You dread getting those messages. You especially don't want to get them when the company is on tour, and you're stuck at home, hundreds of miles away. While people are asking what you want for Christmas, all you really want is to get through Nut season without getting one of those calls.
Q was only a day away from coming home when he sent me a couple of texts from an emergency room in Wilmington, NC. He wasn't injured. He'd become ill. He didn't give me any details. I started swapping texts with the accompanist, who had actually gotten him on the phone.
Next thing we knew, Q was in ICU, on a ventilator, and I was doing laundry and getting the accompanist ready to fly to his side.
Eventually I found out he had collapsed after coming off stage at the end of a performance. That he is suffering from what they're calling Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and pneumonia. That he hates being still so much they've had to keep him sedated to keep him resting.
Another thirty-six hours, and he would have been home. Instead, I have had to fight my initial reactions of looking up medical transport services to haul him back. The accompanist and I have done our share of time in NYC hospitals, perpetually understaffed and overworked, while at the little hospital in Wilmington, every time the dancer twitches he's got two ICU nurses at his bedside. The long term, however, is that even if we get him back to New York, he'll be under medical care for quite some time.
It will be a long road back to the stage.