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  • Writer's pictureEmily Taylor

Anxiety and Hospitals

There are times where life stops. Someone says or does something, and it feels like the whole world freezes around you. You are locked in that one moment, and it stretches on into eternity as the enormity of all potential outcomes stretch out before you. At the same time, you are also keenly aware of each second, each heartbeat after that initial, eternal moment. You feel trapped, in two places, at that point. The eternal moment, where you live, and the world around you that keeps going.

There are times, after those moments, where you look back and wonder… Did you know? Could you suspect that moment was coming up? For someone like me, where the simple act of living can produce anxiety, the answer is always yes. I always suspect something will happen. I am like one of those gazelles in the nature documentaries. My ears always twitching, eyes perpetually scanning. Danger is out there, I know it’s out there, and I know I need to be prepared for it to strike.

When we went to the Field Museum last weekend, we saw an exhibit on three megafauna species and their reactions to danger. A giraffe fled, a hippo hid, and a rhino attacked it. I asked the guys what their reactions would be. Boychild thought for a moment, and then decided on giraffe. He would run. Husband said that he preferred the hippo’s idea of finding a spot to hide. I laughed because between the three of us, I felt like the rhino had the right idea. Turn, face it, and try to scare it off by being crazier and louder.

But, in those eternal moments, sometimes you CAN’T be louder or crazier and drive danger off. So you’re left with all this anxiety and adrenaline and nothing to do with it. What happens in those times? Well, from experience, you try and organize what you can, while your inner self just…screams. So, I make food, I do laundry, I putter around and wait. The screaming and flailing is still there, just unseeable. And I wait.

The waiting stemmed from the Husband going into the hospital on Sunday. Overall, it was truly minor but with potential not to be. He’d had a fever for a couple days and his leg had redness and soreness. We live in a rather small area, so the clinic was closed on Sunday. Plus it was Easter. I pushed him to go in to the ER to have it checked out since an infection like that can turn bad fast. I had expected them to prescribe antibiotics and send him home. Instead, they kept him overnight.

So, on good days, I’m anxious. Some of it stems from ADHD and the multiple trains of thought running through my head at a given time. The past couple years haven’t been kind. That changes the level of anxiety even on calm days. And medical concerns add to that. Additionally, in the nearly two decades we have been together, we have worked hard to not spend a single night apart. The streak was broken, and the unexpected difficulty was that I ended up cat-napping in the recliner in our family room. Sleep was not coming for me that night.

He’s home now. They have loaded him up with antibiotics, and I have to change and adjust our meal plans since he also came home with a Diabetes diagnosis. It’s new, and it’s a different kind of stress, but I’ll take it since he’s home. The internal voice isn't screaming at the moment, thankfully. It's changed over to measurements and weights, food logs and lists. The anxiety is still there, perpetually looking for that hint of danger, but it's quieter and more directed now. We'll see how long that lasts.


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