when thank you isn’t enough

How do you say thank you to someone who just saved your husband’s life? You say “thank you” when someone holds the door for you. You say “thank you” when someone picks up your mail while your gone or says “God Bless You” after you sneeze. These are trivial things. What words can you use to express more gratitude and emotion than just “thanks”???

Let’s start off by saying everything is perfectly okay, now. We found out a few years ago that my hubby is allergic to bee stings. He went to urgent care, they gave him benadryl and 1 Rx for an epipen and that was it. Well, a few days ago he got stung again. He wasn’t sure it was even a bee at first because he didn’t see it and he didn’t see any swarming around. He just kept working for about 10 minutes and headed home when he saw the repairman pull in our driveway.

Apparently he started feeling crummy all at once. He yelled out to the repairman that he’d just been stung and he thinks he’s going to pass out. And then he did. He must have come to for a minute because he called his mom (who thankfully lives across the street and just happened to be home this week). She got in the car to take him to urgent care, but he passed out again and there was no way to get him in the car. She dialed 911 to have the ambulance take him. He was still breathing okay.

By now, we have the 2 repairman and MIL trying to help Scott. A couple of neighbors came down to see what’s going on and the lawn crew came home with the epipen that, yes, was in another truck. The police arrived first and put oxygen on hubby. They can’t carry epipens. The EMT’s arrived and loaded him into the ambulance with the assistance of the aforementioned crowd. Did i mention my hubby’s a big boy? By this time, his dad had come over and was going to stay with the repairman while Hubby went to urgent care to get his shot.

Well, the ambulance only made it to the end of the road and stopped. Hubby’s dad saw this and jumped in his truck to see what’s going on. The EMT’s had given him a shot of adrenaline and it wasn’t working. They gave him another shot and that’s when he went into cardiac arrest. Because there are only 2 EMT’s on a truck, they had to stop so they could both work on him. The cop was following the ambulance and jumped in to help. This is about the time Hubby’s dad caught up to them. Needless to say, he was worried/scared/upset all at the same time. The cop jumped in the drivers seat to drive the ambulance and hubby’s dad rode up front while they sped off to the hospital.

Where am i while all this is going on? Well, I’m at work. I just found out our biggest customer had just filed bankruptcy and was talking to the president of our company about how we’re going to handle this. Once the ambulance came, my MIL jumped in her car to head to the hospital and she called me. I asked her to pick me up on the way. Neither one of us had any idea what had happened in the ambulance. In fact, she was telling me on the way that my FIL was staying with the repairman. The ride to the hospital is only about 20 minutes from where i work, but that day it felt like hours. Everything was in slow motion.

We finally make it to the exit and see an ambulance just ahead of us. We looked at each other and said that couldn’t possibly be my hubby, must be someone else. So we finally pull into the emergency entrance of the hopital and she drops me off at the door. I look over and see the cop and my FIL standing outside. For half a second i thought “that’s weird” but rushed inside to see my hubby. I ran inside and found the nurse’s station trying to find out where he is. The nurse hands me hubby’s wallet. I didn’t think much about it. Probably just needed identification/insurance info. No big.

Just then i see my hubby’s parents walk in and they are sobbing uncontrollably. They explained what happened and i just froze. I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t move. Now everything was in super slow mode and fast forward all at once. Another nurse shuffled us into a private waiting room where my FIL explained everything that had just happened. He could barely talk. Never in my life have i felt so vulnerable. I had absolutely no control. I couldn’t do anything but wait. It was awful. It was hell.

Eventually another nurse came by and handed me his fire pager and said we could see him, don’t worry everything’s fine, etc. Blah blah blah i really only saw the words not heard them. We walked in and there he was. Breathing mask, tubes, wires, IV’s. And shaking uncontrollably. Apparently the adrenalin makes the body shake. They assured me that means it’s working. They were giving him benadryl and potassium. But, i could see that he was breathing and his heart was beating and that’s all that mattered to me at that point. I sat down next to the bed and held his hand and wasn’t moving until he woke up.

Well, word travels fast in a small town. After a while, his sister and her husband came. Followed by my mom and youngest brother. A good friend from the fire department showed up. I was getting voicemails and text messages every 2 minutes it seemed like. The EMT’s stopped by to see how he was doing. I couldn’t find any words appropriate enough to express my gratitude for saving his life. I was still frozen inside. Words wouldn’t come. I hope the look on my face said it all. I breathed thank you over and over while signing their various (and many!) forms. I think they could see how grateful i was. I don’t think they’ll ever really know.


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