I create context. I also write blog posts:

Panic.

Posted: January 12th, 2012 | Author: | No Comments »


It was a moment of panic, receiving the text:

Hey at hosp with your parents ed with chest and abd pain  ekg ok on first look just took bloodwork  he is ok will keep u posted  your mom doesnt have phone call or txt me if u want her

It’s strange living in a world where a text message can carry so much weight, cramming so much in a hundred and forty stupid, punctuation-free characters, normally reserved for “Hey, I’ll meet you in 10″ or “Which aisle do they keep the artichoke hearts in?”

I excused myself from the table where I was sitting, eating pizza and drinking wine with friends. “I have to go make a phone call. They just took my dad to the hospital.”

My aunt picked up the phone. It was her phone; she was at the hospital with them, and my mother’s phone had disappeared a week before. So she picked up the phone.

“Hey, what’s going on?”

“He’s all right, we just brought him in. Here, I’ll pass it to your mother.”

There was a second of silence, and some ambient noise as I heard her pass the phone. Then, as the handoff was being made, I heard her say to my mother, “see, I told you he’d call immediately. Thirty seconds, that’s all it took.”

A brief moment broke from panic, a moment of pride. “See, I told you he’d call immediately.”

I’ll probably never be paid a bigger compliment.

The panic came back.

“Hey, how is he? What’s going on? Is he in pain?”

We talked about what was going on. Chest pain, but it doesn’t seem to be anything major. They’ll have him on something for the pain in a little bit, but they don’t think it’s serious. Tests have gone well and they’re waiting for blood work to come back.

The panic subsided.

It didn’t go away, but it subsided. And later, once he had something for the pain, we were able to talk to him.

“How are you doing?”

“I’m fine dad, but we’re talking about you right now.”

“I’m ok. Say, have you gotten to use the iPad we got you for Christmas?”

“Yeah, dad, the iPad’s great. What’s going on with you? How are you feeling?”

“I’m ok. I’ll tell you, I was in some pain there but I’m feeling much better now. Give my regards to Kelsey.”

“I’ll do that. But let’s talk more about you.”

Apparently, the drugs made him chatty. Things could be worse.

It turns out, twelve hours later, that he should be fine. The panic subsides further and we get closer to the end of this. It’s not over, but we’re closer.

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