I ran downstairs and she worriedly told me that he was fairly non-responsive when she came in and tried to talk to him. She would gently give him a nudge and asked how he was and he would only respond with “I’m tired”. I called down Melanie and together the three of us checked on him and tried to see what was wrong. Pretty much the same answer was provided. We quickly switched out his nosepiece for the full mask he typically only wears while sleeping (covering his nose and mouth) and we worked out how to get him from the couch to his bed as he was just deadweight.
The PSW (I know her name, I’m just not using it without her permission) recommended we call 911 to have them bring a lift chair. So Melanie called and asked for just that, but when you mention “problems breathing” and “non-responsive” to a 911 operator it’s like winning the biggest prize at the town fair, klaxon’s going off and all. So, not less than ten minutes later we had a crew of firefighters, paramedics and ambulance staff all crowding around our house….which I’m sure was good for my wife and any gawking neighbours as many of them were likely eye-candy.
Of course here we go through all the questions again.
What conditions does he have?
Umm…do you have an hour? Or better yet, ask me what he doesn’t have, it’s a shorter list.
… etc; etc;
Pretty soon the twelve or so emergency workers began to realize their time would be better served elsewhere so they began dropping off, and finally we were left with one single paramedic who was very helpful and assisted the PSW and myself to get Grandpa settled into bed. He passed out quickly, and the PSW left. I could tell the evening had been very hard on her, but I give her incredible kudos for keeping things together during the evening’s events. I know it’s her job but credit should be given for the emotional toll that dealing with a palliative patient can have. Especially when you are one of the really good ones who shows compassion. She’s one of them.
Fast forward to 12:30am. I’m coming to check on Grandpa before heading off to bed myself and he’s sitting up in his bed sounding 10x better than he sounded only a few hours before. He started to tell me about this weird dream he had last night about ambulance drivers, and I had to break it to him that this was no dream.
Starting today, he now is to wear the full mask most of the time except for when he is eating or chatting on the phone. For, though we do certainly like to have the company over at our house, I’d rather it to be to sit on the back deck and to have a drink.