Monthly Archives: March 2010

The ER

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   The pain in my lower back was starting to subside, but my chest was still echoing a pain deep from within. I was scared as I sat on the hospital bed, waiting for more tests to be taken. I felt safer now that I was surrounded by help if I needed it, instead of my chair at home where horrifying pictures of being ‘discovered’ by my kids kept flashing across my mind. The mind can be merciless when it’s just you, alone in the dark, with a rogue pain and a wild imagination. It was the wee hours of the morning and suprisingly, I was the only one in the ER. Until the ambulance came.

    I did not hear the ambulance when it arrived. No whirring sirens or honking, just a flurry of activity in the room across from me. Within a few moments, the room was transformed as a single voice yelled for the doctor on duty STAT and made a brisk announcement over the PA, “Code Blue to the ER. Code blue to the ER.” This wasn’t just another patient, this was someone fighting for their life. Suddenly what seemed like a sleepy ER in the middle of the morning became a busy place, with extra staff flying through the double doors and into that room across from me. Kurtiss and I sat in silence as we observed everything taking place around us. A chill went through me and I grabbed my sweater to wrap around the hospital gown I was donning. I don’t think the sweater could really have helped but it was worth a try. Scared? Yes, but not for myself anymore. Various carts were pulled into the room, then pushed out. Voices were elevated but not enough that we could understand what they were saying. There was an urgency about everything… Then it was over.

    We did not know if the person survived his brush with death. People continued to filter in and out of the room but the urgency was gone. There was a stillness that permeated through the air. New people arrived. New staff was arriving as well, as the night shift was coming to an end. I still couldn’t hear the updates that passed between them so I tried to read every expression as they walked passed the end of my bed.  It all became clear when the family was escorted by, weeping and sobbing, that the patient did not survive. I looked to Kurtiss and muttered, “He didn’t make it.” I didn’t need to tell him, he witnessed the same events I did, but I had to say it. I had to say it because I couldn’t believe that, just like that, it was over. He died. He doesn’t get to go home. He doesn’t get to tell stories to his family about the trip he took to the ER in the ambulance or write on a blog about the whole experience. It’s just game over. The End. 

   I don’t have any grand insight into the experience or words of wisdom to round out the story. I just had never shared the room with someone who was taking their last breath. I had never been that close to the act of death. I have had people die in my life but I have never been there when it happens. It’s different. Even though I never knew this man (and still don’t know who it was), I’ll never forget him. I was later released, given medication for an infection and told to follow up with a cardiologist. The real reward is I get to go home and write about it on my blog.

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Strong, tall, and slender

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No, this is not a new romance novel with the heroine viewing her new eye candy from across the room. Made you look, though!

To your grave disappointment, these words are my mantra now as I get closer to running my first 10k.

I repeat them over and over in my head as I run, bike, and cross train my way to physical fitness victory! I feel strong. I am standing tall. I am slender (I had to find a word that fit my body. Skinny will never be used in my mantra!).

February has been a little disappointing due to the multiple physical therapy visits I have had to make. Don’t get me wrong, physical therapy is helping with my back injury, but it has severely cut into my workout time and my numbers have not been very good this month. The only highlight has been a little thing called mechanical back traction which sounds a bit medieval on first utterance but has been pure heaven for my spine. It is exactly as it sounds, a device to slowly pull you apart by chains, straps and belts. There is even a panic button if the pulling gets to be too much. After years of having pain shooting down my legs and back, this medieval device is an answer to prayer. I want one for my house. And no, not for the eye candy across the room.

Absence

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This whole writing every day thing is hard to keep up with!

The truth is I have been writing, just not on here. I embarked on a personal journey a few weeks ago in the form of a Visionwriter’s course. This is an intense, daily writing project that pushes you toward a deeper connection with God and, in turn, an endless flow of writing material. It’s a love/hate right now!

I could not have started this journey at any other time and been as fruitful. It is a daily commitment, a discipline. January and February set up an early morning routine of meditation that has evolved into my writing time. I would not have given this program my daily attention if God had not put forth this routine in me. Period. I am amazed again at how little changes can reap big rewards. An hour can slip through my fingers in the blink of an eye and when I am done there are ideas, stories, and strategies that have been birthed on the page. I have an energy and passion for this crazy, totally unexpected thing called writing. Now, to the negative: I have an energy and passion for this crazy, totally unexpected thing called writing. It is overwhelming. I have the ideas, stories and strategies unfolding on the page and now I have to organize them. Write them. And write them well. And write them so people will want to read them. There are days when the task is too daunting and my fear puts the old, “What are you doing? You are not a writer!” face on and I … go shopping instead. Target has some really good sales going on right now.  

Regardless of my inner battle between the plethora of words and the desire for a great sale, I am going to try and keep my progress posted on my blog. I’ve missed writing on here (yes, I just said that!).