Friday, June 15, 2012
Emergency Room Fun, The Cost of Going to Abu Dhabi, and Webinars...
TWENTY HOURS IN MEDICAL CENTER EMERGENCY ROOM: Dad was rushed by ambulance to the Medical Center in Macon on Monday night. He was complaining of his stomach hurting, but then his BP started dropping, his heart rate went down, and he became very cold and grey looking. He was totally incoherent. Mom and I tried to walk him to the car so we could take him to the emergency room, but it become clear that it was a situation we couldn’t handle. Mom phoned for an ambulance and we got dad back into the house. I sang to him and talked to him while we waited for assistance. At one point, Dad started talked about tiny lights all around, but his eyes were closed and he refused to open them. He kept saying “I can’t see” and when I would tell him his eyes were closed, he would deny it. At one point I heard him praying. I couldn’t understand the words, but the rhythm and the tone was one of prayer. I sang "Luckenbach, Texas" to him and he haltingly hummed along.
It couldn’t have been any more than fifteen minutes before the ambulance arrived, but it felt like hours. Mom rode in the ambulance with dad, and I took my six-year-old nephew to my house (he had been visiting at mom and dad's) and arranged for him to stay with neighbors (thank you from the bottom of my heart, Erin and Daniel!). Jim copied dad's medical directive and then we left for Macon. When I arrived, Dad was surrounded by a team of medical personnel. It looked like a pit stop at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and dad was the "car". They stabilized him, mom and dad's preacher and his wife arrived, and dad became halfway quiet and seemed to be resting. Around 4:30 a.m the doctor ordered haldol and ativan. Dad went to sleep, and Jim and I left around 5:15 a.m. I got to bed around 6:00 a.m. slept until 8:30, took a shower, gathered my belongings for an indefinite hospital stay,, went and collected mom's necessary items at her house, and headed back to Macon.
When I arrived, I found out that dad had came half way awake and had become very agitated just after Jim and I had left, and hadn't gone back to sleep at all. Mom had battled with him by herself to just keep him on the stretcher (they didn't wheel a bed in until I started yelling about it later that day). Mom was beyond exhausted, so I battled to keep my dad in the bed for the next thirteen hours.
Dad stayed in the ER for over eighteen hours before I got fed up and started raising hell about getting him into a room. The hospital was full to capacity, and I understood that, but the E.R was so noisy that we couldn’t get dad calmed down. And eighteen hours? I mean, really? They didn't find him a room until I told them they had until 8 p.m to get him a room and that if they didn't have him one by then, I'd transfer him to another hospital. By 8 p.m Dad had a room. In all, he was in the ER for twenty hours.
Like I said, Dad kept trying to get out of bed the entire time, so much so that one of us had to stand by his side every minute just to keep him safe. He was talking nonsense and grabbing at the air. His hands were almost constantly moving, doing tasks that only he could see. Several times I actually climbed into the bed with him to try and keep him there, but he still managed to pull out his I.V, even with me that close to him. The doctors could find nothing ‘wrong” and released him yesterday afternoon. We still have no answers for what happened to him Monday night. Will it happen again? When? We have no way of knowing.
Dad remembers none of it. He doesn’t even remember coming home yesterday. But he did know enough in the hospital to try and comfort me when I started crying Tuesday night. We were in his room on the sixth floor and I was curled up beside him in the hospital bed, where I had crawled in an effort to keep him from trying to get up. The room was dark, the only light coming from the small adjoining bathroom. Mom was finally asleep in the next bed. I placed my face into his neck and I just started crying. I felt his hand inch onto my shoulder and he started to slowly pat me on the back. He said, “Shhhhh”. It took everything I had inside of me to stop crying. I didn’t want to upset him. I said, “I love you” . He very clearly said, “I love you too”. The clearest words I had heard him say in two days.
My mom is exhausted and scared. We all are.
THANK GOODNESS FOR LITTLE MIRACLES: Miley, my four year old granddaughter, is here. I am trying to spend time with her because I know I won’t see her again until I fly back home for Christmas. She’s my best little buddy. I can’t even put into words how much joy and love she brings into my life. Especially with all that has been going on with dad.
FINANCIAL COST OF ABU DHABI: Jim and I figured out today that so far my job in Abu Dhabi has cost us about $2300.00. Some of that has been money that I probably didn't have to spend on new luggage, clothes, shoes etc, but what is done is done. $2300.00 is no small sum when you consider that I haven’t had a paycheck since late April. My next paycheck could be as early as late August (mainly furnishing allowance of $5000.00) or late September. Going to have to really tighten up massively in July. I foresee a lot of cheap meals and staying close to home until I leave.
EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL COST Of EVERYTHING: Eight weeks to go before I leave for Abu Dhabi. Because of dad’s condition I am having to live moment to moment. I never know what is going to happen. I feel like my entire body and brain are on alert 24/7. Every time the phone rings I jump. My body is starting to react to the stress. I can’t go to sleep, but when I do I don’t want to wake up. My arthritis is flaring up, and my neck is tight and sore all the time. It’s no one’s fault. It just “is”. Shit happens and you handle it the best way you can. Planning for Abu Dhabi amid all this emotional and mental turmoil is so surreal.
TEACH AWAY WEBINAR: Teach Away, the recruitment agency I went through to get the Abu Dhabi position, emailed information about pre-departure webinars. I can either sign up for June 22 or June 29. I also received the ADEC Pre-Departure FAQ. Contents listed are: Departure Time Line, Document Reminders, Preparation, Don’t Forget, Travel Concerns, Departure Questions, Visas, Traveling with Families, Money, Working Hours, Health Coverage, Possible Concerns, Understanding the Culture, Dress, Social Etiquette, Understanding Day to Day Interactions, Controlled Substances, Pets, and Resources. I will print the information and put it in my Abu Dhabi notebook, although most of the information about the country I have already learned from books I have bought (Culture Smart, Diamonds in the Desert), reading the UAE newspapers (The National http://www.thenational.ae/ and Gulf http://gulfnews.com/ ), and picking the brains, via Facebook, of teachers already in the sandbox. More like bugging the shit out of them really..
Eight weeks….. and counting.
Posted by Liti