Just part of the normal routine for a Saturday, get up get something to drink and get moving. I’d run out to the grocery store really quick because I just had the urge for a doughnut in the worst way. So the only thing I took was the keys to the car and a few bucks to pay. Even the dog, who kept trying to follow me into the garage, was left behind. Drive a few miles, back in no time.
When I got back, all hell seemed to have broken loose. There were multiple missed calls on my cell phone and the house line as well. The Caller I.D. all showed the number for my former employer, but that was were my female half still worked. My first thought was that she forgot something and needed me to get it to her, but then I listened and heard the voice of my former boss.
“She fell down and we couldn’t get you, so I called the ambulance to get her to the hospital.”
I thanked her and grabbed the keys.
Just two years earlier we had that moment where it become important to say “I love you”. Another hospital trip that required a longer stay for her and a few more days of recovery after that. Given my own personal history, panic is about the only word to describe my actions.
Calls to my folks to let them know. Mostly just to keep me from running the car off the road. They offered to come, but I told them I’d let them know as soon as I actually found out what happened. My prayer being that she just needed a ride home because she tripped over her own two feet! That wasn’t the case.
Back and forth with the people at the emergency room trying to get back to her. Knowing all of her personal information and even lying about the exact nature of our marital status only got me so far. Then they wheeled her out. It was just a temporary thing. Back for more tests, at least this time I could follow.
Calls to my parents, calls to her parents, me fumbling to explain to a highly trained nurse what was going on with her daughter. Eventually they got there.
Remember that moment when fathers meet for the first time and it falls into a crisis moment? Yep, that would have been that day.
After a few hours they talked about her needing some rest and that it was most likely a potassium deficiency that made her go boom. Her mother trying to herd her to the car only to be faced down by me saying it was my responsibility to take care of her. Come back to my place if you wish, but that was where we were going.
I called her office to let them know I would be picking her stuff up. But stubborn female counterpart wanted to prove she could handle things for herself. Everyone asked as we walked in, everyone was happy to see her go rest after they heard the tale.
Days like that panic me. Not because I don’t know what to do. And certainly not because I can’t handle it. I’m just taken back to a time when I couldn’t do a thing and how helpless it felt. It lived inside me every day we were together. Worried some call would come requiring another trip to the hospital. They came, along with the car issues, or some other thing that meant dropping everything so I could offer some assistance. Goes with the territory!
The day ended with us just sitting on the couch. I didn’t sleep well that night or even the next few nights. Monday I even tried to take her to work myself just to make sure she was okay. I lost that argument.
That last week we were together started with one of those phone calls. Please come to the hospital, something isn’t right. Only this time there weren’t any calls to her parents. Something has always bothered me about that trip. Being asked if I was still wanting to take care of her, that hurt. Here I was, sitting there doing everything I could to swallow those fears. It was obvious to me that was her mother talking. It never made sense to me how you can ask someone that, call them for help, and then walk out the door two days later?
Oh well, she had her chance to help me when I was in the hospital just a few days later and did nothing. Just leads to more questions.