Thursday, February 09, 2006

A Very Scary Night

Had a very scary night on Tues. Just after DH and I went to bed, he started sweating profusely, got up to go and get a drink, got dizzy and went down on his knees beside the bed. He called to me and said he was having "trouble" so I got up and went around to that side of the bed. About the time I got there, he lost consciousness, fell over backward and appeared to be having a seizure. Thinking he had had a heart attack, I called 911 SCARED TO DEATH IN A STATE OF PANIC. Was talking to them as I'm kneeling beside DH when he started talking to me asking who I was talking to....when I said 911, he said he was fine and didn't need the paramedics. When I got him back in bed he was cold and clammy. Had no chest pain, back pain, numbness in his left arm or shortness of breath. All my nurses training flew out the window, my BP cuff wasn't working, couldn't find his pulse or hear his heart with my stethescope. His temperature had dropped to 96.8. I was shaking and scared to death. Yesterday he had an appt for a required physical for work down in Tacoma and I drove him down, afraid for him to drive. All tests were good and he feels fine. We discussed the late night happening after we got home. He had twisted his back doing warm up exercises before getting on the treadmill so was using Bengay. Come to find out, it was old and had separated into a liquid/cream mixture which he applied heavily. Bengay contains Potassium Hydroxide and Potassium Carbomer which are on the MSDA list with a rating of 3 (severe hazard). Both are very toxic.

The reason I write attention to what the ingredients are in what you take orally or apply to your skin. If you haven't had a CPR course, contact your Red Cross and take one. If you own a BP cuff/stethescope check them frequently and make sure they are working properly. I never want to go through another episode like that again and frankly I have never been so scared in my life. I no longer will take John for granted, all I could think was when it was all over was "Don't you dare die on me, we aren't finished yet".

I am so thankful God isn't ready for John and gave us another chance to be together for many more years. He very well could have. Go give your kids and hubby a big Hug and Kiss, let them know you love them as we never know from one day to the next if we or they will remain with us.


Maya Madhavan said...

It is not easy for one to put into words what one feels in response to an experience like that. It is very scary indeed. I am just glad that everything is ok.
Thanks for sharing this experience - I had no idea that something that we take for granted to be safe, like Bengay, can be toxic and have such an effect!
(BTW, though I've been reading your blogs for a while, this is the first time I have posted a comment. Hi!)

Patti said...

Oh, I'm so very glad he is OK. What a horrible, scary thing. And what a good thing to find out. Seems like there should be some sort of warning on the tube. I'm going to check what's in our medicine cabinet for sore muscles to see if either of those ingredients is present. Thanks for the warning! I did just renew my CPR and first aid license last summer - thank goodness!

cindyquilts said...

I am so glad John is okay. And a hard way for the rest of us to learn a lesson.
(Is that why they put expiration dates on stuff?!)

Mary said...

I'm glad your husband is OK. It is very scary when something like that happens unexpectedly.

Years ago my son had a near drowning accident and I know what you mean about all your training going out the window. I'm a nurse also and never expected to do mouth to mouth on my son. Luckily, we were right there - luckily I was there and not just my husband and in-laws.

JudyL said...

WOW! I never even thought about the ingredients separating and being toxic when not mixed. So sorry it happened to you but glad things turned out as they did and maybe someone who reads your blog will not make the same mistake.


Judy L.

Darcie said...

Goodness Dona! I'm so glad that your John is going to be allright...and that we could all learn from this frightening experience with you.

YankeeQuilter said...

thank you for sharing this with us...may I add you should also routinely update your medicines both over-the-counter and perscrition with ONE pharmacist. My husband has a similar experience when he took some OTC "herbal" remeday that interacted with one of his perscriptions. Herbal does not mean harmless!


Tracey said...

Oh scary indeed! I never would've thought about the Bengay...thank you for mentioning that. (((HUGS)))