I had plans to rack up some miles this past weekend. I did 10 on Saturday with every intention of doing 15-20 on Sunday because why not? I had a list of things on YouTube to watch while I pedaled my little heart out, and when those were done, I have roughly 20,000 things on Netflix, CBS All Access, and Prime to plow through.
The weather was good enough that I could have gone outside, but I'm sticking close to home because Max is all over the place on how well he's doing and if he'd come out of his room to tell me he wanted food, well, I was damn well going to be there to get him something to eat.
So Saturday night I took my benedryl at 9pm, and at 10:15--just long enough for it to start working--I was ready to shut the computer down and go read in bed for a bit.
But my phone rang. No one calls me. Caller ID said it was the Spouse Thingy, so I picked up, curious, because he would text, not call.
It was not the Spouse Thingy. It was a co-worker telling me that he was on his way down to the ER. He'd gotten lightheaded in the middle of a case, his heart rate was up, he felt nauseated, so they'd slapped him on a gurney and she was walking down with him. And then she handed me his phone so he could talk to me...and I couldn't understand anything he was saying.
Worth noting, I usually can't understand what people are saying on a phone. But I can him. He and the Boy have voices within my frequency range, and normally I don't have to guess what they're trying to tell me.
This time his voice was staccato, and I wasn't sure if he was slurring his words or not. I could feel my BP rise, and my own voice jacked up a bit, trying to get him to talk to me, but the call went dead.
And he didn't answer when I called back. Twice.
It's 10:15 at night, I'm night blind, the hospital is 30 minutes away, and I don't know what the hell is going on. So I texted the Boy and told him I would probably need a ride, what I knew so far, and I tried to not panic.
I threw pants on, took my other meds, and waited.
The phone rang again, and my damned DND kicked in and sent the call to voice mail, but I knew it was the hospital so I tried dialing back. All the person who answered could tell me was that he was just triaged and admitted, and someone would call back.
It rang again, this time Mike's co-worker. She was able to give me more details: he had not been slurring his words, but they'd gone into an elevator and lost reception. The trip to the ER seemed precautionary given the symptoms, and she called a nursing supervisor to see what protocols where in place, whether I could even go into the hospital or not.
Last week, I could have. This week, no.
So I texted the Boy again and told him I wouldn't even be able to get in to be with the Spouse Thingy, and eventually--after him calling me because texting takes too much time when you don't know what the hell is going on--someone handed the Spouse Thingy a working landline.
He felt a lot better but had gotten seriously lightheaded, to the point where he had to ask for someone to come in and take over his case, and he needed help getting out of the OR. The dizziness and nausea were a little too familiar; he'd had the same thing a couple times in the last 6 weeks or so, the other times resulting in him horking his toenails up and spending a day in bed.
I Googled the shit out of it while he waited in the ER for lab results--they were ruling out a cardiac event just to be sure--and landed on benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It was familiar because a friend had just gotten the same diagnosis following a trip the the ER. I texted him again, ask about that, and he replied that it had already been brought up as a possibility. But he was feeling much better, it had just become a matter of waiting for the second cardiac enzyme test before he could be released.
The Boy waited at home, awake, because there was a chance we'd need to go up there and get him. But by the time he was released, he felt okay enough to drive.
By the time he got home it was nearly 4 in the morning or thereabouts. He was hungry, so the nausea had abated. He wasn't dizzy anymore. And he was fine to go to work Sunday night.
Someone had to get up to feed the cats, and that someone was me. At 8:30. After 3-3.5 hours of sleep. So no, riding 20 miles was not going to happen. And yes, I did just make this all about me.
And no I have not made up those miles or any others yet. Between that and Max stress, I have not felt like it.
This is the scary thing: if someone you care about has an emergency you will not be allowed to go with them. You might be the one to drop them off, but you will not enter the hospital, and you will wind up waiting for a very long time to get even a tiny bit of information. If he hadn't been a hospital employee, there's no telling how long I would have sat here, terrified that he was having a stroke or heart attack--because those are the things I worried most about--and if it had been something major, he would have been alone.
Wear your masks when you're in public, people. Even if you think this is all overblown bullshit. Wearing a mask helps calm the fears that others have, and it doesn't hurt you. And maybe if we all get on board and just do it, the infection rates of everything will drop, and we can get back to a sense of normal...and if the worst happens to someone you love you'll at least be able to be with them.
Consider it an act of kindness.
Not an inconvenience, not a violation of your rights, not caving into hysteria.
Just an act of kindness.
I'm lucky. The Spouse Thingy is all right. He may go wonky and barf a few more times, but he's all right. Someone else might not be as lucky, and let me tell you, the feeling of impotence in this situation is hard.