09 February 2011

Real-Life Emergencies

A week ago, Thane and I went through a harrowing experience. I nearly lost my life choking on some roast. One thing I recall thinking once I was out of danger was, what an inefficient design that is to the body where when something is stuck, your life hangs in the balance! This is even more the case in individuals with quadriplegia and some high level paras because we don't have the strength of cough necessary in such circumstances. Choking can literally be a life threatening scenario. This is not the first such occurence and probably won't be my last. This posting however isn't so much about the *me* side of this, but about the horrifying ordeal my guide and service dog went through.

Over this past week, I've tried to come to terms with the experience from the perspective of Thane- of what he went through, what could have become of him had things not turned around. It was horrifying to be in my shoes, but for him- it was an ordeal I hope he never has to experience again.

Initially, Thane came to my side as any service dog would who had been raised and trained as a partner to their disabled handler. My gasping, beating on my chest, and all the other *fight for life* that was taking place however instilled a *flight* response in Thane. The ordeal seemed to go on for a very long time. As anyone who has experienced something as traumatic as this knows- the feeling of time passing and the actuality of how much time really did pass; they rarely concur with each other. There are some aspects I don't remember about it such as getting the first breaths but the part I do remember is how frightened my little redhead was.

I never want him to experience fear like this again- the hiding in the other room under my desk as if that could help him escape what was taking place, trembling, heavy panting, and the obsessive licking and chewing that followed as he tried in his own way to vent the stress from such an unspeakable situation.

What I clearly remember are the soft sniffs and kisses I felt just prior to Thane curling up beside my tortured body. I wanted to somehow assure him that I would never put him or me through such an event again, but yet I knew all I could do was *hope* I could keep such a promise for both our sakes.Though in many ways I have recovered, in others, symptoms of this event remain with me. I can tell you though, regardless of how Thane reacted in this emergency situation, when all was said and done, curling up with my sidekick placing his chin upon my side that night was the best medicine anyone could have prescribed as I dealt with *reality* of my life nearly being cut short.

No comments:

Post a Comment