It is another night at the ER. My mind seemed split in two when I received the call. Tonight is a perfect example to be careful what you wish for.
My son and I had made last-minute plans to see a movie. We hadn’t seen five minutes of the movie when I wanted to leave. Ridiculous plot, poorly constructed characters… I began a mental calculation on the remaining time until it was over.
During a quiet moment, I heard a low buzz. It wasn’t getting louder, but it wasn’t going away. My phone. Yes, it was my cellphone. A phonecall from my husband at 10:30 pm could only mean bad news.
We rushed to the lobby and returned the call. A virus has spread throughout my mom’s facility, and her flu shot offered no protection.
The night staff confirmed what she had said: several residents had been to the ER for treatment. She was the next patient.
My mind rambled with facts, some helpful, most was useless. I went into denial. I had just seen her five hours earlier. There must be a mistake. I rattled off doctors’ names and her medication list. With each rapid-fire announcement, my son just nodded his head and continued driving calmly towards her residence.
I was not prepared for the scene in her room. I will tactfully say I have never been around such nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. My mother was almost incoherent from her symptoms, dehydration, and fatigue as it brought havoc due to her Alzheimer’s.
Suddenly it was as if I had been slapped in the face. I’m in charge. My mind rattles off a priority checklist. Do this, don’t do that. Oh, and show compassion. People appreciate that when they are sick.
Now she is resting quietly as we wait for test results to come back. What a difference a calm moment makes. I’m thankful my husband was out of town, or no one would have received the call from her facility. She would be here all alone for hours. I’m thankful God gave me such a calm, compassionate, and patient son. I’m thankful for the staff at her facility. I’m thankful for the hospital staff. I’m thankful we haven’t been moved to a room. There is still hope that this will be short-lived.
I’m thankful my mother took such good care of me when I was a child. Who knew she was preparing me for the day when I would be taking care of her?