Monday, September 21, 2009

The Family hangs out in the ER

Our 4 hour "visit" in the ER did not start out under ideal circumstances. It wasn't a good sign when I tripped over the curb walking into the ER entrance. In my defense- I am a total klutz and should have learned by now that walking and texting are not good ideas for me.
The city we lived in (at the time) is a large city with nearly 200,000 people. We lived in a nice part of town but the hospital serviced the entire county. Given that it was basically 8pm on a Friday night we were in for a long wait.
We had to ask probably a dozen people before we were even given an update on the Dad. After close to 45 minutes we were finally let back to his room in the ER. The Boy was pretty shaken up so I had to pull out the comedy routine to calm everyone down. It is exhausting having to be both the level headed one and the comic relief at the same time.
The Dad was in panic attack mode so they fortunately came in with the drugs once we alerted them to the situation. Since the Dad is bi-polar we have become experts at spotting the symptoms of his mood swings.
We have never spent much (any) time in the ER before. When the Boy was 4 we offered him a cash incentive for every year he made it with out an ER visit. So far he is 11 and we have only been the once now for the Dad.
I don't know if all hospitals are like this one but it was insane. People on gurneys lining the halls, gun shot victims, police officers rooming the halls, etc. We were in our own little room with a front curtain. Seriously the best people watching in the world!
Three bags of saline and about 2 gallons of water later they gave us a list of what had to happen before they would release him. First he had to um, how to put this delicately "empty his bladder." Not an easy feat when you are still tied to the hospital bed. Don't worry- the Boy and I were able to find plenty of humor in the situation. I was the lucky one that got to hunt down the nurse and get the next set of instructions. After about 3 hours they said "he can be released if he can eat a meal and not get nauseous".
They brought him a turkey sandwich, yogurt and apple juice. I explained to the nurse that we are vegetarians. If you make him eat a turkey sandwich he will get nauseous. So we compromised and he had to eat the yogurt and the apple juice.
After tracking down the nurse again and begging for his discharge paperwork we were free to go.
And by free to go I mean- free to go find the Uhaul that was parked on the side of the road and drive to Palm Springs.
I am thinking of offering the Dad the same cash incentive that we have offered the Boy to keep the both of them out of the ER.

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