Hospitals, Part 1

My mother was recently in the hospital. You know this from my last not-a-post. I’m going to tell you about what happened.

For the last few years, my parents have been forced to play with fire. They lost their health insurance when my father’s company laid him off. It wasn’t until recently that they qualified for certain state insurance and began seeing doctors again. My dad faced his own terrible diagnosis. That is a story for another time. My mother realized her diabetes was back with a vengeance.

Mom’s new primary care doctor told her she had outrageous blood pressure and sugar levels and was very insistent she be hospitalized. Clearly, he didn’t know her quite yet. She was very insistent that she stay put and after a verbal fighting match with the doctor, was prescribed a medication that was supposed to lower her blood pressure and another to lower her blood sugar.

It apparently didn’t work.

I was woken by a text message on my phone from her, “Michelle are you home?”

“Ya in bed. Y”

“I don’t feel good”

“Need medicine?”

“I think I need to go to the hospital”

“Oh my ok”

“Can you take me?”

“NP lemme get dressed real quick”

“K”

I pulled on some pants and a shirt. I knew from experience that emergency rooms are very lengthy visits indeed so I grabbed my phone charger and mentally checked that there was a book in my purse. I brushed my hair, rubbed on some deodorant, and slipped on some shoes. I walked out of my bedroom and down the creaky wooden hall to see my mother sprawled flat in her computer chair, her night shift clinging to her body and rendered sheer from the layers upon layers of sweat on her body. Her head had lolled back and she was slurring her speech. I stood there mouth agape for what felt like minutes as I took in the sight of her. In reality, I snapped to work and touched her arm. Cold. Slicked with sweat. Almost dead. I told her we weren’t driving and that I was calling 911.

“Hello, what’s the reason for your call.”

“My mother’s in some weird kind of shock! She’s lying here like she’s dead and she’s cold to the touch but she’s still kind of talking, you need to send me an ambulance!” I provided my address and was told help would be on its’ way.

I was dutiful and vigilant as I grabbed water bottles, her purse, her medications, and put them in a plastic grocery bag. I snatched her robe off the towel rack out of the bathroom and delicately slipped it around her. I carefully buttoned her night dress all the way up to her neck and secured the robe across her chest to give her modesty.

I waited for the ambulance.

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