191015 Couples Dying
I've wondered why couple's lives are connected in life and in death. I'm writing about the situation where one passes away, and not long afterwards the other goes.
Today I offer you a theory. I submit that when someone married to us that we love dies, we might act normal, but we aren't sensible nor sane, no matter how calm or reasonable we might seem.
A few days ago, The Hun and I went to see Mom. She was glad to see us. She had some mail. She also had a stainless steel egg box used for helping raise exotics from parent birds and their eggs. Like so many things from their place, it was coated in a thick dust that I hated breathing and disliked touching.
I was left in the bedroom watching The Simpsons, who were playing their previous Halloween specials. It took a while before I realized that my GF and my mother were gone for a long time. They were in the dining room, trying to untie a thick copper wire from the hatch box. I guess this was Sunday. We went to the early voting station prior to visiting Mom.
My brother didn't hear anything out of the ordinary, except that there was activity happening after 11pm. This is very odd for my folks, who for the last ten years go to bed around 7pm, getting up frequenly for bathroom stops.
I got this idea on Monday that I'd bring my mother to the English Country Dance happening only a few blocks from their home. Mom used to couples dance with Dad at weddings and yearly club events.
While I wasn't able to get through on the phone, Mom answered a few emails that night. I had some financial concerns, and wanted advice. Last night, I sent her the invitation for ECD, and was surprised she didn't reply. She always answers my email messages, even if the answer is 'no thanks.' I tried phoning, but it was still going to voice mail immediately. This is common, as the phone goes off hook, and looks normal. I went there today expecting to hunt around the home to find the off hook telephone somewhere.
Many things were not right.
There was a lot of blood, with my mom's hair band at the foot of the short stairway to their home. There was a large bird cage left in the way. Just inside, all of the doors were open. They always closed them, harking to times when there were birds and a cat to be kept from going out.
I found my mother lying on the floor next to the bed, knees up, head supported by something. Her face was covered with blood. I looked in the bed, and it too was covered in blood.
I asked her what happened. While she could talk, her mouth was exceptionally dry and she wasn't able to understand my complicated questions.
So "Hi Mom," got a "Hi" back. "Are you in any pain?" I had to ask a number of times as she couldn't understand or hear. Finally she said, "I'm not in pain, but I'm so thirsty. Help me sit up."
She offered me her good hand, but trying to help her bend to sit up hurt too much. I asked for both hands and was horrified to see her arm between the wrist and elbow sustained a compound fracture. "Mom? This is very bad. The bleeding is bad enough, but it's not as bad as this. I can't move you like this. May I call 911?"
"Do you have to?" she moaned. "I've just lost Boomy to the hospital, and I'm not ready yet."
"Mom, this is very bad, and I don't have what it takes to makes this better." She cried a little, "OK, call 911. God."
She didn't worry about bleeding and hurting herself as much as she was afraid of being taken to a hospital where she will die. Due to the circumstances, this might be how it goes down anyway.
The fire department arrived first. They kept asking me questions about when this happened, how it happened, who was here, what prescription and other meds she takes. I didn't know but I answered their questions as completely as I could. The ambulance came, and the situation was similar.
I took a few pictures, but I should have taken many more while she was there. I didn't want to be one of those guys who uses his cel phone for social pictures instead of talking to 911, so that's what happened.
It took a long time before they told me that they chose Sunnybrook Hospital. It's a trauma centre hospital. I rode in the ambulance. It seemed like they didn't know the way out of the residential neighbourhood because it took so long to get out. I offered to help, but they wanted me to just let them do it their way. Once on the main streets, they turned on their lights and siren. The truck didn't go fast, and slowed down for red lights and for travelling on the wrong side of the street.
Inside the hospital, Mom and I were separated. I was advised to remain in the Family Quiet Room while waiting for the medical team to report. A nurse said '..to give us half an hour.'
We got lots of official visits. Social worker, Chaplain's office, a different social worker and her trainee. After THREE hours, we got some answers.
She had a room in Green Zone. Lots of things wrong. A big cut on her temple and a broken bone there. That accounted for much of the visible bleeding and blood. A smaller break on the back of the skull was giving her two black eyes. The compound wrist fracture. The front of her face under both eyes had small bone fractures.
While I was in the waiting room, she got a body CT Scan, some X-Rays for her spine, skull and wrist, and other tests for neurofunction.
My brother remained behind for a few more hours. Mom gets a detailed CT Scan at midnight. She's been assigned a medical observer, who is not yet a nurse, but has medical training to watch her vital signs.
I think when we lose someone very close to us, it causes a breakdown in common sense, like noise coming from the radio as it drifts off the channel. My mother has always been independant, and I really wish she would have asked for help moving the heavy stuff. I am so upset.
I have been advised that Mom seemed okay enough when my brother left for the night. She knows who she is, where she is, what is happening, and with the exception of being very thirsty, she is comfortable enough. They are sedating her as the pain will increase as she heals.
2015 is upon us.