It’s Thursday morning, and I’m sitting here at my desk in a very mismatched outfit. I’m wearing a tan/black striped shirt, and my “bite me” gingerbread pj pants that I bought from Old Navy before Christmas. I should be heading to the gym, or taking the dogs out for a walk, but I’m hoping I can postpone that another hour or so. I’ve been wanting to blog, but then don’t, then want to again, and don’t again. The thing about blogging is that you should just do it when the mood strikes you, which is what I try to do, but I’ve had some difficult things happen in the last week and though I know I needed to write about them, I just couldn’t. But blogging to me can be very cathartic, and a great stress reliever for me.
My thoughts seem very jumbled, so if they come across that way, I’m sorry.
A week ago today I found out that a friend of mine had been in a really bad car accident. I was so scared and worried for her. Her car was totaled, she cracked two vertebrae, had a bruised spleen, among other injuries. But the kicker was that it had happened the Monday before. No one told me. Apparently it was on Facebook, but because I had not been on Facebook since the previous Monday, I had no idea. Her husband didn’t text me, she didn’t text me, our mutual friend didn’t tell me (she thought I knew because of Facebook), and I was pretty pissed off. You’d think if you’re friends, someone would tell you right? If I had known, I could have helped them out, brought some meals to their house, visited her in the hospital…
Well, that’s when I decided to go to the hospital to see her. I was already on base doing some errands, but then found out she wasn’t at the Army hospital, but rather one in town. I wasn’t even thinking when I called her room and said to her husband, “I’ll be there after lunch”, because I wanted to see her and give her my support. I did what any good friend would do.
As soon as I got to the hospital, I saw the parking lot was full as usual. I drove around for a good 10-15 minutes trying to find a spot, the whole time my chest was starting to tighten up and get REALLY uncomfortable. I was not feeling good about being there at all.
Finally I found a spot and pulled in. Taking a deep breath, I steeled myself and stepped out of my Honda. I walked over to the main entrance, and as soon as those doors opened and the hospital smell wafted over me, I about panicked. I wanted to run back to the Honda and go home and forget I ever even tried to come to the hospital. The smell was too much for me, but I kept on going, putting one foot in front of the other and eventually reached the elevator. So many thoughts kept going through my head.
You see, this is the hospital where Barry died. And I had not stepped foot into it since then.
My heart was literally pounding out of my chest, my breathing was fast and labored, and my chest hurt like a bitch. I was doing a most horrid job of holding back my tears too.
As I stood waiting for the elevator, my first thought was a memory of the day Barry died. I had walked out of the elevator with my friend Lisa, into the same lobby I was currently standing in, and said to her as we walked out: “When I left this hospital the last time, I was leaving with Barry and our brand new baby, now I’m leaving without him, and he’s dead”. I recalled so much as I was standing there waiting for the elevator, all my memories came back to me, I was crying, my chest hurt and I just wanted to run back home and never come back.
The elevator door opened and I was about to press the “7” to go up to see my friend, but I instinctively pressed “10”, and went up to the 10th floor where Barry died.
Why? I don’t know. Perhaps I had a morbid curiosity to go back, and see where it all happened again. To remember, to feel the pain again, just one last time to get closure so I’d never feel like I had to do it again. When those doors opened, I cautiously turned my head to the left to peek at the door of the room he was in, and it all came flooding back. I stood there in front of the elevators crying, staring at the room where my life ended. Desperately wishing I could go in there, and knowing I couldn’t because there was another patient in there.
I turned around and saw nurses staring at me from the nurses station, and noticed one looked oddly familiar. I told her I thought I knew her. Turns out I did. Why? Because she was the nurse that was with me when he died. She was his nurse. She was the one that put tape on his eyes after he died when I tried to close them, and kept saying to her over and over “his eyes wont close”. She was there with me every step of the way. She remembered me, and I was so happy to see her…to tell her I found a wonderful loving man again and got remarried. But at the same time, I just wanted to cling to her, and not let her go because she was a tie to this awful day 3.5 years ago. I desperately wanted her to remember with me. I turned around one more time and saw the door of room 1029, and then went back into the elevator.
I did get to my friend’s room, and I am glad she was asleep when I got there. I spoke to her husband for a few moments and told him I couldn’t stay, and wouldn’t be back. He understood, and I hope he told her why I wouldn’t be back. This hospital had/has too many bad memories for me, it was the source of Life, and Death for me, and I didn’t want to face that again. Have you ever had an anxiety attack? I had not expected that to happen to me, but it felt awful. I felt shaken up even hours later after I had got home. I still haven’t seen her and she’s been home from the hospital for almost a week now. I just can’t. Thinking about going to her house to see her even reminds me of the anxiety attack I had, reminds me of Barry, reminds me of things I’d just rather not remember right now. Those are those little things you push to the back of your memory…like the primal scream you give in the stairwell when the doctor comes and tells you they can’t find a heartbeat, like how a heart monitor sounds when it goes flat, and trying to close your dead husband’s eyes and not being able to. Things like that.
I really wanted to write a happier post, and had another angle I was going to go with for today, but I suppose words come out the way they want to. On a happier note, tomorrow the twins will be 12!! I’m not having an easy time with this. 12 is not such a big deal, but the realization they will be 13 in a year startles me. I’M NOT READY FOR TEENAGERS!!! (more on that later!) I’ll write a blog post about that soon too.
It looks like the sun is starting to peek through the clouds, so I am going to go throw on some proper clothes, and take the dogs for a walk. I feel today I need fresh air, and not a gym. The fresh air will be cleansing for me right now.