To The One Who Walked Away From Me

To The One Who Walked Away From Me

Just a few things you should know.
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You said goodbye, and that's fair. It's your decision.

You should know I respect your decision regardless of how much I don't understand it.

I am hurt yes, very hurt and you probably know that and that doesn't change a thing, which really really sucks to think about.

You should know I am not sad 24-7,the thought of us being together and the good old days kind of off-set me, but I am still living my life and going through my daily routine just fine, and getting better day by day.

Every now and then I see something that reminds me of you, or I remember something about us like an inside joke, and I want to tell you about it so we can laugh about it just like good old times and be the funny goofy people that we were, but then I remember I can't.

Things are different now, they are weird. We have to be honest — it's weird going from talking to each other every day to now never speaking. It's weird not seeing each other and it's weird that our daily routines have changed solely because of our relationship status. It's weird that it has to be like this, in my opinion, it doesn’t, but I know it's probably for the best.

You should know the image of us is harder for me to just "erase." I could delete the pictures of us and pretend like we never happened, but I can't. The pictures we took hold special memories to me and I know they did to you too. There's no reason to try to forget about something that once made you happy. There're pictures in my mind of us too, and how we were and how I thought it all was supposed to be, the happy times, the times in that moment when I thought there was no greater feeling than that undeniable bond we had.

I wish I had a better explanation of why things had to end and you owe me that, but I've come to terms that I'll probably never get that. Just know the way it ended was pretty selfish of you, I know it and you should too. One day you'll realize it but I won't need an explanation then.

You should know you're stupid for walking away. I forgave you for so much, I let you put me through hurt because I knew how we used to be and I didn't want to lose you or the special relationship we once had. I let you into my life and showed you all of my flaws and let you know all of my secrets. We got to know each other on a level no one else has seen us before, and that took a lot out of me but now it's all over and we have to act like those things never happened.

You should know that I don't stop thinking about you and I want nothing but the best for you. I know I don’t get to hear about what goes on in your life, but I wish I could. I wish I could hear you're doing good, you should know I hope you are.

You should know just because it's over doesn’t mean we have to hate each other. I know we may never talk again and that's your preference. We may hear things about each other that we don’t want to hear, they may hurt. But regardless of anything, I would love to still be somewhat a part of your life, because you meant a lot to me. If you ever did feel like reaching out to me again know I would be here, if anything just to listen. We've been through it all and I would go through it all again just to be there for you.

You should know one day we'll both look back at this all and find some sort of peace or lesson of why this all had to happen, but for now, thanks for giving me the good times and thanks for giving me a reason to see there will be better times.


Goodbye!

Cover Image Credit: Sierra Gardner

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An Open Letter To The Meadville Medical Center And Its ER Staff

When did kindness become a deserved thing in the healthcare field; and only if you're not on drugs?
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Yes, that cover picture is me, coming off a ventilator...at Magee Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh, a two-hour drive from my house, not at Meadville Medical Center.

This is very difficult to write. We live in a small town, and you are the only hospital for over twenty miles. In fact, I live so close to you, that I can see your rooftop from my back garden. I can walk to you in about ten minutes if it’s not overly humid out. The Life Flights pass over my house as they arrive at and leave your facility, and my young daughter and I pray for every one of them.

My daughter had to call an ambulance on May 30th, as I had a sharp and horrible pain overtake me so suddenly, that I thought my neighbor (who I threatened to report for dealing drugs) had shot me through the dining room window at first. There was no blood to be seen, but the pain was so severe, that combined with the cold sweats and dizziness, I was genuinely afraid I was about to die.

I can’t express in words how proud I was of my girl as she explained to the 911 operator what was the matter and where we lived. She was brave and helpful as they took a blood sample, handled what I later learned was a seizure, and kindly got me into the ambulance from my difficult entryway. She called her Auntie and calmly told her to meet me at the ER. And while memories of the horrible experience I had in your ER twenty years ago still haunted me, the care and attention the ambulance drivers showed me encouraged me that I would be okay.

If only.

There were so many people, and I was half delirious with pain and inexplicable symptoms. Thank God my sister in law, Sheri, was there to help me fight for my life. For the sake of our small town and six degrees of separation, I will call them Nurse A, B, C, and D, and Doctor H. Your staff literally, unapologetically bullied me within an inch of my life.

When I arrived, it was apparently Nurse A who triumphantly announced to everyone involved in my care that I was on drugs, case closed. Despite Sheri and I repeatedly telling them that I hadn’t taken any narcotics, and I won’t take anything stronger than Motrin 800, they persisted in asking what I took. At one point I heard Sheri saying, “She does everything naturally, you're wasting time.” No one cared.

