Tuesday, April 26, 2011

hella weird day.

Well, it's been a helluva day. My eleven o'clock was cancelled, due to the professor's being out of town. I planned to sleep. And then sleep some more. I woke up around 8:15, stretched, planned to go back to sleep, but saw my phone blinking. A text from one friend saying, "Whoever gets up first, call me", and then from another friend saying, "You up?"

This was unusually early (yes, on a college schedule, it is) for anyone to be texting me. I texted back, "Yeah, what's up?" The next text received read, "I just took [friend's name] to the hospital."

The adrenaline spike launched me out of bed. I got dressed, cracked open a can of Vanilla Coke and down half it, grabbed some notebooks and booked it to the ER. I've been here before, about three months ago when a different friend whacked her head against the arm of a sofa and got a concussion (yeah, not even kidding). I spent the next four hours in alternating states of a brightly lit room, a very dark room with only this pale bluish light from the vitals monitor, being wide awake, nodding off, wondering when exactly I'd finish studying for my final at 3.

But it's amazing how things like exams get kicked back in their place when you're holding a girl's hair out of her face as she throws up for the fifth time into a bedpan, when her head's pressed against your chest as she turns death-pale and whispers "make it stop", when you're sitting there trying not to cry along with her.

It's been a long day. It's not over yet. Another friend (there are five or six of us in this pretty tight circle) showed up in time for me to run to my first class, make it to my exam, and now I'm back here. They've admitted her (after trying to discharge her, for which I was not present) and moved her out of the ER to an actual suite. It's amazing the effect a big window and a picture of bluebonnets have on a room. It's also amazing the effect the right anti-nausea medication will have. She's sleeping now, which is good. Better than good. I can't imagine she's really slept in almost a full day now.

I'm having one of those odd moments where I feel fragile and invincible all at once. I've never seen someone in so much pain, much less someone who hates showing pain. But this - this being here for someone, it's one of the few things in my life I've never questioned. I was made for it. Yeah, sure, it's rough sometimes, but this is what I am supposed to do. By supposed to, I do not mean obligated to morally, I mean designed to. It's...it's a reassuring thing on a day like this.

Bonus: the nurse for this new room remembers us from the last time we were here with the other friend, the one with the concussion. What is it with this town? The nurses recognize me on sight now, apparently, and some of the baristas by name.


About an hour after I wrote this, a round of bad storms swept through town, bringing with them tornado warnings and sirens. Everyone in the hospital got moved into the hallways for safety's sake. For an entire hour. Then apparently really honest conversations happen late at night in hospital rooms, and things get said I never expected to, and good grief I've reached the point of sheer disbelief today could actually happen in real life.


Georgie K. Buttons said...

Oh, dear, I'm so sorry! I hope everything works out and that your friend gets better really quickly. I'll be thinking of you both.