The Emergency Room

I arrived at the hospital before the ambulance. I was parked talking on the phone when I saw it pull in. I was actually talking to my boss. She has been my first phone call in more than one life altering event. She has a way with words and somehow unloading on her makes things easier to handle.

I walked through the heavy sliding doors and was told she hadn’t been put in the system yet. I was given a sticker and told to go have a seat. You’ve got to be kidding me. I made eye contact with Joe. Joe is a security guard that has now become a friend. We will get into that later. He could sense my anxiety so I’m quite certain he must have been in the office hitting refresh until she popped up. There I sat, a germaphobe, during Covid, in an emergency room full of people. After what seemed like an eternity Joe came out and rescued me. His badge opened the locked doors and away we went.

It was the Friday before Halloween and a full moon. The Emergency Room was hopping. I pulled back the curtain, and there she was laying on the bed. Nurses all around her. Some cutting off her clothes and others checking vitals. Tubes everywhere and beeping sounds galore. I am not timid and meek, but in those moments there is sat motionless in the corner feeling absolutely helpless.

Her BP was 203/108 and she had numbness on her right side. They were struggling to lower her blood pressure because they didn’t want her to have another stroke. You see mom has had a stroke once this year. We can’t pinpoint exactly when, but the doctors think it was around March. She has been dealing with the aftermath for sometime. Confusion, unsteadiness and exhaustion.

I heard the words “I’ve got a call out the trauma surgeon and the neurosurgeon” come from somewhere in the circle of people surrounding the bed. I instantly felt nauseous. I didn’t want to leave, but I didn’t want to be there either. I may be 42 but for those endless minutes I felt no older than 10. I couldn’t imagine having to make a decision. Please Jesus don’t make me. I’m an only child. I’m it, there’s no one else. My mom is my world. I see her almost everyday. She is a very important and prevalent part of our lives.

They did the CT and the MRI and who knows what else. Then they came back in and did another CT this time with dye. They were trying to rule out an aneurysm being the cause of her fall. She was diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage and a subdural hemorrhage. Basically bleeding on the brain. I tried to rub her hands and let her know I was there but I also knew she was terrified and in a lot of pain. So again there I sat, mostly in silence but with my mind moving a mile a minute.

I looked up and saw a face peeking in the curtain. There she was, my boss. Somehow she had befriended Joe and got in. My God I needed that hug so badly. I cried in disbelief and amazement. She came to moms bedside and honestly I don’t remember all the words she said but I know that they comforted mom and meant the world to me. She was in and out like a flash. It was definitely what I needed to get through the rest of the night.

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