Friday, March 16, 2007

That's what friends are for...

Well, this week took an unexpected turn.

On Tuesday night, Roger and I were hanging out in the family room, recapping American Idol performances and guessing who'd be booted. The phone rang, and it was my best friend Beth asking about heart attack symptoms in women....and because she was feeling ill with an odd feeling of heaviness in her chest, she was worrying. Recently separated, she's also feeling vulnerable about being alone.

Beth lives two hours away from me, and after I told her to call her dr and then call me back, Roger looked at me and said "You're worrying now, right?" I nodded. "And you want to go, right?" I nodded. "Go, get your stuff together, you should be with her."

So, I flung a few things into a bag, grabbed a caffeine-laden soda, and jumped into the car. Halfway there, Beth called to report that her EKG was normal but they still didn't know what it was. I kept driving and was at the ER with her by midnight.

ERs are odd places in the middle of the night. I guess those tv shows really don't exaggerate (too much, anyway) the weird and unpredictable mix of people who'll show up. I was greatly relieved when they let me go back and hang out with Beth while she waited for test results.

The chest-heaviness turned out to be a case of pneumonia, which was finally diagnosed by about 3am. All things considered, it wasn't bad being there and we found plenty of things to amuse us. We were both impressed with the diligence of the ER staff in keeping her comfortable and doing tests to make sure they knew what was going on. At one point, I resorted to the tricks we'd used when Caroline was a baby in the dr's office--I made balloon animals with dr's latex gloves, and pulled little things out of my purse to do an impromptu puppet show ("Look! It's Mr. Pencil!") which of course made us giggle wildly. We were probably the only ER room where the folks outside heard laughing instead of moaning and retching and angry cursing (and we heard ALL of that.)

So, with a prescription for antibiotic in hand and instructions for breathing exercises, we headed back to Beth's house. I stayed with her until Thursday afternoon, by which time she was doing better and I figured it was time to return to my family.

We are still laughing over what a great time we had together, even considering the pneumonia. And that's how you know your good friends, right? They make even the icky things so much better.

By the way, one evening we watched "Stranger than Fiction" with Will Farrell, Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. I LOVED that movie!! Very quirky but charming. It's the best thing I've seen in a while, I think.


  1. What a dear friend. I'm glad she was okay, although pneuonia isn't much fun. Stranger than Fiction is the greatest movie. I could watch it over and over.

  2. Anonymous1:00 AM

    That is a really beautiful post. Glad to know that your friend is doing okay. Good luck to her and cheers to your wonderful friendship.
    Its not easy to find true friends, but when one does, it does make life worth living.
    You could perhaps drop into my friendship blog for some beautiful friendship e-cards and info.