Thursday, November 04, 2010

A perfect storm of miscommunication.

Yesterday we managed to make three accidental bad moves that resulted in some serious worry and guilt at 5:30 a.m. today. P came home yesterday at around 4:00 p.m. after a sleepless night. I was outside with SS to keep her out of his hair and he tried to nap upstairs. Unable to fall asleep he joined us downstairs, but left his cell phone in our bedroom. Bad move #1.

P was looking forward to a rerun of The Daily Show (from election night) at 7:00 p.m. but exhaustion claimed him by 6:30. SS also fell asleep on our sectional by her appointed bedtime. I am the night owl and decided to postpone moving SS to her room for fear of awakening her. After two tries that resulted in SS waking up and demanding that P joined us upstairs I gave up. The sectional is long enough for all three of us, so why not camp there?. Since I could not sleep I was playing 10 simultaneous games of Words with Friends (free Scrabble ripoff) on my cell. I turned off the ringer to avoid waking up P and SS whenever a move came through. Bad move #2.

This morning P called out to me from our room at 5:30,(he was getting ready for work) and said he needed me. He looked scared as he handed me his cell, said that he left it upstairs, and found voice mails from a Maui number, his sister and his mother. P asked me to listen to the messages, because he could not handle what we both suspected. Had we looked at the order of the calls we would have known that it was not his grandma. But that was our fear and it hit us both very hard.

Turns out that it was Grandpa, he was found by friends, unconscious at home, and was hospitalized. His friends called P first, then his sister, who then called their mother. Following? That means from Maui to California, to Missouri, to California. While P dialed his mother I checked on my phone and that is when I remembered my ringer was off. UGH.

We immediately wondered why Grandpa's friends and others did not call our home phone. P has been lobbying to get rid of our land line and I have always countered that we cannot rely just on our cell phones. What happened? Our phone would wake the dead and it would not have mattered if we had to deal with SS's grizzly mood, it would have been worth the wake up call.

P talked to his mother and eventually reached the hospital where our miscommunication luck kept its stride. From P's side of the conversation I could tell that he was being interrogated by the nurse. P explained that his parents were divorced and that he was Grandpa's son. P seemed frustrated and his sister was mentioned at some point. WTF? Nurse Dude was more interested in a family tree than providing information to a clearly upset son? Then P's expression told me that it was really bad. The words brain bleeding and ventilator were repeated. It was the longest 10 minutes before P was able to figure out that he was provided information about the wrong patient. Talk about a welcome relief. Grandpa was stable and P was able to talk to him briefly. Grandpa's electrolytes were very low, he could not recall what happened, and had trouble articulating what had been done or would be done to him. Fair, that is what the nurses are for, right? P talked to Nurse A, and knowing that he was in good hands P decided to call later in the day.

Before leaving for work P once more wondered aloud why no one called the house phone. That is when an incident from yesterday gave me the answer before I asked P to check. We received a call from an 800 number and not wanting to deal with solicitors I returned to the kitchen. Three year olds do not understand call screening and SS would not stop asking why I did not answer the phone. Who knew our daughter would become Ma Bell's version of Ms. Manners. I saw SS with the receiver up to her ear, I asked her to hang up, and she complied. I went on with what I was doing in the kitchen. Bad move #3. SS is a button pusher, button slider, or whatever else you can do to a button,a switch, a lever or anything that resembles any of the aforementioned. P found several calls on our phone and the ringer off. Our own Gremlin had a hand on our morning worries.

We are waiting for information from Grandpa's friends who will visit at the hospital. The nurses are not being very forthcoming with information because Grandpa is "alert." Let's see, alert after being unconscious for God knows how long, with low electrolytes and in need of dialysis. Come on, isn't nursing a "helping" profession?

From now on we vow to keep all our ringers on. This will require a lot of checking of our home phone. This would be a good time for someone to remind me why did I think it would be a good idea to parent at my advanced age.

Today's comic relief was inadvertently provided by Nana. Aunt Court asked her what was SS for Halloween, and from the blog pictures Nana thought that SS was an airplane. :)

SS begged for baby carrots when we were shopping yesterday. Had to get them, because what kind of mother would deny her daughter vegetables just because she had some at home. SS happily munched on the way home.

No comments: