Surviving the coma (pt 2)
How did I ever make it to that ER?
Okay, so where was I? Oh, yeah…I’d just walked out of my apartment to head for the ER.
With every step, my breathing was more labored. After what felt like an eternity, I finally reached my destination: my car! I would like to say that I know exactly how I made it to the ER, which route I took, but I can’t…it’s simply a blur.
What I DO remember is that I couldn’t sit down once I got to the ER - it was just more comfortable standing.
I had (apparently) texted my sister that my bronchitis was kicking in (that non-medical degree finally coming in handy), and that, once my vitals were taken and I was rushed ‘to the back’ I knew it meant trouble. (Everyone knows you’re supposed to come back out to the waiting area for at least another two hours. I wasn’t sure whether to be happy to be seen or frightened because the end was near.)
Once I had a bed, the coughing fit started. At this point I’m literally leaning over the side of the bed while trying to convince the medical staff that I was [cough cough] ‘just fine [cough cough].
Dr: We’re sending you for x-rays.
Me: [cough cough] What for? [cough cough]
I was the hottest of messes. In my brilliant yet warped brain, I had convinced myself that I could ‘think’ my way out of this. I was so affected by the thought of losing work that I actually believed that I could go home and rest for a day or two and head back to the office. (In my defense, my notion was not without merit: as a sales professional, my first priority was to get to work, because in sales, if you don’t show up you don’t eat.)
Meanwhile, across town, my sister texted my daughter, so she shows up with a friend. And then my sister and my niece show up. All the while I’m hacking up my lungs and asking when I can get back to work. Now my sister is yelling at me because of my mixed up priorities and my daughter is shaking her head.
Dr: …so you think you’ll be okay at home?
Me: Yeah…[cough cough COUGH cough cough] I’ll be fine.
Dr: Okay. Just walk across the hallway and back. If you can make it, you can go home.
Ever so slowly, as if from a scene out of Dead Man Walking, with - not just my family’s eyes on me, but also the doctor, the aide escorting me and the other medical staff at the nurse’s station watching - I take the first step…and a second…eventually making it to the nurse’s station. Win! I think to myself. Then I turn around and, realizing I had to walk back sank into utter defeat. I look to the aide next to me, “…I…can’t,” at which point others rush in to help me back to the bed. It was really dramatic, which, in hindsight was so fitting for me.
And that’s when the cute, young doctor flexed her chops. I wanted to smack her.
Her: …and that’s what happens, Miss Brown. People leave to go home and we find them the next day - dead!
Me: Yeah, but you wouldn’t have found me dead at home because I wouldn’t have made it to my car - so there!
But I didn’t have enough air in my lungs to get out the first two words so that was all in my head.
…and that’s when they took me to the elevator.
The elevator. Sounds like the title for a thriller.
Rightly so. [More to come.]