The drive between Tacoma and Seattle is so much easier between three and four in the morning. We got to the ER at University of Washington Medical Center at about 3:45 AM. Apparently UWMC isn't set up for people to use the emergency. Parking was a pain and the waiting room was barren. For the first time since I remember at any hour of the day, no one else was there. They must've all gone to Harborview.
Anne-Marie was taken back to the staging room right away, so we didn't see her as we were busy parking the truck. The kids pretty much decided to make the waiting room their playground. DVDs and the iPad were included in the rush packing, so I made full use of them.
I was still holding onto the hope that this was some kind of allergic reaction or virus. The ER doctor didn't believe this to be the case at all and came out after an hour and said they'd ordered a CT scan. He believed it was either a blood clot or an infection from the November surgery. (They soon ruled out the possibility of a blood clot.) After we'd been in the waiting room two hours I decided to go see Anne-Marie, but remember, I had the kids and everything we packed with me the entire time.
I talked to Anne-Marie for a few minutes and we had to leave. The ER nurses were very understanding of the kids for the short time they were in the room. It was 5:45 AM.
We went back to the waiting room and struggled through two more hours. The kids were falling apart from fatigue and began to do anything to stay awake. They ran from end to end of the waiting room. They took advantage of the circle of ugly armchairs on the perimeter of the room and used them as a hurdle course. They watched the waiting room TV even though it was showing Cartoon Network. They talked to strangers and complained about everything. I was far too tired to care.
The kids and I made a friend in the waiting room named Graciella. She was there because she'd just lost her baby because of a miscarriage. She told me with sad eyes that she still trusted God and that's what we all had to do. She was waiting there alone in the waiting room as someone drove to pick her up. She talked about friends, family and all the blessings in her life and reminded me of the blessings in mine. I helped her to the car when her friend came, watched them drive away and thought to myself, "She needs more prayer and encouragement than we do."