Monday, October 8, 2012
a sad update to my Thanksgiving post
i felt that this sky pic was appropriate for this post. i will get to the sad stuff in a minute as there is much fun and nice stuff to tell first. plus i want to explain it all chronologically as it happened.
we went to our friends' C&B's house on saturday evening. as we walked in the door we were met with hugs and the delicious smell of turkey and all of the fixings - it smelled delicious!!! their children S and D were there, along with S's new boyfriend T who had us in fits of laughter all evening long. at one point i said "my goodness, he's priceless"! without skipping a beat, T points at me and says "she says priceless" and then points at S and says "she says worthless - i'm confused". like i say, he had us in fits. we love C&B's kids, they are really good kids!!! as is T!!!
so we wolfed down plates of delicious food - they put on a real nice spread for us. and of course, C made sure to pick up my favourite wine. we sat around the table eating, chatting and laughing - is there a better way to spend Thanksgiving?
then we went to the bake sale that was being held to benefit a girl in our community - she is taking pre-vet courses and will be going to South Africa to volunteer at a clinic. we all purchased some delicious baked goods then it was back to C&B's to get ready for the dance - woohoo! we were all excited. except that B hadn't been feeling well all day but was putting out great effort - we could tell that he was tired. so after a glass of wine and a few drinks for the others we were off to the dance. the dance was to raise money for the young girl going to South Africa as well. the regular crew was there and everyone was having a fantastic time. B still wasn't feeling well so he went home early. the rest of us all danced and sang and before we knew it, it was 1am in the morning.
and then the emergency happened. we found out later that the head of our Fourchu EMT had been called out to a house in the community where 3 older ladies lived. they had been to the dance but had left when one of them wasn't feeling well. they arrived home and when the lady still didn't feel well, they called down to the dance to ask for R to come and check on her. when R arrived, the lady (G) was feeling gassy and burping, but she told R that she was feeling much better and that she was sorry for bothering R. R of course recommended that her sisters take her to the emergency just to be safe, but G refused.
so at 2am when the party was winding down, we saw our friend D (R's husband) running out the door without saying goodbye to anyone, he jumped in his truck and sped out of the parking lot like a mad man. we knew that something must be up, and of course we thought it had something to do with R. so we rushed out and jumped in our truck and followed him to his driveway where we met back up with B. B explained that an emergency call had come over our beepers, waking him out of bed and calling D. the address that came over the beeper was scrambled - but B and D guessed that it was G who had called the dance hall previously. we all rushed out to that house and sure enough, we were in the right place.
R, D and i ran into the bedroom and G was on the floor. R started barking orders, immediately set up the CPR machine, and began CPR. D got out the oxygen tank, i got out the mask and we put the tank together and put the mask on G. R performed 2 mins of CPR at a time, as advised by the machine, 3 times. if you have never performed CPR on a live-person for 2 mins at a time - trust me, it is not easy. and R has a bad back and hip. but she was a trooper!
at that point our 2 other trained EMT members arrived - S and In. S jumped in to relieve R on CPR and In took over setting up the blood pressure machine. they had me hold the oxygen mask. S did two 2minute turns on CPR and then said - get in there kymber! so i jumped in and performed 2 rounds of CPR. S took over for another 2 mins and at that point the ambulance arrived. once they came in, they took over and we all went out into the kitchen to comfort the ladies. jambaloney made me so proud - i asked the ladies if there was anything i could get them and they said no, that jambaloney had already asked them that about 10 times. so we went outside and one of the ladies came with us. there was a group of other people in the yard. then D came to the door and asked the lady to come back in the house. then jambaloney and i went in and were told that we had lost G.
i had been holding in my tears up to that point but then they started rolling down my face - all of us had tears rolling but not really crying. the ambulance driver then spent the next hour and half asking questions of G's sisters while we all waited for the RCMP to show up. we had expected that the ambulance would take G with them but that is not how it works here. the ambulance driver called in to the Medical Examiner in Sydney, they dispatched the RCMP, then we had to wait for the RCMP to get there and assure there was no foul play or anything like that, then the RCMP would call the Medical Examiner who would then send out a different ambulance to pick up G. our friend B said that he would stay with the ladies until the second ambulance came. we found out later that the ambulance didn't come until 7:30 in the morning and B stayed with the ladies until then.
we got home at about 4am and we felt that we had been run over by a tank. we had had such a good day, such a good supper at our friends' house and such a good time at the dance. we sat at the table and talked and cried, jambaloney finally had to go to sleep at 6am...i came up to the computer and read all of the blog updates on our blogroll. thank you all for your blogs. i didn't leave any comments, i was just too shaken. i have never performed CPR on a live person before and i have never been in that situation before. neither had jambaloney. we were shooken up and it really hurts to lose someone when everyone is trying so hard to save them. our EMT members did a fantastic job - we were very proud of them!
but i was able to calm myself by catching up on all of your posts...it gave me a sense of normalcy that i needed before i could go to sleep. i finally went to bed at about a quarter to 8...and we both got up at about 1pm. we were hurting. and sad. we didn't know the lady very well, but we had met her and her sisters at several events over the past year and a bit. we felt sad for our friends who had tried so hard to revive her. we felt sad for our friends because the whole community of Fourchu is a very close community.
however, that evening we went to our friends' C and G's house for Thanksgiving supper with their family which includes our good friends E, V, C, B, D and E's kids JD, N, and H, as well as JD's boyfriend S and H's girlfriend J. i will tell you all about the fantastic time that we had in tomorrow's update. it was just so nice to be surrounded by a large group of people, all of whom are related (well not the boyfriends and girlfriends, of course!) - but it was so nice to be surrounded by a large family after the previous evening's sad events - a family that always treats us as one of theirs. we needed that.
being surrounded by them after the sadness of the night before reminded me of the cycle of life, reminded me to be thankful and grateful to be home, here on my island, to be thankful that we have been accepted the way that we have in our community, to be thankful for the wonder and beauty in the environment, to be be thankful and grateful for the caliber of the people who live here, who invite us into their communities, their houses and their families. we are so grateful.
and we are grateful for the beautiful and supportive friendships that we have made here on this blog and on your blogs.
now you didn't really think i could write a post and not include a sky pic for my dearest Helga?!?!?!!? jeesh!
we have had 2 Thanksgiving Day dinners with our friends and tonight we are going to our other friends S&D's house for their daughter's birthday party. this has been an awe-inspiring thanksgiving weekend for us and we have both been touched.
i hope that all is well with all of you wherever your little corner of the world is.