Joe had climbed out of bed (over his bed-rail) and hobbled into the bathroom where he did a complete face-plant on the linoleum floor. When I found him he was unconscious and non-responsive, so I asked Dot to call 911 while I checked to make sure that he was still alive.
While I was checking for a heartbeat, Joe came to and started laughing.
Joe: “What the HELL am I doing on the floor?!”
Me: “Dot, tell the operator that he’s talking!”
Joe: “Who’s talking?”
Me: “You are.”
Joe: “I am?!”
I got up and grabbed the phone from Dot so that I could tell the 911 dispatcher what was going on. She told me that paramedics were on their way and that I shouldn’t let Joe move.
I hung up the phone and went back into the bathroom with Joe. He was already trying to get up.
Me: “Joe, don’t move okay? Just stay right where you are.”
Joe: “Well okay, but I’m on the floor. How the HELL did I end up on the floor?”
Dot: “You fell down Joe, and the ambulance is on its way now.”
Joe: “Who fell down?”
Dot: “You did!”
Joe laughed: “Oh I never fell down.”
Dot: “Then why are you on the floor?”
Joe: “Because it looked comfortable!”
Joe tried to move again.
Me: “Joe, just stay where you are okay? The paramedics will be here any minute…”
Joe: “Paramedics? Why are they coming here?”
Me: “They just need to check you over to make sure that you’re healthy.”
Joe: “Oh I’m healthy. I eat all of my vegetables, don’t I Dot?”
Dot: “Not that kind of healthy. They need to check your bones.”
Joe: “My BONES? What the hell do my bones have to do with anything?”
By then the paramedics had arrived on the scene. They all know Joe because Joe used to be a volunteer fireman. I spoke to the man in charge to explain what had happened, and the other guys went right to work.
Fireman: “Hi there Joe!”
Joe turned his head so that he could see the man kneeling at his side.
Fireman: “What seems to be the trouble?”
Fireman: “Well it looks like you had a pretty bad fall, and you’re banged up pretty bad.”
Joe: “Is that right?”
Fireman: “Yep. We’re going to get you loaded up and head on over to the hospital okay?”
Joe: “I guess that’s alright. Are we going in the fire truck?”
Fireman: “We’re going to load you up in the ambulance actually.”
Joe: “Oh yeah, okay. Well if you need any help just let me know. I can help you load up the hay barrels.”
Fireman: “Okay Joe, we’ll let you know if we need a hand.”
Dot stayed at the house while Mike (Joe and Dot’s son) and I followed behind the ambulance. Thankfully it was a slow night at the ER so Joe was seen by a doctor right away.
Doc: “Hi there, Joe. How are you feeling tonight?”
Joe: “Not too bad.”
Doc: “I’m going to check you over okay?”
Joe: “I guess that’s alright.”
The doctor started at the back of Joe’s neck and worked his way down the spine, asking Joe at various times if he felt any pain.
Doc: “Does it hurt here?”
Doc: “How about here?”
Joe: “Here what?”
Doc: “Does it hurt when I touch your back here?”
Joe: “Oh. Nope.”
Doc: “Does it hurt here?”
Joe: “Boy, you sure do ask a lot of questions.”
The doctor smiled: “I’m just trying to figure out if you have any injuries.”
Mike (Joe’s son): “Dad, you had a bad fall tonight. The doctor just wants to make sure that you’re okay.”
Joe: “Well…I guess that’s alright.”
Doc: “It actually seems like you’re doing pretty well Joe. Do you have any pain anywhere?”
Joe: “Well, now that you mention it, my knee is a little sore…”
Doc: “I will have the nurse take you back for an X-ray. Anything else?”
Joe: “My ass feels kind of funny.”
Doc: “Do you mind if I take a look?”
Joe: “Well you can take a look if you want, but it’s not going to be a pretty picture.”
The doctor laughed: “I think I can handle it.”
Joe: “I will tell you what you’ll find if you look back there.”
Doc: “What will I find?”
Joe: “A pile of shit.”
Joe: “Well? He asked!”
Doc: “I will have the nurse get you cleaned up.”
The doctor wrote down a few notes, smiled at all of us and left the room.
Joe: “Boy, we sure had to go through a lot of trouble to get some clean pants!”
Joe was discharged from the hospital with a minor knee sprain, a few bumps and bruises, and a clean pair of pants. While we were driving back to the house Mike patted Joe on the leg and said: “I’m just so glad that you’re ok, Dad.
Joe: “Of course I’m okay, why wouldn’t I be?”
Mike: “You had a pretty bad fall tonight, Dad.”
Joe laughed: “Not me. I never fell.”
Mike looked at me in the rear-view mirror and shook his head: “You’re a pretty tough old bird, you know that?”
Joe smiled: “Damned right!
A few minutes later he looked back at me: “Now, what’s for supper?”
It was 1AM.