I lied to a customer last week. Since then, I realized I've been lying to myself. I work at a gas station about a block behind the hospital. Ambulances fly passed the front of the store with lights and sirens blaring at least once a day. I've learned to ignore it for the most part. He asked me if the ambulances bothered me. I told him they didn't and that I was used it it after a year. As soon as the words left my lips, I knew I had lied.
Since then, I've become more aware of them. I really had blocked them out, but now I can't stop hearing them. The worst is seeing one with just the lights on, no siren. It makes me wonder why it's no longer an emergency. Tommy only ever rode in an ambulance once, for transport, not for an emergency. No sirens or lights.
After spending more time in a hospital than at home for 3 years, you hear the sounds of the hospital all around you. Sirens were part of that life. It reminds me of that part of my life. Part of my life that I miss very much. Most of the time, it was a blessing when Tommy was in the hospital. I'm not saying why he was there was always a good thing, but when it was something planned or routine, I adored spending a day or two alone in his room with him.
When he was in the hospital, he was safe. It meant I could get a break. At home, I was his caregiver 24/7 and could not leave his side for a shower, to put away a load of clothes, a nap. Nothing. In the hospital, he was hooked up to monitors, had nurses steps from him at all times, and doctors on the floor. I was free to go get a meal, go for a walk, and relax for a few minutes. Sometimes I would have Rob drop off Matthew and Brandon and we would hang out in Tommy's room watching movies, having snacks and going to the Atrium to play when it was open.
Sometimes we would go to the roof above Children's ER and look down at the ambulances.
When I hear the sirens now, it reminds me that someone is hurting. And then I realize it's me.