Home > crisis, leadership, relationships, trust > After the Crisis

After the Crisis

This past Sunday afternoon, I was faced with a crisis. My father, 52, suffered a heart attack, and luckily we got him to the ER just in the nick of time. My siblings and I were at my parents house when he started feeling ill, and when he said he wanted to go to the hospital, I knew something was really wrong. My father is/WAS a heavy smoker, so it wasn’t uncommon for him to complain about chest pain, shortness of breath, and congestion in his lungs. But this time was different.

I’m the oldest & middle child (that’s a story for another time), so leadership tends to default to me. My mother is extremely emotional, my younger sister is 8-months pregnant and emotional, and my younger brother is a typical 17-year-old. Until now, my family hadn’t really experienced a time when one of us needed to quickly step forward and take action. On Sunday, that someone was me.

Thanks to the Leadership Challenge book, my brain kicked into gear with the “Aviate, Navigate, Communicate” when faced with a crisis. There wasn’t time to sit back and ask questions — we had to get my dad help, fast. I started figuring out what we needed to do, got cars moved out of the driveway, tried to convince my dad he needed an ambulance (he refused), and communicated the intensity of the situation to my family (who were still trying to determine if this was one of his typical bouts of pain). My dad arrived in the ER with only minutes to spare. His heart stopped as they were hooking him up to monitors, and he had to be shocked back to rhythm with the paddles.

My family, especially my mom, did amazingly well in the face of crisis because we were communicating and listening to each other. But sometimes the hardest part of a crisis is dealing with the emotions that were on hold while you got through it. Now the tears are falling, the “I should have…” is being dwelled upon, and we worry about if we’ll be able to get him to the ER in time the next time something happens.

From my own experience, I’d say the hardest part of dealing with a crisis is handling the thoughts and emotions that come afterwards. It’s vital to acknowledge that emotions are not bad, but don’t dwell on the “should’a, would’a, could’a.” Make use of the family, friends and coworkers that are there to lend you support, and remember that you’re not always going to have 100% of the information you need to make a decision — sometimes you have to go with your gut and act quickly. Accept that mistakes might be made and there’s only so much you can do to prepare for the “what if’s.” Trust your gut; practice clear, open communication; and hopefully, there won’t be a “next time.”

Happy Thanksgiving! There’s much to be thankful for!!

  1. Farmer Dave
    November 25, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks Krisin for sharing. It helps us all be more thankful. You seemed to have handled the crisis as well as anyone could. I’m sure your father is thankful to have you for a daughter.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: