The Following Story is a Fictional Truth Written in Emerg on my iPhone..Read More About it on Yummymummyclub.ca
The kerning is off between 2 letters of a sign on the wall, and the ‘K’ seems to be tilted a fraction to the right. I am itching to fix it.
I don’t know what the word actually says because my wheelchair is behind a pillar. All I see is a C and a K. If I crane my neck far enough I can see an A as well.
There’s a nasal voice over the intercom. “..can I get house keeping to Fast Track?”
Ah. Mystery solved.
It’s my first time in a hospital since my second miscarriage. I am having problems catching my breath and I have an overwhelming urge to run screaming but I can’t. I know my leg is killing me and I probably can’t see straight because of the pain, but a tiny voice -sounding pretty faint now actually- asks ‘are you sure you’re not having a panic attack?’
“..Multiple lacerations to stitch up in room 36.. Facebook me later or something.. I think we’re going to eat Greek ..”
The perky nurse stops at my left and busies herself with the woman partially-obscured by the curtain. “Ok, Hon. Let’s get this fancy mess off you..”
She begins pulling bloody cloths from off the woman’s arm, dropping them nearly in front of me. A tea towel. Some gauze, some paper towels, a ziploc bag, elastics..
Jesus, I think. What the hell happened there? But not before my heart starts doing its funny flip flop and my head starts swimming.
The blood. I can’t help but replay certain elements of my last stay. The hurtful stream of red..the O.R..
Look somewhere. Focus. Breathe.
I snap back to the present and look down at the sticky droplets pooling towards each other as they ooze out of the discarded makeshift tourniquet across the way.
I vomit before I can stop myself.
For a minute the sound of my mess hitting the floor sounds like a resounding slap. It seems to be hanging in the air.
“Sorry” I hear someone say – oh hold on. It’s me.
There’s a baby crying somewhere now as someone materializes in front of my puke puddle.
Half repulsed and half impressed at his ability to ID my dinner, I nod at the orderly in front of me. I can still hear the baby crying.
They’ve finished mopping up the floor. There is no more sign of my embarrassment, no more trauma mess from next door. The floor should be gleaming but I can’t look away.
They missed a spot.
The baby is screaming now.
Taken out of context, blood can be beautiful. Especially in hospital lighting. Ironic that the world’s single-most unflattering neon can make its most common liquid visitor look like the rarest garnet.
That floor is getting closer to me, I think.
There’s a crash.
That’s all I remember.
When I come to I am enjoying the cool vinyl floor pressed up against my cheek.
“Ok get her an I.V… Looks like the shock wore off. Poor Sweetie.” a matronly nurse is bustling through and takes the reins.
I haven’t moved yet. I’m pretty comfortable, all things considered.
“Yeah you don’t look good, kiddo..” says the nurse. Her capable hands have a kind of firm, disciplined caring touch.
“Sorry. I just.. The blood.. I felt..”
Oh crap Kat, stop talking. They don’t see that tiny smudge on the floor like you do. You’re going to end up in Psych.
The Bustler doesn’t seem to care about my mumbles. The baby now sounds like a cat being skinned alive.
“What’s wrong with it?” I ask. I make sure to enunciate so she knows I really want an answer.
“The baby? Lord knows. Its mother has been pacing the halls with it for hours and it hasn’t given her a break yet. Or any of us either.” she snorts but softens when she sees my face.
“The baby’s not a patient, Sweetie. Just a cranky little bugger.” she winks at me and I feel somewhat mollified. “What did you do to yourself?” she asks me as she deftly taps my hand for an IV bag of salene.
“Waterskiing.” I can’t help but grin.
The Bustler shoots me a mock-disapproving look “What..trying to feel like a teenager again?”
I laugh out loud but can’t help but mentally demote The Bustler a couple points.
The curtain slicks back on its tracks and my doctor announces, “Kat..you ripped your hamstring enough that we’re going to splint you up. The good news is your knee looks ok. Your hip will shift back on its own..”
I would have carded this doctor at a restricted movie. I smile at him but can’t quite keep the patronizing pull from the corner of my mouth.
“Thanks” I say, somewhat dismissively.
“Next time you’re reliving the glory days, do some stretches first. Although for the record I wouldn’t have guessed you were a day over 25.. That’s still a little old for me, but I might have made an exception.”
Wow. Is the doctor..flirting? And although part of me feels some resentment at his ‘bolder woman’ commentary I can still feel my face grow warm.
“Thanks Doogie” I say flatly, annoyed with my blush.
He tells me about pain meds, elevating, ice, and how long I need to stay off my leg. Oh no. Why didn’t i think of that before? Leg injury plus toddler. Plus travel. Plus work..
Crap. For a second I agree with the consensus that perhaps my waterskiing may have been a little juvenile and reckless. I grudgingly bring The Bustler back up in rank. But only a half point.
“Do you have anyone to take you home?”
“Nope. I drove myself.”
“You did what?! ”
“it’s ok. I have friends looking out for me.”
As if to confirm my point, my phone buzzes and whirrs loudly.
“If we get you some crutches can you make it back to the parking lot and your car?”
I think about the logistics briefly and undaunted, nod.
“We can contact your husband..”
I think of the miscarriages. I think of everything I’ve done to heal. To get me to the next chapter in my life. I think of the person I am about to become.
“No thanks. I’ll be just fine on my own”, I say.
And for the first time in a long time, I believe it.