#reverb10: Moment


Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).  This is chosen by author Ali Edwards.  
Most alive, well, there are a lot of moments, but I would say yesterday my senses were truly on alert:

I pull up to the ER and I can't park, my back is killing me. I hurt myself, this is so embarrassing, trying to do some of my daughter's dance moves. I pulled it off, but after I had a burning pain in my back, it progressively became worse. Two weeks later, I can't hold my body up for long. My days are get everyone off, start machines, get online, check blogs, then do another chore, then bed. My spine feels like I have gained 50 lbs. Yes, I probably like most of you, ate a bit too much at Thanksgiving, but not that much!  I was going to get seen then, but feared I would bring home the flu. I figured if I took it easy, I would get better, not true. I was in a car accident, a long time ago and when we moved to NC, I fell on our deck. I went airborne, landed like I was flat in bed. I had to quit my job; I had sciatica down the back of both legs.  I finally had to face surgery,  I was fine for a few years and then injured myself. I felt a lump, went to Dr. He said, it was probably a calcium deposit. My back started getting worse, effecting my legs. I had a tumor sitting in the divet of my back.  Think golf term, hole in one. This is a nerve center and very painful. I fought the military for 9 months to have it removed. I was walking crooked, tipping over when going around corners and in constant pain. It has grown back or maybe they didn't remove it all. It never showed up on the MRI or CAT scan. I showed my Neurosurgeon, who agreed to take it out.   I remember the day well, doped up coming out of Post-OP, waving at people like I was a parade float. It was the day before the 4th of July.. I try really hard to be funny in hospitals/ER. I don't like them.

Yesterday, was the day, no running my daughter to this or that, no one needed anything. I took off for the Naval Hospital. I go to the front to check in, shortly I am called back. Nurse took my vitals she doesn't like my pulse. Tries the other finger, no, not good.  I said, "What do you mean not good, what is it?" It is 42; I have already told her the meds I take.  I might have low blood sugar.
No, come here, EKG. She is mean, "HOLD STILL and Don't TALK".   I am called back. I'm given a lovely blue gown to change into and the normal protocol; Hurry up and wait!  there is so much buzzing and beeping and kids crying.  Dr. shows his face, I tell him about my back, He orders an x-ray.

While waiting I write the weird poem and observe,  I hear this guy, in the next curtain, probably late 20's. He is complaining of chest pains, had thrown up, etc.  I hear another person go back, same story, then I hear he smokes. He now has orders for a chest x-ray and a stress test.  I am reminded of how lucky.  Another rush, a car accident, two people are critical.  Another lady is being guarded, she tries to run away, guard pulls her, down she goes,body slam. Ouch!  She gets up and trips goes down again, loud body smack, she is now moaning. I am peering out of my curtained room, I see red lights backing up and know this is the Alert call they receive. I go back to lay in bed, somethings I don't want to hear or see.

I hear a code, I use to be a switchboard operator, I use to page codes in the hospital.  I hate hearing them.  I hear people talking about their lives, what are you doing for Christmas. Life flashes back n' forth between chaos and everyday.  I hear my Dr, outside my curtain.  It is the changing of the guard, new crew is being updated.  He describes me as the nice lady; we can't do much for her, but she needs a referral to Neurosurgery and a drug cocktail.  We are going to let her go.  I get dressed quickly after this. He comes in and notices I'm ready to bolt.  You over heard me, "Maybe just a bit"  He said, he will be back to explain my cocktail. As much as I hate hospitals, I loved working in one, I loved being the heart of communications. I liked doing Admissions.

I felt so alive when I left, knowing I have no stress fractures and my screws are still in place, there is relief in knowing the truth. I also felt sad, for those suffering. Pain, beauty and kindness remind us of being alive. All through the hospital  is art from all  50 states, beautiful photographs. I see Maine and I'm reminded, of it's beauty and what that states means to me, the home of my heart.(clue for my GiveAway).    It seems like there is more kindness during this holiday, than others,   I wish Christmas could live in our hearts everyday; I am thankful to be alive!


Sherry Blue Sky said…
Ellie, wow. First of all, this is so immediate, and rivetting to read. I so worry about you! Be careful dancing, hey? Yikes! As you continued I was right there with you, over hearing other peoples' pain. ER's are the microcosm of the world. I worked in one too and it is all about life and death, the real stuff, 24/7. What I came away with most from this piece was "Pain, beauty and kindness remind us of being alive" and wishing the kindness of Christmas would last all year. In some hearts, it does, and I suspect yours is one of them. Thank you for writing this, and for sharing more of yourself.And take good care of yourself! Ha! Interesting - the verification word on this is "coper" - can you believe it? from one coper to another, I salute you!
wow, I'm so glad this was a story with a happy ending, Ella!
Ellen aka Ella said…
Dezz-Thank you, yes it has a happy ending!

Sherry-Yes I cope, like you! I try, but have my days, when I wonder why there is so much pain in our world. I admire your strength, Thank you!