First I sincerely apologize to everybody to whom I’ve promised various things. Life is not going in anything remotely resembling a straight line. I feel caught up in a whirlwind–no, more like the vortex of water flushing down a toilet.
I don’t have a toilet, but other people usually do, if they live in developed nations.
Dad just got home yesterday from the nursing home where mom
dumped placed him for six days while she went to visit her relatives. Dad did not enjoy it, and I ran myself ragged going back and forth to the nursing home, which fortunately is not far away, to my house, to the store to get him things, to therapy an hour and a half away….
Dad was discharged from the nursing home Friday at noon. Mom came home in the evening.
I settled in for some deep Shabbat rest yesterday, but my phone rang at ten a.m.: It was Mom, sobbing that Dad had fallen and blood was coming out of his head and nose. He was unconscious but seemed to be breathing. She had called 911. Shit.
CALL HOSPICE NOW! I screamed into the phone. We are not supposed to call 911 without calling Hospice first, but she panicked and did it anyway. Now we would be covered up by the fucking millions of Keystone Cops that stand in place of an Emergency Medical Service here in West Bumfuck.
I grabbed my knapsack, which serves as my 24 hour kit as well as a purse, threw some food in my bewildered pup’s dish, and ran out the door hoping to beat the ambulance to my parents’ house. Dad was on the floor, unconscious and bleeding, just like she said.
He looked like he was in the process of checking out, and I didn’t blame him a bit. But I did lean down to his ear and softly sang, “Shma, Yisra’el, Adon-ai Elo-heinu, Adon-ai Ehad,” which is the central prayer of the Jewish faith:
“Hear O Israel, Adon-ai is your G-d, Adon-ai is ONE.”
Well, damn me if he didn’t start singing it with me! He was almost drowned out by my mother’s loud sobs, but I heard him, and he started cussing me out for leaning on him, which I might have been. I sat up and he still cussed at me for leaning on him, so I knew that he was very much alive, although in rough shape.
After a while I heard the screeching siren shriek of the meat-wagon, driven by a team of bozos with spanking new uniforms. They looked like milkmen on a spree.
They were planning to strap Dad to a backboard, but I talked them out of it, citing his spinal stenosis, so they scratched their heads for a spell and then brought their ambulance gurney into the house and strapped him onto it. At least it had something that passed for a mattress.
The trouble began when they tried to get him out of the house.
My parents’ house is not built for ambulance gurneys. A steel spiral staircase blocks access to the only egress in the house, and the bozos couldn’t figure out how to get out, since they had raised the gurney up on its pneumatic legs, and it wouldn’t pass by the stairs anymore. So instead of lowering the gurney to the ground and picking it up and over the stair rail, they tried to pick it up with the bed part four feet off the ground. So the idiots actually lifted this thing, with my dad on top of it, over the railing, grazing the ceiling and taking a layer of paint off the stair rail.
I tried to move my car out of the driveway, because I had a funny feeling we were not done with the Keystone Cops. I was right.
As I was backing up the dirt-road hill that stands in for a driveway, I looked in the rear-view mirror, and glimpsed the gigantic red nose of the county Heavy Rescue truck. Trapped. Shit. Hit the parking brake and cut the engine, since I was out of gas and running on fumes already.
I got out and said “Hey” to the driver and he said “Hey” to me. Introductions over with, I advised him that heavy rescue was not needed, as my dad was already in the ambulance. He cut his eyes at me and said that first of all he wasn’t Heavy Rescue, he was just driving their truck, but since he was a First Responder and had heard it over the radio he was obligated to go and check things out.
Suit yourself, I told him, but you’re going to have to move your vehicle so I can get out, and so the ambulance can get out, because there is no more room in the driveway.
Well, the Heavy Rescue truck backed up the hill, spewing gravel, and tried to find someplace to turn his rig around. I admit that I smirked a little when he backed right into the ditch you have to watch out for on that dirt road. I backed around him and got onto my own road after negotiating the tricky spot where the road does a wiggle going over a creek.
I’m too tired now to write anymore, so you’ll have to stay tuned.