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Posted by on July 5, 2020 at 1:55 AM

As we wait, I notice the time. It's just after 10pm. Damn. Ben's next meds are at 11pm and I have a feeling we won't make it home by then. It's a busy Saturday night in the emergency department. At 10:30 I talk to a nurse about the cancer meds. She tells us she will sort it out, but she gets busy and forgets. 

At 11pm, we have not been seen yet and my concern for pain meds is growing. We have learned, we need to keep his pain under control. I leave our room and loiter in the epi-center of emerg. Nobody makes eye contact with me. I stand quietly, searching for a person to acknowdledge me. I don't want to interrupt or make a scene. Everyone is bustling, talking, moving, quick. I wait for 12 minutes without a word.

Come on, Kris, I say to myself, say something. By 11:15, get this done. I take a few tenative steps, where am I going? Who am I looking for? There is a swamp of medical professionals in front of me but they are all engaged.

I see two paramedics in full facial protection rush someone in- they're wearing head visor-masks and this surprises me: breathing masks. They remind me of the mask Ben wore when he was working with asbestos- full coverage, hot, uncomfortable and serious. It's shocking but with COVid still on the loose, I understand it. I stare at the oddity and strain to listen as she hisses out her report through the mask to the ER doctor. 

I only stand for a moment, then see a person in scrubs standing alone with her clipboard. I pounce. Sorry to bother you... but my husband needs his chemo pain meds... What luck! It's the nurse who admitted us and was going to get them at 1030. Oh! She says, yes, yes, it's been so busy but I will do it now. Oh, please, thank-you, he really needs them on time. As soon as you can, we really appreciate it. 

By 11:20 he has his medication. Or at least one of them. The other one is not permitted in the ER. It's only by prescription so we must wait until we are home. But half a job is better than none. 

I hope the doctor sees us soon. 

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