I woke up this morning just like every morning, having my coffee and reading. It was 3:00 am this time. My father didn’t wake up until 7:00. He made his first cup of coffee himself, but by the time he was ready for the second cup he had already decided he’d forgotten how to do it. I made his coffee and reminded him that I had an appointment at 10:00 and that’s when it started into its full frenzy. He began to proclaim to me that he couldn’t handle me leaving him. I reminded him that my husband was home today, but that didn’t soothe his fear of me leaving him. Before I knew it, he couldn’t even walk. I made the decision to take him to the ER.
We got there at 9:00 am and I was prepared with water bottles, my calendar to help me remember specific times of dad’s events, my legal papers, etc. etc. etc. I assumed we’d be there for a few hours. My father was convinced he was dying and that it wasn’t mental this time. I knew it was mental, but what if I were wrong. Besides, he wasn’t eating and I literally somehow propped his 180 pound 6ft 2″ frame up enough to get into the ER doors.
Labs, fine. CT scan, fine. Urine, fine. My father had to face the fact that he wasn’t dying and that somehow his mind had failed him once again into believing that he’s unable to live.
We were there so long (11 hours), that I witnessed the craziness of the ER like never before. It was packed and full of viruses, cuts and memory loss. One adorable old lady was asked if she knew her name and she screamed at them, “Priscilla Presley and what in the hell is going on here ?” Adorable. Poor thing.
A man was rushed in by paramedics. Codes were being called and the next thing I knew I was witness to a mass of medical professionals trying to save him. He died from his heart attack right there in front of me. My father kept moaning and repeating how he was dying and I wanted to hush him somehow. Now is not the time for you to be proclaiming your death when the real deal just happened. A very long time later that man was taken away in a maroon body bag. At this point I couldn’t even cry. I was becoming delirious.
I noticed one of the machines hooked up to dad had the word Mindray on it and suddenly I found myself in a fit of giggling because I was imaging that I was wearing the machine on my head to penetrate into the thoughts of everyone around me. This sounds ridiculous because it is. I had to cover my face with my dad’s coat because I was unable to control myself.
I saw an adorable little girl and her dad called her EBay. I almost spit my water out at that point. I was so ready to get out of there. My poor dad. He’s oblivious to what his surroundings are and I’m so tired that I’m not even sure that little girl’s name really was EBay, but I swear that’s what her father called her.
It was decided that my father should be admitted given his history. Eventually after hours and hours of trying to find a geriatric psych ward and being unable to do so, my father was admitted into the ward at the hospital we were in. I know, it seems like that could have been done at hour three, but it’s complicated this world of mental illness and I get it.
They wouldn’t allow me to go up with him as they took him away and I can’t see him until tomorrow at 5:00. Until then, I will sleep, eat, clean, pay bills and just worry. Worry because who wants their family member in a psych ward? Worry because will he remember that I told him four times I’m not allowed to see him until 5:00 pm?
Since my father has moved in, I have felt like I’m riding a roller coaster. I bet he feels like he is the roller coaster.