Sunday, January 17, 2010

Our Friend Adrenaline

We woke to the strangest sound yesterday morning around 5:25am - boom! My husband and I both shot awake, looked at each other and said, "What the hell was that?" I thought it was something outside, peered out the windows and went to check on my babies. Steve ran down stairs and came up quickly, motioning me to talk in the hall. "Our boiler blew and there's a lot of gas and water in the basement. Get the kids. We need to get out of the house."

Our oldest woke to the sound as well and was pretty nervous already. Her alarm system was going off and she started to cry, wondering what would happen. I woke our middle child and picked up our sleeping toddler out of the bed. We opened the front door and grabbed jackets in the same motion, getting out to the van within a minute's time.

Huddled together with the heater blowing, jackets on, stocking feet, we waited for the cavalry to arrive. We had no experience with this kind of situation. I was wondering, "Would the house blow? Did we need to alert the neighbors and get the hell out of Dodge before the whole thing blew?"

Minutes later, we heard sirens and saw lights flashing as three firetrucks arrived, a police car and the gas company. Sitting in the van, I couldn't help but observe our different reactions. Our oldest was still crying, probably taking in a more complex view of the situation. Our middle said, "Oh yeah! A firetruck in front of our house! Dad - can you ask they would let me climb inside?" The baby was curled up in my lap sucking her thumb, happy as long as she was with her family.

Steve and I had responded quickly and without hesitation. He's pretty unflappable during an emergency. In this situation, I didn't feel fear at all. My body gave me just the right amount of adrenaline to get everyone out of the house to safety. I didn't notice the effects until I was sitting with the baby on my lap and she giggled, noticing my legs shaking. We all laughed and I knew it was just a matter of time until the adrenaline wore off and the shaking ceased. I also knew that my goal was to approach future symptoms with the same knowledge and patience, emergency or not.

Tonight as we make phone calls to buy a new furnace (ouch) from the warmth and comfort of Grandma's house and received lots of support from friends and family, we feel so very blessed. This is an inconvenience, but certainly in light of world events, very manageable.

If you haven't had a chance to send money to relief efforts in Haiti, please consider sending what you can to your charity of choice.


Meredith said...

Oh my gosh, I am glad that everyone is okay! It is amazing how we can remain calm in a very anxiety provoking situation but sometimes have trouble with everyday things most people wouldn't think twice about! I hope your boiler gets fixed soon! : )

Anxiety Girl said...

Thanks Meredith! We're looking at it as an adventure - the girls are in footy pj's and cuddled up with space heaters in our bedrooms until the new furnace gets installed.

How has your anxiety been?

Nikole said...

Ooooo how scary. So glad everything is okay - considering. Big hugs from the oh-my-goodness-i-had-to-buy-a-new-furnace support group. :-)

And how crazy is it that the same thing happened to you guys not 24 hours after we were talking about our furnace??


Meredith said...

Hi there! I am sure the girls love "camping" out in your room! My anxiety has been okay. I seem to have that "free-floating" anxiety that comes out of nowhere sometimes but no real bad attacks lately. I probably just jinxed myself! ha ha I am trying not to get all worked up when those feelings come and use my coping skills. I think for a while every time it would happen I would get myself all worked up with thoughts like "why is this back again," and "this is never going to go away" and it made things worse! Trying to "welcome" the anxiety like you say in 2010! How did your traveling this weekend go? Did you take the girls ice skating or were your plans ruined because of the boiler?