Friday, March 5, 2010

Two ER Visits in One Day

Today was long! And really, to be honest, the long day started last night. Sadie got up out of her big girl bed and came over and climbed in bed next to me. I glanced at the clock. 11:15. She usually makes it past midnight and quite frequently stays in her own bed all night, but last night she was adamant and I was too tired to argue with her so I let her climb in.

Sadie sleeps very comfortably next to Mommy. Mommy doesn't do so well. Three hundred and seventy three baby kicks later I looked at the clock again. 4:30 am. It's not a good sign when you're urging night time to pass by faster, but it's something that happens when you're sleeping next to a little bundle who is apparently dreaming of being a world kickboxing champion.

By 5:30 I was wide awake and decided that sleep probably wasn't going to happen. So I started to pray the rosary. A little while later the phone rang and since this particular phone announces the name of the person who's calling, I heard my grandfather's name through the door. I knew instantly that that wasn't a good sign.

When I heard my dad say "tell her to tell him to lay down and hang up so I can call..." I scooped Sadie up and stumbled across the still dark room to see what was going on.

My grandfather is tough old guy. He's from North Dakota and joined the US Navy at the ripe old age of 16 to fight in World War II. In the pictures I have of him in his uniform he looks like a baby, with white blonde hair. He hardly looks old enough to be in high school.

He was stationed in the Pacific and was on the destroyer the USS Eversole when it was torpedoed. I've known the story my entire life, although my grandfather never tells it (everyone else in the family does... including me apparently... here's the abbreviated version).

In the story I've grown up with my grandfather was supposed to be below deck, but had swapped jobs with a friend who had a migraine. Because of this he was above deck and survived when a Japanese submarine sunk the destroyer.

He was one of the survivors who was in the water when the submarine surfaced and opened fire and was shot through his life jacket. He's spent the rest of his life struggling with problems from the fiber glass (from the lifejacket) that was embedded in his stomach as a result of the injury, but as I mentioned before, he's tough and has to be in serious pain to even mention how he's feeling, although that old injury has landed him in the hospital quite a few times in the past few years.

This morning, when I heard what happened, I began to wish that he would complain a bit more.

He had gotten up in the middle of the night because his blood sugar was low (he also has juvenile diabetes) and had fallen. He'd let my grandmother think that he was alright, because he didn't want to bother everyone and wake us up, but apparently sometime towards morning he announced that he was pretty sure he'd broken his hip. About six hours had gone by since he'd fallen.

The ambulance came and took him to the local hospital and then after x-rays and a cat scan, transported him the hour and a half to the "city" hospital. My mom drove my grandma into town, while Grumpa, Sadie and I followed in the truck (Paul had already left for school).

I was kind of relieved to get out of the local ER's waiting room. The tiny space (it's smaller than the cabin- so less than 100 square feet) was very full with a man in handcuffs and an orange jump suit and the two sheriff's deputies that were guarding him. And as soon as Sadie smelled the hospital smell she started to scream at the top of her tiny, but very powerful, lungs (she apparently associates that "hospital" smell with getting vaccines...).

So we drove into the city. Hours past. Grumpa and I tried to get all of Nani's shopping done (and succeeded). Midway through the giant food store (and a half dozen phone calls later) Nani called with the results of the numerous tests: he had cracked his pelvis.

Now apparently there's not much you can do for a cracked pelvis, so they loaded him up with morphine, gave him a prescription for hydrocordone and told him it was going to be much worse tomorrow than it was today (never what you want to hear) but that then it would start to get better and then they sent him home.

He's been resting, as comfortably as is possible, since he got home.

We're praying that he recovers quickly. And I've never been more glad that my parents and grandparents live so close together! That has been such a blessing! Now it's time for everyone to get some sleep... including me!


  1. The elderly can sure have their life change in a hurry with a broken bone. Sorry to hear about your rough day.

    My dad also enlisted at 16 in the Navy. Seems a lot of age-fibbing occurred after Pearl. Getting him to tell war stories is like pulling hen's teeth. It wasn't until after I was married when dad & FIL got together that I heard about WWII.

  2. Your grandpa is one tough cookie. I will pray for his recovery.

  3. Awww. I am sorry. I hope (and pray) he gets better soon.


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