It's Tuesday afternoon, and something feels off in my midsection. I ignore it, thinking that it's just minor aches and pains. I haven't eaten since 4 pm, but I'm not hungry. Throughout the evening, the pain and pressure in my pelvic area worsens and the pain during urination is almost unbearable but I still ignore it thinking I'll go to the doctor in the morning, so I put my five-year-old son Ash to bed. A half-hour later, I realize I need to go to Urgent Care. This hurts, and now there's blood.
I wake him up and we go; I forgo eating dinner so we can make it before they close. It's a relatively quick process - in and out in an hour-and-a-half - and my sleepy son is doing well. I feel sorry for him as we go to the nearest 24-hour Walgreens so I can fill my antibiotic prescription. I get to the counter and wait. And wait. And wait and wait some more. The pharmacists are all busy. I am worrying that it's 10 pm already and my son needs to be in bed and how long will it take to fill the prescriptions after they get them - but they won't get them because they are taking too damn long! I realize I am hungry and I open a granola bar that has been lurking in my purse. I eat a few bites as a pharmacist finally comes over to help me. She asks if I've been there before, and suddenly I know something is very very wrong.
I feel sick and I think I'm hyperventilating. I say so out loud, thinking this is very similar to an episode I had 15 years ago. I think to myself that if I can't catch my breath, I'm going to pass out. The world goes gray, then black, and I see a train rushing at me and I think there's a train wreck. I realize I'm dreaming and it's time to wake up and I bolt upright. There's a weirdly familiar guy looking at me, and I realize he's a pharmacist at...where was I? Walgreens? You mean Walgreens isn't part of the dream?
Ash - where's Ash! I panic, but he's right next to me, freaked out. I hear people running around, there are so many people here that weren't here a minute ago. They are asking me questions, giving me tissues, telling me how I threw myself backward from the counter rigidly as though I had a seizure and how I landed on my head and kept my eyes open the whole time. Someone is asking Ash if he wants to look at toys. Don't let my son leave!
The paramedics arrive and ask me to call someone to help with Ash. His dad is not answering his phone; neither is Chris. I'm scared for Ash, who is up too late and freaked out. The paramedics are insistent that I call someone - anyone - and I keep trying Chris, hoping he hears his phone - I know he's awake, he's preparing to leave for MI for 8 days the following morning. Finally he answers and relief floods my body.
Chris arrives in record time and the paramedics insist I go to the ER even though I don't want to. I know I didn't take care of my body today - I didn't eat enough. I know I've been running on fumes for the last four days, barely able to put one foot in front of the other as I moved my house and worked through intense deadlines and meetings. I know I have a infection raging inside my body.
They hook me up to an IV on the way to the hospital and it hurts. I am scared for Ash, worried about my meetings the next day and really worried about Chris getting ready in time for his flight out the next morning.
I wait in the ER three hours (Ash gets to visit me once) before I'm finally told it'll be another six (!) hours before a doctor sees me. Screw this. I know what's wrong with my body and my son needs to go to bed and my friend needs to pack. After a big emergency, someone finally comes down to see me about my request to leave, has me sign a waiver and asks me to keep someone around for the next 48 hours to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Finally, we leave. I get Ash to sleep around 1:30 am and I have a fitful night's sleep. This morning I have a meeting at 9 am, but I know I can't make it. I text a coworker, who jumps right in to cover me, and wait for Ash's dad Johnny to finally get all the messages we left on his phone the night before. I can't meet him at our normal meeting spot to exchange Ash; my car is still at Walgreens. Five minutes after our meeting time, I get the call. He comes over to my house to pick up Ash and offers to watch Ash this evening while I continue to recover.
Chris comes and gives me a ride to my car before he leaves. I'm tempted to ask the Walgreens manager for the surveillance tape so I can actually see what happened.
When I arrive back home, I discover two more caterpillars in my living room (one of which has created a hole in my carpet under a box - can anyone help me identify? I tried to upload the photo but it's not working) and realize my internet is still not working. I have one more meeting I need to attend and at least two hot deadlines to make today. I can't do it. All I want to do is lie down on my bed and rest my head. And so I do.
My coworkers and clients are gracious and understanding, for which I am grateful. I have a massive headache, but think that the reason I don't have a bigger goose egg on the back of my head is because I was wearing a plastic clip to hold my hair back and it shattered as I fell. That's two in one week, dammit!