Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck.

Last night, gf started showing classic heart attack symptoms – fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, feeling like someone was sitting on her chest. We drove to the nearest hospital (40 minutes away, given how remote this town is) and checked her in at 1am, with just two doctors and a single nurse.

It took some convincing to avoid getting placed in the covid unit. (With her asthma, catching it would be a death sentence.) They didn’t say how many covid patients they had, but all the protocols were in place: hand-sanitizing upon entry, masks and PPE the moment docs suspected a possible covid case, etc. They ran an EKG, didn’t find anything, and hooked gf to a heart monitor for the night before telling me to leave. The waiting rooms are all closed, so I spent the night in my car. (That’s precisely why I always carry a blanket and a sleeping bag in my trunk!) Got a luxurious three hours of sleep, while gf got just 30 minutes – she could barely breathe.

In the morning, she got a super-nice doctor, equally nice Quebec nurses who actually paid to download a translation app in order to communicate, an X-ray, and a full battery of blood tests. They didn’t find anything obvious, but they’re keeping her for observation for one more day. I spent the day in the parking lot – pacing, reading, texting her. I’d forgotten to drop off the phone charger, so her phone battery slowly started dying while I dropped off the charger at the reception. (No visitors allowed, even for non-covid cases.) They said they’d sterilize it for an unknown amount of time (minutes? hours?) before delivering it to her.

It’s 3:30pm – I drove home, showered, ate, and I’m forcing myself to catch some sleep. Once gf is discharged, I’ll drive back up for her. The worst part, aside from the horrifying health scare, is that after five weeks on the run, we ended up going to a hospital that has some coughing people, not all of whom are patients. (Though I suppose that could be said about any hospital these days.) All our hiding, all our precautions will have to be reset. Once we’re reunited, we’ll have to operate on the assumption that we got exposed, and spend at least two weeks self-monitoring for symptoms. All that matters is that she is alive and well…