In late October or early November 2006 Pop decided to get his knee replaced so off we went to the hospital, again (Mind you by this time I had already been in this hospital for six weeks in 2004 when Mama got her leg amputated “ I KNOW this hospital.) He was slowing down a lot “ had sold the apartments “ and sticking closer to home. But he was having problems with that knee and after talking with his doctor, John, decided to have his knee replaced. (Pop doesn't believe in calling a physician Dr. because he thinks that they think they are more important than he is and he is older than all of them so we are on a first name basis with his doctors).
I guess the surgery went well and he was back on the 5th floor in the early afternoon. Mama and I went and saw him and he seemed fine so we went home. Around seven that night I got a phone call from the tech on the floor.
Is this Dorothy?
Um, yes. Who is this?
My name is Barbara and I am the tech on the fifth floor. Is this man your father? He keeps telling me that I need to call you because he needs you.
OK. I ™ll be right there.
15 minutes later (20 if you are a policeman) I arrived at the hospital by his side. What do you need Pop? What is going on with you?
Oh, thank God you are here. I ™ve been looking for you. They made it so I couldn't call you. I had to pay someone to call you so that you could come and get me. Can you give Barbara $50? Do you have a sleeping pill with you?
Of course I didn't really give Barbara $50 and no one was really holding him hostage “ the phone worked fine if you knew how to work it which he didn't. I gave him a sleeping pill and went out to investigate. Barbara explained to me that he had crawled out of bed and walked down the hall looking for me. They found him and put him back in bed with the rails up. He then crawled over the rails to go find me. They ordered a bed alarm. Defeated he started trying to call me but he couldn't figure out that he had to press the button first. Finally Barbara came in the room and found him yelling into the phone.
I went back to his room and handed him a sleeping pill “ yes I know the hospital gave him one but, like a Mayer, if one is good two is better (and he has been taking these sleeping pills for 15 years and normally takes two at home.) That was the last time I left him in the hospital alone – 4 years ago.
I know that, as patients and patients of loved ones we drive you professionals crazy.
Really I do.
But we are scared.
And more scared when he is 90 and can’t work the phone.
Please talk to us like we are human and remember what it is like to be in our shoes.