When Nurse A informed me that they needed a urine test, I told her to straight cath me, as I couldn’t stand up. It was Nurse A who told Doctor H that I faked two seizures on the way from my house (I am still amazed by her mystical powers that she could surmise this), and insisted again that I was faking everything. With utter disgust Doctor H said, “She can stand, get her up.” At Sheri’s protest, Nurse A reiterated, “If she can move her legs she can stand.” My legs, which were almost involuntarily moving to find relief from the pain in my abdomen, gave out on me when she insisted I put myself on the bedside commode. I passed out again and urinated on her.

When I woke up to Sheri frantically calling my name, I was greeted by an absolutely disgusted Nurse A, who complained that she needed to go change her clothes, and rolled her eyes at my faking another seizure. She informed everyone who came in next that I was faking these symptoms, and four attempts to straight cath me failed. In that moment, I was sure I was going to die.

Everything after that came in blurry and fragmented vignettes, like an awful out of body experience. There were Nurses B through D or more, all repeatedly asking me what drugs I took. Everyone scowled and frowned, passing on the information that I was faking everything. There were four of these nurses when I woke up on the way to a scan, and all but one asking me what drugs I took, and telling me to stop faking as I hysterically screamed that I could not breathe when I lay flat. I was terrified, confused, out of my mind, and unable to breathe when I lay flat, and they reported that “she hyperventilated herself” in the scan lab.

All the while, Sheri valiantly insisted they would find no drugs in the blood work, and that I probably hadn’t been to a family doctor in years. I lay in your ER cubicle and reconciled myself to God, convinced that I was going to die and be labeled a drug addict.

At some point, something shifted, and suddenly I received the blanket I had asked for hours before. Apparently, my temperature had dropped so low, their fancy thermometers couldn’t read anything. I remember a young man trying to find a vein and saying, “Oh my God, I’ve never seen anything like this. I’m not trying again.” My head was elevated, and the panic of not being able to breathe alleviated somewhat.

Suddenly Doctor H was almost kind, and I heard him telling Sheri something about “a mass” and “blood in her abdomen” and how some other hospital was better equipped to help me. She told me she okay-ed it, and I recall telling her, “I trust you. Just get me out of here.”

In fact, knowing someone else would care for me gave me such peace, that I literally lay completely still as an older man inserted an IV line into my neck with no anesthesia.

We assume the blood work came back and the scan verified what we desperately tried to tell everyone from the beginning; I wasn’t on or seeking drugs. But there was no apology from Nurse A, her fellow nurses, or Doctor H. I may be corrected, but I spent five or six hours in your ER defending myself to the same people who should have been fighting for my life.

As I lay there, talking to Yeshuale, three people in what looked like tactical suits came alongside my bed. The first was a woman who looked like she was speaking into a walkie talkie. Behind her two men. I thought to myself “Oh, state cops. I guess I’m just going to die in prison.” I was so out of it, confused and weary of being asked what drugs I took, I believed your ER staff had called the police and they had come to take me away. All I could think of was what would become of my young daughter.

Thank God, I was mistaken. The blonde woman wasn’t a police officer, but part of the helicopter team, on the phone with Magee in Pittsburgh so she could begin administering blood to me. Blood. Something your staff considered less important than accusing me of using and seeking some weird drugs. Behind her, a tall, blonde man smiled at me and explained that he was taking me in a helicopter and I would be fine. It was like hearing from an angel, and I remember saying, “Todah, Yeshuale!” repeatedly in my head and in a whisper. “Thank You, Jesus!”

Four blocks away, my daughter and the friend she was staying with waved as we flew over my house.

To my surprise, I woke up two days later, attached to a ventilator, one of my sister friends sitting beside my bed. I learned that I’d had two masses in my uterus, which tore itself open and bled into my abdomen. I’d lost four liters of blood and had a transfusion in the Life Flight. When they took the vent out, (my friend took the picture above) I made a joke about being a tough Jersey girl as I signed to the ICU nurse, but inside I was an emotional wreck. Still, as the days went on, I determined to treat everyone with kindness, and was treated the same way at every turn.

Kindness. The one thing I never received from your staff.

What was so special about me that your staff felt interrogating me about my apparent drug use was more important than helping me? My address? Because for some reason all the drug dealers in town seem to want to take over my block? So, we’re all on drugs, then? Do you realize that half my neighbors brag about going to your ER to get pain pills, and how easy it is? I never asked for anything but a Tylenol, and that was on the Life Flight. So, again I ask, what made me so unique?

And, I must say, it’s not even that your staff didn’t believe me. They were mean, hateful even. Rolling their eyes, talking about me like I wasn’t there, saying everything I did was a ruse to get drugs. When did it become okay to treat anyone like that? How was it alright for your nurse to walk in and determine that I was on drugs? How was it alright for her to set the tone of disbelief, unkindness, and abuse? How was it alright for the doctor to allow this and roll with it?

