When I had a friend take me to the hospital, I said, “If we have to pay for parking, I’ll pay.”
“No,” she said, “we don’t have to pay. I’m worried that you won’t be able to breathe so we should get there fast.”
When her car slows at the entrance, she’s looking at the front windshield and says, “Well, Grace, this is as far as I can go.”
“Okay,” I say.
“Let me know if you need anything,” she says.
I leave the car as it’s pouring rain. Maybe she’s hungry. We hadn’t eaten all day. Or maybe there’s a lot of germs in the ER and she doesn’t want to get sick.
The hospital emergency room is very fancy, they give you a heated blanket. This like is a hotel with medical care. where are the beeping machines and rushing gurneys?
The receptionist says, “Do you want to leave an emergency contact?”
“Uhm,” I says. I could put that friend’s name who drove me, but realistically would they care if I had a heart attack, if they literally just left me at the hospital? I put Pan’s name.
I have to repeat my symptoms to a lot of people and it’s a bit embarrassing. I don’t want them to think I’m contagious or anything. In fact, I diagnose myself so they don’t think I have smallpox.
“I think I have an allergic reaction,” I say.
I’m seen within 5 mins. They officially diagnose me within another 10. They say it’s serious.
A heated blanket lands in my lap, the bed is covered with cloth instead of paper, and I get a private room. When can I go home?
The doctor says, “You’re not driving home.”
“Oh,” I say. “Ok.”
“No,” he says. “I’m asking if you’re driving home.”
“Oh,” I say. “No, I’m not driving home.”
“How did you get here?”
“A friend drove me.”
“So they can drive you home.”
“Uh,” I say. “Yea.”
“I’m asking because this medication will make you very sleepy and you can’t drive.”
“Oh,” I say. “I won’t drive home.”
“Do you think the allergy will affect my hands?”
“Not permanently. But you will need a few more days of rest. You won’t get better today.”
He explains the prescriptions, asks if I have any more questions, then gets out of there. Between people entering my room, I text my friends so it feels like more people are concerned about my wellbeing.
Should I text my friend to come back to pick me up? She lives less than five mins away.
I spent the day shopping with her so she can get her first makeup and first dress. I showed her how to use makeup and hair products because it was important for her. She gained a lot of confidence. Towards the end of it I was starving and I still stayed. I was having an allergic reaction to something, so I didn’t want to eat anything that I didn’t personally cook.
In the evening, we did her makeup for two hours until I said I should go to the emergency room now. I had brought it up a few times but i had reached the end of my waiting.
When I get in the car 45 mins later, my friend says, “I got lost. I went to the other entrance underground and I texted you but I don’t think I had signal.”
“That’s ok,” I say. “Thanks for coming.”
During the ride, she says, “I originally wanted some dessert but I realize you must be tired.”
“Oh,” I say. “You want more of my blueberry loaf? I can get you more.” I had baked some loaf and given her a slice this morning.
“If you’re too tired, it’s fine.”
When I get upstairs, I give her two large slices which is more than half of what I have left. This loaf makes me popular. I tell her she can keep the container however long she needs.