Hope is A White Whale (But I Need It)

Rachel Langer
14 min readOct 18, 2020

I went to the Emergency Room this week.

I REALLY didn’t want to.

Partly because we’re still in a global pandemic (yeah sorry, I know you were hoping it was over. It’s not… so pull your damn mask over your nose.) Even though precautions are being taken at hospitals and health care professionals are working incredibly hard to contain things, it’s hard not to feel like Covid is lurking behind every curtain in the emergency room, festering under every mask, taking root in every vague symptom not mentioned at triage.

But in my list of reasons for not wanting to go, covid anxiety actually ranked pretty low. Mostly I didn’t want to go because I knew exactly how it was going to turn out, and worse, I knew exactly how I would feel when it did.

At the risk of sounding like a sanctimonious asshole, I wasn’t wrong.

On Wednesday this week I couldn’t stand up straight. Okay that’s not entirely true, I could get there eventually, but it would cost a bucket of shaky, sweaty effort and was accompanied by sounds only a cat giving birth should make. (Having once witnessed a cat give birth, I consider myself an authority on this matter.)

It felt like a cattle prod was being rammed through my left side from back to front at top voltage again and again. Now let’s be clear…



Rachel Langer

Screenwriter. Canadian. Wordsmith for Transplant (Crave/NBC) The Order (Netflix) andThis Life (CBC) . Loud about endometriosis and women’s health.