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Avatars, Headaches and the Surrey Emergency Room

Before I get into the sordid tale of my 5am trip to the emergency room, I’ll give a little update on last weekend.  I flew into Calgary on Friday for the Legacy Youth Conference at Ambrose College and University.  I was there on behalf of Beautiful Unique Girl running their booth and putting on workshop sessions on Saturday and Sunday.  It was a great weekend and other than having a room in the boys dorm hallway (yikes!) I had a lot of fun.  Both of my workshop sessions were packed with girls and I was honored to share God’s truth about their beauty and identity with them.

Sunday evening I flew from Calgary to Vancouver to visit my bff Alisha.  Now here’s where things started to get a little interesting.  In the airport before my flight, I picked up a magazine and read an article about one of the William’s sisters and how she almost died from a blood clot in her leg after a long plane ride.  Right away I thought of my pregnancy and though I’m only 6 months along, and my flight was only an hour, I was on high alert.  I made sure to get up a few times during the flight and when I arrived, let out a deep sigh of relief.

Later that evening I fell into bed totally exhausted and ready to catch up on missed sleep from the weekend.  At about 4 am I woke up, thinking I just needed to make my routine run to the bathroom.  As I swung my legs onto the floor I noticed my left foot was completely asleep.  I hobbled to the bathroom on pins and needles and when I looked down, saw my foot was actually quite swollen.  Immediately I thought of the William’s sister and her deadly blood clot.  But what was I to do?

I spent the next hour on the phone to my husband, Health Links and eventually my midwife in Winnipeg, who advised I get it checked out by a doctor.  So I sheepishly went downstairs to wake Alisha up (it was now 5 am) and tell her the news.  She graciously drove me to the hospital where we were promptly checked in and directed to the minor injuries unit.

Now I have to say I usually hate the hospital and especially the emergency room.  But try going with one of your favorite people in the world at 5 am, when you’re still really sleepy and out of it.  It becomes a whole new adventure!

As we sat there Alisha warned me that the Surrey hospital could be a little sketchy and told some great stories of her strange experiences in the past.  I looked around at the empty room and tried to imagine it full of the rough-around-the-edges people she spoke of, but it all seemed pretty peaceful.

In front of where we sat there was a large carousel-type thing full of different informational pamphlets.  There was info on everything from blurry vision to deep vein thrombosis.  As I looked closely at each label I wondered why such information was here…wasn’t that why we were in the emergency room in the first place, because we don’t know what’s wrong with us!?!  I expressed this early morning epiphany to Alisha and then looked back at the carousel, noticing an empty slot labelled “headaches”.  Seriously, headaches?

I pictured the scene – someone coming all the way to the hospital, sitting in the emergency room for hours, surrounded by Surrey ruffians and suddenly, the heavens open and a beam of light shines down on the pamphlet carousel, illuminating the box “headaches”.  They reach towards it, open its tri-fold pages and read its words.  Realization dawns and they say, “Aww crap!” getting up to leave, popping an Advil on their way out.

My thoughts were interrupted by the hacking of an older gentleman who entered the room.  Alisha and I glanced at each other, eye brows raised, as he continued to work out what sounds like a piece of his lung.  He hacked and spit rhythmically for about 5 minutes and my stomach began to turn.  It seemed the Surrey ruffians were waking.

Another guy stumbled into the room, jeans slung low, hood pulled down over his face.  He sat down across from us beside the carousel and looked up through swollen black eyes.  “I think he needs the headaches pamphlet”, I whispered to Alisha.  She stifled a laugh and we tried not to stare.  He looked vaguely familiar even though his face was in rough shape.  I noticed between his eyes, a perfectly round bloody spot, which if he wasn’t sitting there in front of us, clearly alive and breathing, could’ve been mistaken for a bullet hole.  It looked as though he’d been punched squarely in the head – hence the two black and blue eyes.  His whole nose was swollen and widens on its way up, blending seamlessly into his forehead.  I continued to wonder where I knew him from and when his name was called it hits me square between the eyes…I think we just saw an Avatar!

To make a long story short, nothing was wrong with me after all.  The cute doctor with the British accent told me my foot probably just fell asleep, and after feeling my embarrassingly hairy legs to make sure there was no unusual swelling (why didn’t I shave?), he sent me on my way.

I usually hate the emergency room.  But this time it was actually quite entertaining.  So my advice to you is next time you need to go to the hospital, call up your best friend at 5 am and drag them along with you. You never know who you might meet!

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One thought on “Avatars, Headaches and the Surrey Emergency Room

  1. oh man what an adventure at 5 in the morning! Im glad you are ok and that nothing was wrong. Better safe than sorry! praying for you:)

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