I’m Really One In a Million, Part 2
How does Lorna get out of this one?
The trip from the couch to the phone was excruciating—dragging a dead body excruciating (not that I have any direct experience with that kind of thing). I felt disoriented and my body was heavy and entirely uncooperative. I took a cleansing breath each time I dragged one leg closer to the phone. The Lodge is spacious and my progress was excellent for a sloth.
When I got to the phone I was relieved I had to dial just three numbers. 9-1-1.
“What is your emergency?”
“Um, I tink Iz hit by lightning.”
“You believe you were hit by lightning, Ma’am? Is that correct?”
“When did this happen?”
“Um. Proproly 2:00 clock?”
“2:00 pm today? Ma’am? And it’s now 6:15 pm.”
“Are you experiencing any symptoms?”
“Iz really tired and heavy.”
“Are you alone?”
“No. Scrappy’s here.”
“Can Scrappy take you to the hospital?”
“Ha. No. He’s a dog. Ha. That’d be funny.”
“We’re going to send someone to help you. What’s your address?
“I don know.” (I didn’t know their formal address) “It’s on a hill in Keene.”
“What’s you’re name?”
“Lorna, but I don liff here.”
“Have you had any alcohol or other substances?”
“No. Jus my normal pills. Um my sisser owns her house.” I gave them by brother-in-law’s name and they found the address.
“Okay, Lorna, I’ve just dispatched an ambulance. I’m going to stay on the phone with you until they get there.”
Before too long, several large pick-up trucks were in the driveway and some rather handsome men were knocking on the door. I told the 911 operator I had visitors and hung up. I shuffled to the hallway and waved them in. They looked so friendly. One cracked the door open and asked me to put Scrappy in one of the bedrooms because there would be a lot of activity. Activity, hmm? That sounded good to me, so Scrappy got cloistered.
Mr. May, June, July, and August of the Keene Volunteer Rescue Squad 2010 Calendar came in and started assessing my situation. I wished I’d put on some eyeliner and done sometime with my nap-hair. After hearing my story (as best I could tell it) while taking my “vitals,” they decided I was hit by “side-splash lightning.” A tree 20 feet away from me was directly hit, the current traveled to the ground and, because there was so much water on the ground and in the air, the current “splashed” into the atmosphere, super-charging everything in the vicinity, including me.
I heard the ambulance arrive, sirens and all, and I prepared myself for the second ambulance ride of my life. I asked the Hunky Calendar Guys where they were taking me so I could let Tina know. Before they put the oxygen mask on me, I called Tina and Jim, telling them to meet me at the Lake Placid Hospital, the smallest hospital
on the planet in America in New York. As it turned out, it was the best hospital on the planet in America in New York for me under the circumstances.
They had two ER rooms. One was occupied by an unfortunate man who combined alcohol with the wrong drugs and was puking his spleen out. The other room was waiting for me, and so were nurses and the attending physician. They didn’t get many lightning-strike victims, so my case was way more interesting than puking. They doted on me. My body wanted to fall asleep, but thankfully they kept asking me questions and making me try to move my phantom limbs. I was convinced that, if I feel asleep, I would lapse into a coma and die—I was that drained of energy. I kept telling the nurse my life was just getting good and dying now would really suck. She personally guaranteed my survival and even gave me her watermelon because that was the only “food” that sounded appetizing to me. We bonded that night.
Tina and Jim arrived. I asked them to call Phil, who was in Atlanta on business. He was mortified and wanted to fly back to be with me, but I sleepy-spoke him out of it telling him I was in good hands and was “jus gate.” Tina reassured him and was then all business, making sure everyone was doing their job. Jim stayed by my side, comforting me. “Don’t worry, Lorn, we’ll take care of you.”
My new independent self kicked in and I replied, “Tanks, Jim. I know. Bu I can take care uff mysef.” Being homeless for the last 6 weeks, still unsure about my mortgage and lying in the ER having just been struck by lighting, my slurry self-confidence must have seemed a wee bit ironic.
Giddy Doc told me my heart was fine and all blood work looked normal. My extreme lethargy was due to PTSD. Because my immune system was already compromised, the super-charge from the “side-splash lightning” sent my body into temporary hyper-mode, and this was the ultimate “crash.” She said to expect more dizziness and possibly a lot of headaches. I couldn’t be left on my own for several days because I wasn’t capable of making good decisions, either. She knew me too well.
Scrappy and I stayed with Tina and Jim for a couple of days, then I returned to Keene until June 25th. With no firm closing date and the threat of my condo contract evaporating, I moved in with Tina. At least I was closer to my “stuff.”
Is it time for things to fall into place for our little heroine?