Let me off the roller coaster!

I woke up today planning to use my half sick day on a doctor appointment then go to lunch with the Chicago Cru Millenials and finish working.  Most of the way to my appointment, Mark calls to tell me UIC rejected his application. Major downer after he’d psyched himself up about going back to school.  My appointment went well, though, and I got a chai latte while waiting on Mark to meet me for lunch.  While I sat in the Chase building food court, I called UIC Admissions and spoke to a very kind lady who gave me much more information that I wish we had before Mark applied. UIC generally won’t take a transfer student with under a 3.0 GPA.  She told me where to find a list of pre-requisite classes that Mark could take at a community college & then transfer to UIC when his GPA goes up.

I decided it was about time to get food, so I waited in line for stir fry, knowing one “portion” would be enough for 2-3 meals.  The men working had designated places on the grill to match where you stand in line and somehow mine was messed up, thrown out, and re-created.  Oh well. By the time I paid & looked for the Cru group, there were several people there including the guy Mark met with earlier in the week.  These people are wonderful!  Cru is such a small world, and there’s almost always someone that we have in common as a mutual friend.

I had to leave to go to work, and made it through all of my emails & most of my database student emails when Mark called.  He knows I’m at work & never calls during business hours.  I walked over to the kitchen/hub to answer and found out he was having an asthma attack thanks to someone exhaling a lung full of smoke at him.  And both his inhalers are 45+ minutes away at home.  I remembered his mom saying something about soda helping and met him in the building lobby with a Coke.  That helped, but in retrospect may have worsened the anxiety/panic attack that followed the asthma.  He stopped wheezing but was losing color, getting dizzy, thought his face was feeling fuzzy & couldn’t get enough air.  The building security checked on us twice & called 911.

The Chicago Fire Department first responders are wonderful gentlemen.  (Thanks Mr. Rivera!) They got him checked out and made sure his oxygen level was okay, but called an ambulance for him anyway.  I had to grab my purse from the office upstairs & let my boss know what was going on.  The elevator system in my building requires you to go up one elevator to floors 12 or 19, then another set is on those floors to take you to 13-18 and 20-27.  It is the worst feeling in the world to not be able to speed up the elevator, let alone make the doors close faster!  I grabbed my purse, visibly scared my boss by letting her know I had to leave as Mark was going to the ER, and waited for the painfully slow elevators to take me down again.  I very much appreciate Mr. Rivera waiting for me, and for talking to us in the back of the ambulance.

After letting Mark’s mom know he was okay and breathing again, I was exiled to the waiting room while Mark was being checked over.  One of my lovely friends from home picked then to text me back, so I called and talked to her for 15 minutes.  I couldn’t tell if I was going to laugh or cry or both.  Talking calmed me down, and eventually they sent Mark out with a flow-meter to check his air during/after asthma attacks & a mini rescue inhaler.  We left, caught a bus to the train station, and saw a doughnut place right next to the train station.  Needing something fun and semi-normal, we grabbed a few doughnuts, rode the train & bus home & finally relaxed.  I’m making dinner while writing and debating going to Maunday Thursday service.

Mark now has an application in for the Chicago City College down the road about 20 minutes and should hear back soon.  The cost for 4 semesters is about $32,000 less than it would have been at UIC and they count you a resident after 30 days rather than a year.  They also have advisors specially designated to work with students who plan to transfer to 4 year schools.  Here’s hoping that goes well and Mark gets in, and that we both get some rest before work tomorrow!