SHRM11 (Day 1) – Of Mice and Men

It was about 1:30 am on Saturday morning. I had not yet been to bed, which is not unusual for a night owl like me. But instead of goofing off on the computer, I was putting the finishing touches on my packing for the SHRM annual conference. My flight for Las Vegas was leaving around 5:00 late that afternoon. I generally don’t pack more than a few hours in advance of traveling anywhere, so my excitement was real and palpable.

I was in the walk-in closet with the door closed, so I would not disturb my husband Sy, who was sleeping and planning to leave for work around 4:00 am. But I heard him get out of bed anyway, and leave the bedroom. About 30 seconds later, I heard something else: “Joan! Help me!”

It took me a few extra seconds to find him, because he wasn’t in the bathroom where I thought he had gone. I found him sitting in his La-Z-y Boy recliner in the man-cave he created when my daughter departed the house for good. He was white as the literal ghost from head to toe, clammy, sweating profusely, and unresponsive.

I called 911, gave them my frantic details, and then spent a minute or two sequestering my 4 dogs so they wouldn’t interfere with the paramedics. As I was returning to Sy, I heard him mutter that he had to go to the bathroom (his eyes were still closed). But before I could reach him, he stood up, and promptly passed out, falling on the floor. “This is not good, ” was my obvious thought.

The paramedics came, sufficiently revived him for transport, and drove him to the hospital for me.

Today is Sunday, the first day of the SHRM conference. I am still home, trying to remain close to my husband, who remains hospitalized. In case you were wondering, he had orthostatic hypotension caused by hypovolemia, which is why medical costs are so high in this country. Lawyers, who, on average, make less money, call it low blood pressure resulting from bleeding. Tests and such are still sorting it all out, but he will be fine and be home soon.

So I won’t be tweeting and blogging from the conference, as promised about a week ago.  After all

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

This poem, written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1785, is often translated to American English as “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

Which also means that, since at least 1785, shit happens.


My husband won't be doing what he planned this week, either.



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