Sunday, July 17, 2011

In moments of contemplation

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.



  1. I am glad that it isn't a blood clot.

  2. I agree with Ruth, glad it is not a blood clot.

  3. jeesssss.
    that's no joke!!!
    hope you get all fixed up very very soon!

  4. Oh my God, Tracy, I held my breath until the end of the post. I'm so glad you damaged your knee instead of a blood clot, you know what I mean. Emergency rooms can be so traumatizing, definitely not a good place to spend the weekend. Go take care of that knee now!

  5. when i saw your facebook statuses i knew they had to be masking your worried moments.
    and you have made a difference in the world. you make a difference to me & i love you & if i wasn't so far away, i'd have been sitting in that hospital with you, waiting for whatever news that doctor had to bring, good or bad. and i'd be with you while you're getting your damn knee fixed. and cheering you on when you deal with physical therapy afterwards. but since i can't be there, i can only cheer for you from here and tell you that DO matter. you have meaning and value and even though you're not done contributing to the world yet, you've made a wonderfully lovely start so far.

  6. I read this with bated breath. You wrote this very well! I felt every emotion and anxiety through your words. I'm glad you don't have a blood clot! I hate Emergency rooms too, just as much as hospitals!

  7. I am happy it's not a blood clot either, thanks for the lovely thoughts and comments, and Sherilin, you must not say such nice things, as you made me cry a little my friend.. love ya all! xxoo

  8. I'm so glad it's not a blood clot! I imagine you will have a difficult time ahead to get your knee better, but still... Courage!, as the French say! And as you can see, you make a difference for a lot of people here, if only by putting a smile on our face from time to time. From where I'm standing, I see it as a huge contribution already!
    Now get your knee fixed and get a ticket to Italy! ;)

  9. Tracy, you described a frightening situation very beautifully and eloquently.

    Glad to hear it's not a clot. Mend well.

  10. Wow, this took me back to the waiting I did when I was having chest pains. I sat in the middle of the waiting room, surrounded by people and texted my friends to stop myself from crying.
    so scary for you and I was so worried reading your facebook
    glad it isnt as serious as you feared and I hope you got that pizza in the end.
    big hugs darling lady

  11. Oh if I have to do a captcha, I dont think i could do better than "snerti" lol
    Or "shangett" hehe

  12. Oh my gosh..relief..

    I agree when we leave those places..we wish well for all the ones we saw suffering or worried..

    Get better soon..

  13. I've spent a great deal of time hanging out in Emergency rooms and I can honestly say that they are probably the most depressing places to be. The waiting room at the ER is kinda what I picture limbo to look like.

    I'm glad you're OK Tracy. I hope the knee issue isn't that complicated of an issue and are back to your previously not quite so rickety self.

    Ps. You do make a difference in the world. Every time you post, I smile a little bit more and then that makes someone else smile and it grows from there. Give yourself more credit, the world notices.

  14. so gald you are well. i have been to the er so many time and never seen blood. crazy. well written post

  15. So grateful that you don't have a blood clot. Take care of the knee. I have spent so many endless hours in the Emergency Room with my late husband I couldn't even count how many. I know exactly what you were feeling as I read it. I've seen so much. I was always grateful to walk out there and breathe fresh air. These health scares do make you think about your life doesn't it?

  16. You had me worried there, girl! My Mom got a blood clot in her leg following her heart surgery and she ended up in the hospital having surgery at 10:30 pm on a Saturday night. It was a bit frightening.

    Glad you are ok. Isn't it bizarre that a knee surgery is the more preferable evil in a health scare? Take care of yourself! And get some damn pizza :)

  17. I'm grateful too that it wasn't a blood clot... sorry for those who have gone thru it or has had someone go thru it.

    Thank you all for the very kind words, and Thanks Not the Hero for the very lovely comment, it touched my heart!

  18. Man, I hate to be late on the "I was worried" train, but time and tides etc. Glad it wasn't a clot. I also agree with not the hero. If nowhere else in the world (and that I seriously doubt), you make a difference here.

    BTW, what's in Amalfi?

  19. Thanks Chris xxoo The Amalfi Coast in Italy is the coastline that runs up the southern side of Italy. From every picture I have seen and every movie I have seen it in, it has been nothing short of breathtaking and I have wanted to go there since I was 18, next year is our year to go and I cannot wait to attach my camera to my face and take pictures, and then close my eyes to feel the breeze and smell the ocean (which is ironic since I live on the ocean) and then open my eyes wide open and just stare into its vastness!

  20. I'm so glad to hear it wasn't a blood clot! Not that anyone wants to hear they have to have surgery, but still . . . just glad it's not a blood clot!

  21. This is one of the best posts I feel you have ever written. I am sitting there in the waiting room right beside you throughout your whole ordeal. Sorry you will need knee surgery, but perhaps that will be one of the things you can check off your list of painful living afterwards. I was in an emergency room once when I sliced my hand open and had a headache at the same time. I had to wait on the table for over an hour before the doctor came, and had to listen to the women next to me crying, moaning and groaning the entire time. Had a triple headache by the time the doctor came. So much misery and heartache there. You know you make a difference in my life, and that's no little thing to me. Love you much.

  22. Thank goodness all turned out okay.
    But, what a horror show you described!
    By the way, I disagree-you HAVE made a difference in the world. And I strongly suspect it isn't just here.

  23. Don't worry about the other people in the ER, they are just actors practicing for appearances on Holby city, Grays Anatomy and House…It’s the same with the patience in your doctors surgery…. Glad it worked out OK

    P.S As for your checklist, make sure the bit about cremation is only evoked after your death…

  24. Like others, I'm relieved it was not a blood clot. More than that, I was so moved by your story. Your own anxiety mixed with your observations of the suffering of others. Very touching. And so well written. Made me think of all the things I have to be grateful for today. Thank you.

  25. i am glad you are ok and i pray for those left behind...

  26. Thank you for the great comments! And thank you so much Yvonne, I love ya too!

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