That’s almost always the million dollar question. Some version of where are you. Thankfully this question isn’t too difficult to answer, though there is some story to it.
The short form is, I’ve spent the of last week in the hospital as a visitor. I’ve been mostly visiting someone who’s important to me, helping them out and generally being there for them. Is there more to this story? Of course .
The Sunday before last I was home, playing Final Fantasy XIV. I had been invited to a party, but I was feeling like I needed introvert time.The night before I had gone to a choir performance of someone very dear to me. Afterwards we decided to get a drink in the Mission.We went to this overly full hipster bar (because they seem to populate the Mission). It was so full that I felt pretty done with people when we left. I’m incredibly introverted, so being there was incredibly draining. At about 6:20 PM (I know this because Final Fantasy XIV does display the local time) I get a call about an accident and this person is heading to the hospital. It took me a moment to compose my thoughts as that’s not something you expect to get a call about. The first thing I say on the phone is that his family should be notified. I get off the phone, finish what I was doing. I try to get ahold of his family, but realize that I didn’t have their numbers at the time.
Shortly after that, we’re out the door and on our way to the hospital.
When I get there, I’m already shaking, but also in the I’ve-gotta-get-things-done mindset. And a part of that is trying to find everyone. I go to the Emergency waiting room to figure out where people are. Apparently I was in the wrong waiting room as I was notified that everyone else was at a different part of the hospital.
I walk over there and say hi to everyone. Everyone looked emotionally distraught. That’s not too surprising when they tell me the story after I get there. Apparently they were taking a picture and had to put pressure on the railing of the balcony at the house the party was at. The railing was so dry rotted that it gave way and three people fell about 25 feet (I’m not sure about the exact measurement). I sit there for about 20-30 minutes before I’m called back.
I see the person on the stretcher, face covered in blood and what looks like a lot of facial injuries. The nurse tells me what they believe the extent of his injuries are: compound fracture of the leg, dislocation and possible fracture of the arm and fractured skull. I had to stay stoic. I couldn’t break down and cry because that wouldn’t help anyone. I needed to stay fairly unemotional because I still had work to do.
THey sign out his belongings to me, which include his phone. It rings while I’m talking to the intake nurse. They still need to get some information about him for his file. While that’s not the best of times to do it, they do need it before anything like surgery or popping an elbow back in place because they ask about things like drug allergies. He is conscious enough to answer questions, though he can’t remember everything. I can fill in those answers thankfully.
The best news I got when I arrived is that everyone could talk. That’s excellent news because that means there was no injury to their brain. That being said, there was a minor amount of blood on the brain because of the skull fractures.I hear that and it freaks me out a bit. This is because my dad had a major accident before I was born and was in a semi-coma for, I believe, a couple of months. His brain was injured in that accident.
I start feeling like I want to cry. I still can’t because there are other doctors I need to talk to.
The neurologist comes to talk to me and asks about medical history. I actually knew a lot of the questions that he was asking so I tell him what I know. I apparently knew a lot of what he needed. I talk to him while they’re popping the elbow back in to place.
I wind up staying with him, a majority of the time. I step away from him to talk to his family only when they are doing x-rays, CT scans and when they finally wheel him in to surgery. This becomes a series of calls to let everyone know what was up. I start with his daughter as she was calling while I was helping him fill in the blanks with the intake nurse. After he’s taken to surgery, I call his mother and tell her what the doctor had told me about the extent of his injuries. I also call his business partner as I knew that they had seminars this week that they were going to give. That way she knew what was going on and could take care of what needed to be taken care of.
Then comes the waiting… the hours of waiting. I told him before he was wheeled off that I would be there after surgery.So, I wait. First I wait in the original waiting room because I had to be on the phone contacting everyone.
After an hour and a half (the length of time I was told the surgery would be), I go back in and check on what’s going on as I hadn’t heard anything. At this point I’m taken to the surgery waiting room. It’s there that I meet one of his brothers. We both wait together in a cold room. We talk while we wait as there wasn’t a lot else either of us could focus on. Another one of the injured people’s wife meets me in the surgery waiting room and all three of us talk. At about 3:30 we’re told that he was in the recovery room and we can see him.
After briefly speaking with him, I go home to try to sleep. This is only partially successful.
I spend the rest of the week in the hospital with him and his mother.
So, yeah… that was an intense week. Now things are more normalized. Everyone is, more or less, stabilized. I’m still extremely sleep deprived. And it’s back to life as normal… well as normal as can be.
That’s why I was silent last week. There’s a lot going on all at one time. I feel emotionally stretched, but I’m trying to keep up a certain amount of sanity. I’m hoping that as life starts to go back to normal that I will be able to deal with this all better.
I will try to post at least once more this week.
So, until then!