The waiting room

It happened almost 3 years ago, on the 16th of November 2014 in the morning, when I got a text from my loved one where he said he was feeling ill at work. A coworker called the ambulance and they went to the closest hospital. I was in college back then and as soon as the class was over I rushed to get there.

On the road I stumbled upon his mother, whom was going towards the same direction. We were close to the destination and in 10 minutes we arrived at the hospital. He was getting checked in the emergency room and the colleague was waiting outside for us. Short after, the doctor on guard came and told us that the ultrasound was done and gave a preliminary diagnostic until the MRI scan would be performed.

The moment I heard the word tumor my world crashed. I panicked and wanted to cry even though I knew that it might not be the final result. We had to keep our calm because he didn’t know anything. When I saw him walking outside the door I rushed to hug him. Surprisingly he was very optimistic and even hoped he could go home that night.

Then B. was scheduled to do the MRI scan. We waited with him and it didn’t took long until he was called inside. Neither of us wanted to panic him and we didn’t say a word about what was told to us. When the scan was over the doctor came and looked over it. Having done this further investigation we finally had a certain diagnostic. It appears that a cyst on his kidney had ruptured and flooded the entire organ.

Further he was transferred to another hospital and was admitted there. Because we live in a very bureaucratic country we had to wait a few good hours until we could go to the salon. B. was lonely, scared and with no one to comfort him. He was kept under observation until the next day. Because the cyst was bleeding constantly on his kidney I wonder why wasn’t he operated that day? Why the residents told us that the bleeding might stop and that the surgery might not even be necessary? The explanations we got weren’t enough for us to comprehend the whole situation.

His father came also as soon as he got out of work. We both stayed until 10-11 pm and his mother stayed overnight. The next day the attending said that he will most likely have to remove the kidney because at that point it was too damaged. After the doctor left, B. panicked and cried. I wanted to take the pain away but I couldn’t, we couldn’t. All our hopes were left in Gods hand.

When they came to take him to the O.R. my heart stopped. I didn’t want let go. I was scared so badly and my mind was filled with too many Grey’s Anatomy scenarios. We rushed to the waiting room. The room where all your deepest fears show up. The room you never wanted to be in. The room where time stops.

I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe. I went to sit near the stairs, away from anyone else. It was just me trying to keep it together until the daughter of a patient that was in the same salon asked me “How is B.?”At that very moment I collapsed into tears. I couldn’t stop crying although she tried comforting me. I just wanted to see him alive and well. Just like the day before. Just like any other day.

Minutes felt like hours. Hours felt like days. Patients kept coming out but him not. Then the doctor came and told us that he had performed a nephrectomy (kidney removal). I knew it was bad but I was thankful that things didn’t complicate any further and he was alive, without a kidney but ALIVE.

Short after we saw B. on the stretcher coming from the O.R. He was then taken to the salon where he had to stay somewhere around 10 days. Everyday day was hard for him, constantly in pain and scared. I was always there from 8 am to 10 pm. My main activities when I got home were to cry and search all over the internet about the procedure. Eating was my last concern. I only wanted to be with him for as long as I could. His mother stayed every night and did everything she could. His father was always there. All the family came and visited him.

Things got better as days passed and when he was released they told him to come after one month because that’s when the biopsy of the kidney would arrive. Fast forward to day of the biopsy results we found out that the cyst had microscopic tumor cells and that he needed to be checked for von Hippel Lindau syndrome. Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome is an inherited disorder characterized by the formation of tumors and fluid-filled sacs (cysts) in many different parts of the body.

Exactly when we believed things had settled we got those news. To take the test for that syndrome costs a lot of money and he couldn’t do it very soon. It took almost 2 months until the check was performed and when the results came back they were negative. B. did not have the von Hippel Lindau syndrome. The news felt like a big heavy burden had lifted up of our shoulders.

I am happy things are better today. I am happy to be with him. I am happy he is alive and healthy.

The waiting room is like no other room. You want run and stay at the same time.  Everything is changed. Your perception is different. Things you used to worry don’t exist anymore. He was the only one that mattered. Our future together. The future we imagined. The future that could have been crushed in a second.

We always think that it will never happen to us and when it does we are confused. Why?  Why me? That is the question we ask but it is the wrong question. Why do we worry over such insignificant things? Why don’t we appreciate more what we have? Why do we waste our time and end up begging for more?

“Forget yesterday – it has already forgotten you. Don’t sweat tomorrow – you haven’t even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift – today.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free.

Love, D.

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