What is going ON with my brain lately?!? Am I actually getting stupider or is it early-onset dementia? Maybe the famous menopausal brain has now hit me big time? I don’t know, but I’ve done it again. In my defense, though, there were extenuating circumstances. Read on …
It was 15 minutes before the end of the school day on Friday. I had a group of Grade 7 kids with me, and we were doing some computer training. My phone rang – or, to be more precise, it vibrated, because I turn the ringer off when I’m at work. I glanced at it. It was PG’s sister. I briefly wondered why she would be calling me now, because obviously I would still be teaching at that time of day. I let it go to voice mail, figuring that I’d call her back once the kids were dismissed.
The kids helped me put away the laptops and other equipment we’d been using, then they went off to their homerooms. I picked up my phone to check my voice mail when it vibrated in my hand. PG’s sister was now sending me a text message.
I read it quickly. PG had fallen at work and was being taken to hospital. I was to call her as soon as I got the text.
Shaking just a little, I called her. She assured me that as far as she knew, the paramedics had checked him out and he seemed fine, but the hospital trip was a normal precaution. She was already there, waiting for the ambulance to arrive, as one of PG’s co-workers had called her pretty quickly to tell her what was going on. No one knew my number, so PG’s sister got the call.
I told her I’d get there as soon as I could. She cautioned me several times to drive carefully, as I would be making about a 45-minute drive to get to the hospital at the beginning of the Friday afternoon rush hour. I was out of the school and on the highway as soon as I could.
Traffic wasn’t too bad, and I was able to concentrate reasonably well, considering what had just happened. I pulled up at the hospital pretty much 45 minutes later. I went into emergency. I didn’t see PG’s sister or her friend who had driven her there. I texted her. She texted back that her friend was waiting by the coffee shop. What coffee shop? I texted her. She called me.
“Where ARE you?”
I told her.
I was at the wrong damn hospital.
In PG’s sister’s first text to me, what I had assumed was a missing letter in the abbreviation of the name of the hospital to which PG was being taken, was actually not. It was actually the abbreviation of an entirely different hospital.
I sighed and got back in the car.
An hour later, because traffic was heavier now, I arrived at the correct hospital and found PG’s sister and his boss. PG had already had x-rays and a CAT scan, and everything was clear. He was in with a nurse getting cleaned up (he’d fallen into muddy grass from the top of a ladder, about 3 metres up), but other than some small cuts and bigger bruises, he was going to be okay, according to the doctor. When I saw him come walking across the room, I saw that he was moving a little carefully, but yes, he looked just fine. After I gingerly hugged and kissed him, he sat down on his bed and started telling funny stories about his experience in the emergency ward. Then I KNEW he was just fine.
They discharged him about half an hour after that. His boss left, and I drove both PG and his sister home.
And yes, I actually got them both to their correct homes.
(PS – Kudos to our BC medical system, as tapped out as it is! It seems that the ambulance arrived at PG’s work site very fast. He was in emergency for a scant three hours, and was examined almost immediately. He was taken for x-rays and the CAT scan shortly after that, and the results were given very quickly. He said the nurses and doctors who dealt with him were all tremendously efficient and kind, and he feels he got terrific care.)