Friday, October 2, 2009

The Loud Thump that changed our World

The sound of the loud thump came to me in the garage. Something had been dropped heavily just outside my garage door from the sound of it.

It was 6:15 PM. My wife was preparing our supper.

I looked out the door and everything was still. No sign at all of anything that would make that loud of a bang – or heavy thud.

Together Alida and I looked into my mom’s room. That was a moment I will not soon forget.

My Mom was crumpled in a “C” shape under her side table beside the wall and against her bed, laying on her right side with her arms horribly twisted under and behind her. Her eyes were opened a small amount and she was gasping for breath… short, shallow and labored breathing. She was completely out of it.

Mom is 88 years old. She suffers from an advanced stage of osteoporosis. There has also been evidence of a mild confusion at times.

My breathing almost stopped as I looked at her struggling to breathe below the table.

We gently extracted her from beneath the table and moved her to the floor beside her bed, laying her gently on her right side but stretched out a little better to allow for her breathing.

I called the 911 and asked for help. In 5 long minutes the big strong Firemen arrived first. Then a few minutes later the ambulance was in our driveway.

It was a while after the ambulance guys arrived that she began to answer some questions with a mumble…not making any sense at all. But there was a response of some sort. But confusion was great.

When they lifted mom from the bedroom floor like a sack of potatoes I wanted to help support her back where the severe vertebrae damage is with the osteoporosis…but there was no room… and they seemed to know what they were doing. I held my breath for them.

On the stretcher as they buckled up the straps and the placed on the equipment, the ambulance attendant asked, “Marion do you know where you are?”

Her answer was slow coming and she said, “The Pasqua Hospital…”

Yikes! The ambulance attendant must have realized that it was the wrong answer. The Pasqua Hospital is in Regina, Saskatchewan and the last time mom saw that place was more than 5 years ago…maybe even 7 years ago.

Before leaving our home to follow the ambulance to the hospital I called “my emergency back up helpers”… the people I trust the most. I called Tim and Cathy Taylor, our pastors. Then I called Terry & Marion and Winston & Brenda… the people that we know that pray and care for us. At this particular point in my journey I was not functioning professionally… neither Alida or myself were. Our hands shook and our voices quaked with answers that made little sense.

Before this becomes another epistle I fast forward to the emergency bed and the room that beeps and buzzes continually. The time now is 10 PM just about 4 hours into the night after her fall.

Mom is starting to feel the pain of the heavy fall. Her right side below her shoulder blade is hurting as she tries to move.

The doctor came in to tell us the news.

“The CT Scan shows no stroke.” YES!

“The X-Rays of her back showed no signs of any broken bones.” Double YES!

“Marion, you will likely be very sore tomorrow. I think it is best you go home to sleep in your own bed tonight.” At 10:15 PM we left the hospital – four hours after the loud thud.

A few moments ago mom was up to go to the washroom. She is moving slowly – but she is moving.

After the fact…
She remembers standing up from her rocking chair and beside her bed… then she remembers falling… and calling for help… but nothing after that until she told the ambulance attendant… “The Pasqua Hospital…” “I knew that wasn’t right – I was in Peterborough!”

Tim, Cathy, Terry, Marion, Winston and Brenda – thanks for being there when I needed you. That is what friends are all about!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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