Once again, it’s been a long while since I’ve taken the time to sit down and write in this forum. Life sure has a “gift” for getting in the way. Since I last visited with you, lots of things have happened. For one, I’ve started attending college again. Yep, I’m in the process of pursuing two bachelor’s degrees simultaneously. What the heck am I thinking?!
The biggest change is that Deb and I are no longer engaged. A few weeks ago, Deb broke it off. I can’t say that I entirely understand why, but I’m glad we’re still friends. If you’re expecting some juicy scandal, or for me to go on a tirade, you’ll be disappointed. Deb is still one of my all-time favorite people, and I still love her with all of my heart. You see, our circumstances may have changed, but my feelings haven’t. I will never utter a negative word about her and, in my heart, she’ll always be a beautiful lady.
Of course, this post isn’t really about either of those two events, although they both play into it, and I’ll likely post about both of them soon… and quite often, I’m sure.
No, this post is to talk about my recent health scare and my visit to the hospital.
Late last week, I started having excruciating pain in my chest and abdomen, accompanied by fever, nausea, weakness and a host of other symptoms. My first thought was, “Oh great! It’s another stomach bug.” That would have made my fourth “stomach bug” this year. I really didn’t think it could be that, but I was hopeful that it would pass on its own in a day or two. It didn’t.
Friday night found me doubled over beside my bed praying and sobbing because of the severe abdominal pain. By “sobbing,” I mean crying like a baby and hoping that I could keep from screaming. I did keep from screaming, but just barely.
Saturday and Sunday came and went and I didn’t even leave the house. On Monday, I decided to work from home, hoping I would feel better. Tuesday saw me too sick to work at all. That’s when I decided to go to the hospital and have it checked out. If I had been smart, I would have done that much earlier (duh!), but, as I often say, sometimes life gets in the way. This is especially true when one is trying to work a full-time job and pursue multiple college goals. OK, those may be convenient excuses to cover up the fact that I really don’t like hospitals.
At any rate, I decided to go get checked out.
Kevin was busy with something and he has never liked being in hospitals and that is especially true since his mom passed away. So, I decided to drive myself. Bad idea. I nearly took out the neighbor’s garbage can and almost wrecked my car on the five mile trip to the ER. My guardian angel was working overtime.
Fortunately, the little hospital here in San Tan Valley is always super efficient and they had me in the back getting checked out before my shadow was entirely inside the building.
Once they did the EKG, standard procedure if you say anything about having any sort of chest pain, they had me in an ER “room” and were starting the process of finding out what was wrong. A little while later, Kevin walked in. I knew he didn’t want to be there, but I appreciated his willingness to be there to support dear ol’ dad.
After a few hours of watching me get wheeled around from one test to another and poked and prodded, Kevin was getting increasingly uncomfortable so I suggested that he go home, which, sensing that nothing life-threatening was going on, he did. I get it. He is not at all comfortable in that environment.
It was then that it really hit me. I really am alone, in many ways, for the first time in my life.
Over the years, Cindy and I had accompanied each other to the hospital many, many times. Whenever one of us would go, the other was right there, fluffing pillows, fetching water, changing the TV, or doing whatever we could to bring comfort to whichever of us was the patient of the day. Most of the time that amounted to just sitting there and holding hands.
As I sat there in that little cubicle all alone, I realized that I no longer have anyone to hold my hand. Cindy is gone and Deborah decided that’s a part she cannot play, at least not with me. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not badmouthing Deborah nor am I, in any way, angry with Cindy. I’m also not throwing a “pity party.” It was just a startling realization that my new normal means that there very well may not be anyone to hold my hand when I go through life’s dark hours. In the back of my mind, I always kind of knew that, but on that day, it smacked me right square in the face.
Yes, some tears did fall at that realization. This is my new reality and, if I can be totally honest with you, I don’t like it one little bit, but it’s here and I can’t change it. Once I gained my composure, I folded my hands in prayer and talked to the one person whom I know will never leave me.
I’ll get through this; the current health issue, the loneliness, all of it; but I will never forget that brief time yesterday, in the ER, when I would have given the entire world just to have someone there to hold my hand.