My Uber driver thinks I’m dying.
In his defence, he’s not exactly wrong. I sure look like I am not long for this world, but right now I can’t worry about the kind man in the front seat who keeps mounting the sidewalk every time he turns around to anxiously check on me.
I’m preoccupied with the fact that a set of flame-dipped fish hooks are working their way slowly down from the top left side of my face and through my head. All in a valiant quest to join the throbbing mass of painful knots that have signed a lease and taken up residence in the base of my skull.
I feel like I’ve been in this car for hours, crumpled up among the complimentary bottles of water, although in reality it’s only been about 10 minutes.
I attempt to pick out a landmark to give me an idea of how many more streets we need to wind down before we arrive at the hospital. But an intense, inky blackness has settled over my eyes, preventing me from starring out at the streets of Sydney which are happily bubbling away with the kind of frivolous energy that can only be found on a Friday night.
A few hours earlier, the world had seemed quite different.
I’d been seated at my messy desk at work when the intense pain that had been sitting behind my eyes for the last week began to intensify with the power of a thousand suns. Then the computer screen in front of my eyes began to blur and darken and crinkle just like an old-fashioned black and white TV with a faulty antenna.
After stumbling home and lying alone in my apartment for hours, becoming increasing disoriented from the pain, I headed to the emergency room and proceeded to scare the daylights out of my poor Uber driver.
(In hindsight, yes, I probably should have called an ambulance instead of an Uber. But, where was “hindsight” when I was crawling down my staircase with a head full of angry bees and barley functioning eyesight? No where.)
Speaking of Ubers, where are you supposed to sit in one anyway? Even if you’re dying. Post continues…
In the emergency room there are so many needles pushed into my arms that I forget to worry about my head being slowly ripped away from my neck by a pair of invisible hands. My veins have opted out of co-operating at this particular time, disappearing faster than an Instagram husband whose wife spots a pink wall.
Instead, little needles are inserted into my hands to draw out tiny amounts of blood, drop by stinging drop, until I begin to wonder if it would have been better to just die alone at home, surrounded by books and that fern I keep forgetting to water.
Then my bed is wheeled into a little curtain encrusted cubicle and the doctor is talking. I wait for him to tell me that there’s nothing wrong, that I overreacted by making my way to the ER and the only person in real danger here is my Uber driver, who’s now being treated for stress in the next bed over.