I don’t have a tumor, so that’s good.
Today I am a little less dizzy, the world seems to be righting itself – the world as my body has been experiencing it for the past few days anyway. The rest of the world is still on a tilt-o-whirl of crazy, but, whatever.
This week my first trip to the ER was by ambulance. Talk about a bumpy ride. It seems to me those things should have some sort of super suspension with air-glide shock technology or something. Aside from the jarring ride, being in an ambulance was difficult for me. I kept thinking about the other people who had been strapped to that same gurney, looking out those same, dusty back windows. I couldn’t help but think about the reasons they had taken that same ride. I found myself sitting in prayer for them and for whoever the next passenger might be.
I was glad when we finally arrived at the hospital. For the most part, I simply sat in the bed waiting for someone to come check and re-check and re-check all my vitals most of the day. I may have drifted off for a few moments a couple of times. I willingly let them take as much blood as they wanted and joked around with the nurses. I was there because my day had begun with a dizzy spell and a pretty low blood sugar. If it hadn’t have happened while at my doctors office, I would have stayed home and tried to rest it out.
After a long, long day I was able to go home. I did not want to spend the night there. At all. If I had though, we wouldn’t have had to drive right back in the next morning. After returning home, the dizziness returned and didn’t go away, by morning we were off to the ER again. When we got in the truck and began pulling out of the driveway, my husband started laughing. Rude, right? No, actually, it was because of the song on the radio. Vertigo, by U2. Haha radio DJ man, good one. How did you know?
Day two sucked. I had sticky tabs all over me. One hole in my right arm for an IV, nice little small gauge needle, and another for the CT dye in my left. Not a nice little small gauge needle. Nope. A giant 18 gauge piece of metal. Ouch.
I wasn’t allowed to use the restroom alone either. It isn’t easy to pee in a cup with an audience. You didn’t need to know that, but now you do. That’s what happens when you read blogs I guess.
So I spent two full days sitting in the ER, people listening. It’s like people watching, one of my favorite pastimes, but without the benefit of seeing the faces and body language of those around you, your mind has to fill in those missing pieces. In some ways, it’s much like reading – the book is always better than the movie.
The people I listened to became characters in my own story, I saw them through the little noises they made, the rustling of their sheets, their interactions with the steady stream of doctors and nurses that came and went like a slow moving tide through the ER.
Detox Rick was in the bed next to me. He didn’t want to be bothered. He was relatively quiet until the psych team came by to chat. He said he came in because he couldn’t handle the life he was living anymore and wanted to detox himself. From what? they asked. Alcohol. How much do you drink? they asked. He said a fifth every couple of days. When was the last time you drank a fifth? they wanted to know. Yesterday at 11 am, he told them. The docs asked him where he lived, he said downtown. Homeless. If you drink a fifth every couple of days and live downtown, that typically means you’re homeless. They let him sleep. I sat in my bed and prayed for him.
Modest Sarah who couldn’t bring herself to say the word vagina was in the next bed over. She told the docs she maybe had a rash or something on her upper thigh. Turns out upper thigh meant vagina. Down there, she called it. She sounded young and rather mortified. I quickly diagnosed her with a UTI after she described her symptoms. So did the docs. She left without medication though, she had a plane to catch. I sat in my bed and prayed for her.
Fifty-one-fifty. 5150. She was not a happy camper. At all. I could hear her hollering in the background when the call came in from the EMTs to let the ER staff know they were inbound. She was even less happy when they arrived. She screamed and fought and bellowed. She cursed the nurses, she told them they were incompetent. She didn’t think any of them were registered to be nurses. They managed to calm her down, for brief spurts of time anyway. At one point, she screamed so loud and so long it scared the crappers out of me. It was fear. Real fear. The kind of scream you hear in the movies. “You’re trying to kill me again!” I sat in my bed and prayed and prayed for her.
There are more to these stories to tell and more stories aside from them, but they will have to be saved for another time, the screen before me is beginning to waver and the nausea has returned. Vertigo sucks. I’m so thankful to be home . . .