that.

    • Suzanne

      I’ve thought the same thing.
      So many little things …..

  9. Julie in Michigan

    Sounds like you did a great job! I would’ve been a frazzled wreck.

  10. stacy g

    You did great! I suck at a crisis. When my daughter fell off the horse a few times ago and I was sitting there and saw it, all I kept saying was, “oh my god, oh my god.” like 20 times. Yep, that was very helpful of me, wasn’t it?

    • Suzanne

      It’s really hard, I think, for the brain to comprehend and act on a crisis quickly. It takes a second to process what we’re seeing … or maybe it just does for me?

  11. Kirsty B

    The “what if’s” are awful….but you have to tell yourself at some point that the “what if’s” DIDN’T happen…so, thank goodness! Hugs to you…I can only imagine how scary that was to deal with! I am sure PG and his family are beyond grateful that you listened to that little voice that made you go back and check!


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