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The last of the autumn leaves still cling to the trees in our yard; they are a delicate burnt yellow. When the sun shines, they light up my inner landscape. The temperature is mild, and it has been raining. The air smells of raindrops and leaf mold.
Attila spent an entire weekend at home this past Saturday and Sunday. A quiet peace has returned to our home in the form of snores and clattering pots and pans. The rhythm of our lives has been restored to the zone of comfort.
I underestimated the intensity of my excitement at the thought of Attila's prolonged presence. On the other hand, perhaps it was something I ate. The very first night of Attila's return, Friday night, I awoke with alarming chest pains. I decided to wait it out, Attila snoring happily at my side. As time passed, I thought the situation through, deciding that waiting it out was a foolhardy option. Pain can cause one to rethink any course of action. Rousing Attila, I began to dress for a trip to the emergency ward of the hospital. Within minutes, we were on our way.
Health care may be in decline in Ontario, but that night it shone brilliantly. It probably helps to have an easily identified, common sort of health emergency. I was admitted quickly and examined immediately. The pain had begun to subside by this time, to my great relief.
I was advised that there would be a six-hour delay between tests. I turned to look at Attila, standing by my side, as awake as he could manage on his first night of sleep freedom. I asked him to go home and go to bed. I promised I would call him when I wanted to come home. He did not struggle long with the concept, and soon kissed me good-bye.
There I lay, hooked-up and monitored, for the next eight hours. The whole time I felt grateful to have such care. The whole time I felt grateful that my condition was now painless and unlikely to be life threatening. Others around me were not so lucky.
My first set of tests indicated that I had not had a heart attack. I regarded this as extremely good news. I fell asleep immediately.
The second set of tests indicated that I had not had a heart attack. Just what had happened was, and is still, unclear. The need to seek the advice of my family physician was stressed.
Soon after the final test results arrived, the attending physician had a chat with me and released me to find my way home.
I called Attila from the lobby of the emergency ward. He sounded very happy to hear from me, and to know that I was in good health and feeling fine. He had slept the entire eight hours since I last saw him.
I walked out of the emergency ward into the sunshine, happy to be alive, happy to be walking. It was relatively early in the morning, and there were few people out and about. A cold, brisk breeze blew down my neck, so that I pulled up the hood of my parka. I was standing there in the sunshine, warm and euphoric, when a familiar car drove up and I was offered a ride. Attila wore the most wonderful smile.
We decided to pop into a nearby store to pick up some things we had needed for months. As I pushed the cart up the aisle, I suddenly became aware of a myriad of needles tunneling into my chest and back. At first alarmed, I was soon blushing furiously as I realized the nature of my problem. In my joy and haste to leave the emergency ward, I had forgotten to remove the sticky bits applied to conduct my ECG and other tests. Now they hurt, and they were impossible to ignore.
It was a socially awkward situation. Never one to be deterred by potential disgrace, I began as discreetly as possible, to rid myself of the sticky bits. First, I unobtrusively undid some buttons on the front of my shirt. Watching carefully for fellow customers, I reached into my shirt and began to rip the sticky bits off. Some came off quite painlessly. Others, the ones with metal nipples, clung to my skin with ferocity. These required additional force and privacy, as it was impossible to remain completely silent as I yanked them from my chest.
As far I know, no one was aware of my clandestine activities. If anyone observed the removal of my sticky bits, they were too polite to say so. Perhaps it was just that Canadians silently retreat from most displays of eccentricity, equating it wrongly with raving lunacy. I prefer to think that my attempts at subterfuge succeeded and that my public image remains pristine.
I am beginning to make some background changes to my site. On the surface, all remains as it has been.
Behind the scenes, my ISP has decided to change the URL for my site. Since this will necessitate a great deal of bother and change, I have decided to make the leap to my own domain. You can access my new location at http://www.maggieturner.net. My new email address will be Maggie Turner.
This move will be patchy and I am sure not to have anticipated all the complications. Particularly difficult is the migration on the Yahoo Web Rings. Please bear with me and please do let me know if any problems arise. The old location for the site will remain as long as the ISP allows. For the moment, I will update both locations.
I have decided to setup a notify list at my new site location. I will send an email message, to those who desire it, when a new journal entry is posted. You can join the notify list from the main Maggie Turner page at http://www.maggieturner.net. Please let me know if you have any problems with this process.
|RECIPES :: Cast
An Angel's Ladder
By the Easy Chair
by Tracy Chevalier
The steady rhythm of my own heart on a hospital monitor. There was no sound, but I could hear it.
On the Screen
Saving Private Ryan
starring Tom Hanks
Temp: 15` C
Wind: SW 20 km/h
Barometric:101.5 kPaSunrise 7:17 AM EST
Sunset 5:00 PM EST
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