Seriously? What the F*ck is Happening Right Now?

When life comes at you fast — faster than ever before.

Susan Poole

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Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

Everyone has at least one story about how their life changed dramatically in a flash.

I thought a cancer diagnosis several years ago marked “the big one” for me. But oh, no. Someone had other plans. And here I am again, wondering what happened and how to move forward.

One minute, I was going about my routine. I woke up Thursday morning thinking about my daughter’s wedding in July and anticipating her homecoming this weekend to pick up her gown.

First, there was lots to get done. I conquered the daily Wordle while I drank my coffee before setting off for a work appointment. After a busy morning, I cut out to play pickleball with a neighbor, excusing myself after the second match because of a looming headache. I couldn’t afford to feel sick with my daughter in town, so I went home to catch a quick catnap before finishing up a few other work projects.

When an ache in my stomach joined the one in my head, I called my girlfriend to ask about COVID symptoms. Was it going around again? Could this rapidly increasing feeling of yuck be signaling a positive test result? Or maybe it was the flu.

I checked the Urgent Care hours. They closed at 7:00 pm. Better get there before then. But after a quick nasal swab and a prescription for something to settle my stomach, I was negative on both fronts. The nurse assured me that my low-grade fever was nothing to be concerned about, and simply said, “Head to the emergency room if it gets too high.”

I called my husband shortly after that. He’d been traveling for work, and I expected him to arrive home long after I’d gone to bed. His phone went to voicemail, so I figured he was on his way.

Around ten o’clock, the stomach pain worsened, and the fever had spiked. Hubby was still in the air, and something told me it was time to go to the ER. The closest one to my house is freestanding, not attached to a hospital. I’d head there.

Wait. On second thought, what if I needed to be admitted to a hospital? Ambulances freak me out, so I drove further to the closest hospital ER. Good thing I did.

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Susan Poole

Mother, lawyer, nonprofit executive, breast cancer survivor, and aspiring author. Recently left her day-job to write about topics that she’s passionate about.