I know if you believe in God, you are not supposed to believe in superstitions, but in my defense, I like to cover all the angles, just in case.
I don’t walk under ladders or open an umbrella in the house. I always throw salt over my left shoulder to avoid a fight and stay away from black cats at all costs. I have been known to back down the street to keep from crossing a black cat’s path. But, Friday the 13th, now that is another problem, how can you avoid them? You can’t, they happen if you want them to or not.
My mother always said Friday the 13th was lucky for her since she was born on a Friday the 13th. I, however, have not been that lucky. Take for example, a recent Friday the 13th.
I had been having an issue with shortness of breath, when late on Friday the 13th I could hardly catch my breath, while doing some chores. Thinking I might have bronchitis, I drove myself to the nearest ER and waited until they took me in the back.
After an EKG and some blood work, they decided I had A-fib and wanted me to have a further test, to check for congestive heart failure. They said they needed to send me to the nearest hospital, which they were affiliated with, for the test.
Since there was no bed for me at the time, I had to endure lying on that God-awful hard ER bed until they could find room for me. I will say that most of the people taking care of me were great, with the exception of one nurse who disappeared and was never heard from again.
However, after waiting all of Friday the 13th, at around 1:30 a.m. the next day, which incidentally was my 80th birthday, they said they had found me a bed and I would be transported shortly.
Soon, two ladies with a gurney showed up, attached all my wires and rolled me out to an ambulance, of sorts. I say that because it must have been old and used many, many times.
Fortunately, they strapped me on the gurney, because I must say, and I hate to complain, but that was the roughest 15-mile ride I have ever endured. If I wasn’t strapped in, I would have been tossed all around the back of the vehicle. The vehicle either needed new shocks, or didn’t have any at all. Thankfully, I arrived unharmed, which in itself was a miracle. I believe it was a worse ride than even one on a rollercoaster.
Wheeling me up to the third floor, and depositing me, they left and soon a nice nurse came and took care of me. Later, a doctor, I guess, he wore a white coat, came and said they were scheduling the test for later.
Since they had injected me with lasex to get rid of the fluid in my lungs, I made many, many trips to the bathroom. Then after a smaller than normal breakfast, the nurse informed me that the test that I had been sent there to have wasn’t given on weekends. What? I guess my Friday the 13th was still in effect.
If the two hospitals were linked, how did one not know that the test they wanted me to have wasn’t given on weekends? Why hadn’t they just sent me home and scheduled the test for the following week? So, because one half didn’t know what the other half was doing, I spent my birthday trapped in the hospital eating “hospital food” with a woman in the next bed who slept with her mouth wide open and snored loudly all night.
What a way to spend a “milestone” birthday, when I could have and should have been at Red Lobster eating endless shrimp. See what I mean about Friday the 13th?
Finally, on Sunday, they decided I could go home and were getting my prescriptions ready to send to a chain pharmacy. That was another fight, as I said I don’t deal with them and wanted my meds sent to my local guy. Well, they are not open today, they said, but my nurse that day took up the fight and got the pharmacy to print out the prescriptions.
There was only one med that I really needed to have filled immediately and that wonderful nurse found me a form that gave that one to me free. Incidentally, when I filled that one-month prescription, it cost $673. Why does medicine cost so much? I know that is cheap for some meds. I really don’t know how some people afford their medicine.
My brother, Randy, who lives in Salisbury, came over Sunday to spring me out and said the next time I needed help to call him first, and I most assuredly will.
Early Monday, I begged my way in to see my primary care doc and talk about my recent ER visit. He explained my change in meds and wanted me to see a cardiologist. His assistant set me up with a local doctor and I then went to my pharmacist to have my prescriptions filled.
Turns out, Friday the 13th was still haunting me. Handing them my prescriptions, the hospital pharmacist didn’t sign any of them and so they could not be filled. My luck is still holding out.
My local pharmacist started calling the office of the hospital pharmacist to no avail. No one seemed to know where he was. As a last resort, my primary care doctor was called and he had to issue the prescriptions so I could get them filled.
Finally, I got the medicine and, so far, things seem to be evening out, at least I hope so. I have been to see the cardiologist and have had a “nuclear” stress test. That, my friends, is another story.
I forgot to mention my wonderful neighbor, Jean, who took care of my boys while I was trapped. It pays to have great neighbors and I have a street filled with them!
The next Friday the 13th I will lock the door, close the curtains and lie on the sofa, with my head covered, until it passes.
Ms. Windsor is an independent writer and former Banner employee. Her comments and opinions do not reflect those of this publication. You my contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.