Thursday, April 2, 2015


You would think this was my family's version of a very bad and distasteful April Fool's joke, but sadly it wasn't.  The thing is when I got home yesterday, I was told my mother had been admitted to the hospital and my dad (who's taking care of my sick granny) wanted me to go stay with her until she got put in a room.  Mama was all alone in the emergency room.  My mother has always had anxiety issues about being left alone, so it was no question that she needed someone there with her, and I'd have done so anyway.  What was so unbelievable was that my mother was sent to the hospital just after 3 pm, and instead of calling and telling me to go to the hospital which was twenty minutes away from the school, my family let me drive all the way home in the opposite direction before telling me about mama.  I could understand if this was twenty or more years ago, but I have a cellphone with me at all times.  Once I was home, not only had I wasted the 40 minutes driving home when I could have been with mama, but once home the drive to the hospital is an hour away, not the 20 minutes it is from school.

Even more unbelievable to me is that my sister lives, at tops, with bad traffic, ten minutes from the hospital.  My sister does have kids, but her in-laws live practically next door and could take the kids for at least an hour so she could go be with mama until I could get there, but my sister did nothing.  She didn't call me like mama had asked her to do, which would have saved me time, and my sister never even came to the hospital and didn't even call to check on mama.  Her only response was, "She's not even in a room yet."  That wasn't the point.  Mama needed someone.

Once I got to the hospital and I knew mama was okay, I could calm down a little bit.  Mama has acute asthmatic bronchitis and she's basically been having an asthma attack for three weeks.  Her doctor should have put her in the hospital last week, but she begged him not to because she was taking care of my granny (her mother).  By the time I'd gotten there, they had her in a bed in the ER with oxygen and an IV, waiting for a room, at which time they basically ignored her for the next eight fucking hours.  Eight hours we waited for a room.  They didn't bring her any food, nothing to drink, and never even checked to see if she needed to go to the bathroom.  I finally got the nurse's attention and asked for mama to at least get a glass of water.  She was brought a Sprite.  Then mama needed to go to the bathroom, but it's not like she can just get up and go because of the IV and oxygen.  So I went and asked the nurse to help her.  The nurse said in a snarky voice "In a sec."  Then we waited, and we waited.  Mama is a retired nurse and at this point she's got to go and is ready to unhook herself, so I went back to the nurses desk (by the way, the call button did no good, it just went ignored), and that's when the "teacher voice" came out.  I use my "teacher voice" when I truly mean business, and since I am usually mild mannered and soft spoken, the "teacher voice" usually makes people pay attention.  It certainly got that nurse to moving. (I was polite, but firm.) Shortly after that, they decided they better find us a room before I came back again.

Close to midnight last night, they finally had mama settled into a room.  Thankfully this one had AC, since it was 76 degrees in the ER.  Also, I made sure the nurse went to get mama something to eat.  Once mama was settled, I headed home.  It had been an ordeal for her, so hopefully she had eaten and was fast asleep by the time I got home around 1 pm.  Now it's off to school.  I'm praying today is a better day, and thankfully, we are out for Good Friday.


Anonymous said...

So sorry about your Mom!! Glad you have the "teacher voice" when needed!

Susan said...

Thank God for you, Joe. Hope your mother is being well taken care of now she has a room. Take care.

Michael Dodd said...

That "teacher voice" is a handy tool. I have two weapons in my vocal armory -- a librarian voice and a priest voice. Like the teacher voice, even with polite words, they convey that the speaker will brook no foolishness.

Hope you mother improves rapidly and that you have a restful though brief Easter break.

Amanda said...

Sorry your Mom is sick and in the hospital. I hope she gets better fast. And hopefully you will have a good Easter.

naturgesetz said...

It's amazing how we can fail to think clearly at times — like your dad not calling you to go straight top the hospital. It probably never occurred to him. He's doubtless from an era where you always had to wait until somebody got there to tell them something.

I'm sorry your mother had to be hospitalized, and I hope she'll get effective treatment and be home and in good condition very soon.

Hang in there.

greenbeltandy said...

I thought down in Alabama, home of Southern hopitality, that at least people would be treated with respect, kindness and dignity. Not like it is here in the DC area.

About five years ago, around age 60, I was going up the stairs to a CVS Pharmacy. About six stairs. When I reached the top, I got dizzy and ended up falling backwards all the down the stairs, hitting the back of my head quite hard on the pavement below. I did not know if I was seriously injured from such a bad fall, or what caused me to get so dizzy.

So I drove myself to the local hospital ER. This was right during the Swine Flu and they were pretty busy. But what was extremely infuriating was seeing lots of young, stong teenagers, many wearing their letter sweaters, with nothing visually wrong with them, being taken out of turn, way ahead of me. Finally after 6 hours, they saw me, declared there was nothing wrong with me and sent me home.

On the way home, I went into a 7-11 and when I came out, I got dizzy again and fell on the sidewalk! That is my last experience with a hospital ER. If I have any say about it, never again.

Anyhow,hoping your mom is feeling well and doing better.

Jay M. said...

I do so hope that your mom is OK! It's unconscionable what your sister did NOT do! Any of us would have dropped (well, save the middle brother) everything if we were called.

You're a great son, who has his priorities straight! It's funny that you had to use your teacher voice. I once had to ask for a phone to call a malpractice lawyer! That got them hopping!

Peace <3

Marsha said...

I hope your Mama feels better soon!

Dima said...

Sorry the hospital staff treated your mom so shabbily in the waiting room. I recently took my elderly neighbor to the hospital, where her doctor had assured her that she would be seen right away. I dropped her off at 8:00 pm. and she wasn't processed until 2:00 am. She's usually pretty feisty and insisted she would be fine without me sitting there with her, but her breathing problems kept her from using her "teacher voice." I'm always amazed at how badly hospital personnel can treat the patients.