I had a wonderful, relaxing weekend. No one else in my family did.
I was away and SOB wanted to protect me from the weekly crisis.
On Friday afternoon, ULOB was not answering his phone. POULOB, panicked, called SOB. SOB ran to ULOB’s fourth floor walk up in Hell’s Kitchen (where he lives in voluntary squalor). She found him, half dead. He had tripped on a cord and probably grabbed for the chair (with piles of stuff on it) and brought everything down on top of him.
SIDEBAR: We had been begging him to use LifeAlert for so long. But he is stubborn and independent. You could buy him every gadget in the work and he won’t crack open the box, let alone wear it. He doesn’t use an umbrella when it rains. Why? “My father never did.”
ULOB had been lying there for quite a while (based on the level of dehydration). Had SOB not gotten there when she did . . . . Well, let’s just say that she found him in the nick of time.
SIDEBAR: What a difference a day makes. His friend Frank spoke to him on Thursday afternoon. By Friday afternoon, his world had changed.
SOB “unburied” him, got him water, and called an ambulance. She called BOB (who was in town, taking the Dad call) to meet her. SOB rode in the ambulance. BOB and POULOB came later.
Still, SOB did not call me. She wanted me to have a fun weekend in Boston. Even if she was left to deal with ULOB while the other adults were kicking back with cold ones. Even holding back the the gross details of what happened to the urine-soaked pants, and ULOB’s aspiration of gross smoker’s phlegm.
Saturday afternoon, I turned my phone off after seeing my college friends. I really wanted to disconnect a little. What could happen in 12 hours? Hell, I didn’t even know about the last 24 hours.
But during those 12 hours, when I went off the grid, that’s REALLY when SOB needed me.
ULOB worsened significantly as the pneumonia took hold and needed a ventilator. Thank G-d for HOSOB who anchored SOB and kept ULOB entertained.
Sunday morning, the hotel phone woke me. POB, who was having her own nightmarish weekend tending to her much-diminished and ornery father, called and said, “Call your sister. It is not your Dad.”
I called SOB and got the download. I hopped into my car and drove straight to the hospital.
When I arrived, ULOB was on the ventilator but he was alert, hungry and cranky. In reasonable shape, all things considered. We will take the future day by day.
Strong work, SOB. From now on, I will sleep with my phone beside my ear. I will never let you go through an episode like this again without me right next to you.