What Are The Odds?

For those of you who follow my blog, you’ll remember my recent post about a guest at one of my parties falling ill, necessitating a frantic call to 911. (For you newcomers, welcome and please scroll down to my April 3, 2010 post titled It’s Not From the Food! I Swear!)

What are the odds of another guest falling ill at my very next party, two short weeks later? If I were a gambling woman I’d go play Lotto.

Saturday afternoon my family and I hosted a party to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday. I’ve been a little under the weather, so my husband and oldest daughter did ALL the cooking. I swear. (And no, we did not serve pickles.) When only one couple remained I was alerted to a male guest suffering chest pain. “It’s just gas,” he insisted. “I’ve had it before.” But his wife’s distress set me into action.

My first thought (after assessing his skin color and respiratory status): This can’t be happening again.
My second thought: Damn, why don’t I keep Alka Seltzer on hand?
My third thought: I hope I don’t need to dial 911 again.

I rubbed the gentleman’s back, patted gently, then not so gently. If I could have thrown him over my shoulder and burped him like a babe I would have. (I hope I don’t need to dial 911 again.)

He got up to walk around. I think he was afraid if he remained seated I’d try to beat that belch right out of him. (I hope I don’t need to dial 911 again.)

He walked, I walked. He sat, I sat, clutching my cell phone. He stared at his wife, I stared at him.

After some seltzer he said he felt better. I think he lied so I’d stop asking if he felt any better. He and his wife decided to drive home, probably to get away from me. (Thank G-d I didn’t need to dial 911 again.)

I’m happy to say, this morning he felt good as new…well as good as any of us middle-aged folk feels in the morning, I suppose.

I have to admit, I’m a little concerned. Two near misses. Do I risk a third? And what can I do to avoid it, require an MD note for medical clearance along with my invitees’ RSVPs? Should I stop throwing parties? Befriend an EMT? Invest in an EKG/defibrilator? Any suggestions?

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  • Christine
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 1:10 AM | Permalink

    Wild! Guy probably had heart burn. Wow. I say you might want to keep tons of alka seltzer around the house LOL.

    Might want to put 911 on speed dial 🙂

  • John Baron
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 1:29 AM | Permalink

    Yeah, I'll second the alka-seltzer. The thing to remember about "odds" though, is that they're odd. People _do_ win the lottery twice, etc.

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 1:47 AM | Permalink

    Welcome back, Christine. Hope your conference went well. I have Alka Seltzer on my shopping list.

    And John… your discussion of odds did not make me feel any better. Next time it's okay to lie and tell me the odds that this will happen again are a trillion to one.

  • Anonymous
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    Please don't stop having parties!! Everything was delicious and you patting my back was a highlight of the evening for me!!

    Sorry to have caused you stress. Next time I will travel with Alka Seltzer just in case.

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Dear Anon,
    I'm glad you're feeling better.

    And patting your back was the highlight of my evening, too. Hmmmmmmmm. Exactly what does that say about us? Have we turned boring? Next time tequila shots to liven us up and numb pesky chest pain. And never fear…I would have dialed 911 in a heartbeat if I'd thought you needed it. I'm thinking about getting recertified in CPR.

  • Bethanne
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

    drinks only, no food. 😉 LOL

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

    I think you may have something there, Bethanne! I can do wonders with ice, some rum, and a blender!

  • Regina Richards
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    Alka Seltzer party favors?

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    Back from the beach, Regina? Hope you had a great time! Alka Seltzer party favors could work, maybe in some netting with some Tums. Kind of like a wedding favor without the candy-coated almonds!

  • Carol63Storm
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 12:20 AM | Permalink

    Great post, Wendy! You can't be too careful. When I was working at the Office Of Mental Health in Albany, (OMH) there was a guy who had a heart attack and took a WEEK to figure out what it was. He said it felt like he just pulled a muscle in his chest working in the back yard.

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 2:48 AM | Permalink

    My point exactly, Carol! You can't be too careful.

  • Regina Richards
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 3:31 AM | Permalink

    Your parties are way more interesting than the ones that happen at my house.

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 1:06 AM | Permalink

    Only recently, Regina. And to tell the truth, it's the type of excitement I can do without.

  • Nancy B
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    Does this mean that there's going to be some exciting drama at Rachel's upcoming party?…as I'm dropping my RSVP in the mail. I can't wait!!!

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

    There'd better not be!!!! Come to think of it, of all the people we invited, there's not one doctor on the list. Uh oh.

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