On Feb 3, I met my older brother, the one person who knows me from day one, at Chicago O’Hare airport. He looked different but the same.
His voice? Was not the same.
It was nasal and his breathing noisy.
Again, I’m a nurse so I’ve heard it before but only in an ICU.
That first 24 hours was a period of adjustment for everyone. I have a big house filled with extended family. My son, daughter in law and grandson and another son but they had put together a nice space for my brother.
The next night we put together a nice pizza dinner as someone away from the US for 10 years might request. My brother was quiet but hey, he was less than 24 hours off a 12 hour flight. New time zone, new people, new environment.
Coffee served and my brother proceeded to pass out. Literally, unconscious…unarousable. I called his name, banged on his chest, agonizingly saying what the fuck?????
My son and I laid him on the kitchen floor and started CPR while my daughter called 911.
Yes, in 20 years of nursing I have never had to revive a family member until Feb 4, 2016.
As the paramedics arrived he woke up and seemed surprised at the fuss. He was reluctant to go to the hospital, he called it a “dizzy spell”….just like the ones he been having for months in China.
They were fairly agreeable with that until they put him in the chair and passed out again.
Off to the ED we go.
They didn’t seem to believe my account of events as he was joking and alert with them until I watched his heart rate on the monitor drop….70’s….60’s….50’s………….40’s…..lost consciousness at 36.
They were pretty serious after that. overnight in the ICU and 3 days of tests.