Life Gave Me Lemons Now I Just Need A Little Sugar {LIFE}

I spent Tuesday night staring at this ancient ECG machine
after it monitored my husband's heart rhythm upon entering
the hospital with chest pains.
This past two years has kicked the sunshine out of me. No longer able to make lemonade out of lemons, in my quiet moments I've been reduced to a sniveling mess. A shadow of my former self.  Since 2010 we have survived job loss times two (That's two full-time incomes, insurance benefits, and pension packages) family illnesses and death, moving from a home we loved, my absence due to full-time college enrollment, and much more.  My chronic illnesses have flared up from the stress of now being the sole provider for our tiny family. I returned to teaching but have only found supply work and don't get sick pay, that's another hit to the solar plexus.

The only constant has been my husband, the rock.  He never gets sick, barely a cold. Yet on Tuesday night as I was pushing to finish my last essay of the semester, already 2 days late due to family emergencies, my husband flopped on the couch and said "I can't breathe." I didn't register what he said and continued typing. "My chest is tight and I can't breathe". Pause typing and look over my shoulder to see a clammy skinned, pale husband clutching his chest and arm. I picked up the phone and called an ambulance hoping I would not have to use the CPR and First Aid certificate that I've re-trained for every year for the last decade. Next call was to my sister-in-law to tell her her brother would be going to hospital and we needed someone to watch Princess.

As soon as we arrived at the hospital I was told to sit in the EMERG waiting room and someone would come get me in 15 minutes.  A nail biting 65 minutes later I had nearly worn a hole in the hallway and couldn't stand NOT KNOWING.  I found him wandering the hallway looking for a bathroom with leads and lines trailing under the too short cotton gown. He looked a lot better, but was still waiting for news about what brought on the attack.  After getting him back into bed, he dozed between the beep and whirl of the monitors and blood pressure cuff. I sat zombie like and stared at the monitor after I got tired of staring at the big ECG machine parked at my left elbow.  Someone had posted a hand-written sign on the back "Be gentle with me. I'm old and fragile" then drew a happy face after the last word.  My sense of humor has been replaced with a stone faced glum. I didn't find the note the least bit funny. I'm relying on this ancient machine to tell me my husband is okay? Awesome.

Fast forward through the next 5 hours which I call hurry up and wait, hubby didn't have a heart attack but needs gallbladder surgery in the near future. 

At some point he began feeling a bit better and asked for his glasses. After a few minutes of searching the table and bundle of blankets he was transported in, I had a sinking feeling...In the chaos, his glasses got left on the ambulance. I watched the response crew take the glasses off on the ambulance as they were strapping the oxygen mask to his face.  After inquiring at the admission desk the in charge ER staff insisted they were "here somewhere or left home".  Determination and the fear of coughing up $1000 for a new pair of glasses pushed me to ask again "I know you are really busy, but maybe I can call the dispatch myself? I know they are on the truck"  "NO, we absolutely don't give out that information. You need to go back to his room and look for them or look at home."  I walked away with a lump in my throat and felt sick with dread. We don't have a health plan, we don't have $1000 in savings, and hubby can't even walk across the room without his glasses.

At 3:30 am an ANGEL walked into the room and it was the first smile I got all night. It was an acquaintance I met through work, and a welcome meeting. I had forgotten she was a nurse, and didn't know she was an ER nurse. She came to give hubby his referral papers as he was being sent home with pain meds in hand, and required to come back for out-patient follow up.  I asked her if she had seen any titanium rimmed glasses at the admission desk. She said she would go and have a look.  As I got hubby dressed in his own clothes and led him towards the exit doors, ANGEL returned from the admission desk and said "I called Dispatch, they reported men's glasses left on a truck and will drop them here on the next run." 

A little bit of sugar for my lemonade.

I'd like to send a special thank you to the Emergency Respondents and Hospital staff in Durham Region, and especially our ANGEL. This is not a compensated post, all opinions remain honest and my own.


gibberish said…
Here's wishing you no more lemons & LOTS more sugar! I'll think positive thoughts for you.

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