There we were, surrounded by many people who were waiting just like us. We had been through the process of telling the nurse what my problem was, filling out the paperwork and now we were waiting to actually see a doctor.
It was St. Joseph's on a Monday night.
I had fainted a week earlier and had had some convulsions while I was out. Jared shook me awake and I was fine, or so I thought. But then I started getting headaches and wondered if it was related. I called the health line, described my symptons to the helpful nurse. She said I should be checked out. So we made plans to visit the hospital.
My previous experience with emergency rooms has been quite different. One time we actually called the doctor as we were leaving our house to make sure he would be at the hospital to stitch my brother's head. There's never really been a wait. I guess small towns have their advantages.
We waited. We talked quietly together. We got our hopes when my name was called but all it was just to take my blood pressure, again, and to explain what had happened, again. We waited some more. Kilmeny fell asleep. She woke up. I fed her. We waited.
Jared ended up taking Kilmeny home so she could get a proper sleep and we would stay in touch via cell phone. Which I said I had so it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Except that I didn't have it. It was still in the van, from when I had used it earlier. I distinctly remember leaving it in the van because I thought 'it'll be a quick visit, I won't need it'. Famous last thoughts.
I settled myself in for the wait. Since we came before supper (thinking we'd be home to eat it), and it was now close to 11pm, I was feeling faint. I availed myself of the 2nd Cup and ordered a raspberry muffin and coffee. Irish Cream Classic. The muffin wasn't exactly abounding in raspberries but the coffee was good. By that time, pretty much anything would have been good. I perused all the magazines on the waiting room table and can now recommend what you should do with your toddlers and why you should eat oatmeal and other helpful information like that while sipping my Irish Cream Classsic.
I made friends with the little boy and his mom beside me. We chatted about the hockey game. He was there for an injury during a soccer game. I talked with an elderly lonely Greek who was there because of a wax buildup. He had been held by the Germans for 22 months during World War II. He said the Germans were more efficient at giving medical help.
Then a hero walked in. He was carrying a baby. He came to save me from being alone any longer. He also came to see if I was okay since I was not answering my phone. I made a resolution then and there to always call some how if I don't have my phone. Borrow a stranger's, ask for change, do something desperate. Poor guy. Kilmeny cried for a long time (which she doesn't normally do), I wasn't answering my phone, and then he got caught in a downpour on his way back to the hospital. He rode a taxi the rest of the way.
Then we waited some more. Together.
And then, I saw the doctor. I described what had happened to me. He did a few tests to confirm that everything was okay with my brain. I passed them. Just so you know.
And then we did some fun hospital stuff like a pregnancy test, blood work, IV, CT scan and waited some more. (We're not pregnant. I thought I would tell you so you don't have to wonder and feel awkward about asking.)
And waited some more for the results of the scan. In front of the nurses station. Until 5 am.
We had to be told twice that we could go home because we were so tired.
We got home and put Kilmeny to bed. And then I cried for a bit on my man's shoulder. He held me and told me that everything was going to be okay. And we slept.
It wasn't an experience I'd like to repeat again but it brought us closer together, made us cherish each other more and forget all the little things that creep in over time. It made us more aware of God and the intricate details of our lives that He cares about and the fact that He knows what is best for us.