Saturday, 5 March 2016

Calling an ambulance

was something I managed to do remarkably calmly.
The Senior Cat fell over in the bathroom yesterday morning.  I heard something go clatter in there. He is the first to admit he is clumsy on his feet so I waited a moment and then, just as I was about to investigate I heard a rather weak, "Cat...."
Oh. I moved as fast as I could. 
There he was sitting on the floor in pools of blood - and I mean  pools.
      "I think I fell over," he told me.
I knew instantly he had gone down backwards because there was a gash on the back of his head, consistent with having hit the shower surround.
      "Darling, I can't deal with this one," I told him as calmly as I could.
He looked blankly at me - more cause for alarm. I went and pressed his emergency pendant. It took three rings and then someone responded. I told them who, where, what - still wondering how I could sound so calm when I wasn't feeling at all calm. I left the front door unlocked and went back to him with a clean towel to hold over the wound.
By good fortune there was an ambulance three minutes away and they were there and doing things within that. Could I do this? Could  I do that?  Yes, we will definitely take him up to the hospital. The two young women who had come looked at each other and then at me. We all looked at the Senior Cat and said, "You're going to be all right."
He was still with it enough to start apologising!  I mean, really. He didn't mean to do it. I had already guessed what might have happened. 
        "I don't drive," I told the two women, "May I come up with you?"
        "Of course."
I did remember to take some money for a taxi back and my keys to get in. I phoned my BIL - Middle Cat had gone to work at 6:30am. Of course, these are the days she volunteers at a major event - as the on-call physiotherapist.  He says he will pass the message on.
We "blues and two" to the hospital just in case. It's not the first time I have done this in an ambulance but it is the first time I have done it in morning peak hour traffic and I didn't enjoy the experience. Let me assure you, it is NOT exciting. It's just terrifying.
But the Senior Cat remains able to talk to us and even answer the constant, calm stream of questions as the woman in the back keeps him conscious. 
We get there. They leave me to answer the usual questions. Then I prowl around to find him - being all too familiar with emergency departments I know where he will be. Fortunately the emergency area is remarkably quiet and someone is already with him. 
A very young doctor, still in training, comes and asks questions. I give him answers in plain English laced with medical terms and he starts to look a little less anxious at having to deal with the situation.
Yes, I could guess what had happened and the tests confirmed it. Some older people can have a quite dramatic drop in blood pressure when they stand up, especially after a visit to the bathroom. They can faint. The Senior Cat had fainted. It wasn't "a stroke". 
He had a pacemaker fitted late yesterday afternoon. It should solve that problem. He's had a small inner bleed at the site of the gash and they are doing a second scan today to see what that looks like. 
I am off to visit. He was on the phone to me early, asking for his glasses and his electric razor and some pyjamas please.  
I suspect he will be driving the staff crazy with questions. I think he's going to be okay for now. I also know he's 93 and we are lucky to still have him.


kristieinbc said...

Oh my, that must have been very frightening to find your father surrounded by all that blood. It sounds like he is going to be okay, and good they got the pacemaker in. My mom fell a couple weeks ago in her bathroom and broke her wrist. It turns out she had pneumonia, and her blood oxygen levels were low which they thing caused her to pass out. I went down to be with her while she was in the hospital, and she is now on the mend. There are several of us in bogland who are dealing with elderly parents with health issues right now. You did a great job of keeping calm in the midst of the crisis. Well done!

Jan said...

Very scary for you both. I hope he recovers quickly. Falls are nasty in the elderly.

Southern Gal said...

oh dear. so glad it was a less serious event. its scary especially when there is all that blood.

good luck with the recovery.

jeanfromcornwall said...

That was a surprise you could happily have done without. You cope because you have to, but it doesn't make it any nicer.
Sending encouraging best wishes.

Allison said...

How frightening. I'm so glad your father is already on the mend. Please pass on our best wishes and take care of yourself.

catdownunder said...

Sounds very similar Kristie. Many people don't realise how serious pneumonia can be. Hope the wrist break won't prove problematic.
Everyone, thank you so much for caring enough to comment. It's made me feel a lot better and the Senior Cat has been quite bemused to think people he doesn't know are "so nice that they care anyway". He sends his thanks.