Last week, on Friday morning, I took my husband to the Methodist Hospital ER Unit on S. Voss in Houston. For the prior four days, he had been running temperatures which got up to 101-102. For about a week before that, he had been complaining of feeling tired and not very hungry. I had been trying to keep him hydrated, and putting ice packs on his neck and head when the temp got high. I had been sure that I was losing the hydration battle, and now water was making him nauseated and he was throwing it up. So I took him in, believing that he needed more care than I could provide.
Their ad said they accepted people regardless of ability to pay. I told them up front we have no money. They treated him for blood sugar and slapped saline solution in his arm. Three hours later, the doctor tells me the ambulance is on the way to transfer him to the hospital. I haven't driven alone in years, much less in a heightened state of anxiety. By now his fevers were spiking to 103.
My brother took my car home so I wouldn't have to pay humongous parking fees. My mother-in-law called. Our cell phone died. The room phone died. Tuesday night, they still didn't know what he had, but he was hitting and passing 105, and his face and neck were turning beet red. Wednesday night, I came unglued. I was scared he wasn't going to get well, or he would be disabled in some way. I was scared of how we were going to pay for it. I started crying. My brother doesn't "do huggy touchy feely.' I did not have a single person, other than my husband, I could talk to, and he was sleeping and running a fever. Maybe if I had a tablet, I could have chatted online. There's not one person in Houston I could talk to, except a cousin I couldn't call at that hour. I prayed and cried and prayed some more. Then I cried some more. Then my husband's fever broke and he woke up, and I talked to him. What I know is that life without him would be unbearably lonely.
The hospital finally released him Friday. They still didn't know what kind of virus he had, but his temp and blood pressure and blood sugar had all stabilized. I have no idea what the bill was. A young woman had come up to talk to us Monday, and I told her we had no money and no assets, and she went away saying she'd turn it over to the woman who handles charity cases. That was the last I heard, and while I know a bill still might show up, I suspect the hospital donors took care of it.
When I got home, I saw that 5 or 6 people had responded to my post about going to the ER with wishes and prayers, and after I posted that we were home and he was ok, another 2 or 3 posted comments. I have prayed for about 30 of my FB friends when they have asked for it for themselves, their spouses, their children, their parents, etc. I cover everyone in a general prayer daily, and I am sure that there are a few who did that without posting anything to me. I'm not going to stop being me; I'll still pray for those who need or request prayers. I'll vote for them to win contests. I do feel a little sad, however, that I am as alone as I am. It would have made me feel a lot less alone if more of the people who are real life friends would have posted something, just so I would know that they care about me.