Holiday Story

Once upon a time, there was a family getting ready for their Christmas celebrations. . . .

You know most of the background and circumstances; most recently, Margaret and I went to the emergency room at the local hospital so that they could do something about Margaret’s anxiety which, in the aftermath of her nuclear therapy, had grown and abounded to the point that Wednesday night was sleep-wrecked, and Thursday morning panicky and emotionally fragile. We put in phone calls to her doctors, but they were evidently busy — busy, can you imagine that, two days before Christmas? — and when we finally got through to one, he firmly suggested that we go the ER route to get the anxiety treatment we needed (as Margaret’s recent thyroid radiation put too many variables in play for over-the-phone assessment).

So we spent the afternoon and early evening in cubicle 8 of the ER, dealing with very earnest residents and crisis docs, and we came away with a prescription for short-term anti-anxiety meds (our original target) and urgent invitations to drop in again if anxiety was getting out of hand, perhaps even to drop in for a short stay and observation. Margaret politely declined the latter invitation, but we have their number and will be sure to contact them should occasion arise.

Everything’s in hand for now, and we’re very, very thankful for concerned friends, for an attentive medical team, for family solidarity that makes it possible for our young’uns to help one another, for the marvels of modern pharmaceutical technology, and for an unfathomable grace that reveals itself even in grim times.

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