A small detour

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” – Allen Saunders

When we arrived at the hospital we were told to wait for the ambulance in the emergency waiting room. I was sure it would beat us there since her place is about 5 minutes from the turnpike and about 10 more minutes, at the most, to the hospital. We waited for about a half hour and no mom; I asked at the desk if they had any information and they didn’t. I called the director at mom’s place and confirmed that she was being taken to Mercy Hospital on Memorial Road and the ambulance with her in it had left over 40 minutes ago. We waited for another 30 minutes. Did I have the wrong hospital? I didn’t want to call back and ask but the way I had been operating the last few months really had me questioning my mental reliability (I think that’s nicer than using the word “sanity”) and honest to God, how long does it take to drive this particular 6 miles? Answer: 12 minutes. Thank you, Google.

After an hour and a half, a police car pulled up to the door and 2 officers got out and went over to the desk. The receptionist pointed in our direction and the officers turned and started walking toward us. This could be interesting. Or horrible - have you ever tried to read a police officer’s face as they're walking over to talk to you? I was trying my best but they were stony faced and serious. This wasn’t looking good at all. They made their way over to us and asked who was responsible for Patricia. I replied, “It depends on what she did” since sarcasm is my default go to for uncomfortable situations. They told me there had been an “incident” on the turnpike with the ambulance but everyone was ok. Alright, so what happened? I was told I’d have to ask the ambulance driver. For hell’s sake, I have never had such a hard time trying to get a simple answer in my life -  they weren’t budging so we sat and waited for the ambulance to arrive.

Finally, I see the ambulance pull up and they unload mom; she looked ok and they looked ok so that’s a plus. I started wondering if maybe mom went rogue and the driver had to call the police to report a violent patient but that made no sense - what could a wheelchair bound 75 year old woman with a broken hip really do other than repeatedly tell them she needs a restroom and annoy the crap out of them? I followed as they wheeled mom into a room and, once they got her into a bed, I asked the driver what had happened. No answer. The police were there to take a report from the ambulance driver so I just listened in since no one wanted to talk directly to me.

From what I overheard, the ambulance had a mechanical problem while on the turnpike and pulled over to wait for another ambulance to take mom the rest of the way to the hospital. While they were moving her from one vehicle to another, someone rear ended the first ambulance. It was a clear day on a straight road with light traffic and the big ambulances with the bright flashing lights were pulled over to the side. How in the hell do you pick that particular time to wander out of your lane and smack into the only obstacle for miles? I’ll never get the answer to that since A) no one is talking to me and B) the idiot wasn’t hurt badly enough to have to share a ride with mom. It could have been so much worse, I know. And yes, I’m thankful that mom made it in pretty much one piece but come on, we’re all adults here and I’m mostly reasonable and she is my mom. Shouldn’t I be part of the conversation?  Maybe they were worried I was going to try to sue someone? I’ll never know - refer to item “A” above.

I went over to mom and asked her if she knew what had happened on the ride to the hospital. The only thing she remembered was being on the side of a road on a gurney. She didn’t even remember that she was at the hospital now because her hip was broken. I asked her if she was in any pain and she said she wasn’t, good thing because we had a couple of hours of admitting her into the hospital ahead of us.