My best friend is Lynda, my son calls her "my Lynda".
We have been through some things together, a mutual friend recently remarked that we talk like an old married couple. This is what happens with best friends, we have inside jokes, encouragements and lots of love. Lynda is my emergency contact and the person in my life who always reminds me who I want to be.
So, of course I was the person who took Lynda to a minor medical procedure that required sedation. I brought my book and checked emails while waiting to be told that Lynda was ready to go home. An hour and a half goes by, the nurse comes out to tell my I can go back and hang out with Lynda while she finishes up. Lynda looks fine and of course she's made friends with the Nurse and knows her kids names and where they live. It turns out they are from the same area of North Jersey and have taken a little trip down memory lane. Lynda is snacking on pretzels and grape juice, and even though she seems a little loose from the sedation, she's alert and able to walk out.
I have no internal sense of direction, luckily Lynda knows which way to get home, another indication that she was fully recovered from her mild sedation. A few minutes into the drive home, Lynda starts getting uncomfortable. I give her some peppermint water and some essential oils to rub on her belly. We are chatting, but I can hear in her voice that she is uncomfortable.
Soon, Lynda is more than uncomfortable. She begins to writhe around in her seat, pushing at the door and the window as if she is trying to run away from the pain.
I feel my heart begin to race and my thoughts slow down. Now Lynda is saying
"Everything is white, Blakey, something's wrong"
I reach out to her, trying to stay focused on the road and pull back my instinct to reach for her, I cannot hold her and drive at the same time.
I look over at her as she says "Blakey, I'm scared" and again "something's wrong" I can see with my eyes that something is very wrong. Lynda's eyes are the wrong shape and they look green (her eyes are brown), she is a funny yellow color and covered in sweat.
Now my body has gone into emergent mode and I am trembling with the fear of what is happening and my inability to control it, holding onto the wheel and trying to focus on the road for a place to pull over or race into, to get help.
Lynda has a seizure (later we learn, not officially a seizure, but seizure like activity). Her eyes roll into the back of her head, her body curls into itself and trembles and sounds come out of her mouth as if she is still trying to tell me that something is wrong. Clearly something is not right. I teeter on the edge of panic as I think my best friend is going to die right next to me and there's nothing I can do about it.
Then it's over, almost. Lynda is conscious again. I'm still driving, we are a few blocks from my gynecologist and I briefly consider going there, thinking how nice they always are. Lynda reaches across and holds my shoulder "I'm sorry, honey". That's my Lynda, always so considerate and loving of others. I finally pull over and with trembling hands find the post procedure instructions and my phone.
I want the people who did this to Lynda to fix it, so I call them. I have a strong sense of fairness and justice. Illogical, as it is, I instinctually think that the medical facility that broke Lynda should fix her.
While I'm waiting for them to figure out who I am and what I'm talking about, Lynda looks like she's going to have another seizure, her eyes roll into her head as she starts to slump over. I consider running into the notary ( they have also been very nice to me and helped me out in a jam during my divorce), as if they will somehow make this stop happening. The nurse says I need to take Lynda to the Emergency room. I am unsatisfied with this answer, they did this to her, they should fix her. This is my irrational thinking that would be present whether I was in fight mode or not.
Lynda is feeling a little better by the time I get off the phone and does not want to go to the closest hospital (it' s not the good one, frankly) but now I'm thinking clear enough to know we need to get her somewhere in case she has another seizure. By the time we arrive at the hospital we are both pretty much fine, and able to laugh at "when was your last period?" this question like "enter your password". I could go on about the irony of women being asked this question at every turn and yet our society is so out of touch with the actual significance and relevance of the hormonal cycles of women - and men, but not here.
Lynda and I one time got stuck at a train station for 2 hours. No problem. We love each other and are good at making the best of situations. We meditate. The emergency room stay was the same. Lynda is the most gracious patient, I joke with the nurse and doctor and display some of my fun facts.
I go get us some sandwiches and we make our way to my house, to watch TV in the air conditioning. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for Lynda. My best friend who did not die in my car. My friend who loves me right where I'm at, my friend who is easy to love, my friend who takes me for a walk when I want to hide in my shell, who reminds of the person I want to be. I was powerless over what happened to her and had not much I could do for her, except to get her to the hospital. I do have the power to feel, express, and share my love. My life is better with Lynda in it.
Check out her beautiful work here lyndapilkington.com