Just let me take a few days off, and Dad seems to take a health dive. For instance, on my return from my visit with my first cousin, I got a phone call that Dad had fallen. Little did I know that there was a brand new, green Home INstead caregiver with him. She did know much. This was her first time elder sitting–EVER.
The caller, Ashley asked,”How do I get him up off the floor?”
“WWWWwwwhhhaaaaaatttttt?” I answered. What in the world? She is asking ME how to get him off the floor? What kind of elder sitter is this?
I was already annoyed that my car’s AC wasn’t working. On the drive down, I had experienced 8 hours of unairconditioned discomfort to Fort Walton in the sweltering heat, praying for rain. Now I was trying to prepare myself psychologically for the return drive in the sweltering heat. Somehow I had had to redirect myself from a wrong turn, wondering if I was taking myself miles in the wrong direction, make a U turn, sit at traffic lights, hot, with sweat running down my back, sticking my backside to the hot leather seat. I was already feeling panicky from my wrong turn. My arrival time had already shifted to a really late time. It was getting dark.
I stopped for gas and to call Ashley back after I though the crisis over.
“Well, if you can’t help him off the floor, you are gonna have to call the EMTs or get the neighbor to help you,” I said watching the gas pump gauge go over $50.00.
Nearing the $70.00 mark, the gas pump continued. Ashley asked for the neighbor’s phone number.
Jesus, I thought. I don’t have that phone number!
“Just look in the phone book under Jack Carmichal!” I said, feeling like yelling. God, it was hot here. Was I in Hell? I shifted over into the shade, watching the numbers continue up on the pump’s gauge.
Did I have enough credit for that amount? I didn’t have any cash. That was gone. Do you wash dishes at a gas station if you can’t pay, I thought forlornly. This could be trouble coming.