Yesterday, my husband spent the day at work while I was in the emergency room. Similarly, my mom stayed home (furious at the ENT for not prescribing me another antibiotic when I had a reaction to the first one). It was important to me that they both stay where they were. Why? Because I have a “new normal”. Everyone goes through phases in their life where they experience a new normal. Moving to college, starting a new job, getting married, or having a kid will all rock your world and create a new normal. Similarly, having a chronic and serious disease shifts your reality. For most people, the emergency room is a big deal. They want people with them, people waiting in the waiting room, and lots of attention. This is my third (or fourth) emergency room visit in the past couple of months. For me, it has become part of my new normal. I expect it will continue to be when I start chemo.
I find the emergency staff extremely professional and courteous. They almost immediately put me in a room by myself and see that I am as comfortable as I can be. They review my patient history and are as caring and polite as a person could ever hope for. But they are doctors and nurses in the emergency room. They are unable to attend to only me. As such, there are long periods when I am by myself. I generally nap, but if I am feeling up for it, I have books to read or puzzles to work on. Yesterday my nurse rocked. She was amazing. But all her patients were discharged at the same time. As such, when she told me I could go home around three, it was after four before we got out of there. My husband showed up around four and (I love you honey) drove me crazy! He was soooo antsy. My mom, had she been there, would have been going out of the room trying to see what was going on.
As such, it is simply easier to have someone drop me off at the hospital and have someone else pick me up later. I don’t mind it, really. My mom and my husband are my primary caregivers. They have a lot of stress on them when I am sick. And there will be times when I am truly sick. Yesterday was not one of those times. Yesterday I went to the doctor, he decided I was dehydrated, he sent me to the hospital, I got fluids, I went home. This is part of my new normal. If it is something I can handle on my own (with rides from friends), I want to do so. This way my caregivers can focus on the really bad times. I have an amazing group of people who have volunteered for this sort of duty, and I’m in process of getting them all in my phone. We just all need to adjust to the new normal.