They walk away telling her to stay there for a few minutes.
Back out to the waiting room to wait for a room to become available.
Time to follow them again.
So hard to keep up. They are quick and she hurts. The pain is excruciating.
She does her best to keep up, shuffling along.
She sits on the ER bed. Wow! It’s soft and comfortable. Maybe now she can relax just a little.
But the pain. Sharp, stabbing, radiating into her whole abdomen. She can’t get comfortable. Nothing helps.
More people come in. Time to go to ultrasound. That shouldn’t be bad, she thinks.
Oh, they poke and prod into her ribs, into her abdomen, into the pain. Damn this pain. “Take a deep breath and hold it”, she’s told again and again. She’s told, “stop breathing…now breathe”. The only words from the woman in olive green scrubs with the blonde ponytail. Does she have a name?
In her little room again she finally goes. Her daughter is there at last. Now she’s not alone. Thank God she’s no longer by herself.
Next, vitals. Her nurse is lovely. She’s from Ohio. And her doctor wants a CT scan. They found something on her pancreas. Her heart sinks. She’s now in pain and so frightened.
To CT scan she is whisked away, but after she has pain medication. Ah, pain meds. They hit her head fast and she is somewhere far from here. They could do anything now. She’s sleepy and silly.
She moves to the big slab that enters the donut, aka CT machine. They place her arms above her head. She is comfy! They inject contrast into her veins. The sensation is strangely warming, EVERYWHERE!
In moments she is taken back to her little room to await the results. She is so afraid, but the feeling is overshadowed by goofiness because of the pain medicine.
Her daughter laughs at her antics and asks her questions. She makes a grammatical error and corrects herself which makes her daughter laugh. She puts a tiny rubberband on her nose just because she can. Her daughter takes a picture. Wow! This stuff is wild! She’s so tired but can’t sleep because the doctor will be coming
He enters with news. Pancreatic cyst, pseudocyst or cancer. The question is raised as to where to follow up? She is just here for a week. She will follow up at home.
The physical pain is gone for now, but has been replaced by emotional pain. She will call her husband. She needs his love and support as much as she needs her daughter’s right now.
With prescriptions in hand, She leaves with her daughter. Shocked and saddened but relieved to have a diagnosis at last. The hurt in her heart is a heavy burden but her family are her strength and will help her see this through.
The cases were packed with care, their faces filled with anticipation.
She would be driving for hours but the excitement was palpable all around her.
She hugged her husband goodbye fighting back tears. She loved him so much, but it’s just a week, she reminded herself.
A week with these kids she loved so much, but they could be wild at times. She would manage and somehow relax. Of course she would relax.
With the van filled with kids and luggage, they left on their 22 hour journey. A journey of adventure to the Sunshine State. Music and laughter filled the van. Would she survive this trip? She would and she learned to enjoy every minute.
Rolling fields of emerald, forest and grassy green fill the fields.
The cattle low gently as the amber sun sets.
The farmers come in from working in hard on the land
To tea of boiled potatoes, butter, and cabbage.
The scent of the turf fires fills the countryside,
A scent of homecoming and warmth to my senses.
My little car chugs gently down the boreen.
The low stone walls all around, the reek as a backdrop.
The tall grass smacks my car as I pass,
Just past the new church and school now.
I’m home at last,
At home, here in Killawalla.
This is a poem dedicated to my dad and his home in the west of Ireland, a place I have always loved and treasured from my childhood. I hope you can imagine it as I have it written. A boreen is a very small road. Killawalla is an actual village.