when the thought of losing someone confirms you love them

Part 2 | Two hospitalizations in a week

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Tony and I were supposed to see each other on Wednesday night. He’d been working all week and it felt like we’d barely spoken (which wasn’t technically true but I’m feeling more disconnected from him than usual – it could very well all be in my head).

I was sitting at my home computer working late when my phone rang. It was Tony. “Ann”, he said, “I’ve just blacked out on set. They called an ambulance and I’m going to the hospital.”

“What?? Oh my god! Are you okay now? Where are they taking you?”

I am aware that those were unanswerable questions.

“I don’t know, Ann.”

My crisis management self kicked in and I calmed down – slightly.

“Okay, do you need me to come get your car?  Please let me know which hospital they take you to. I will come.”

“No don’t worry about the car I have to work here tomorrow anyway. I will let you know. You don’t need to come to the hospital, I’m fine. They called Mary when I passed out – she’s my emergency contact.”

“Ah, of course. Yes I guess it would be awkward if we were both at the hospital”.

He had to go – the ambulance was arriving, so we signed off.

He sounded scared, and stressed, and not himself. That’s completely normal in the situation. I felt helpless to do anything. I was worried and threw myself back into my work.

Three things occurred to me over the following hours.

First was I was glad and honored he called me. I wasn’t surprised or miffed he called his ex – I would have called my ex in the same situation…although maybe not as my first call. My ex is no longer my emergency contact; it’s my Mother. Which in hindsight may not be a good choice since she’s not attached to her phone, but that’s irrelevant to this story.

Second was frustration over not being able to show up at the hospital just in case Mary had also decided to come. Fucking ridiculous, as I’m the only human he talks to almost every single day. I wasn’t surprised by this realization, but it was unwelcome reminder when I’ve otherwise managed to avoid them.

Third was maybe the worst. If something happened to him, if he hadn’t called me, if it was serious… NOBODY WOULD KNOW TO TELL ME. His two best friends know I exist, but who knows if they know we are still in touch. I would be that unknown elegant woman in black sunglasses and a black dress at the back of the church for the funeral. Assuming I was even able to find out, that is.

Fucking depressing. Probably didn’t help that I’d just finalized my new will.

He called me once he arrived at the hospital. He sounded horrible. All I wanted to do was go be there for him. He told me he wouldn’t be good company. Twit. I told him it wasn’t about him being good company.

I hated the thought of anyone I cared about alone in a hospital. I debated just going but was worried he would actually be angry. I didn’t really care at that point if Mary was there – I’d figure it out.

I chose not to go. He was in touch by phone and text a couple more times. They kept him for observation for several hours and despite my offers, he took a taxi back to his car and drove home. He texted me when he left, but didn’t tell me that he made it home okay. Thankfully he responded to my inquiry that night, and told me he was still alive the next morning.

The doctors don’t know what’s wrong, and he’s going for more tests. While I’m sure everything will turn out okay (I hope), this whole thing has been a reminder. Not of my role in Tony’s life – I’ve been clear on that for a long time.

It’s been a reminder that I’d better make the most of every day, because ultimately, I never know when things will change for me or those I care about. I’m going to Mom the heck out of Liam this week.

Oh, and I FINALLY cleaned up my office.

23 thoughts on “Part 2 | Two hospitalizations in a week

  1. How horrible, I hope whatever it is, it’s nothing serious.
    I can imagine how you must feel. I know he is separated, but you are kind of like the “other woman.l
    Wishing Tony a quick recovery!

    • We don’t know what it is yet unfortunately – he’s going for more tests this week but is also away for work for 10 days. I’m quite concerned.
      And yeah, that’s exactly it. But we’re just “friends” right now anyway (ha ha ha ha)…

  2. That’s scary. I hope he is better now. What a situation to be in. You wanting to go, yet you couldn’t…and you’re right it does make one think about how short life truly is…enjoy your “mothering” moments. It’s the best thing we have and will ever have.

    • We still don’t know the cause and he’s going for more tests. And honestly I would have gone to the hospital if he hadn’t been stabilized quickly. If his ex had been there, oh well. Neither of us went!
      And you’re quite right. My son ultimately will be my best (hopefully) legacy!!

  3. This post just confirms it for me. You are the Queen of Karma. Tony, and all those around you, are lucky to have you in their lives.

      • In retrospect, you didn’t do anything spectacularly kind here. (I guess) It just reminded me of the kindness you have shown me and other followers while I’ve been reading. It seems obvious that you would do whatever necessary for those you care about.

  4. This was definitely a really interesting read for me to recall the confusion of emotions of having a loved one in the hospital.

    The first reason, this is interesting was that I’ve semi experienced this confusion in my career. In trauma situations we’ve had a wife and mistress show up (that required security being called) or ex wife and current fiancé show up and it gets complicated, especially in a hectic situation when we really aren’t sure who is who and who is allowed to make the calls when the patient cannot make them for himself.

    The second reason is I spent over 6 years in love with a guy who would never introduce me to his family. We had one of those tumultuous on and off again relationships, so his friends never knew if I was in the loop or not. I had the feeling that if something happened no one would let me know. Not that I missed a hospitalization, but I missed important life events, graduation, presentations, awards…because I wasn’t invited to them because the mix of family and pleasure. I assume this feeling you had is very similar to the feelings I had when you want to be there during his high and low times. (I’ve found out know it was a race issue, I am white and he isn’t, 1 year after our final blow up he was engaged and now married…and I moved to a different coast).

    I hope this week is better for you and less stressful and more fun. I know I am hoping for the same for myself.

  5. I truly hope that Tony will be okay. and I know the feeling of caring about someone who if they dropped of the face of this earth, who would tell us? I’m sure you have told him that had he asked you to be with him, would would have been. Darn stubborn men putting up a strong front and acting like they don’t need help in times of trouble!!

  6. Ann, are you kidding? The fact that he called you when he was going to the hospital and texted and called several other times while he was there shows how tremendously important you are to him. Also, he didn’t call his ex-wife when he was going. According to how you wrote it, someone else did right? They share a kid. She has to be his emergency contact for that reason alone. You are very obviously very important to him whether he says it or not.

          • I know you’ve written a lot on the topic of Tony and I think I’ve read most of them. Recently it sounded like you were comfortable with where you are with him, until this incident happened and poked at a sore spot for you.

          • It was a reminder but not a surprise… I guess in order for me to be able to see him at all without wanting more I really had to internalize where he is in his life and what I won’t ever get from him. So that was done…I am comfortable with what this is and isn’t – or have accepted it, at least – so I’m not hurting from the experience, if that makes sense. As you say, it was like the bruise got poked… The the bruise has pretty much faded.

    • He definitely kept me in the loop, I think as much as he did with his ex, for what it’s worth. I have no doubt how he feels about me, it was just a reminder (unnecessary) of the reality of our situation.

What do you think?