Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The ER Again

It was inevitable.
When I found Mom on the floor on Monday, and she complained, "My bottom hurts," I decided not to take her to the ER for an x-ray.
Not again. Not this time. Even though she had not reported any pain like that in the last year or two.
On Tuesday when she was still saying, "My bottom hurts," I continued to ignore it.
But today it got to me. She was still reporting "My bottom hurts" and whimpering with pain when I transferred her from her chair to the wheelchair or the wheelchair to the toilet.
I had arrived at 3:30 pm planning to take her on an outing to the mall, but I decided to take her to the ER instead.
After x-rays, I'd know if her reported pain was serious--something broken in her fall--or just a sign of her general aches and pains and self-pity.
We arrived at the ER at 5 pm.
We left at 9:30 pm after x-rays and a CT scan. The verdict: nothing new was broken. Just the old cracks in her pelvis, crushed L-2 vertebra, and plates with pins in each hip.
As we were leaving, it occurred to me that maybe "My bottom hurts" means a urinary tract infection. I'll try to have that checked out tomorrow.
I wheeled her back to her residence, fed some of the salmon dinner the staff had saved for her, and put her to bed, going home at 10:30 pm.
"You better come when I call you," she kept saying to me as I settled her into bed and prepared to leave.
"No, I won't come," I repeated to her. "Someone here will come, but it won't be me. I'm going home and going to bed too."
"You better come when I call you," she said again.
Other samples of our conversation during the four and a half hours we spent in the ER:

Anne: Are you okay?
Mom: Just sleepy.
Anne: It's hard to wait so long for the doctor, isn't it?
Mom: They think they're so smart. They don't know as much as nurses.
Anne: So you talked to Bill a couple nights ago? What did he say?
Mom: He told me I was in heaven already.
Anne: Now we're going to get a CT scan.
Mom: They're just trying to make money off of me.
Anne: (waking her) Okay, Mom, now we're going to get dressed and go home.
Mom: I'm done now. It was a baby boy.
Anne: Let's get this shirt on.
Mom: Everybody knows I'm not a bear.

Next time somebody remind me not to take her to the ER just because she fell down.

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