Hospitalized — in Iceland

05Oct10

I got a call from my husband this afternoon as I was preparing to leave work. There were none of the usual pleasantries. “Take this number down,” he said gravely as he dictated 14 digits.

I knew immediately something was wrong. Even as I focused on the numbers, my mind raced. Had the fears of terrorism in Europe materialized? Had something happened to his dad or his uncle?

None of the above: My beloved is hospitalized. In Iceland.

During his flight from Amsterdam to Keflavik, Esteban fell ill. First he had vertigo. Then he felt weak and nauseated. By the time the plane landed he couldn’t stand up, so the paramedics boarded and took him to the hospital.

Esteban says he’s fine. It’s probably only dehydration, his Icelandic doctors say. But half a world away, I wonder … and I worry.

After we hung up, I thought of the generations of Icelandic women who have sent their husbands to sea or war, with barely a hope of seeing them again. I don’t think I’d be capable of such strength.

Good thing I’m living in an age when my husband can call me from Iceland.

Update, posted October 6:
Thanks to all the friends who have expressed concern.
Esteban is feeling much better, and was released from the hospital this afternoon. The official dx was a sinus infection and vertigo. But I don’t care what the paperwork says … I’m just glad he’s OK.
Once I knew Esteban was well, I was able to relax and contemplate two of today’s highlights: (1) Talking to my husband in Iceland and hearing him sound like his usual self, and  (2) trying to spell out the hospital’s Icelandic name — Heilbrigdisstofnum Sudurnesja — to the lovely woman in India who is handling his health-insurance claim.
What an amazing world we live in.


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