On Sunday I passed out in someone else’s hospital room.
How is that for a dramatic starter? Despite the chaos that opening sentence implies, I want to be clear that this is going to be a wholesome story with a sweet message. I just wanted to get your attention first. In order for this story to make sense, I’ll have to tell it in chronological order. Without further ado, here’s a tale that involves 1 ER visit, 2 patients, 3 designated drivers, and 4 phone-a-friends.
9:30am: S. calls me to ask for a ride to the ER.
I was excited to sleep in on Sunday. With the Farmer’s Market back up, my Saturday mornings were claimed by early morning prep and sales. This meant Sunday was the only day I could stay in bed as long as I want. For a night owl, there is no sweeter luxury. But, when a friend calls you in need, you have to answer the call. I rolled out of bed, grabbed my shoes, and brought him to the ER.
11:30am: I call B. for coffee.
S. and I had been in the ER for nearly 2 hours at this point. S. is doing well, but we are waiting on test results. The doctor and nurse are fairly certain he has contracted a gastro-intestinal virus that should be out of his system in 2-3 days. As S. sleeps off the morphine, I call B. to bring me coffee and a snack. I am unsure how much longer I will be at the hospital, and need something to hold me over.
12:30pm: B arrives with coffee and a muffin.
B. comes to the ER bearing gifts. S. is still swimming in and out of consciousness, so B decides to stay to offer me company as I stand guard. We chat and sip on vanilla lattes, muffin forgotten between the nurses and doctor coming and in out of the room. It’s easier to drink coffee through a straw through a mask than it is to eat, and masks are highly encouraged in the hospital (regardless of vaccine status).
1:30pm: I have a blood sugar crash.
I will admit, this is completely my fault. I forgot to actually eat the muffin B took the time to bring me. At this point I had not eaten all day, but the sugars from the coffee have activated my insulin production. I try to take a few bites of the blueberry pastry, but it is too late: I am now laying on the floor of my friend S.’s hospital room, waiting for the dizziness to pass.
2:30pm: S is released from the ER, and I lock my keys in my car.
S is released from the ER with a prescription for nausea medication. I take him to the pharmacy to pick it up, and B tags along in her car because she also has a prescription she needs. Turns out, it was a good thing she did. As I started to close my car door, my keys fell out of my purse and onto the floor of my car- locked in. Once the prescriptions are filled, B. gives S. and I a ride home. S. says his roommate is home, so he will be fine the rest of the day. B. takes me back to my place to grab my spare key, with the intention of immediately going back for my car. Instead, my body has other plans.
3:00pm: Round 2 of sugar crash- the vomit part.
As soon as we pulled up to my house, I start vomiting on the sidewalk. I couldn’t even make the 30 steps to my front door. After a few minutes, B helps me inside, where I camp out on the cool tile of my bathroom floor. By 4:00 it’s clear I am in no shape to drive. So, we call for backup.
4:00pm: We call C. for help.
The day has descended into chaos as we have to enlist the help of a 4th friend to pickup my car. C arrives and takes B back to the pharmacy so she can bring back my car. By this time, the day is half-over. Before leaving B fixes me a cup of chicken broth to try to get some nutrients back into my body. She also reminds me to call her, C, or even our friend D if I need any further help.
9:00pm: D. checks in after work.
Our fourth and final phone-a-friend occurs at the end of the day. D, who heard about all the chaos throughout the day but was unable to assist earlier, stops by after work. he comes bearing high-sugar fruits and some Gatorade. After making sure I ate at least a few bites (and asking after S), he takes his leave.
So what’s the moral of this story?
Of course, this story is full of ridiculous situations, not out of place in a teen-drama, but one thing really struck me as I was laying on my bathroom floor: I have the most amazing friends. Each and everyone one of us was willing to drop out Sunday plans to help someone else out. From drives to the ER, to picking up a car, to stopping by to check-up on a sick friend, we call took the time to show we cared. Not many people have a support network willing to go out of their way to help someone else.
It’s taken me years to cultivate my friend-group the way I would grow a garden. I planted seeds of friendship and nourished them with care, and attention. I pruned away the unhealthy parts, and pulled the weeds that threatened to strangle the life out of the garden. As a result, I have reaped the rewards of having friends that I can rely on, and who feel that they can rely on me.
While I hadn’t intended on putting our little group to the test like this, it is comforting to know that everyone passed with flying colors. It’s good to know that when push comes to shove, we are willing to care for each other like family. What can be better than that?