My Day..

I woke up at about 9:30 or so, apparently all I need now is my 6-7 hours of sleep. I hopped down to my desktop to check my emails and stumbles, sometimes I do a little bit of researching for various things. But, anyways, maybe 45 minutes later my phone rang and it’s in an entirely different room, so the house phone goes. Alex brought it down to me and it was mom. No biggie, right?

No. Big biggie. I had to get over to gramps and grammas house because gramps got into a car accident and no one was there with grams. I got over there at about 10:30 or so, and got a phone call a couple minutes later from mom, who was at the accident scene. My gramma had a doctors appointment regarding her broken neck at noon, and there was no way in hell that she’d make it in time, so I called up to cancel it (and apparently, they had no record of it either). So, not too long after, I was told about how the scene looked. My gramps was t-boned, maybe 2 feet in front of the passenger compartment on the driver’s side. The lady that hit him tried to make an excuse that the traffic barrels spaced 6 feet apart hid the Buick when she was trying to get onto the highway. So be it. The cop that arrived called an ambulance for my gramps and he turned it down. My cousin got called down to give him a ride back home and to leave her car for gramps to drive, which she didn’t do.

Alright, now it’s about 12 or so and he gets home. He called up the hospital to schedule an appointment for gramma, and after some prodding, he decided that it’d be a good idea for him to go in too, so he made an appointment for himself also. All I know is that I’m supposed to be there at 2:30. So, I left, went home, showered, changed, and got a call from my uncle to meet him at gramps. At this time it was about 1 or so, and I tell him that both gramps and gramma are going to head to the hospital at 2:30 or so, but, I didn’t have a car that’d be easy enough for them to get into. There’s the Stratus, which, being a 2 door coupe with the roofline level with some cars insignia (like Chad’s Mazda symbol) is kind of hard to get in and out of. There’s the Mustang, but, that has a nonexistent back seat. There was also the truck, and, that’s fairly high up and just a regular cab. That wouldn’t work either. So, I ended up going to my uncles house to play musical cars. I grabbed my gramps truck, my uncle took his van, and I had to leave my car there.

It’s now about 2:30, and my uncle, gramps, and I are all trying to load gramma into the van. It was a royal PITA that took about 10 minutes. Regardless, we get her in, then get her to the hospital in time for her appointment. Afterwards, we got her back in the van and my gramps then went to his appointment.

His appointment is at 4, and he walked in pretty much at 4. He explained what happened, and there was a nurse practitioner there that looked in his ear canals and saw blood. So, seeing blood and having my gramps complain about his neck and back, she thought that he’d be best treated in the ER. So she wheeled him over, and about a half hour later I got a phone call to come back in 2 hours, they saw bleeding in his ears and took him to the ER for a CT.

It was fucking hot there too, just before the storm. I headed back to drop gramma off and load up the truck for a trip upnorth, and turn on the AC in the house. During the unloading of my gramma, my uncle decided that he could carry her, so he wrapped her arm around his neck, lifted, then tried walking and she tried squirming. The next thing I knew, they were both on the ground, my uncle on top of gramma. I realized that wasn’t working too well (yay for my college edumacation!) so I grabbed the wheelchair and got her in the house.

Time passes, and we’re keeping busy looking for things in the house and trying to get gramma to drink something. I don’t know if you’ve had to try, but getting someone that’s literally at the 7e stage of AD to drink out of a cup is impossible; a straw worked just as well. At this time my mom and aunt were over and my gramps called. I ended up having to make something that gramma could eat, which, damn near impossible to do when she couldn’t chew even IF she had her teeth. It was egg time! Not too long after that, it was time for us to eat.

I think at this time it was 7:30 or thereabouts. My uncle and I went to the ER to see how gramps was doing, and, sure enough, he was sitting in triage with a neck brace. They weren’t taking anyone in at that time, either walk-ins or ambulances. I’ve never before seen an ER closed, but, I would guess that most of the people there had either dehydration or heat-stroke. After waiting with gramps for about 10 minutes he was wheeled back and my uncle and I were given visitor passes (btw, we’ve been to the ER department so many times at St. Luke’s that we know it like the back of our hands…and it should be renamed the Stec wing or something).

