Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Medical Mystery of the Month

squad 1

Exploding Head Syndrome

Have you ever heard a gunshot or other loud noise when falling asleep or upon waking, but the person right next to you didn’t hear a thing? If so, you may have been experiencing exploding head syndrome (EHS.) Other reported sounds from people who suffer from this condition include roaring, waves crashing, explosions or loud ringing, and for some, flashes of light may accompany the sound.

“Some people have it once in their entire life, whereas some people have it up to 7 times per night,” says Dr. Brian Sharpless, PhD, director of the Psychology Clinic at Washington State University. The condition is likely brought on by “insomnia, general sleep disruption, and certain types of anxiety,” according to Dr. Sharpless, who stresses the benefits of keeping patients informed. “Believe it or not, just educating patients about the condition and reassuring them that it’s not dangerous can lead to a reduction of episodes in some cases,” he says. “Regulating sleep is likely helpful as well.”

As reported on, “Some researchers believe it’s a neurological issue, while others think it’s related to clinical fear and anxiety. It could also be related to the components of your middle ear shifting during the night.”

The syndrome itself isn’t dangerous or painful, but can lead to high levels of anxiety, which in turn can cause it to happen more frequently. “Episodes can cause a high level of distress and fear. Many people think that they are having a stroke,” according to

EHS can also lead to insomnia since some sufferers are afraid to go to sleep. There are some medications that may help, but the best course of action is to try to decrease your stress levels with meditation, yoga, and/or counseling.

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. With over 90 volunteers, we answer emergency calls not only in Scotch Plains but in surrounding towns as well when needed. Besides answering calls, you will see our ambulances at many special events held in town, such as Scotch Plains Day, the Memorial Day Parade, high school football games, and the summer concerts on the Village Green. We are also available to provide demonstrations for Boys and Girls Scout troops, clubs, and any other group that may be interested in what we do. In addition, we lend out wheelchairs, crutches, canes and other assorted medical equipment free of charge. Our Auxiliary Group holds fund raisers and provides other much needed support for our members. Please reach out to us if there is something we can do for you, or if you would like to become a part of our organization. (908) 322-2103 for non-emergencies or

Contributing Author: Susan Baldani, a life member of the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad.

The Wife Between Us

The Wife Between Us

Book review of The Wife Between Us
by Susan Baldani

I love stories that keep me guessing, that surprise and shock me. When I’m absorbed in a great book, I tend to forget about the world around me and let myself drift into another place and time. This is what happened while reading “The Wife Between Us.”
Written by Sarah Pekkanen and Greer Hendricks and released in January 2018, the jacket sleeve does warn you not to make assumptions about what is happening or the people involved, because nothing is as it seems. With this is mind, I began to read.
And yes, I did make assumptions and thought I had it all figured out. I mean, it seemed so obvious what was happening and who was involved. Then a little less than halfway through the book – bam! I never saw it coming. The twists and turns that happen afterwards were delightful, while at the same time a little disturbing. But in a fun way, of course.
The characters in this book have great depth and emotion. There are ex-wives, a sister and a future wife, but who is who? Don’t be so sure, as I was. There are good people and bad people, but again, which is which?
I can’t say too much about the plot without giving it away, and I don’t want to ruin the outcome for anyone. But let’s just say it’s a love story with a complex mystery intertwined throughout. There’s Vanessa, Nellie, Emma, Maureen and Kate, women who all share a varied and complex relationship with one man. His name is Richard, and he has affected the lives of each of these characters immensely. But is he charming and refined or manipulative and dangerous? And what about the women? Are they really who you think they are?
Trying to figure out the real people behind the facades is what will make this book hard to put down. And you will be surprised right up to the very end. Just when you think you finally, at last, have it all figured out, don’t be so sure. Another surprise is always lucking as you turn the page.
Sarah Pekkanen is the bestselling author of seven previous novels and Greer Hendricks was a long-time editor at Simon and Schuster; this is her first novel.

Written for The Woodbridge Magazine