I am a nursing instructor – this is a job that I truly love and pour my heart into.  There is no better way to teach nursing students than to use real life experiences that help them visualize and understand concepts.  I pull examples from my work in various facilities, from stories gleamed from other nurses and occasionally from my personal life.  Such an opportunity came up a few nights ago.

We were discussing the autonomic nervous system and the old “fight or flight” and “rest and digest” that is otherwise known as the sympathetic and parasympathetic responses to stress and the bodies desire for homeostasis.  I’m sure we’ve all heard stories of that mother that lifted a car off of a trapped toddler or the woman that took on a 700 pound polar bear to save her 7 year old.  Adrenalin is an amazing hormone designed to shunt all of the energy to our vital organs and prep us to  either run head on into danger or get the heck out of Dodge.

I decided that giving a personal example would drive the point home with my students.  I personally experienced a burst of adrenaline and developed super-human strength.  It was not to lift a car off my toddler son.  It was not to wrestle a raging polar bear.  No…it was…to break down a door.

During this time period, my son was carless and needed a ride home every evening at 11pm.  I am not a night owl so I would lay on the living room sofa and watch TV mindlessly to stay awake until I needed to leave.  This is where the problem came in.  In order to turn on our TV, you must have the remote.  It is not an optional piece of equipment.  The Direct TV box is not usable without it.   Our family tends to be rough on any equipment smaller than a refrigerator so only one remote was working.  This remote was to stay in the living room…where I needed it…to stay awake…

On the evening in question, the remote was missing.  I knew exactly where to find it.  It had to be in my sons room.  Not the carless son…another son…one with a lock on his bedroom door… a lock that was, unfortunately…locked.   With the remote on the other side.  Please keep in mind once again…I am a morning person.  I’m not a night person.  I am not always rational at night.  This situation clearly established this.

I looked for the key to my sons room.  Nowhere to be found.  I tried calling him.  No answer.  My frustration continued to grow.  I tried shaking the door knob…it was well built.  I still had 30 minutes to go until I had to leave.  I had so many options at this point.  Read a book.  Set an alarm.  Do yoga.  Pray for God to save me from myself.  Did I do any of these things?  No…i just continued to feed my anger and frustration.

Adrenaline doesn’t necessarily build apparently…it can burst in a manner that takes away all sense and reason.  I was relatively calm as I walked down the hallway to do…what… I’m not sure.  And then I looked at the door.  Something snapped.  At that very moment, adrenaline kicked in.  I threw all of my body weight against the door and heard….CRACK!  I busted the ENTIRE DOOR FRAME.  I busted the entire door frame…for a remote control.  The adrenaline left as quickly as it had arrived and sense, reason and a really big dose of “what kind of a person does this?” quickly filled my mind.

I am not a violent person.  I would probably get my butt kicked in a fist fight.  Unless you had my remote apparently.

The students all had a good laugh over this and did quite well on their quiz the next day.  I am happy that my children have never been under a car or threatened by a bear.  I do feel good, however, in knowing that if such situation does arise, I’m your girl.  Just make sure that you toss the bear my remote first.

 

Posted by:Sheri Saretsky

I spent ten years as a single parent of three boys. I then married my wonderful husband and he was inducted into the world of boy raising. Now we get to add my peri-menopause to the mix! Its been a crazy life...one I wouldn't change a minute of....

3 replies on “Fight or Flight or Watch TV

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