Other nurses’ reactions ranged from dismissive to condescending.
“You’re just feeling a little pain, honey,” one of them told Rachel, all but patting her head.
We didn’t know her ovary was dying, calling out in the starkest language the body has.
I saw only the way Rachel’s whole face twisted with the pain.
I gave the dispatcher our address, then helped my wife to the bathroom to vomit.
I don’t know how long it took for the ambulance to reach us that Wednesday morning.
Once, hobbled by a training injury in the days before a marathon, she limped across the finish line anyway.
So when I saw Rachel collapse on our bed, her hands grasping and ungrasping like an infant’s, I called the ambulance.
A more careful examiner would have seen the need for gynecological evaluation; later, doctors told us that Rachel’s swollen ovary was likely palpable through the surface of her skin.
But this particular ER, like many in the United States, had no attending OB-GYN.