“As we tread through the path of life, always say I Love You and kiss your loved ones every chance you get, for you never know what’s on the other side of the bend”
Ever wondered whether angels exist? Well, I do!
On a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon, we were going to have a barbecue at my sister’s house to celebrate my niece’s birthday. She was visiting and her birthday happened to be during her stay with us.
My hubby wanted to go biking and take advantage of the weather. Here in Calgary we tend to take advantage of warm, sunny days because winter takes so long to finish once it sets. I tried to ask him to just go the next day since it was a long weekend anyway, but he was determined to go.
We were enjoying the barbecue with the rest of the family, catching up and having a great time. During this time the thought of looking at my phone tickled my thoughts. But my husband and I try not to use cellphones while having dinner.
Right after singing the birthday song, my brother-in-law’s phone rings. All I hear from his side of the conversation is that my husband collapsed and they took him to the emergency room at the hospital. I was on my feet even before he finished his sentence. Checking my phone, I realized that my husband texted me with a photo of the route he took. He said he was tired but was on his last leg, he was just taking a quick break for some energy and then he’ll be on his way. That was about an hour ago.
I was dialing his number and calling him, desperate to reach him. There was no answer. I decide to call the hospital and was transferred to the social worker.
“Someone called and said my husband was brought to the emergency.”
The social worker asked for my name and once I gave it she said: “Your husband was brought in to the emergency by ambulance (I put my phone on speaker so my sister could listen in), apparently he collapsed while biking and they did CPR. (My world just started closing in) They used a defibrillator twice and were able to revive him enroute to the hospital. He is stable at the moment, though it would be best that you get here right away. “
”Is he okay? Is he awake?” was all I could think of to say.
”No he is not awake right now, but he is stable. They are just bringing him to CT right now, so you don’t need to hurry. They’ll bring him back to emerge after his tests. Do you have anyone to drive you?”
”Yes, we will be there in a few minutes.” (We are stumbling out the door and getting into the car at this point.)
I had my sister and my niece, who are both nurses, with me. We didn’t even notice all the other people around us, we were just focused on getting to the hospital pronto.
My heart was racing, my hands were shaking, my mind was just running with a many horrifying scenarios. It felt like I was just watching a TV show.
I approach the windows at the Emergency Department Admitting Office.
“I am looking for my husband. I got a call and they told me he was brought in by EMS.”
The clerk asks me his name and types it in. She asks me to spell his last name, after a minute or so she says; “I can’t seem to find him here. Are you sure he was brought here and not to another hospital?”
I work in health care and I have some idea how the system works. My mind was racing and all I could hear repeating in my brain was: he wasn’t in the system and I’m praying inside: “Please dear Lord don’t let him be gone,” on repeat.
“How long ago did you talk to the social worker?” She asks again.
I snap out of my trance and try to concentrate on what she was saying. I told her I was talking to the social worker not ten minutes ago and was positive he was brought to this hospital. She checks again, still she doesn’t find him. (I’m freaking out internally and struggling to control my emotions). She advises me to go to the Triage window and inquire from there. The nurse on the window was standing there so I figured I could quickly ask her.
“I’m looking for my husband, they brought hi….”
”There is a line, go to the back of the line,” she says to me.
I’m shocked and couldn’t respond right away. I didn’t have the energy nor the wits to argue with her, so I walk to the back of the line with my niece. I knew for a fact I could not just stand there and wait, so I tell my niece to wait in line while I make another phone call to that very same hospital. I was at the brink of freaking out and trying my best to hold it together. People at the waiting room were giving me curious glances. I simply didn’t care.
The operator transfers me to the Emergency Department, “I was talking to the social worker a few minutes ago and she informed me that my husband was brought in to emergency by ambulance. I am trying to locate him.”
”Okay, what’s his name?” I give her the same spiel. “I’m sorry but I can’t find his name here.” I am losing it at this point. My voice is starting to rise.
“They called me and told me they brought my husband to this emergency department. Don’t tell me he isn’t here, because I was just talking to the social worker not ten minutes ago. He was brought in by ambulance unconscious and I have to find my husband. You have to find my husband!” I’m saying this in between sobs and with tears falling down my cheeks.
The lady on the other line asked me where I was and I told her I was in front of the emergency. She tells me to go to one of the windows and asks me again to spell the name of my husband. I could tell with her facial expression that she couldn’t find his name there. I’m freaking out inside and asked her to please find him. She pages the social worker at this point. (Don’t ask me why they didn’t do this the very first time I approached the first window) In the meantime, she is trying to talk to me and reassure me. (I must say it wasn’t working. I wouldn’t be reassured until I see my husband. Deep down was my fear that the worst had happened and I knew I wouldn’t know what to do if that were the case)