The Phone Rang Last Night
Each night when I go to bed I set my cell phone on the nightstand and wonder if it will ring during the night. Except last night; I just went to bed. I got “the call” at 12:45am and made it to Mom’s room as the ambulance crew was trying to figure out how to move her from the floor by her bed onto the transport. She was sound asleep, resting after taking a tumble, presumably on the way to the bathroom. We’ll never know what happened as she is unable to tell us, having forgotten what happened almost as soon as it did. Aides found her yelling for help during a room check.
As soon as the paramedics attempted to move her onto a backboard to lift her onto the transport they got an earful of expletives. Mom has always been a colorful curser. There’s very little meat on her 98-pound frame. I’m sure the cold, hard plastic backboard was uncomfortable at best, and she let them know it. I rode with the ambulance to the hospital hyper-conscious of every pothole.
We dodged the bullet this time. X-rays showed no broken bones. Mom slept through most of the ordeal, and I was home in bed again just after dawn.
White at the ER she had her blood pressure taken once, got a shot, and tried to climb out of bed twice sticking both legs through the bed rails. Backing her up was no easy task as she was on a mission to complete the errand that landed her in this fun house in the first place. She used the bed pan twice, received a series of x-rays, and finally demonstrated that even at 4 am, awakened from a sound sleep, with morphine sloshing through her veins and people supporting her on both arms, that she could still ambulate proving that she could be discharged. Total time elapsed: 4 and 1/2 hours. I can’t wait to see the bill.
Not a single person we encountered bothered to identify themselves to us. I still don’t know if the person who discharged us was the doctor or part of the cleaning crew. To keep Mom calm, I spoke to her very slowly and in an extra soft voice and asked the ER staff to do the same. No matter how well I modeled the desired behavior, nor how often I reminded them that her hearing was probably better than theirs, they insisted on speaking at such a ridiculously high volume it was almost comical. They did not take direction well.
Mom, on the other hand really did a great job. In addition to soldiering through all the painful poking and prodding while being totally clueless as to where she was and why she was there, tried to do everything that was asked of her. In fact she even tried to do everything that wasn’t asked of her. She answered almost every page that came over the public address system, jolting herself awake to answer, “OK, just a minute, be right there.”