A loud thump awoke me and our two dogs who had been asleep beside me. I felt for Tall Husband; not finding him, I called to him. There was no answer. By the time my feet hit the floor, Scooter, our Maltipoo, had found Tall Husband in the hallway and returned to herd me through the dark . When I turned on the light, there was Tall Husband on the floor with a large pool of blood under him. For a millisecond I thought, "So this is how it happens," as he appeared so pale and lifeless. Then my heart screamed, "No!" and I was suddenly on auto pilot. I called his name, felt for his vital signs and determined that the blood was coming from his nose and that he seemed to be going into shock. As he was breathing and had a pulse, though a weak one, no CPR was needed. I covered him with a blanket and decided not to attempt to stop the bleeding as his face had quite a bit of damage. I told him he would be fine, then ran to call 911.
As I spoke to the 911 operator, Scooter ran to herd me back to his daddy. Skipper, the puppy was licking Tall Husband's face, as Scooter positioned himself to stand watch. The 911 operator told me to lock away any pets before the ambulance arrived, so with a great deal of difficulty, I put both dogs in the kitchen, shutting the old french doors behind me. As I ran down the front walk to open the gate for the EMS team, I heard the french doors burst open and a doorknob hit the floor. Scooter and Skipper ran to greet the EMS team and lead them to Tall husband's side.
At the emergency room, we learned that Tall Husband had a drop in blood pressure and had passed out, sustaining a broken nose, a fracture to the cheek bone and a concussion. Late that morning, we returned home to two worried dogs.
I wish this were the end of the story. Though Tall Husband seemed to recover, a few mornings later, the nosebleed began again...this time it was profuse. As he was conscious, I decided to take him to the Medical Center myself, not wanting to risk his care to the outlying hospital near us. I put him and the dogs in the car and drove to our nearby veterinarian's office where the staff quickly took the dogs so we could be on our way.
As Tall Husband exhibited signs of a concussion and kept bleeding, he went from the emergency room, to a hospital room and finally to surgery. In surgery, he was found to have an artery that had been punctured by a bone fragment. We are all home and he is recovering. Scooter, Skipper and I are reluctant to leave his side. When he goes to his office out back, we leave the intercom on so we can hear him if he needs us. I was so cool headed through it all, then last night alone in the laundry room, I broke down and sobbed...remembering how I first thought Tall Husband was dead, and feeling how grateful I am that my Love is still alive.
Note: Thanks to all our friends, family, hospital staff, 911 operator and EMS staff for your loving care and support. Thanks to Scooter for being a great little service dog. And thanks to Skipper for being there and offering puppy support. Also, I thank each medical and CPR trainer who taught me through the years to keep a cool head and break down later.