Scary 911 Calls
“911, What’s your emergency?”
“My husband was doing something with his guns, cut himself, and now he’s bleeding and passed out.”
How It Began
It was the day after Christmas, while we were still living in Illinois, and we had spent the day setting up new toys and presents that we had received. At this point in our lives, we only had Jack. This was back when we thought having just one kid was tough. Little did we know what was in store for us just a few years later with two more kids added to the mix!
Evening came on the 26th, and Johnny and I put Jack to bed for the night. We went downstairs and turned on a movie. I, like I normally do, fell asleep on the couch. Apparently, when I fell asleep Johnny thought it was a good opportunity to take out one of his presents. It was a new stock that he had gotten for one of his guns. He was going to add it to add to his gun and he was pretty pumped to put it together. He didn’t want to do this while Jack was awake, for obvious reasons. In order to get it together, he needed to disassemble some other parts of the weapon.
Guns in Our House
A side note about guns in our house. People reading this may think that it’s crazy to have a weapon in a house. Let me assure you, Johnny is the epitome of safety when it comes to weapons. We had two safes in our house. One downstairs for the big guns, and one in our bedroom for a smaller gun. They were never left out or unattended. I didn’t know the code for the safes because I didn’t know how to fire the weapon and therefore had no business touching it. Now that we live in Sweden, we have no weapons in the house (per the law).
Next thing I know, Johnny is yelling for me to wake up. He told me that he cut himself and that he felt like he was going to pass out. I looked around in a sleep daze and saw disassembled weapons and tools all over the floor. I was sort of confused where I was and what he was asking me to do, but I ran upstairs to the kitchen and grabbed a glass of orange juice for him to help with his blood sugar. Just as I got back to him and was about to give him the orange juice, he passed out in my lap.
Commence the freaking out!
I had never seen someone pass out and I had no idea what to do. Naturally, I ran and got my phone and began making one of those scary 911 calls. I began telling the dispatcher what I knew about what had happened. The conversation went something like this:
911: “911, what’s your emergency?”
Me: “My husband was doing something with his guns, cut himself, and now he’s bleeding and passed out.”
911: “Ok, is he breathing?”
911: “What was he doing with his guns?”
Me: “I’m not sure, I was sleeping. I think he was cleaning them or something. They are all on the ground. It’s okay though, we both have our FOID cards.” (FOID cards gave us the ability to have the weapons in the house and transport them legally in Illinois, if need be.)
911: “I’m sending help right now.”
Me: “Ok, thank you.”
I hung up with them and checked on Johnny again who was now waking up. He started to apologize when he saw me crying and he began to realize that he had passed out. I told him I called 911 and they were on their way.
Johnny: “Shit! Put the guns away!”
Me: “Why?! I told them we had them out. We have FOID cards, what’s the problem?”
Johnny: “There just isn’t any reason to draw attention to the guns if we don’t need to.”
Me: “Well, now if we put them away it will look like there’s something to hide!”
Johnny: “Why did you call 911?”
Me: “What was I suppose to do? You are bleeding and you passed out! I have no clue what happened and if you need stitches or what’s going on.”
The Police Arrived
I went upstairs to unlock the front door for the police. They happened to walk up right then. They came in and immediately began asking a million questions.
Police: “Where is he? Is he armed? What was he doing? Has this happened before?”
I began to get really confused!
Me: “He just cut his finger and he’s in the bathroom. He passed out and there was no way I could pick him up and get him to the hospital. Plus, we have a sleeping baby upstairs. He’s downstairs and just needs the paramedics to come check him out.”
They went downstairs pretty slowly and carefully and all had their guns drawn as they went. When they saw him in the bathroom, they pointed their weapons at him and asked him if he was armed. He responded no, that he had just cut his finger and passed out. That his wife didn’t know what to do and had therefore called 911. They seemed to chill out a bit as they evaluated the situation.
The paramedics showed up pretty soon after and they were able to get Johnny’s finger all fixed up in no time. Johnny’s blood sugar was incredibly low and so they gave him some glucose and sat with him for a bit to be sure he was okay. The police had stuck around and began checking all of the pieces of the weapons to be sure they were registered to Johnny. They all checked out fine, of course.
How the Call was Understood
As it turns out, Johnny’s good friend was a police officer for the town where we were living. He happened to catch wind of the call coming in and recognized our address. The call came in as there being a male who attempted suicide. This, of course, caused his friend to worry about what was happening. I suffer from anxiety and depression, but he was a bit surprised to hear it was Johnny! He then began calling Johnny’s phone to try to see what was going on. We were obviously a bit busy dealing with all that was happening at home and we were not able to answer.
The next day, Johnny talked to his friend and it all began to make a bit more sense as to why the police had their guns drawn and asked a million questions. When I called 911, I said, “My husband has his guns out, cut himself, and has passed out.” Naturally, they assumed that he was suicidal. They thought that he passed out due to blood loss. The fact that I worded my call the way in which I did, led them to think it was worse than it was. Note to self: any future scary 911 calls, need to be worded a bit better!
What Goes Around, Comes Around
Needless to say, Johnny’s police officer friend, thought it was so funny that this big, bad Marine passed out at the sight of his own blood. He would tease him every time we got together. Turns out though, we all have our weaknesses. It wasn’t too long after Johnny’s incident that this same friend accidentally cut himself and passed out. When you get hurt or injured your heart rate and blood pressure speed up. Sometimes though, after that initial increase, it can then plummet. This is what causes some to then pass out after an injury. It doesn’t matter how big and bad of a Marine you are, biology surpasses all of that.
This situation taught me that sometimes, even during a crisis, it’s better to take a moment and think things through. Had I done that, Johnny would have woken up, we would have driven to the hospital, and all would have been fine. Sometimes you can make a mountain out of a mole hill without even knowing what you’re doing!