The Other Guy.

JoeAs a caregiver, there is nothing worse than when a client falls and hurts themselves on your watch.  Yesterday evening, while I was taking dinner out of the oven and Dot was making a phone call, Joe got up from his recliner on his own and somehow ended up falling face first on the bricks around the fireplace.  Of all of the places that Joe could fall in the entire house; this was by far the worst!

The poor guy got a cut on his nose from the bridge of his glasses, as well as a nasty shiner under his right eye.  I called 911 immediately, and they determined that they needed to take him to the ER because he needed some X-rays and a few stitches on his nose.  Interestingly enough, when the paramedics were asking Joe questions to determine whether or not he may have had a concussion, Joe was answering each question with complete clarity.  It was as if having his brain jarred on the brick floor momentarily knocked out the dementia.  He told them his full name, where he lives, his address, the day of the week, everything!

When the paramedics asked him how he ended up on the floor, Joe said, “It was the darndest thing!  One minute I was standing and the next minute I was belly-up on the concrete.”

Paramedic:  “Where do you hurt?”

Joe:  “Well, let’s see…  My nose is bleeding like a stuck pig for one thing, and being that I can’t open my eye, I’m guessing that I have a pretty nasty shiner…”

Paramedic:  “Yeah, you’re pretty banged up all right.”

Joe chuckled:  “You should see the other guy!”

Face-Plant.

JoeI got Joe all tucked into bed the other night and he started snoring almost instantly.  Five minutes later, Dot and I were watching TV in the living room and we heard a giant THUD!  

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.

Joe:  “Hello.”

Fireman:  “What seems to be the trouble?”

Joe:  “Nothin.”

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?”

Joe:  “Nope.”

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.”

Mike:  “Dad!”

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.