Unexpected Visit to the Emergency Room

October 22, 2020

About a year ago, I think it was last summer if I can just pinpoint the date. Me and my girlfriend was supposed to meet at the YMCA on 135th Street because they were having a book reading. So they had a panel of poets and people who read poems and wrote poems, and it must have been about seven people in the panel. And it was a nice little gathering. And they told us that there will be refreshments in the back, and that we would be able to engage with the writers. And I had very much looked forward to that. So I met my girlfriend, Barbara, who’s a retired nurse, I met her…we met over there. It was a beautiful day. I’ll never forget, it was a beautiful day, I was so excited. And I was busy most of the part of the day. And it was like the book reading was around 4:30 in the afternoon. So here I am all the way up in Harlem and I live in Brooklyn, right? So I know I was experiencing a little ache, discomfort, but it was manageable like in the back of me. But I didn’t pay no mind because many times, I carry my pains with me. “Come on pain, we going out today.”

But anyway, I arrived at the YMCA and we signed in and they escorted us downstairs, and we were seated. And they started presenting the poems, and one of the very first poems – I have to go back and look at, find out the name of this person – he wrote…he was reciting a poem that he had written. And it was about what goes on when you’re in the emergency room. The chaotic stuff, people…you’re waiting there practically for eternity just to be seen by a doctor. It was so delirious. So finally, when the speaking was coming to a close and everybody had the opportunity to ask questions, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions, which we were. And my girlfriend, Barbara, was very engaging. But I was sitting there. And then as I was sitting there, I wasn’t feeling like I should feel. So finally when it was over, when they came down that stage there and we were supposed to go in the back, I tried to get up from my seat. And I wasn’t able to.

And I was turning this way and turning that way. And I didn’t wanna be an outcast. I didn’t want people to say, “What was going on with her?” So I struggled with getting up out of my seat. So finally my girlfriend, Barbra, she was all over the place and stuff. So I said to her…I finally captured her attention and I said to her, “Barbra listen, I’m in severe pain, I gotta get out of here.” And she said, “What?” I said, “Yeah. There’s something going on.” And it felt like it was in my buttocks. It really felt like it was in…the pain was coming from that area. So, I said yeah I couldn’t even manage to go in the back to get myself water. All I wanted to do was get back on the C train and come to Brooklyn, but it looked like every step I try was challenging, it was terrible. But I didn’t wanna be an outcast. I didn’t want nobody to see what I was experiencing.

So I grabbed her by the arm, and we walked up those stairs. And it was like for taking my first step, she says “Sharon.” I said, “Yeah.” I said, “I can’t. It’s terrible.” So she said, “Well get in a cab.” I said, “No.” I couldn’t stoop down in no cab. I couldn’t do that. So she said, “Well let’s go to this corner store and get an aspirin.” I held on to her. It was really frightening. I held on to her and we managed to get to the corner store. And I didn’t care how they was handling it. I just opened it up. It took … I’m kind of funny but I just opened it up and ripped it and swallow it. I don’t even think I had any water at the time, that’s how much I wanted the pain to go away. So I said well…she said, “Well, I don’t think you’re going to be able to manage.” I said, “As long as I could get to the train.” But I couldn’t even make it back down the road there to get the C train. And she said, “Well there was a bus.” I forgot the name of that bus because I was in Harlem.

I said, “Well, maybe I could take this bus to 125th Street because I was on 135th Street and catch the A. And she said, “I’ll ride with you half a way.” I went to step on that…she was so insisting that I get in a taxi. But I knew I wasn’t in no shape to stoop down in a taxi. I could barely get out of the chair that I had been sitting. I didn’t wanna sit again. So, I finally managed to get on that bus. Oh, my goodness, when I stepped on that bus, I must have screamed. I am so surprised that my sons didn’t hear me in Brooklyn because that’s how challenging it was. So the bus driver said, “Miss. Miss.” Oh, it was a big uproar on the bus. It was so embarrassing. And she says, “Miss I think you need to go to a hospital.” I said, “No, no, no. I don’t need no hospital, I just need to get home.”

Finally, when the bus pulled up on 125th Street, I stepped off the bus. Oh my god, it was so hurtful. And I remember grabbing a tree. I said, “Barbara, I can’t move no more.” So at that point, she called the ambulance. And the ambulance came within seconds, and then they pulled out a stretcher. I said, “No, no, no, no, no. I don’t need to…I can’t manage myself up there.” And so they said, “Listen Miss, we’re gonna handle you, we’re gonna get you to the hospital.” So I don’t know, they managed to put me up on that stretcher, or whatever that case was because it was so…my pain was so severe. And took me to 114 Street St. Luke’s Hospital, and I wind up in an emergency room. And what’s so funny, everything that that poem…that poet had talked about in his poem happened to me. I wind up in the emergency room. And I remember calling my family, my son. I said, “Listen I’m in an emergency room.” My son says, “The emergency room? Mom, what are you doing in an emergency…?” And when I said, “Harlem.” Oh my god, it’s like I murdered somebody. “What are you doing in Harlem, Mom?”

It was really…I mean, but this is what happened to me. And I wind up in the emergency room, okay? So they examined me and asked me did I have any problems, any medical issues. I had no medical issues, no nothing. So they said, “Is it the pain going down your leg?” I said, “No. It feels like it’s right there in my buttocks.” But my girlfriend kept saying, “It’s not the buttocks, Sharon. You think its the buttock but it’s your back.” But I refused to accept that because the pain was coming immediately, right in that area. So I laid up on that bed and I met some nice people who were there along with me.

And finally, the doctor came in again and they gave me some kind of injection, gave me some pills. And finally, I was able to pull myself together. And by then, my son had come. I must have…was discharged. It must have been at like 3:30 in the morning. But it was embarrassing, and it was challenging. It was hurting me to leave your house well and everything, and then go to a reading and have a poet to recite a poem of what goes on in the emergency room. And it was delirious. And here I am, I’ve wind up right there in the emergency room.