Tuesday, March 04, 2014

On Friday

Last week, I was dogsitting at my mom and dad's house. My parents were in California; I was joyfully commuting six minutes to work every day. 

On Friday morning at 5:51, the phone rings. As I'm grabbing the phone, I see the caller ID. It's my grandma's house. Cue the panic.

It's my grandpa. He's looking for my mom. At this point, I've already shot right out of bed. Grandpa tells me that Grandma has a "really high body temperature." He tells me that he knows that a high temperature is not something to "mess around with" and he thinks he needs to bring her somewhere.

I tell him that I'll call my mom (an advanced practice nurse) and come right over.

I call my dad's phone first. No answer. I call my mom's phone next. No answer. At this point, I am PISSED. They didn't leave me any hotel information. It's 3:00 am in California. Those irresponsible assholes. I continue to get ready.

My mom calls back maybe two minutes later. I take back the part where I call them irresponsible assholes.

She tells me to grab a thermometer, how high Grandma's temperature needs to be to justify a trip to the ER. She tells me where I should bring her if she does need to go in. I tell her I'll call back in a few minutes.

I call my grandpa to tell him that I'll be right over. He tells me that Grandma already has an appointment with her doctor later that morning. Do I think there's someone at the doctor's office yet? Hell no, but I tell him that he's welcome to try in the meantime. I figure it gives him something to do.

Somehow I manage to:
-change out of my pajama pants
-feed the dog and let her out
-talk to my mom
-find a thermometer
and get over to their house within 15 minutes of his initial call.

I get to the house and it's pretty clear that my grandma is sick but she isn't critically ill. I wake her up to give her Tylenol and take her temperature and make her drink some water; she just sounds like she has a rotten cold. I call to my mom again. I let my grandpa talk to my mom for a while. I do all of the dishes and have a cup of coffee, chatting with my Grandpa while he eats his oatmeal. I stayed at the house until Grandma got up and I was relatively sure that everything was okay.

Grandpa was just scared. He's definitely starting to suffer from some dementia but, honestly, that wasn't why he called on Friday. He wasn't confused. He was scared.  This was more because never in his life has he ever, ever needed/wanted to care for someone else. He was like a new parent whose baby had their first fever. He didn't know what the hell to do. 

My mom kept instructing me "tell Grandpa that he did the right thing by calling." Because my grandma was pissed that he woke me up. Because obviously it is better if he calls, even if it's only for false alarms.

Thankfully, my parents live very close to my grandparents. My grandma turned 80 on Friday and Grandpa turns 81 this month; they're only going to need more help. My grandparents have always been so active and resilient. It breaks my heart. But I was so happy to help on Friday, even the only productive thing that happened as a result of my 5:51 wake-up call was doing the dishes.


my life is brilliant said...

Wow, our Friday mornings were very similar. We took Caroline to the ER for a 104.3 temp. (She was/is fine. I guess it was a weird virus or something.) Glad your grandma was ok too!

A said...

Poor Caroline! I'm glad she's okay.

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