When you reach your seventies, it’s not uncommon to spend time in an ER. A little over a year ago, my husband suffered a small stroke and tried to get help by dialing 911. His speech was impaired and 911 hung up on him three times. He called me. By this time his speech was so disabled that I thought he was goofing around until I heard him say the word “stroke.” I told him to call 911. left my grocery cart and sped home. I could’ve called 911 myself, but I wasn’t thinking. Somehow, by the time I arrived home, an emergency team had already arrived.
Yesterday, my husband started experiencing distorted vision and tingling in his arm. Remembering our last experience, we decided to make a trip to the clinic instead of using 911. We got there and were told to go to urgent care. We got to urgent care and they told us to go to the ER, which by the way is only a few blocks from our home.
During this time of running around, my asthma started to act up and I began hyper-ventilating. Thoughts of the two of us going to heaven together ran through my mind. We finally got to the hospital. Two hours later we were ushered into a room. A nurse came in, got his information, followed by a doc who examined him. They decided to page an eye doctor, thinking there might be damage to the eye. He closed the curtain and left.
We sat for another two hours, looking at each other. Our creative minds became bored. Maybe we could use the disposable gloves as slingshots and fire spitballs into the hallway to get attention. We might blow air into said rubber gloves and make balloons out of them, surprising the doc whenever he did arrive.
We twiddled our thumbs, had a puppet show with Paul’s hat, danced with happy feet while sitting and waited again. We thought of the possible outcome. Would his sight return to normal? Would Paul be able to paint anymore. Were they sure it wasn’t another stroke? What would I do without this man I’ve spent a lifetime with. We had to do silly things to keep our minds away from those thoughts.
At last the doctor arrived and diagnosed a small hemorrhage in the retina caused by macular degeneration. This is treatable, but the doc suggested getting right into a retinal specialist asap. Five hours after our initial departure, we arrived home. Feeling relieved, but still concerned.
The waiting continues, since he can’t get into the clinic until Friday. Just what do you do while you wait? I’d really like a few suggestions, since it will probably be a common occurrence from now on.