Friday, January 28, 2011

Lucy and Ethel

You would have thought we were Lucy and Ethel for all of our shenanigans at the hospital yesterday. Mom needed to have a colonoscopy and an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (say that three times fast)... she was literally getting scoped from both ends, to put it delicately.

I would not be allowed back in the procedure room, so they told me to leave and they would call when she was ready to come home. Little did I know I should have brought a small army with me. She walked in under her own power, but was a "mildly" sedated and quite loopy woman in a wheelchair when I arrived to get her. I was a little surprised they simply handed her over to me and I was on my own to navigate her out to the truck. She looked at me with a silly grin on her face and said through slurred speech, "do you shtink this is how you feel when you are strunk, drunk?" Oh good... this was going to be a fun ride home...

So I managed to wheel her out to the lobby and then tried to get her to understand I had to walk to the truck and drive it up close. I left with her slumped in the chair, her glasses slipping from her nose as she nodded off over and over again.

This was going to be interesting! It was melting snow everywhere and the maintenance guy was cleaning the sidewalks with a shovel attachment on his truck. He allowed me to pull in close and park if I promised to be "quick." I went back to the lobby to find mom deeply asleep. I tapped her lightly, nothing. I shook her a little, nothing. I called her name and moved her more briskly, she stirred... and then her head flopped the other way. Oh Lord... I decided to push her out as she was hoping the fresh air and bright sky would help awaken her. I saw the maintenance man watching me out of the corner of his eye.

I inched her as close to the door of the truck as I could. She was at least looking at me and realizing I needed to get her into the truck. As I went to put the brakes on the wheelchair she managed to pull the foot rests on the wheel chair into a straight out position, AND SHE LOCKED THEM IN PLACE. I pulled, pushed and turned every lever I could find, only to have them stay stuck in place straight out in front. Not only did I have to get her up, but now she had created an obstacle course to get out of! All of this on a slanted sidewalk with ice!!

It was then the maintenance man, realizing he may never get his sidewalk cleared if he didn't step in, offered some assistance. In the meantime, mom had drifted back to sleep again, her head straight back and her mouth wide open, snoring softly. Uff da.

With help from the snow-removal guy, we got her legs freed from the chair and hoisted her up to the truck, with him pushing a little, and me pulling from the inside, we managed to get her inside. Even I had to chuckle to myself as I pushed the wheelchair back into the lobby with the leg rests still sticking straight out in front. I played a good Ethel to her Lucy!

With brute force and determination I managed on my own the rest of the way home. I got mom inside her apartment and put her to bed. I checked her on and off and got her up for dinner a few hours later. I left last night when I was assured she could manage on her own again.

It was late last night when I recounted my adventure to my husband. With tears streaming through laughter, I yielded to the humor of the events of the day.

Mom called me early this morning. She can't remember a thing! The last thing she remembered was her doctor telling her they were putting a little something in her iv to "take the edge off." I told her everything went fine! But her next "procedure?" I'm scheduling it in Pennsylvania, where my brother lives... I wouldn't want him to miss out on all the fun!


  1. Thanks for the smile this morning Vicky! I can just imagine it, as I used to volunteer at the hospital and saw quite a few adventures like yours. I'm surprised that they did not have a volunteer help you out though! :0)

  2. Toooo funny Vicky! Although I'm sure it did not feel so funny in the urgency of the moment. What a fine daughter you are. Isn't it sad that those we care for when in 'diapers' at either end of the age spectrum, often don't recall all the love lavished upon them, hoops jumped through for them, etc.?

  3. Oh Vicky! I am laughing so hard right now. I so wish I would have seen that. Thanks for sharing made my morning. I guess I should thank your mom too? hee hee.

  4. Oh boy. And I bet the sidewalk maintenance man sees alot of that. Lucy and Ethel, was there ever a better team?

  5. Enjoyed this on so many levels ... and the ending thought is worth your pondering!

  6. Oh dear. I've been in some predicaments before but I feel for you, Vicky! And to think she remembers none of it. Perhaps that's just as well. :) You got a little step closer to heaven through this act. Not saying we earn our way to heaven. Just saying... :)

  7. Oh Vicky, you told that story so well. I could certainly feel your struggle to stay calm and controlled as your mom drifted in and out of sleep. The maintenance guy.....oh gosh, that is so funny.

    Uff da for sure!!!!

  8. Oh dear, too funny! My hubby had to have a procedure done and after he was telling stupid jokes to the nurse. Of course he didn't remember a thing either:)

  9. Sorry, but this is hysterical!
    Hope all results are good!

  10. no one from the hospital helped you out?!?!?! that's insane!!! oh my word, i cannot even imagine you guys hoisting her in that truck...

  11. lol Its funny and you have to laugh but these hospitals are not very nice.
    They just don;t care anymore.
    People are just like products on an assembly line and this is scary.

    Pretty soon they will make fertilizer out of dead people like in the Green movie.
    I can see that happening.They tell you you are going on vacation and instead.....

  12. Hillarious !!!!!!
    Wish I could have accompanied you to have its live coverage...

  13. Hysterical! I'm sure it wasn't at he time but in retrospect! Thanks for the joy today!


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