Yes, I said abuse. When someone is screaming that they can’t breathe and you tell them to stop faking, that is abuse. When you berate someone, and accuse them of something to the point where they believe they’re being taken to jail to die, that’s abuse. When you refuse to give someone a blanket, hold them down to the point where they’re bruised, that’s abuse. When you waste time to the point where an ambulance won’t get to the next hospital fast enough… that’s abuse. Your staff verbally, emotionally, and physically abused me.

Not only were they abusive, but they were comfortable with it. Your staff was comfortable with it, and didn’t care what it would cost me or my family. All but one nurse, who Sheri now tells me insisted that there was something wrong with me and took me for the scan. That nurse saved my life. People are comfortable with abuse because they get away with it. Abusers get smug, arrogant and even careless, because those they abuse say nothing. Your staff was smug, rude and uncaring to the point that they displayed a sick sort of disgust for me that was completely obvious. My sister in law later confirmed to me that it wasn’t all in my head.

At what point did this behavior become acceptable? Is it because you’re the only hospital for a 30-minute drive?

And, so what if I had been seeking drugs or high on some unknown concoction? Would that have made it okay for your staff to treat me thusly? Would Nurse A have been justified in declaring my altered state and treating me like garbage? Would Doctor H have been justified in how he treated me? When did nursing and healing give anyone that sort of power? When did people cease to be worthy of kindness, quality health care and gentleness based upon their drug use, or the address they live at?

When did you decide who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and who does not? When did your medical staff earn that right to decide also?

If we’re completely honest, most of the people I know who abuse pills go to your ER at least once bimonthly to get refills. Your ER physicians pass out opioid scripts like candy and then mistreat the people they’re supplying? Thanks to you, I must hide the pain medication I loathe to take now, because someone will surely break in to my home and steal them if they know I have them. You, and other hospitals like you, are feeding addicts and creating innocent bystander victims like me, but that’s another conversation.

This is difficult to write, because you have your hooks in all over this town. This is difficult to write, because the trauma of that night is still fresh in my mind, and I often cry when I think about it. This is difficult to write, because the reality that I have had to now teach my child to ask any ambulance we ever need to call again to take us to Erie shouldn’t be necessary. This is difficult to write, but it needs to be said, especially since I’ve been finding out that I’m not the only person this has happened to.

You need to address these issues. You need to stop handing out scripts like promotional coupons, and perhaps you won’t have nurses and doctors assuming everyone’s on drugs or seeking them. You need to discourage the abusive and toxic behavior of your staff, and hold them accountable when patients complain. Let me put this into perspective for you: I’m pretty sure Nurse A is the same age as my oldest daughter, and my child would eat mud before she treated anyone like that. Why? Because my kids were never allowed to behave that way in the first place, but to stay on topic, she grew up with consequences, and as an adult still recognizes their severity.

As the events of that night become clearer to me, and I continue my peaceful, miraculous recovery at home, I am determined not to hold on to bitterness about what happened to me at your ER. I am determined to make the most of the second chance at life I’ve been given, and leave your abusive staff in the past. I’ll probably pass some of them in the super market, or sit behind them in church, our town is so small. And while you and your toxic staff will cease to haunt my future, I will surely haunt yours. Nurse A, Doctor H, and Nurses B through whatever… will never forget the night the woman with the blue hair nearly died because they were too busy wrongly judging to actually care.

I am determined to walk out the rest of my life in kindness, the very discussion I had in a blackout with God while your nurse accused me of faking a seizure. I will pray, hoping with all hope that kindness will once again be requisite for employment in your ER and every area of your corporation. Believe me, it’s possible and good for profits. The entire time I spent in Pittsburgh at Magee I never encountered a single unkind staff member from the surgeons to the housekeepers.

I know you can do it.

Cover Image Credit: Heidi Owens

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To The Guy Who Fooled Me Twice, Karma Took Care Of You

But shame on me.

JordynL
JordynL
3897
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I'll give it to you. The first time around was great. We had fun. We laughed. In the moment, it was great. You introduced me to what is now my favorite TV show, even though now I can only watch it when it comes on Adult Swim instead of having it readily available on Netflix. You actually enjoyed Hawaiian pizza so we practically lived on that and Dr. Pepper. We'd both go to work and come right back to each other at the end of the day, at least when I made arrangements to stay the night instead of spending time with my family like I honestly should've been. Although in hindsight, I should've ran.

But of course, all good things must come to an end. We were both so happy and we loved spending time with each other. The fire in your hair matched the fire in my soul and it worked. Unfortunately, I made the decision to call it off. I had to go back to school in another town because summer break doesn't last forever. Realistically, it wouldn't have worked. Even with the short hour and a half distance, "long distance" wasn't a thing for either of us. So I called it off and we came to a civil agreement. If we run into each other again in the future, we would try. But that was foolish. I should've ran and never turned back.

