March 2014, Indianapolis, Indiana
At about 10p, after three hours of a headache that would not stop and had eventually resulted in half my face being numb, Dan decided we should go to the ER. I had been curled up in bed with a heating pad for a couple hours wearing sweatpants. I couldn’t think clearly, but I knew I should change. I changed numbly and teetered downstairs to put on my shoes in the dark. I chose socks + Toms. The comfiest combo I know.
Hospitals bring me lots of anxiety. So when I found myself in the ER that Dan’s work at with what I thought was just a complex migraine but was really a brain tumor, I was anxious. And I wasn’t afraid to tell anyone I was afraid, wanting them to know: This resident you all like so much? Who is so calm under pressure? His wife is usually not this crazy.
The nurses were great. One, in particular, was calm and funny. After taking my vitals, she walked toward the end of the bed to leave the room (no, curtained partition). She looked at my Toms. “Hey, sis, you’re shoes don’t even match!”
Sure enough, one light gray shoe, one dark chambray shoe. And I laughed for the first time in several hours of complete pain and fear.
I told Dan I wanted him to thank her for her kindness and lightheartedness the next time he saw her. And he did, several weeks later. He thanked her for me.
Hospitals don’t have to be scary. God gave me some relief in the middle of a bunch of scary events. And it was that nurse.