Well, so far this Christmas has not exactly been one of the best. In fact, it probably ranks number fifty of the fifty I’ve had so far. I’m not sure exactly where it ranks for my wife, but it’s got to be near, if not at, the bottom of hers too.
It all started Monday. Well actually it started a week or so before, when my wife started getting upset about the fact that she hadn’t yet gotten me anything for Christmas. For those of you who missed my rant of three months ago, my wife is legally blind, has extremely limited mobility due to arthritis and diabetes complications, and was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In recent years, she was always able to make arrangements with a friend to get out and pick up something for me. This year, there seemed to be a conspiracy to keep her from doing any Christmas shopping. There was a similar problem with getting the house decorated, which was adding to her annoyance level. I had repeatedly told her not to worry about it, that I wasn’t expecting anything from her, etc etc.
Nonetheless, she decided after getting home from her physical therapy session early Monday afternoon that as long as she was already out of the house with her motorcart she would try to pick me up something. So I get home from work at 6:30 and she’s not home. No messages on the answering machine, no note letting me know where she went. I am understandably upset, particularly since I don’t have any idea where to start looking for her. At eight o-clock I get a phone call from the police; they had found her two miles from the house and were taking her to a nearby emergency room to get her checked out because in addition to having been out on 25-degree weather for 6 hours she says her back and ankle hurt. They also want to bring the cart to the house, mentioning that there seemed to be something wrong with it.
I toss the cart in the garage for later examination and track down someone at the hospital emergency room to get the word on her condition. After some initial confusion (no, we don’t have anyone by that name here, are you sure they didn’t take her to XXX?) I get to talk to a nurse who says they’re waiting to take her to x-ray, after which they’ll decide whether to release her or keep her overnight. I verify that they are also making sure she gets something to eat, and sit back to wait for them to call back. Shortly after 11pm they call to say they’ve decided to keep her overnight. I go to bed.
The next morning I call work and leave a message on my manager’s voicemail explaining why I’m not there. Then I call the hospital (no, I don’t know what room she’s in) and finally get to talk to her about what happened. She feels fine, but there’s something about her blood tests they don’t like, so they want to keep her another 24 hours. This means she will miss the planned Christmas Eve get-together and present swap with our friends; I am told to go without her and NOT spend the evening sitting around the house. We also discuss possible arrangements for the family Christmas gathering, assuming the hospital discharges her.
This morning I call and find out that they had her on a heart monitor all night, and that they want to keep her at least another 24 hours. And no, they won’t let her out on a “day pass” to be with the family today.
So here I am, waiting for be brother to come pick me up, while my wife sits in the hospital.