Then three months later, I was deep in school work; finishing essays in time for football games, working all the time- the cliche' life of a college student. Yet you felt the need to contact me out of nowhere. Three months after the fact. But I was fine. I had moved on, attachment was gone (at least I thought it was), and I was constantly with friends, engaging in whatever shenanigans we could come up with. But you. You contacted me. You said you missed me and you wanted me in your life. BUT you had met someone and y'all were dating.

-

Can the audience guess what came next? Yes, an invitation to the "hottest" threesome. Hard pass. I don't share.

-

Nearly a year went by after this conversation. My behavior hadn't changed. School, friends, football games, and now add Paddle People in the mix. Then one night during our traditional camp out before a game, I get a text from an unknown number. Normally I ignore but I had a weird feeling. But guess who? You. Apparently you had found out that she had been cheating on you with y'all's roommate. Disgusting, but okay. The relationship was over and you were confiding in me. Okay. I'm awesome at this. I had zero feeling but I still felt bad because stuff like this sucks.

Apparently somewhere along the lines, you had gotten reattached to me. Also along that line, I got used to talking to you on a daily basis again and got attached as well. We had agreed to meet up and hang out. Sure. What's wrong with meeting up with a friend? BUT you wanted me to meet your mom and stepdad. I should've ran.

Obviously I was an idiot. I met them, I loved them, they loved me, and we all had a great time. The literal closet full of liquor that your mother opened was honestly pretty enticing. From that night on, we hung out more and things seemed almost like they were. Aside from your depressing heartbreak and being terrified to start something new with me, even though you said you wanted to. I should've known better because I was sick of wasting time, but if I'm awesome at anything, it's being supportive. But I should've ran.

Eventually we started up again. AND I got along with your younger brother. Remember all the laughs we all shared? At least until you found out that one of the guys your ex-girlfriend cheated on you with was your younger brother. That, among other reasons, was why you made your mom kick him out of the house. But now he's in the Air Force making a better life for himself. Oddly enough, he's been really successful ever since he got separated from you and your family. Who would've thought? Oh yeah, me. Part of the reason you kicked him out was, of course, the disgust that your own brother betrayed you, but also because you were terrified that he would do the same thing with me. What you didn't know was that SHE initiated the relationship with your brother, not the other way around. But you either don't know that or don't want to accept it. Either way, I'm not that kind of person.

The kicker is when I found that you were in contact with her. To get your stuff back, I get it. BUT when I saw the messages of y'all wanting to hook up and do all these things while I was at work? Oh no. I bet you'll recall I confronted you about that and how you claimed you didn't owe me anything because we weren't actually together. True, but YOU wanted trust with us. Yet you couldn't be trustworthy and got defensive, not because we weren't fully committed, but because you got caught.

Big surprise, I went to work one day. We made plans to get dinner after I got off work and changed. I called you to let you know I was on my way, but SHE answered the phone. While y'all were consummating your "born again" relationship, I might add. Which is kinda funny and insulting to you. But my heart dropped. I sped to your place, and my fears were obviously correct. Her car was there. But the kicker? My suitcase was thrown in the driveway. Not even containing all my belongings. Fast forwarding through the retrieval of my belongings, communicating with your dirty, patronizing, personal skank through a garage door ORDERING her to get the rest, and you not bringing them to me directly, but instead leaving them on the porch so I couldn't confront you- I learned that you were nothing but a spineless coward.

I left. I went back to work because it was the first place I could think of that was the closest. I ran into the arms of someone that I once considered my best friend; my other half, even though we were going through our own rough patch and were barely speaking. But at the time he was the only one that knew about you in your entirety, so of course I ran to him. And I will thank him relentlessly for that AND for letting me by booze, only for me to drive to another friend's house so I could crash there and let me spew out my feelings and regrets. Not only with you, but with every potential relationship decision I've ever made. I will always thank that friend for that till the day I die. Those two guys put me back together that night.

In that moment, you had broke me. But now I realize that I should've ran. I should've ignored that unknown text. I should've let the first round be the only round because I came out on top.

You know what makes me feel better though? And that makes me kind of a shitty person? I know she cheated on you again. I know for a fact. Because a friend of mine showed me a picture of a girl he hooked up with recently. Within the last month to be exact. And guess who? Your girl. The ultimate kicker is that, unfortunately he has an STD now. He's treating it, but it's undetermined of when he got it. I'm willing to bet a lot of money that he got it from your girl though, considering we both know she opens her legs for basically anyone. Whether she knows about it is a mystery. Knowing how many guys she's still cheating on you with is a mystery. But karma is a dirty bitch and she got you.

You screwed me over, so enjoy screwing your STD ridden girlfriend. Girls don't show symptoms for a while, so that should be fun for you; considering you like the RAW feeling. So congratulations. The feeling of her burning bush matches the fire in your hair.

JordynL
JordynL

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