We ended up sitting in my gramps’s room with him for a half hour or so when he calls up my mom and aunt to let them know what pills my gramma needs, how to give them to her, and everything else. Now, a part that I should mention is that my cousin that was there earlier is a CNA, so my aunt, mom, and uncle were all trying to get her to go help take care of gramma. During this entire ordeal my gramps started crying, my aunt was asking what would happen if he were to be admitted to the hospital, and my uncle and I were just winging everything. After a couple minutes, we ended up getting a nurse in there to figure out what happened and everything like that.

“So, what happened?”
”I was heading east on Holt and this lady decided to make a turn onto the highway heading towards Chicago and broadsided me.”
”Do you remember if you hit the window or anything?”
”Not that I remember.”
”Did you pass out that you know of?”
”Not that I know of. All I know is I got hit, then came to and saw smoke all over and wanting to get out.”
”I’ll mark that as a yes.”

A few minutes later the doctor came in, asked what happened, told gramps that he was going to send him for a CAT scan, and that hopefully everything would work out fine. He also wanted to know if my gramps was in pain. My gramps, I’ll admit, wasn’t letting on that he was before this. So while he was examining gramps, he was looking at my uncle to see if my uncle was making a face or not. The end result is that gramps is given Vicodin. Before it kicks in he has this speech thing.
”Those fuckers out there, laughing and yacking away! This isn’t the place for that! I had to listen to those fuckers out in the waiting room and now I’m in here and I still have to listen to those fuckers fucking laughing and yacking!”

My uncle and I wasted about an hour, and during that time they took my gramps for his CT. We came back and maybe 10 minutes after we do the doctor came back and said that it was just arthritis in his neck and back. He jokingly says that gramps should hit his head to get dizzy and come back. But he then found out about the blood in the ear thing and was worried about a basilar fracture, which, as it turns out, the blood was in the wrong place for it. At this time my gramps was high on the Vicodin.

On the way out my gramps was waving to all the staff, telling them that he’d miss them, and nearly walked straight into a door. The rest of the night was pretty uneventful, and I ended up getting home about 12 hours after I first left.

The course of the entire day was changed in a matter of 5 seconds, my plans that I had were cancelled, and my plans for tomorrow were put on hold. My uncle was sent home from work, my cousin had to help clean my gramma, my mom was gagging from the smell as my cousin was changing her diaper, and my aunt was going around the house looking for clothes for grams. No one had any idea what was going to happen if he weren’t coming home. I feel kind of sorry for Lauren though, I don’t think it’s really her responsibility to change her grandmother’s diaper and clothes.

And, as a side note, when I had grams in the van she was making a very audible death rattle; it was louder than the fans on full blast.

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  1. #1 by Chadwick on June 19, 2010 - 11:32 AM

    Uh…huh. That sounds like an incredibly stressful day. Congrats on surviving it, sane and intact.

    • #2 by Phillip on June 19, 2010 - 3:03 PM

      Indeed. I’d like to think that I’ve lived enough so far for an average life. But, I think if I didn’t have a day like that every now and then I’d be bored out of my mind.

  2. #3 by Joshua on June 19, 2010 - 6:07 PM

    Wow. I’m terribly sorry that you have to go through all that but I’m very glad your family loves one another enough to be willing to go through that. We totally need more of that in the world.

    • #4 by Phillip on June 21, 2010 - 12:09 PM

      Different things for different folks.

      My gramps came from a really close family and it just got passed down I guess. We used to go up to the cottage every other month or so, we’d have cookouts every couple weeks, we’d do tons of stuff together.

      Somewhere around the house there’s a picture of my gramps and me, when I was probably about 6 or 7, on the boat at the cottage. There’s also a picture of my gramps’s mom and me having a water fight.

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