It seems things got too quiet here on Paros so the universe decided it was time to shake me out of my comfortable little groove.
Aunt 1, the one who’s in the nursing home, fell and fractured a vertebrae. Apparently, from what I can gather, she’s broken one of the thoracic vertebrae and its causing some neurological issues. Such as her abiity to urinate. Till she has a CT scan they won’t know exactly what’s going on and what treatment she may need, including surgery. She needs to go to Syros to the hospital cause Paros only has a very basic health center.
My phone was on silent cause I’d been messing with settings and put it on silent accidentally so I didn’t get the calls till this afternoon. I had to come down to the health center to see what was going on. I was told the above, that it was a matter of urgency, that the small fast boat used for emergencies would be leaving for Syros in about an hour and someone (me) had to go with her, for most likely more than just one night.
Wasn’t there a CT scan anywhere on the island, in one of the private clinics I ask stupidly? Not today I was told. Not till Monday. I didn’t get that then, but I do now…
So I scrambled. Organised mom and an aunt to go to my house and pick up Lainee and all her stuff to stay with them and to pack me an overnight bag. I got the neighbour to look after Eric. There was a lot of running around for people to get things together for me.
Meanwhile people from the nursing home ran around getting Aunt 1’s stuff together.
An hour passed. Then another hour. The boat wasn’t coming, the weather was too rough. And it was going to be rougher tomorrow. Aunt 1 could have her CT scan up the road here at 6.30. PM.
What? Its urgent, but she can wait 24 hours for a CT scan?
Yep. Cause the doctor that does it isn’t on Paros till 5.30pm tomorrow. Now I get it… Just like a pet will always need the vet on a Sunday night, so will an aunt have an accident when no clinics are open.
So, if she needs surgery and needs to get to Syros, when does she go there?
The nursing home manager was here and he did some running around and organised us to take the ferry to Syros in the morning.
At this point let me explain: Syros is right across from here. One hour away by ferry. You can see it. Its the capital of the Cyclades Islands, of which Paros is a member. Its where the closest hospital is. Its where the courthouse is. Its where local government is. Yet there is no daily ferry to and from there. You can only go to Syros on whatever day the ferry goes there and return 1-3 days later when it does the route again.
So its settled. Aunt 1 (and I) will take the ferry at around 10.15am tomorrow morning. I had a very long Q tip stuck up my nostril (I wasn’t aware my nostril went that deep) cause I need to show a COVID19 test in order to go into the hospital. Since no one came running in here to kick me out I presume it was negative.
Aunt 1 is as annoying as ever. She’s not in pain for he most part, just confused. Not so many references to why God didn’t just take her so she wouldn’t suffer, but constant restlessness and repeated questions. She recognised me, most of the time, but didn’t know where she was, what that thing on her wrist was (IV) or what the tube in her stomach was (catheter) and asked what they were every 2 minutes. Also tried to remove them every 2.2 minutes. I had to sit and hold her hands.
She’s finally off the stretcher where she’s spent all day and into a bed. There is another bed in the room but not a single chair.
Every 2 minutes she’s fussing. She wants to turn over but it hurts. She’s too hot, throws the covers on the floor. She wants to get up and go to bed. She wants to pull the tubes out. The IV hanging over her head bothers her, etc etc. She sleeps, wakes up and starts again.
I fall asleep. I wake up when hear her tossing and turning, repeating the same words: You can’t turn over cause it hurts. You fell. You can’t get out of bed cause you hurt your back. You are in bed. You’re sleeping here tonight. You’re in hospital cause you fell. You hurt your back. That’s why it hurts. You can’t turn over, yada ada yada.
It’s hard not to yell at her to stop it and settle down. The bed has no sides, and I don’t think to ask for them. I mean, how was I to know they could ‘clip on’ sides? I’ve repeatedly asked for sleeping pills or something for her to stop the fussing over her drips and the restlessness and anxiety.
I am woken up suddenly by a loud crash. Yep. She’s falled out of bed. Or she tried to get up and fell. Either way, she’s lying on the floor with a split eyebrow and pathetically asking how she fell out of bed.
I run to get help and get yelled at by the doctor. How did she fall out of bed? Where was I? What good was I if I wasn’t watching her. F^%&. I fell asleep!
She’s got the bedside manner of a bull in a china shop, yelling and carrying on about how now my aunt needs xrays again and its the middle of the night, prodding her roughly ‘does it hurt here? what about here?’ Now I’m afraid to fall asleep again, though NOW, they pushed the bed up against the wall on side and put a rail up on the other.
Do I sound angry, frustrated, tired, fed up?
And joy… today is only the beginning of this adventure!