The lights are bright and painful and unwavering in their assault to my senses to the point that my eyelids are heavy from the strain of it all. The rushes of uniforms in and out and around me are making my head turn in dizzy despair. I hear panicked moans from those sitting across from me, along with discomfort, unhappiness and unease. Some sit with their heads in their hands, others are sobbing softly to themselves, while some are so entranced in their handheld electronics that they are oblivious to their surroundings. And as for me, I feel kind of silly being here and I am anxiously watching the second hand of the clock go around and around and ache to go home.
Somewhere in between the air has gotten thick, almost nauseatingly thick with a sickly smell, one that perhaps I am vaguely aware of, but I can't quite put my finger to it. And then I see her run past me, and then another one, followed by another. There is a sense of panic. They call for housekeeping to clean up the blood in room 13 that has now slowly flowed, almost like lava spillage, over and under the curtain into room 14. I avert my eyes the best I can from that direction and try to focus on something else, although I make a silent prayer to whomever is now in the middle of this frightening crisis.
I look over at my beautiful sister in law and watch as her delicate nose wrinkles up to the bloody scent that has now engulfed the entire waiting room. I wonder if she is having flashbacks to February when she almost bled to death in another emergency room. She whispers low to me "I hate hospitals". I smile at her with that all knowing smile that says that I couldn't agree more. With a big sigh, I look at the time on my phone and mumble to myself "gawd how long have I been here, how long." And I wonder how much more time I will be relegated to this place until I get the prognosis.
A routine checkup at my doctor's office 4 hours earlier for grief I have been experiencing in my leg has propelled me to this moment and to this place. A possible fatal blood clot in my leg, she explains. I am not worried until I look deep into her face. She grabs me by both arms and makes me promise her that I will go straight to the emergency room, kind of like I just pulled the jail card in a game of Monopoly, do not pass go Tracy, and do not collect 200 dollars.
I feel a small amount of fear growing in me as time ticks by. I try to joke the moment away with stupid status lines on facebook asking for pizza to be delivered, and if its my last meal, to send me for desert Shemar Moore from Criminal Minds or a jar of pickles, because at this point, I am scared and humour is my best defense. In my thoughts though, I am checking off my list:
- Last Will and Testament done - check
- Is my list updated on where all my finances are - check
- Although not written anywhere, does everyone know that I want to be cremated - check
- Did I tell my mom that I love her - check
- Did I do all that I wanted to do - no
- Did I become all that I wanted to be - double no
- Have I actually made a difference in the world - sadly no
- Did I make it to Italy and stand on the Amalfi Coast - damn, no!
Finally, after a few more hours of uncertainties, I hear my name called. I limp my way over to the doctor smiling at him, believing in the power of positivity, or the power of naivety, whichever one works because at this point I no longer care. He neither smiles at me nor stops looking me in the face, he is a factual man.
I do not have a blood clot. I let out a long sigh and give him a grateful nod but not before he adds that I have damaged my knee and will require a trip to an orthopedic surgeon. Something I am not happy about, but a prognosis I am more than grateful to accept.
On the long hour and half trip home, I close my eyes and drift off into a moment of contemplation, but not for my life, but for that man's whose blood was on the floor, for that woman who was holding her stomach while they arranged an MRI, for that girl sitting there sobbing in the chair, for that young boy with a bandaged wrapped around his head, for that elderly man rocking back in forth in his chair while holding his wife's purse. I thought of those still waiting there, sitting there, wondering there, praying there, hoping there and wishing there. Were their prayers answered that night? Oh gawd, I hope they were.
Until Next Time.