Reflection: It Started With An Emergency Room Sign

The sign with an arrow supposedly pointing where the Emergency Room was, still sat on the construction wall at the hospital. I balked at how there was still a missing building after all these years and just piles and piles of dirt being moved around.

WAIT. How long had it been, I thought? How long had I seen bulldozers at this site? I could feel my mind’s wheels turning. It had to have been before I became severely ill over 2 years ago and could barely hold myself up on the seat as Corey “rush drove” the car down Santa Monica Blvd. I remembered that same Emergency Room sign that faked us out. It wasn’t a sign pointing into the entrance, it was a sign telling us what street to turn on next–vaguely explaining the location of the actual ER. Talk about a let down. I have never wanted to find an ER so badly in my life. I felt as if my head and body were hardly together and I was so incredibly out of it and nauseous. I really didn’t know if I could make it any longer in a moving vehicle without vomiting. Little did I know, 2 months later I’d be diagnosed with lupus. CRAZY.–And after that I’d know the location of way too many doctor’s offices, where to get bloodwork, the best places to eat, the best places to walk, where to park, which building had which doctor, etc.

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THAT was 2 years ago.

Today, as I walked with a bit of a spring in my step down the street even after seeing that Emergency Room sign (I used to cringe and get a twinge inside), I thought about what my Pulmonologist had just said to me a few minutes before that at my appointment. After chatting for a bit, he started reminiscing about how I was 2 years ago. How I had such a hoarse voice, my sinuses were out of control with a major chronic sinus infection, I still had a deep cough that indicated I had a pretty chronic upper respiratory infection that just wouldn’t go away, I had horrible post nasal drip, my throat almost almost always hurt, I felt awful and was very low on fatigue and I could hardly hold my head up to look at him. Now after 2 years of a very strict, proactive and aggressive medical treatment plan (medications including antibiotics over and over again for months, ointments, sprays, taking all asthmatic medication away because it was irritating more than helping, sinus rinses every day, numerous breathing tests, rest, lupus treatment, and all of my other medical care enhancements, him always taking my calls within the SAME DAY, etc.), my voice is much better. I told him today that I thought my voice was still hoarse and he said it was nice to be able to hear me. He used to have no idea how I was able to even talk let alone breathe at all. And to think, I only saw him at first so I could make my Neurologist happy and he’d say my breathing was OK and I would be cleared to start taking the new oral multiple sclerosis medication, Gilenya.

The BEST part of the appointment came at the end. I am still BLOWN AWAY. Call me STUNNED. He said, “Call me if you need me. No need to schedule an appointment. I think we know by now that we communicate when needed right?” and I stumbled all over myself, even stepping back to regain my composure, and said, “Um, yeah. Yeah we do. REALLY? I don’t have to schedule an appointment at all?”. And he shook his head a bit and said, “Nope.”.

My mouth dropped and I felt like at least a layer of weight had been lifted from my shoulders. AMAZING! I wanted to run down the bleak and clinical hallway outside his office and yell to everyone (not that anyone was there) that I didn’t have to schedule an appointment. I had graduated–at least from one doctor anyway! In the past, he had always wanted to see me in a few weeks, a month, then 3 months, then maybe sooner depending on what was going on, then in 6 months (THAT WAS HUGE) and now this! An OPEN ENDED commitment! NO WAY!

I’m still baffled.

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So there I was taking my walk down the street after passing that Emergency Room sign and thinking about just how long they’d been doing construction on this building and WONDERING if they’d EVER get it finished and it all started coming back to me. Waves of awareness were flowing in. Flashes of the entire 2 years of good and bad and the journey I’ve taken. This isn’t necessarily unusual for me to reflect but the context was completely different.

I AM GETTING BETTER.

It’s slow. Holy moly is it slow–in my mind. BUT part of my journey was finding out that I was a major physical and mental mess and it was going to take a lot of patience (and still does) and one foot in front of the other to get to get healthy. I still have quite a ways to go but I NEED to have hope. Today gave me some more of that.

HOPE.

With the sun (lupus) and the summer (MS) messing with my mind, it is hard to have perspective. Everything acts up in my body and I feel trapped more than during other seasons. I can’t really ever stop being hot. I can’t even really get away from the UV rays (fluorescent lights bother me too) so I’m always just trying to TRUDGE my way through it all and it is HARD.

–By the way, at this point I could point out to the hospital authorities that their Emergency Room sign isn’t that accurate about the actual location and they need to fix it. Do you think they’d want to hear from me about that after all these years? Yeah, I don’t think so either.

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Reflection: It Started With An Emergency Room Sign

  1. Great post, and congrats! LA

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