Friday, December 23, 2005

All the old familiar places.

On thanksgiving day about 4 in the afternoon, I was getting ready to go over to my inlaws - a venture that I generally dreaded - and my cell phone rang. It was a North Carolina Highway Patrolman ringing me on my father's cell phone and asking me a series of strange questions while refusing to answer any of mine.

After a total of 3 brief convos with him and his commanding officer, and still no info, I drove off to my inlaws house convinced that my father must be dead. Car accident? Airplane crash? I had no idea. But my heart knew that if Kimberly hadn't rung me by then, that meant that she was probably unconscious in a hospital bed somewhere.

I spent the rest of that evening forcing myself to smile and to talk and later, when we got home, I finally found out the truth and the nightmare really started.


Today, about 3 in the afternoon, I was getting ready to go over to my inlaws house for the beginning of the consumer orgy that is christmas there.

And my phone rang.

It was a nurse practitioner at the SNF where Dad is. He had spiked a fever (over 103), his blood pressure was down, and they were sending him back to Baptist. To the emergency room. For the millionth time since this all began, I wished fervently for a teleportation device.

I rang Evil Genius Husband's phone (which Dad has) and he picked up. I could tell immediately that he was in a bad way. He said he felt like hell and confirmed that they were sending him to the ER. I told him I was coming up right then, he asked me not to. I told EGH that I was going up right then and he suggested I wait until Dad got to the hospital and ring to find out what the hell was going on before running out of the house half-cocked. I agreed to do that.

We got to my inlaws. I smiled thinly and spoke little. After 1 hour I rang the SNF: Dad had gone to the ER. I rang the ER. Dad wasn't there. I rang the SNF back. He had left 45 minutes ago. I resisted the urge to slam my cell phone down and stomp it to bits.

20 minutes later I was ready to get the hell out of my inlaws house. I rang the ER. Dad was there. I asked for an update. The nurse said (and I quote): "Honey, he's only been here like 3 minutes!". I threw my cell phone at my van. Fortunately I missed and it landed on the neighbour's lawn.

A half hour later we had just placed our order at Maurice's Piggy Park in Irmo and I rang the ER. Again. I got a reasonably nice person. She said that she had requested a bed for dad and could I ring back in an hour? At least this was good news. If he was going into a bed then he wasn't too ill. My Bar-B-Que tasted great.

One hour later we were home and I rang the ER. I had this pithy convo with a nurse:

Blue: "Yes I'm calling for info on my dad"
Nurse: "I can't give that out on the phone. I can tell you he's here in the ER."
B: "Well, is he OK? Is he stable?"
N: "Ma'am you'll have to come up here and talk with the family ..."
B: "I am the family and I'm 4 1/2 hours away. Is he alright? Can you tell me that much?"
N: "I can't give any info over the phone. I can tell you he's in the ER."
B: "I just need to know if he's stable. I mean, should I wake up my kids and drive up there?"
N: "Well, ma'am I can't make that decision ..."
B: "...and neither can I without information on his condition!"
N: "Hold on, let me transfer you to his nurse."

I finally found out, just a half hour ago, that he had been taken back up to Reynolds tower. I rang up there and he hadn't arrived (I presume he was on an elevator somewhere or down some corridor in that labyrinth of a medical facility.) I was asked to ring back in an hour.

So there it is. I have no more information. I have no idea what's going on. I'm assuming that he's in not-too-bad shape since he's going back into a room, but I have no details.

I AM going up there first thing tomorrow after I've tried to get a bit of sleep. In the meantime I'll update here the instant I hear something.


EDIT: 6:30 am Saturday - Dad is in Reynolds tower, but I don't know his number. He apparently has a bladder infection, but I don't know if that's what caused the fever (got up to 104) or what. They'll keep him a few days. I'm hitting the road now to go up there and I'll have more info when I get back. Everyone stay safe today.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:18 pm   1 comments


At 2:57 pm, Anonymous Chris Johnson said...

Blue I just found out. I have talked to Clark since Thanksgiving and he didn't even tell me that jerk (Well to be honest his complete inability to hold a phone conversation longer than 4 minutes probably hurt him.) Anyway if I can help you please let me know.


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