Submitted by Jim Haselmaier
When our first child was about six months old and we were in the throes of being new parents, I started feeling weird. I didn't exactly feel sick, it was more like I was feeling really stressed out and anxious. I was pretty worried that there was something seriously wrong, so I went to see a doctor.
Based on the doctor's questions, it became apparent that my "illness" was stress; we had a new baby and my job was intense. The doctor also helped me recognize that my coffee consumption had gone way up. His suggested remedy: Cut down on the coffee; Try to get more sleep; And take a stress management class.
So a couple of weeks later, I'm in a large conference room at the local hospital attending my first stress management class. As I'm contemplating the info the instructor is sharing, the phone on the wall rings. (There were no cell phones back then.) The instructor stops instructing the class, answers the phone, and the room quiets as everyone listens to her end of the conversation. Then she turns to the class and asks, "Is Jim Haselmaier here?" I raised my hand. She says "Your wife and daughter are in the emergency room downstairs."
Of course, my stress level started to increase even further as I headed to the ER navigating various mazes and medical personnel. I wasn't exactly panicked, but I knew that anything that brought them to the ER was obviously a significant concern.
I made my way to them, and my wife reported that our daughter was totally inconsolable. This was definitely out of character for a baby who made very little noise and often seemed content all by herself. My wife reported, "There must be something seriously wrong. So I brought her here." The doctor did a thorough exam. The diagnosis: Teething.
By this point I was too stressed out to return to the Stress Management class, so we headed home. Twenty-six years later I'm happy to report that I cut back on coffee and my stress subsided, although I forget exactly when that happened. It's sort of a blur.