Luckily, I was two blocks away from a hospital. I walked to the emergency room and, with tears in my eyes, quickly explained my situation to the nurse. We looked at my hand and could see red bumps forming along the veins of my arm as the venom started making its way through my system.
The nurse led me to a room, hooked me up to a bunch of monitors and asked me to wait.
“Wait for what?” I asked.
“We have to wait to see what happens.” She replied.
I was flabbergasted. Weren’t they going to give me some medicine? Where was the handsome ER-esque doctor who was supposed to comfort people in these types of situations?
The nurse smiled and left me alone with the beeping heart monitor to keep me company. No magazines. No books. No cell phone. Nothing.
I was terrified.
At the same time, I was being given an amazing opportunity.
Why? Because I was asked to hold tight, wait, and see if I would die.
Most people die unexpectedly. I on the other hand was being given a rare chance to contemplate my life.
So that’s what I did.
I had just turned twenty-four a few days earlier. I was a stressed-out grad student who was obsessed with achieving academically. I’d been taking antidepressants for four years. A series of bad decisions had turned my romantic life into an absolute mess. I’d just moved to a new city and still hadn’t developed any friendships that felt truly close. My family lived three hours away, and the nurse had told my friends to go home.
Bottom line? I wasn’t very happy with my life so far.
It’s not like my life had been horrendous up to that point. Far from it. But in that moment, I realized that if I died, I wouldn’t be leaving this earth in peace.
After a while my throat and ears started to tingle. Then they went numb. I knew what this meant—the next step was anaphylactic shock—my throat would close up, and I wouldn’t be able to breathe.
Luckily the monitors must have alerted someone, because two nurses and a doctor came rushing into the room. They gave me intravenous Benadryl then told me to wait. Again.