Last Saturday evening Luna was down for a nap after a full day of soccer and I was getting ready to lay in bed and work on IEPs when my brother called. My brother never calls so I knew something was wrong. He said my dad had gotten home and found my mom passed out and she wasn’t making any sense. He was calling the rescue squad. My heart sank. I put on my shoes and drove to my parents house arriving at the same time as the rescue squad. I ran up their steep drive way not waiting for anyone and found my mom unable to speak and exhibiting signs of a stroke. I ran next door where I got help from my parents neighbor Jess (who I also go to church with) and got the pets up and a phone charger. Just having Jess in the room while they assessed my mom helped to calm my nerves. I will forever be greatful for her help.
The rescue squad was able to determine that my mom’s blood sugar was at 29. Dangerously low and was probably the cause of all her symptoms. To be safe they were taking her to the hospital to be checked. I was glad since she had never been that low in the 15 years she had been managing her diabetes. Since my dad had not eaten dinner and it might be a long night, I told him I would go to the hospital and get my mom all checked in and for him to eat before he came. I gathered up her stuff and went to the ER for the third time since February.
When I got to the ER it was packed. People filled the waiting room. I checked my mom in and then took my seat among everyone else. They said they would call me back once they got her stable. I sat in my chair and looked around. There were people of all ages and races. The mood was somber and quiet. The news was on and people were staring at their phones. A young boy started crying when he couldn’t go back with his dad and brother.
The ER is such a stressful place. I looked in my purse and decided to buy a drink. I walked up to the Coke machine and bought a soda. Then I looked around the waiting room had an idea.
Does anyone want a drink?
Everyone in the room just looked at me. The little boy stopped crying and looked up. I walked over and asked,
Can I buy you a drink?
His mother gave him the ok and he walked up to the machine and made his selection. Then I bought him a snack. I looked in my purse at all the change.
Who else needs a drink?
After I bought a couple more the mood began to lighten. I chatted with people about my soccer sweatshirt, about acts of kindess and about their loved ones. I talked the nurses into turning on the final four basketball game and we talked about basketball. We were all in that waiting room, and although our lives may have been very different, at that moment we shared a common experience and I used it to give to others and talk to them about loving others.
My dad walked in and he sat down. We continued to talk basketball. The nurse called me back and I went to check on my mom. They had stabilized her blood sugar and she was feeling much better. After awhile I switched with my dad and went home. I exchanged glances and waves with the people in the waiting room knowing I might never see them again.
Being kind is sometimes as easy as using all the spare change in your purse. The Emergency room can be a stressful, scary place. When you show people kindness and love the mood in a whole room can change. I have learned that every moment can be an opportunity to love others, even a trip to the emergency room.