The Silent Killer
New Year’s Eve arrived with a gong. Our carbon dioxide monitor started screeching loudly. Thinking it was a malfunction my husband took it down and then replaced the batteries. As quickly as he did the monitor began repeating its deafening tone. Only when Joe took it outside did the alarm stop.
We entertained family all day with our fireplace burning. We suspected our fire might be the cause for the elevated Co2 reading. Not wanting to overdramatize the event with a 911 call, I looked unsuccessfully for a phone number of the fire station around the block. Going back and forth with my husband about what we should do, ultimately we followed the instructions on the monitor and called emergency services.
“Do you feel dizzy?” “Are you nauseous?” “Do you have a headache?”
Somehow when you are supposed to feel those things it makes you feel like you are. I was feeling lightheaded. My husband couldn’t give much feedback since he had been down with a sinus infection for the past 10 days. Although he did say he smelled gas in the back.
EMS was sending an ambulance. The dispatcher instructed me to go outside and call the gas company.
“Do not light a match. Do not flip a switch or turn anything on or off. Immediately get everyone out of the house.”
Those electrifyingly powerful words motivated my spouse and I to gather the kids from their slumber; the shoes, the cochlear implants, the eyeglasses, the billfolds and smart phones and rush to our front porch. The crew from the ambulance walked up our front sidewalk and invited us in the ambulance to stay warm and to check our vital signs. Shortly, after the gas company guy did a full inspection of our home.
One-and-a-half hours later everything was fine. Co2 levels were okay. And we were fine.
As it turned out our carbon dioxide monitor was six-plus years old when they only last for two. And we had it placed high near the ceiling, not positioned well to measure Co2 which is heavy and can only be read if the monitor is low.
Our bodies can be silenced with deadly excess carbon dioxide.
As creatures of body and soul in addition to what we can see and touch, we reside in an invisible spiritual world. And when we are careless about safeguarding our soul or attending to the spiritual dangers to the souls of those we love, they could be silenced as well— forever.
The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships: How careful are you in attending to the health of both your body and your soul? Take a step towards protecting them both.