Gendusa: ER visit is eye-opening

Published 6:51 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2017



There must be a law written somewhere that if one goes into labor, gets very sick, or needs a doctor in a hurry for any reason, it will be late in the evening or in the wee hours of the morning. To add insult to injury, many times those events occur on a weekend.

Yes, I think there is a law written somewhere.

Of course, the other Friday night about 10 p.m. I had to go for one of those visits to the ER. Of course, my husband was out of town. Of course, the pharmacy had closed, and of course, it was the weekend.

I am fine, but had an infection that went awry, of course, at an in opportune time!

My friend and neighbor, Deborah, took me. Bless her sweet heart! It helps to live next door to an angel. I don’t even like to bother any angels, or anyone else for that matter.

Of course, the waiting room was crowded. They couldn’t have named a “Waiting Room” a better name, because wait is all you do.

After giving my information to the kind lady in the reception area, the nurse took my vitals and some blood. They inserted an IV in my left arm and sent me back to my chair to wait beside Deborah.

“Why, the IV?” Deborah asked.

“Not sure, but it sure makes me look like I officially belong here.” I replied with a chuckle.

When I glanced around at the other people waiting, I realized I could write a whole book about the folks in the ER.



A woman was so sick, she was laying in her husband’s lap as he stroked her back. Her color was just short of white, and her pain was evident in the sad eyes that resembled gray pools above her white mask.

Deborah and I hoped she would be seen soon. I was in pain, but not as sick as she was. I could wait.

A little boy sat across from us. His huge brown eyes were constantly searching for someone or something to calm his fear.

His dad, or a male in his life, was asleep in the chair beside him. His mother, silent, holding on to her slightly swollen abdomen. It was hard to discern which one was needing an emergency room.

We decided that the mother might be pregnant and in trouble. I looked for an ID band on her wrists. There it was, the band that put pure fear in her son’s eyes.

Even after midnight, the little boy sat alone as his mother was called back to be examined. The accompanying adult male was still asleep in the chair. The child with the wide opened eyes continued to stare at the door waiting for his mother.

We hoped that she would return with good news to her little boy and we hoped, even more, that someone would just hold this little 5-year-old for a while. He needed it and, again, I could wait.

Around 1 a.m., an elderly gentleman strolled in holding on to a cane. He was alone. I glanced several times at the door waiting for someone to sit with him. No one ever came.




His loneliness overwhelmed me. Where was the angel neighbor or the family? There was none.

I could wait, the pain seems better.

“Cancel code blue, cancel code blue!” the voice from the intercom repeated.

“Wonder who that was for?” I asked Deborah, as if she would know.

“I hope it wasn’t for that terribly sick woman that had been waiting for so long,” Deborah responded.

We sat silent for a moment thinking about how precarious living can be. How within just moments, a code blue could be for you or someone you love.

“Lynn Gendusa?” I heard someone call in the background.

I rose and Deborah followed.

The young, cute little waif of a female doctor met me outside.

“You have a nasty infection, but we have no ER rooms left. It has been a crazy night, so I decided to put you in this triage area to help you,” she apologetically explained as she led the way.

Deborah sat on the gurney beside me. The IV came in handy to get the big dose of the antibiotics I needed, plus some fluid.

The young ER doctor couldn’t have been nicer. The accompanying nurses were worn and frazzled by the stream of patients with various illnesses that had walked through their doors.




All the medical staff was staying on past their shifts to help out on this busy Friday night in January.

I tried to keep them laughing to lift their spirits and mine.

But what I really wanted to say was, “Thank you.”

How many times do we take those that heal us for granted?

How many times have we thought our pain was greater than others or that we deserved to be first because of it?

How mad do we get because we are forced to wait?

How sobering it is to realize that others need help before we do. How wonderful it is when a “Code blue” is canceled or a little boy returns to his mother’s arms.

Deborah and I left for home a little after 2 a.m. Yes, I  was still uncomfortable, but as strange as it sounds, I am not sure I will ever see the ER quite the same again.

I saw it as a place for others to get help and healing.

For me, I could wait.

Maybe I grew up a bit, maybe that’s a law.