When I wrote the blog post Life, I had no idea there was going to be a part two. The post is about a patient in the ER who died when Mom was there. What I didn’t mention was that, they most likely died because of a blood clot.
Blood clots are highly dangerous. Because a blood clot is in the vein, if it breaks loose, it gets swept up in the blood flow and will either move to the lungs (pulmonary embolism), or the heart (cariogenic embolism). They can also travel to the brain, kidneys, pretty much anywhere blood flows to.
A week or so ago, one of my co-workers was complaining about a blood clot in her leg. She lifted up her pant leg to show me.
“I get them all the time,” she said. This was before Mom had her ER experience, but I still knew that this was serious business.
“You need to go to the ER,” I told her.
“I can’t afford it. I’ll just wait for it to go away.”
I didn’t press the issue. I told her it was serious, she shrugged it off, and I moved on. But after Mom’s ER experience, you better believe I told everyone about it.
“Blood clots are dangerous,” I told my other co-workers, “she could die.” They all knew it, whether they wanted to or not.
My mom found an article about someone getting their feet and fingers amputated because of (a) blood clot(s). Again, I warned a couple of my co-workers.
And then, my co-worker missed multiple days of work. She began to experience symptoms which she diagnosed as pneumonia. Still, she never went to the doctors. She couldn’t afford it, nor did she have transportation.
We all told her to go. Even her boyfriend. Finally, I heard from someone at work, my co-worker’s closest friend, that she was going to go to the ER today.
I came home to six messages on my answering machine. Six. I usually come home to zero. No one ever calls me.
My co-worker never made it to the ER. She died right on her porch.
I called her closest friend. I didn’t mean to, but I was so distraught that I dialed the wrong number. Or the right one. I’m glad I talked to her first. She was fine for a minute, but then she stopped talking. I couldn’t do it. Thankfully, she was at work so our conversation was short.
I then called who I wanted to call, my deli co-worker. She was the one who kept calling me. Her last message said that she didn’t want to tell me what was going on in a message, but she did it anyway, which I’m thankful for. That way, I had time to react instead of reacting while talking to her. I told her how much I appreciated that. We talked for about fifteen minutes, and after we hung up, I drove up to the store to talk to everyone.
To be honest, I’m more mad than anything. Everyone knew it was serious, and everyone said something. Finally, someone said, “If you won’t go for yourself, go for your daughter.” So she finally agreed, but, finally was too late.
She leaves behind a 20-something year old son, and a 5/6 year old daughter. That little girl has to grow up without a mom now.
Reader, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: life is precious. All the times that she complained that the people before her shift didn’t do their job, those complaints don’t mean anything now. All the times that she complained that other people got more hours than her, those hours don’t mean anything now. All the minutes she wasted fighting with her boyfriend, she could have used trying to make amends with her son. All the money she spent on presents for her daughter for Christmas, could have been used toward keeping herself alive.
Life. Part two.