Ah! Another day that didn’t go as I thought it would. Why should I expect otherwise? Different is the new same.
I took Justine up to Costa Mesa with me this morning because she didn’t have an after-school babysitter, and I figured a visit to her dad would be good for all. Maybe we would do something special afterward, just the two of us. But as I was turning in to the care home parking lot, I heard sirens behind me. Sure enough they parked right behind me so Justine and I laid low in our car, so we wouldn’t be in their way as they rushed through the double doors. I hoped that there was no heart attack but knew it was possible that it could be something less frantic, like a fall. By now I’ve come to realize that elderly people do fall in the home once in a while, after all.
I thought it was pretty cool that the paramedic fire truck had this number pasted on the side. It’s the name of a band we like; here is a song.
Once it seemed the coast was clear, I gathered Justine and her two favorite things (her “Doctor book” and Crystal, beloved kitty cat) and snuck through the door behind the men…only to see that the hubbub was right there in Vernon’s regular spot. They have him sit out in the hall by the nurse’s station when there is no one to work with him because he gets agitated and tries to get out of bed, though he can’t walk. Indeed, it was Vernon on the floor with about 8 different firemen/paramedics around him.There was a big gash on his forehead where he had obviously banged it against something in the fall.
The nurse told me she was sorry she hadn’t called, but it had just happened a few minutes before. The paramedics asked me questions about his behavior: “Does he always act this way? How does he usually respond?” I didn’t really know how to answer that as I’m still figuring it out myself, but for all I could tell he was the same as he has been lately.
I was less worried for Vernon, actually, than I was for Justine, having to see her dad bleeding and in such a vulnerable position with so many people making a fuss over him. Someone took her to get a snack, thankfully, but when I asked her later how she’d felt when she saw him on the floor, she said she wasn’t sad, but instead thought it was a good thing because people were helping him get better. This kid amazes me. Maybe she WILL be a doctor one day—she’s certainly getting an early education.
So Vernon was whisked off to Hoag Hospital in Newport once again.
As always the nurses and doctor were great, very caring and chatty. They were taken with Justine who started sharing all sorts of things that were wrong with her dad, for example his kidneys…which she then looked up in her “Doctor book” (about human anatomy) so they could see the pictures.
Back to Vernon, he is ok. He got another CT scan and an X-ray to see if there was any more head trauma. No fun, but at least he was safe.
I was hoping he would just get patched up and sent back today, but they decided that as well as taping/stitching the wound, it would be best to admit him and keep him overnight at least, so they could observe him for changes. I believe they found some residual infection in his system as well (nothing like before) but this may have been part of the reason for the fall. He had a slight temperature and threw up at one point. They know what they are doing.
Vernon’s t-shirt today. Hmmmm….interesting choice!
None of it seemed to phase Justine, who worked away at her drawing in the ER room corner. It’s a treat to go tot he hospital, after all!
On the way home, we stopped for some fresh air and a little romp in the grass. I figured we deserved a change in pace…it wasn’t the day out we had planned.
Later I came across this message, and thought it was very appropriate for this Tuesday, March 3:
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” —Confucius