My parents are not the type of people to sugar coat anything. And to be perfectly honest neither is anyone in my family. Some of my earliest memories were of them telling me scary stories of what will happen to me if I don’t do as I was told or stay away from what they wanted me to stay away from.
Some might call them little white lies but telling a small child that alligators will eat you if you go in the living room or that if you pop a zit on your cheek you will cause a brain hemorrhage and most likely die are not all that little, believe me.
Of course this also meant that they did not shelter us from hospitals, death and/or sickness. First, there is a considerable age gap between my mom and dad. Secondly, my mom is the youngest of six and her parents were very old by the time she got married in her 30s. On top of that, my mom worked at a geriatrics doctor’s office which eventually had led to working at our city hospital, in the emergency room. Oh, and, my dad died of lung cancer after battling it for two years from the hospital bed in our living room.
I have gone to more funerals as a child then I care to admit and I have spent more time in hospital waiting rooms then a child should but all of this has prepared me for my turn at being responsible to take my nearest and dearest to the hospital. The first time was in high school, a year after my dad died when my mom sprained her ankle. The last time was a week ago when my mom had chest pains and the nursing home deemed it (eventually) best to take her to the emergency room.
I have found that nursing homes seem to have this unwritten rule about taking patients to hospital. I learned this when my mom was the go to person for her disabled brother when he was in a resident. Of course, at his nursing home if you went to hospital they assumed you would not be coming back and your room was packed up. When or if you returned then you got a new room. One year he had three new rooms.
Since her nursing home is not far from the hospital she once worked at it is only natural she would want to return there when she needs emergency care. She worked there for eighteen years and left eight years ago. There are only a hand few of her friends left there but she still feels the most comfortable there and after having been to most of the ERs in our area, I can’t blame her.
What the nursing home failed to do was call the hospital that was in her new network. Sometime between her admission to this same hospital a few weeks ago and this new trip to the emergency room, her insurance company traded hands and her preferred hospital is now out of network.
Apparently no one wrote this down, anywhere and this was not discovered until they were trying to admit her to the hospital at the start of the second hour there.
It took ten hours to get her a bed at the right hospital, twenty minutes away.
Emergency rooms are not designed to be waiting in for that long, not for the patient but especially not for the family members. Why they are not more comfortable is beyond me because even though this may have been the longest wait time I have ever waited for her to be admitted it is not by much. The shortest wait in an emergency room – three hours and that was for one of my kids.
Yes, I get that they are designed for function but holy crap I wish they weren't because rarely am I there for the function part. The only person I see on regular bases is the cleaning person. If you don’t complain (and loudly) the nurses, orderlies and even the doctors leave you to sit there in hard chairs freezing.
The remote and sound for the TV is on the nurses call button thingy which also controls the bed so I ended up renewing Amazon Prime so the kids would leave me be as I read my book. My mom slept with the only means of entertainment.
The only reason I had the husband bring the kids to visit is for the “what if” moment. I tried to shoo them home but baby girl wanted to stay and I mistakenly believed the nurse when she said it would not be much longer. Three hours later I made him come get her.
I sat there fantasizing about what would make the room more tolerable. Sure an updated TV would be nice but that TV could also function as a monitor when needed. And I get that chairs can be in the way so why not a pull down couch? And, why, why must it be so freakin' cold?
Thankfully, the Husband made one finally trip and brought me a sweater. So, what if it is 85 outside? Everything is already starting to look a whole lot brighter.
note: not a heart problem but Costochondritis. Hopefully her care givers will know the difference between a arthritis flair up and something worse...