There's a bathroom chair right beside me and as I open my eyes I know that I need it. Close. The Undoing mud is coming out of me. Rushing out of me. And will for the next 12 hours.
My nurse is the most angelic woman I have ever met. She's as heavenly as the ER nurse was hellish. Nothing but kindness and empathy. She looks at me and says, "You didn't mean to be here, did you?" I have no words. Just more tears as I shake my head no.
I'm in a private room in the Intensive Care Unit with my very own angel. Tubes and wires snake around me preventing me from moving without her. I look up and see the number 38 on the monitor. The number that she's keeping an eye on. I know that whatever it means, it's way too low to be good.
I spend hours coming into consciousness and going to the bathroom chair. Every time I need her, she magically appears. Helps me. Is never rushed or angry. It's as if I'm the only thing she has to do.
I haven't seen anyone I know but my angel. I don't even wonder about anyone else. The peace of this place and the drugs to calm me are doing their tricks. My number is starting to go up and I know that's a good thing.
I feel saved. Safe. For the first time in a long, long time.
Things start to clear up and the reality starts to hit me. I didn't die. How the hell am I still here? I remember that my Aunt Gladys was in the ER with me. She was going to call my parents who were out of town for the holiday with the rest of my family. That means everyone knows. They'll all think that I am one of those weak people who just want attention. Who put themselves in a situation so that everyone must be focused upon them.
They walk in and I feel like their child again. I'm her baby. Her only child. I can tell it's breaking her heart to see me like this. I see the pain and guilt in their faces. What ifs float above their heads and swirl around the room silently.
They smile through their sadness and ask me how I'm feeling. I still have no words, only tears. They can only stay a few minutes. I need my rest. Just seeing them makes me tired. The angel asks them to leave.
Later, a lady comes in. She wants to talk and asks if I feel up to it. She's evaluating me. Seeing if I know what day it is, who the president is. She says that I can choose to stay if I want to. That no one will know I am here. I will be invisible to the world. She thinks four days would be a good stay. But it's up to me. I will be admitting myself. No one's committing me. My choice.
I say yes. But not for why she thinks.