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Reality Comes Home
 
It was around 5:15 in the morning
I woke to a strange sound
I realized it was my wife Letha
Trying to breathe
 
I gave her a gentle nudge
No response
I called out her name
Again, no response
I got out of bed
Turned on the light
She didn’t react at all
 
I went over to her side of the bed
Again, I called out to her
Louder and louder
I shook her by the shoulder again
I lifted her arm
It dropped I tried lifting her leg
Still nothing
 
I placed my hands
Gently under her head
Tilted  her head back
Trying to make it easier for her to breathe
I then went for the phone
 
I called 911
“I need help, my wife isn’t responding”
Is all I could say
“Stay calm” the man answered
“Is she breathing?”
I placed the phone by her mouth
And let him hear her
“Ok” he said
“I have firemen and an ambulance on the way,
Please stay on the line with me until they arrive”
 
It was between 5 to 10 minutes
But it seemed like a lifetime
I saw the lights in the window
And went and opened the front door
Three firemen and one woman came inside
I showed them to our room
 
There were so many questions they asked
“What medicines is she taking?”
I found a list in her purse and gave it to them
Thankfully by this time
Letha was starting to respond to their questions
Just a little bit from her meant so much
 
She was able to roll across the bed when the ambulance came
I was glad the firewoman was there
She helped me put my wife’s nightgown on by then
Then the ambulance took her away
 
I grabbed her purse and put her medicines in a bag
I got in the car
And drove to the hospital
Trying not to speed
I parked the car and headed to the Emergency entrance
And then it hit me
The reality of this year
 
There were two nurses at the door
They asked me my name
I told them and let them know
My wife had just arrived by ambulance
One the nurses looked at me and asked
“Is this her purse?”
I said yes and “and I brought her medications”
“Ok” the woman answered
‘I can send them back for you
But I’m sorry
I can’t let you in”
 
I froze for a moment
I heard the words
But it was like my mind could not comprehend their meaning
And then it hit
COVID 19
I turned and went outside
I sat on a metal bench outside the hospital
And for around 10 to 15 minutes
I cried
 
Then I started thinking
I had my wife’s phone
And her glasses
I took them into the nurses
Went back to my car
And drove home
 
Around 30 to 45 minutes later
Letha texted me
They were letting her come home
 
I got into the car
Drove a little slower
Maybe
To the hospital
And brought her home
 
The hospital told her
They were not sure what caused this
But her vital signs were normal now
By that afternoon
She was doing a lot better
Just a little weak
 
We figured all of this
Was caused by oxygen deprivation
She had been sleeping in a bad position
Without her C-pap machine
I just thank God
I woke when I did
 
You hear on the news
Almost every day
Where people have to leave their family members
At the hospital
And never see them alive
Again
 
And you also hear
What toll all of this is taking
On our healthcare workers
Those that have to do their “normal” jobs
And so much more
 
This weekend
It all became very real to me
I again thank God
It ended the way it did
 
And I also thank God
For all those people
Who are willing to risk everything
Just to try
And help
 
Ed Roberts 09/08/20



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Reality Comes Home