So Mom is back in the hospital. As absolutely insane as that is, I’m actually doing pretty well with it right now. I fell apart for a minute yesterday, but today I’m mostly better. You know I’m doing better if I can find some humor in this, because last time we hit up the ER, things didn’t seem funny at all.
Let’s begin with 7pm last night, when I knew things had gotten bad enough that we had to do something. I pondered the irony of how things always get worse once the doctor’s office closes. Then I debated the fastest way to get past the throngs. Her doctor told me there wasn’t much he could do to speed up the process. I was on the phone with him when I pulled up to the front and saw the waiting room PACKED with people coughing into their surely swine-flu-filled face masks. It was a full moon. That’s another quandary. Several medical professionals have confirmed that full moons bring out tons of emergencies and seems to cause labor. Anyways, I digress. I’m on the phone with the doctor looking into the waiting room and I let a tiny expletive slip. He tells me to go home and call an ambulance. When you arrive in an ambulance you go straight in. Fascinating. And in our defense, she didn’t have to pretend to be sicker than she was. This woman was at the height of misery. Which made our little stunt all the more ridiculous. So I explain to Mom that we’re going back home, I’m putting her in a wheelchair on the curb and calling 911. After sitting my very ill mother out in the cold for 10 minutes while she vomits in a bucket, and a good deal of neighborhood drama, the EMTs arrive. They inform me that they can’t take her to Howard County (the hospital that is 2 blocks from my house)because it’s full. They have to take her to Laurel Medical. You must be kidding, I say. This must be a very bad joke. Her doctor is at this hospital, it is 30 seconds from my house. I have spent weeks driving back and forth to Baltimore and now you want to take her to Laurel?? If you ever want to tell a story about a brilliant plan backfiring, you can tell this one. Umm, well, thanksbutnothanks. Maybe I can just drive her myself after all? Do we have to pay for this stunt, I ask? Only if you pay your taxes, ma’am. Awesome, I do. So I don’t really feel that bad.
Later in the ER, about 1am. I am starving. Everything is closed. I don’t want to touch the vending machines because nothing in there is Weight Watcher approved and I’m pretty sure it’s covered in swine flu. I ask the nurse if there is any food around. He says, I have a turkey sandwich, but only if it’s for your mother. The meals are only for patients. My mother has her poor head in a bucket again. Yes, I say, it’s for my mother. And she wants extra mustard. Is it lying when every party involved knows you’re lying?
This morning, while still in the ER (that’s right, still waiting for a bed upstairs), I tell the nurse that I don’t want to go to the bathroom here because I’m afraid it’s covered in swine flu. I wait patiently for her to tell me that everyone’s overreacting and I should just wash my hands and calm down and there aren’t actually tons of people here with swine flu. After a full 10 second pause, she tells me to try not to touch anything.
Stay tuned friends.