It wasn't work. It was my Mom and her news was distressing: "I think I have dislocated my hip. It hurts just like the times that has happened."
Me: "Have you called 9-1-1?"
"I'll be there." I went thrashing around my room, digging out clean socks and a pair of jeans. Had 'em on by the time Tam showed up, sleepy-eyed and puzzled.
"My Mom--" I gave her the skinny.
She had one question and one statement, "Why haven't you called 9-1-1? I'm coming with you."
We were out the door a few minutes later; I explained that I wasn't sure Marion County's call center was the right one for Mom's adjacent-county-address. I called St. Nearby Hospital, to learn there was no shortcut if I wanted an ambulance.
About then, I was checking my "house" key ring. The Mom section was...not there. Long digression aside (week before last, I'd been sorting out keys, deciding which ones didn't fit anything any more, which ones could be kept in a drawer, etc.), I plain didn't have 'em. Called 9-1-1 as we reached her neighborhood, explained the situation three times, called Mom and told her I was there, help was on the way, and had she left anything unlocked? No? Not to worry!
It was about then the ambulance showed up, preceded by a fire truck (same firehouse as runs the ambulance) and followed by a County Sheriff's Department car. I flagged down the 'bolance so they'd stop closer to the back of the house (easier access), the guys piled out, I explained the "no keys" issue, and they fanned out, checking every entry point.
Plan B was me (or one of them, husky guys in big boots) kicking in a secondary door but as luck would have it, a window was found and we were inside in well under a minute from their arrival.
I led the Fire/EMT crew and their gurney back to Mom, said "hi" and got out of the way, giving the Standard Basic Info to the guy with the (electronic) clipboard. As soon as Mom was squared away, Tam and I locked up and followed the ambulance to St. Nearby Hospital.
Naturally, the waiting-room desk told me she wasn't there (and this after taking time out to dig out the lockbox in my car and do what you don't want to be doing in a dark parking lot at 0230 -- they don't even have the idiotic blue-light "please come out and say 'tsk' after the thugs are done with me" push-button-for-help kiosks in the lot closest to Emergency). So we cooled our heels until they admitted she was, then I went back and said "hi" again and helped answer questions. I'd grabbed her purse, so we did the insurance-card thing while they wired Mom up like a wi-fi paranoid's basement and took a look at her vital stats.
...About then, one of the handsomer EMTs found us and asked if there was anyone who could let him back into Mom's house, as they had left some gear behind. "Just me," I told him, as efforts to reach my sibs had all come up answering machines.
Mom chimed in, "You might as well go -- you can take my purse back, too. They'll be awhile with me."
True, but I didn't like it. The EMT allowed as how he had forms to fill out and wouldn't be ready to leave for 15 minutes anyway; so I stayed with Mom while the nurses got her connected (hey, genuine oxygen, not that nasty California brand with chemicals in it!*), situated and Officially In The Records with the whole Doctors/meds/medical history thing.
Then back to the house, dropped off her purse, they EMTs got their bag, cautioned me to "drive carefully," good advice given the hour and my lack of sleep, plus I'd kind of followed them on the house-to-hospital run and back to the hospital for...more waiting. They finally (an hour later? More?) got Mom off for x-ray snapshots and while that was happening, Tam and I snuck out to grab a bite to eat.
Turns out 0430 is too early for Shakey Steaks to be lookin' at bacon and eggs (???), so leadburgers it was and back to the hospital, where diagnostic progress had been made: good news, Mom's hip is not dislocated. Bad news, a collection of lesser issues that are none of your biz, Dear Reader, but add up to, "We'll be checking you into the main hospital while we work on these."
I napped in the waiting room and Mom's room. As 0600 approached, my sibs woke up and checked in on the phone; I gave them what details I had and stayed 'til 0730. Finally Mom, Tam and a nurse pointed out the situation was under control, I was nodding off standing up and hadn't I better go home?
In no condition to object, I gathered Tam and departed. Neither of us was in great shape to drive but St. Nearby isn't too far from my employer's all-but-abandoned North Campus (machines still work full-time for us there, people only when the machines break), so I could take long-familiar streets.
Stumbled in, did my ablutions and fell into bed; woke up for a text-messaged update from both sibs and a short call from my Nurse-Practitioner niece, who offered her medical insight ("Pretty much what St. Nearby told you, plus I think she may be pushing herself to do too much," which is my Mom, all right) and her (vet-tech) sister's help to make sure Mom's diabetic doggy got his insulin on time. (Yes, the poor little guy was diagnosed about a month ago and Wilfred Brimley's not offering super-duper deals on test kits and supplies for him). Fell -- more like it fell on me -- back into bed and woke up just now, days and nights completely upside down.
Mom is okay, or at least headed towards okay, with decent pain medication to make her comfortable and other meds to help her heal.
How was your weekend?
* Tam and I, punchy from lack of sleep, later spent an entire trip for 24-hour burgers making wisecracks about how the soap/shampoo/tin cans/natural gas/etc. used to be good, until they started putting chemicals in them. Ew, ick, how wicked and wrong.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
5 months ago