Saturday, September 22, 2007

Only in my Family...

Friday morning was a bit of a scare here at the Bell house. Upon awakening, I found that my father had been sick during the evening and had thrown up. You must know that I can remember no time in recent history that my father had been ill enough to actually worship the procelain god... but he was doing so in the wee morning hours of the day.

This is not a typical cause for concern, except that my father has been on blood thinners for 12 years because of previous blood clots, and what he was throwing up bore a striking resemblence to old blood. We'd rather not think that my father is bleeding internally, and therefore after much cajoling, and a second round at the procelain altar, my father conceded to go to the ER here in Smyrna.

I paved the way. I left right before they did so that I could arrive at the hospital and have a wheelchair to assist my father in through the hospital waiting area. I also knew that if he were in a wheelchair, he would be seen quicker. I was right... and I wheeled him right in to the ER admitting area where the RN took his vitals, history and asked why we were here.

Once all the paperwork was underway our RN took over wheelchair operating duties and Mom and I stood to follow her down the hall. And we waited. And waited. And waited some more as our RN slllloooooowly made her way pushing my father. I wondered why she was moving so slow. At first, I thought she was just being very sensitive to my father's nausea and didn't want to jar him. I was a bit chagrined knowing that I acted like Dale Earnhart, Jr. whilst I was wheeling him about, not thinking of his upset tummy at all... but just wanting him to get medical care as quickly as possible.

But then I realized we were moving so slowing because our RN walked with a fairly noticeable limp. And, upon closer examination, it almost appeared as if the wheelchair were holding her up and doing her as much good as my father. I don't mean to belittle her at all, because she was wonderful... albeit, my father could have walked on his own to the room quicker than our nurse was pushing him.

But, we got in the room and got Dad settled and into a hospital gown and waited for the doctor to appear. Mom made a joke about not having her camera to commemorate this moment, and since I had the technology, Dad insisted that I take a picture of him with my camera phone. Yep... we live to make memories here in the Bell home. Once finished, I stepped outside to make various and assundry phone calls and when I returned, the rather young physician had already been in and talked with the parental units, performed a rectal exam (OUCH!) and declared there was no bleeding in that portion of the anatomy, for which we were very grateful. Dad's nausea had calmed by this time (mine would too if a doctor had put his finger you-know-where) and we were watching the Today show when two new RNs appeared. One male, one female.

They came to draw blood and start an IV solution of saline, which is standard operating procedure in a hospital (I know this because I have been in the hospital now and I lived to tell about the IV experience) What we didn't know was that apparently the girl was a newbie... as she asked a question to the guy about something as simple as "do I wipe the vein before the stick" (an answer I could have provided would be something like "YES!!! And get those gloves on!"), he answered her... and I realized that it all made sense to have a fresh-out-of-school nurse, since we had still-in-school doctors when Mom was at the Vandy ER a couple of years ago after her knee surgery.

The IV issue was pain free and Jack & Jill RN left the room and left the door open so we could be heard in the event that we broke into song and dance, or Dad got sick again... and thankfully neither happened. Now that Dad was hooked up to the IV, it was time to break out the camera phone again and snap another shot. He insisted. I complied.

Dad, by the way, is completely in his element in a hospital situation. That makes sense since he worked in one all his adult life. When the nurse asked questions, my father proudly rattled off protime numbers that could have been lottery winners, for all I knew... and the nursing and doctor staff were adequately impressed with him, which made everyone happy.

Since the door was open, we got a clear shot of people walking up and down the hallway. An immigrant was running a mopping sweeper machine, doctors and nurses were going to and fro... and then out of nowhere, there was a little guy in a motorized wheelchair who paused at the door and said Good Morning to us. We replied Good Morning back and he moved on... wearing his SECURITY ball cap and we began to hope and pray that no gang related shootings appeared in the ER forcing us on lock down with a crack security staffer such as that at our beck and call.

Dad's blood work looked pretty good, and so there was no reason to admit him, but the doctor felt like we needed to see a gastrointerologist to get further results, and so off I went again to pave the way to the new doctor's office. He asked Dad to put on the paper gown... which meant camera phone photo #3, performed the exam (minus the rectal... much to my father's happiness) and scheduled us for an endoscopy on Tuesday.

I can only imagine what memories will be made then. I will keep you posted!


Requelle said...

For the love... only in your family. You could write a sitcom with these kind of memories!!

Mary said...

Your dad cracks me up. Hope all is well everyone can stay out of the hospital for a while.