Deja vu


Bill pulled open the van door and sat down in the passenger seat. He smiled at me and waved his wallet.

“Ready to go!” Bill sat back. I nodded as I observed the beads of sweat in his forehead and across his upper lip. He looked even pastier…if that was possible. Seeing him like that just strengthened my resolve.

“All right then! We are off to the city!” I responded attempting a light heartedness.

“Anne…I am so sorry that you have to do this.” Bill said as he buckled his seat belt and I pulled out onto the main road.

“It’s absolutely no problem Bill. I’m happy to do it. Sure beats looking at another camper with a scabby band aid!” We both laughed.

“This gig must be a lot different then what you usually do in hospital where you work?”

“Oh yes! It certainly is. But I’m learning a lot and I am finding that I really am enjoying the camp atmosphere.”

We chatted amiably as I followed the same route I had taken into town only twelve hours prior. The sun was on the rise, there was hardly a cloud in the sky and a gentle breeze was blowing. It was going to be a fantastic day at camp. I imagined Himself chilling on the fishing dock, a thermos full of coffee at the ready, reading a book, while listening to the waves lap at the sides of the dock. Perfection and a well deserved break for a guy who worked more than forty hours a week and then took care of the kids while I worked the weekend night shifts. Vacationing at camp was nothing close to a spa vacation, but for a couple of hard working people with three rambunctious children, it was as close to it as possible and the price was certainly right!

Bill and I discussed this as we drove. Being a high school teacher, camp was also a way for him to provide a wonderful summer experience for his children and make some money to help pay off the mortgage as the director’s job was a paid position. Neither of us doubted that our children would benefit greatly from their attendance at camp. 

As we drove I noticed that the sweat on Bill’s brow had disappeared and his cheeks had, perhaps, pinked up a bit.

“Are you feeling better?” I asked as I managed the curves on the highway.

“Yes. Much. I almost felt like I was going to faint after coming down the stairs from the cottage but I think sitting quietly like this with the air conditioning on me has really helped. The dizziness seems to be subsiding now.” Bill looked at me sheepishly while I tried to resist pooping my pants.

“Oh. Dizzy too, eh? You had not mentioned that earlier.” I said super casually.

“Ya. I kind of forgot to, but I have felt like I was going to pass out a few times over the last week.” Bill nodded as he looked out the passenger window. “Do you think that is something I should mention when I see the doctor?” 

“Yes I would be sure to mention it.” I responded nonchalantly as I subtly pressed down harder on the gas pedal and I reviewed the steps of single rescuer CPR in my head. I realized I had planned well by wearing pants that covered my knees. The pants would limit the amount of tearing on the skin on my knees as I performed CPR on the gravelly roadside. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! 

Staying alive!

When we pulled into the emergency room entrance I put the car in park. Bill undid his seat belt and opened the door and gingerly got out.

“I’m gonna park the van and I will be in shortly.”

“OK. Thanks again Anne. I sure hope this is nothing.”

“Me too Bill.” I gave him a thumbs up.

I watched as Bill slowly walked towards the emergency room sliding doors and straight towards the registration desk. I pulled around into the parking lot. I gathered my backpack, entered the waiting room and sat in the exact same seat that I had occupied just hours before. Why not? Bill was no where in sight. I guessed he had already been whisked back there. Complaining of chest pain usually got you pretty prompt treatment. This morning I was the only one in the waiting room. I pulled out my book and started to read.

I had been sitting quietly and reading for about forty-five minutes (a rare pleasure for a mum of young children!) when someone sat down beside me. I looked up to see that it was Dr. Holmes. 

“What’s scoop?” I asked as I put my book down.

“Well…there are abnormalities on Bill’s EKG. We are awaiting his blood work to see if there are any elevated cardiac enzymes. I’m planning on doing an echocardiogram when the tech gets in this morning and we will see where we are at.”

“So you think he had a heart attack?” I said as my jaw dropped and my eyes widened.

“That or I suspect a pulmonary embolism.” Dr Holmes responded with a grim look. “I’m sure glad you brought him in!”

At that point I surprised both myself and Dr Holmes when I burst into tears.

Oh my!

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