My eyes flitted open as my stomach roiled with nausea. Lying there in bed, tiny goose bumps began their gradual journey from my ankles to my shoulders. Turning my head to simply check the time was not an option. How long had I been sleeping? I was motionless; my head fastened to the pillow until I could muster up the strength to swing my legs off the bed and do what I knew needed to be done. An odor redolent of smoke hung in the air. I pinched my nostrils shut. Nothing in my house was burning, of course. It was simply a vestige of the brain injury- an olfactory hallucination brought on by my concussion.
I managed to drag myself out of bed and to my friend Zoe’s room. “I’m worried about you. I really think we should get you checked out,” she declared with an intonation in her voice that sounded like an order. I wandered over to the…show more content… She stood up, sliding on her tattered sandals sitting by her nightstand and maneuvering into her white North Face jacket. “Okay, let’s go,” she said. I grabbed my handbag off of the bench at the end of my bed and kissed the top of my miniature dachshund’s head as I do whenever I leave the house. “You’ll be seen much faster if we go to a free standing emergency room. There’s one less than a mile from here,” she confirmed. I told her that she was in charge and reclined in my seat, turning onto my side. We had been in the car for less than two minutes when I felt our pace slow significantly. Sitting up in my seat, I immediately regretted agreeing to see a physician after three lanes funneled into one. Traffic was nightmarish. The weather was clear and Zoe revealed that there was no accident alert on her phone’s GPS. It was late in the evening on a Tuesday, so I could not imagine why there would be bumper-to-bumper traffic studding the highway and frontage road. After rolling forward a few hundred yards, we passed a sign that read, “Lane closures from 8PM-5AM” in large orange