Last week, Chad and I had a traumatic experience when we went to donate blood. It was our first time ever doing it and I was already anxious enough to be rejected for an overactive pulse (which was, by the way, very embarrassing). Then, Chad had a severe reaction. He passed out mid-donation, started convulsing and then thrashing and had to be restrained, and was slow to gain consciousness.
It was, to say the very least, a horrifying experience. The action lasted for only four minutes or so, but the moments felt agonizingly slow and heavy, as though we were trudging through time, weighted down and wading through quick sand.
In the few hours afterward, there was nothing to feel except shock. We had a quick meal and then had to resume our daily lives as though it were a normal Thursday afternoon: Chad went back to work, while I went home to stare blankly at my computer screen, still feeling frozen in those moments of terror.
During the minutes when my husband was unconscious and unresponsive, my previously too-high pulse calmed—I looked at my watch and noticed that I’d curiously gone from 105 to a cool 65, amidst an emergency. My heart wasn’t racing, my senses were not clouded. Though shock would come soon, I was in a trance-like state of clarity and non-emotion.
One of my best traits is that I perform well under pressure. I guess that in moments of crisis (as long as it doesn’t have to do with high-intensity confrontation), I’m able to do some of my best thinking.
In regard to the ongoing situation, I was able to focus on a few facts:
Chad, who I love very, very much, is in trouble.
Even though I want to, there is no way for me to help.
If I lose him, the world will end.
When he wakes up, I need to communicate how much he matters to me.
It wasn’t necessarily groundbreaking or earth-shattering or revolutionary, but there was a lesson cloaked in the clarity. Under the pressure of fear and the uncertainty of an emergency, my thoughts were centered on love; expressing it, sharing it, demonstrating it. It brought a flicker of peace.
This isn’t a “don’t wait until it’s too late” situation. I’m a skilled love communicator—Chad has known and will always know where he stands in my heart and life.
Instead, I think of it as a call to action. A call to love. An urgency to do so, whether it’s an emergency or run-of-the-mill, lazy Sunday afternoon. Do things rooted in love, wear love proudly as a badge, and make sure that even in helpless situations, there’s a little relief knowing that love was a guiding light.
On that note:
Chad, I’m so glad you’re okay. I love you, always.