The ER

So the clinic sends her to the ER for a chest X-ray and they’re like, “Oh ya, that’s bad pneumonia,” and start pumpin her with antibiotics. They’re doin all these tests and say her blood sugar is in the danger zone of 400+ and start an insulin line and Mom’s like, “What diabetes?” but by then, Kim and I are with her in the ER tryin to wrap our heads around diabetes—like, bad diabetes at that—when some doctor with his leather jacket and bag like he was just comin or goin saunters in and says he wants to see her chart and images because he doesn’t think it’s pneumonia. Nope. Heart attack. Blood is swimming with dead cells. Must have happened weeks or months before. See there? Arteries clogged. Do you remember when? Mom’s jaw is hangin open. Heart failure. Need to place stents. Cath lab closed, will have to wait til mornin. At this point we’ve called Dad workin four hours south and he’s on the way. We’re just staring at each other in shock. They stop the antibiotics. They try to find her a bed in the hospital. Full. Will have to spend night in ER with people—loud people—six feet away on either side of the curtain. Mom couldn’t lay down, so we finagled the “eatin” table over the top of her bed and she leans over on it with her head on her arms like she’s prayin. Weirdly tiny mom. Dad arrives. Kim and I eventually stumble home. What. The. Fuck.

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