Yesterday, about an hour into my Climate Anxiety Counseling booth shift, my stomach started to hurt and it intensified until I was in too much pain to walk. Two very kind people–one who’d spoken to me at the booth before, and one who was a stranger to me–stayed with me while I called and waited for an ambulance. Long story short: ectopic pregnancy, emergency surgery, lots of professional and personal help; I am now at home eating apples and feeling okay, though my midsection hurts and I’m a little sad–going from “you’re pregnant” to “but in a life-threatening way” in a couple of hours was intense.
I can’t do climate anxiety counseling for the rest of the week because I’m not supposed to lift more than 10 pounds, which excludes moving the booth around and setting it up.
I’m telling you, the internet, my business in this way because I think it’s important to be open about what affects us when it’s safe to do so; because I wouldn’t abandon the booth, even temporarily, for just any reason; because I want to acknowledge the people who generously helped me; and because those people demonstrated the reality of the interdependence we all share.
One of the people who stood with me while I waited for the ambulance also took the large components of the booth over to the Kennedy Plaza Lost and Found so they’d be safe until I could pick them up, and handed the smaller components to one of the paramedics–who actually BROUGHT THEM TO ME in my hospital room when I was waiting to see the next doctor. Everyone who treated me was professional and kind (full disclosure here: I am a thin cis white woman with health insurance and no drug addiction), and they may have saved my life. My husband James was and continues to be present and exemplary in all ways. I am thinking of them all right now, but especially of the people who had made no pre-existing promises to or about me, but who kept my well-being in their sights and in their actions. May I always strive to do as much for them.