Let's call her Ginger. Not in the generic sense of a redhead (though she is) but like the spice, which packs its own heat. She was in the emergency room next to ours.
“GET HER OUT OF HERE! I DON'T WANT HER HERE!” Ginger had a few clear phrases, frightening on their own. But she also screamed random syllables, like words chopped and reorganized. Not a slurred drunken speech, or some other-worldly tongue. This was pixilated speech. Like a glitch in her matrix. Chilling.
As Ginger's cries escalated, so did my mom's erratic breathing. I was beginning to think we were going to need assistance, and everyone in our unit was dealing with Ginger. You could hear the staff take control, follow protocol, but you could also tell that physically, she was out of their league. Security was called. The wait was precarious.
I couldn't articulate any of this, just posted to Facebook, “Pray for us. At ER with mom and screaming lady in room next door is taking staff away. Thank you.”
As the silent notifications of friends' prayers lit up my phone, Ginger immediately became calm. I cried with relief. And we did see a nurse. “She didn't want me in there,” said the RN, when I asked about our neighbor. I assured her we would welcome her anytime.
Later, I asked another nurse about what it's like to work those situations. He said he'd worked in a rehab facility and after 30 days to get someone sober, the person would often begin using again, at the levels of their previous tolerance, and die of overdose. Only one or two out of a hundred would completely escape, he said. We both lamented the lack of strong relationships awaiting them outside. It really does take a village. And you need a healthy village.
Her door was open once and I saw Ginger sleeping. She looked like a felled redwood. She really could have taken down that crew. Once we got admitted, so did she, with security posted outside her door.
Pray for whoever is surrounding Ginger. Her sober friends may think she's out of their league, too. They will need their own support.
I wrote this a couple weeks ago; just posting today. Mom is well, thankfully. I didn't see Ginger again. Praying she's okay.