The E.R. and July

It is July right now, which means it is the countdown to "death day" once again.

That day when I literally woke up, and my healthy, 46 yr old husband, had left for work, collapsed at work, been rushed by ambulance to the E.R., and, oh yeah - 


That day , July 13th, when I called a cab and then got into a cab - which I stll dont remember doing - and ran into the E.R. , to be met with a gaggle of nurses and doctors, who would solemnly and calmly inform me that my beautiful husband had died. 

Eight years later, it still doesnt seem real, when I think back on that day. 

It still gives me chills and a nauseous feeling to go there in my brain, 

and the E.R. still gives me pains of anxiety, panic, and a feeling like someone is punching me in the gut,

over and over,

until my husband is dead,

and I am dead,

from the sheer knowing of it. 

Something about the E.R. in the month of July, 

it likes to mess with me. 


Two years ago, just 2 days before the death anniversary of my husband, 

I passed out while brushing my teeth, and my skin was yellow-ish. 

All of a sudden, I could barely walk. 

My boyfriend of two weeks (at that time - now it's been two years) drove me to the E.R, and then sat with me 

for hours, while they did a million tests and ruled out scary heart things, 

and tried to determine what on earth was wrong with me. 

My liver numbers were through the roof, and they just kept climbing. 

For about 5 weeks, I was on bed-rest, and walking 50 feet made me exhausted. 

My skin was pale and my eyes were dead, and I was scared.

Being in the E.R. in the month of July, just 2 day before the death anniversary of Don, 

was all kinds of terrifying and trauma-inducing. I kept re-living the day of his death. 

I kept having images of that day, of me being told he was dead, dropping onto the floor and screaming. 

The smells and sounds of the E.R. brought all of it back. 

They never really figured out why I got so sick so quickly, but turned out I had some kind of bacterial infection. 


Fast-forward to 2 days ago, the morning of the 4th of July.  

I was in bed, and was woken up by tremendous pain in my center chest area. 

Terrible pain. Over aand over. I couldnt get comfortable and felt awkward in my own skin. 

I was sweating from the pain, and I stayed up hours trying to relieve it, and googling "heart attack in females, symptoms", 

just to further give myself more anxiety. 

Finally, around 4am in the morning, I woke up my mom and said: "Something is wrong with me."

She took me to the E.R. 

I waited and waited, stalled and stalled, 

because that is how much I hate being there, in that E.R. 

I ran inside, doubled over in pain, crying, and nobody was there. 


They were doing construction on the hospital, and nobody was in the registration area of the E.R.

We had to pick up a phone on the wall and tell someone that I was there and that "I might be having a heart attack." 

While waiting for my mom to park the car, and for a human to show up and take care of me,

the image came back again. 

Those image from eight years ago. 

There they were again. 

Me, running out of a cab I dont recall calling for, 

and into the E.R., running, and hearing the front desk woman whisper on the phone about me: 

"She's here." 

The sick to my stomach feeling of hearing the words, 

"He didn't make it. We did everything we could." 

It all came rushing back, as I tried to convince myself that I wasnt having a heart attack too, 

one week before the anniversary of my husband having a heart attack. 


They did the E.K.G. and ruled out all the scary stuff. 

As I was awaiting the results, and starting to fall into panic mode again, 

there was a computer monitor in the hallway in front of me,

and an E.M.T. wearing a blue uniform very similar to what my husband's used to look like,

was typing something into the computer.

Before he walked away, he put the screen back to the desktop, and then to a screen-saver.

His screen-saver was a giant rainbow. 

For those who follow my story, the rainbow is hugely significent. 

I always see it as Don's way of making me laugh,

and letting me know, 

that he is still very much a part of my life.

I laughed out loud. 


I wasnt having a heart attack. 

They gave me meds for the pain, and did a cat-scan on my abdomen and chest area. 

There was a lot of waiting, and a lot of me trying to push away grief triggers. 

In the end, the diagnosis was gastroentrilitis. 

Something you get from either food contamination, 

or public contamination of something.

Another bacterial infection, sending me to the E.R. 

In July. 


Im okay. 

But I would really rather not have to make any more trips to the E.R,

ever again if possible (I know it not possible),

but especially,

not in July.  



Showing 2 reactions

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  • Karen Lawrence
    commented 2019-07-14 22:53:14 -0700
    Wow. Just wow. Hugs to you and prayers for no more trips to the ER. Your book has meant so much to me. Thanks so much for sharing your stories.
  • Peggy Nagle
    commented 2019-07-05 22:45:10 -0700
    I hate July, too and the hospital. She was so sick last July that she finally agreed to go. She had already gone 2times last year in Feb and March. This was her last admittance. I would spend all night with her and every day for 16 days until she died in my arms. I had to go to the ER for blood gas tests this year and it was deja vu for me, but she wasn’t there with me. I want more time with her. Is that why it’s so hard to go through her things ? I can’t make myself call to donate the hospital bed and special mattress and hoyer lift because we had to work so hard to get them for her. They were supposed to make her better.

    Thank you for your story of loving him.