Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bookends of the Day

The bookends of my day were Robert falling this morning and hitting his head (which earned himself a trip to the ER) and Robert running a fever tonight. In between, there was work, card games with Robert (along with Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, of course) and, gratefully, a sunny day.

My phone is with me at all times so I can be available in the event of an emergency (which are frequent in my life). It is next to me when I sleep, within earshot at work and plugged into my hands free headset in the car (that’s for the benefit of any law enforcement officers reading my blog).  :-)

This morning, I plugged my phone into the charger and started to get ready for work. I was away from it for 45 minutes but had a voicemail from New Home waiting for me when I checked it. An unfamiliar, but very kind, calm voice was telling me that Robert had fallen while dressing and hit his head on his nightstand (yes, I was the one who added the nightstand to his room. It’s hard to find soft furniture, okay?). Because he wasn’t wearing his helmet and he hit his head, 911 had to be called. This New Person from Robert’s New Home was on her way to the hospital with Robert. This new person turned out to be the new House Manager. She was so calm and reassuring that I instantly liked her and was confident Robert was in good hands (and this was before I even talked to her in person!).

I immediately called her back to (1) to introduce myself to New Person; (2) apologize for missing her call and explain that is extremely unusual to not be able to reach me; and (3) to see how Robert is (not necessarily in that order). She said he seemed fine but was getting checked out at the hospital. I told her I would meet her in the ER and asked where he was. He was not taken to the hospital I prefer (due to his neurologist being based there) but was taken to a hospital I was unfamiliar with. I was very concerned that he would be in the ER for hours and hours and this Different Hospital wouldn’t be able to give him his correct medication and then he would have a lot of seizures again and it would take days to get him back to “normal.” (that’s me – always thinking on the bright side).

On my way to the Different Hospital, the New House Manager with the Reassuring Voice called me back. They were being discharged. Um, what do you mean “discharged?” -- it’s only been an hour since you got there and ten minutes since I last talked to you. One Hour. In the ER. I’m pretty sure the Guinness Book of World Records needs to know about this. ONE hour in the ER? Are you kidding me? I think I like this Different Hospital. I’m used to being in the ER with Robert while priority patients like gunshot victims, drug overdoses, and the occasional stabbing bump Robert down the “list” making for a very, very long stay for us. I can live with one hour in the ER.

So my day actually stayed on schedule. I turned around and went to work like normal. Robert was just fine and I trusted the Reassuring Voice lady.

When visiting Robert tonight I noticed, he had congestion. He had a fever. He was repeating himself more than usual. He looked like he was feeling pretty crappy. So I helped him get ready for bed and we played cards and watched television while he rested in bed. I talked with the familiar aide and asked her to keep an eye on Robert’s temperature. Sometimes when he gets a cold, his fever spikes pretty high and he will end up back in the ER. Hopefully, this information gets passed along to the next shift. I will call in the morning to be sure Robert is on the mend. 

In the meantime, my phone is next to me. Really.

1 comment:

Heidi Alberti & Atticus Uncensored said...

Hello Robert's Sister --
I'm a fellow SacConnect blogger and had to read your blog (so nice of Lisa to showcase it on facebook today). I am SO moved by your stories. Your grace and humor are uplifting! and you are an angel for taking such dear care of your brother. You remind me of the Laura Linney character in "Love Actually". have you seen that?

I wish you & Robert all the best and will continue to follow your journey.

Heidi & Atticus
"commentary to give you paws..."