The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Rainy Days And Foggy Heads

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As life goes, so does our misadventures. This past Friday Nat started to feel a small pain at the bottom of his rib cage. By 2:00 we were unsure as to what to do and he kept looking at me for advice.  My advice was only he knew how bad he was feeling but I did interject that “better safe than sorry” was always a good credence to follow.

We looked at each other knowing that if we called the ambulance the rest of our day was shot. It was now close to 2:30 and I called 911 for the ambulance. Calling 911 was an experience in itself – being asked so many questions, given so many instructions (in case of a heart problem) and what to have on hand when the paramedics arrived – have his meds ready, his Health Card on hand, stand at the door and keep an eye on any further developments in his condition. My mindless brain was spinning and forgetting half of what the operator was telling me.

The paramedics arrived from just down the street, sat Nat in the dining room and he was soon plugged in to a heart monitor, blood pressure cuff and temperature taken. His pain, naturally was now starting to dissipate somewhat, but the paramedics detected a slow heart rate and he was now being strapped into the stretcher, covered up and wheeled into the back of the ambulance for a ride to Niagara Falls General Hospital.

I was now trying to gather my thoughts on what to do next as I’m very unfamiliar how to get to the Niagara Falls Hospital. I get the GPS set up, double check the address on Google Maps for a visual of where I was going, grab Nat’s wallet, my coat and purse and I’m off.

Going down Sodom Road was the easy part, but the GPS was not taking me the same way that Google Maps was. Suddenly I’m crossing the QEW and headed towards Chippawa. The GPS was taking me another way through Niagara Falls and I’m now getting a bit unsettled.

I’d been this way before when Nat and I went to see my sister at Fallsview Casino but Portage Road can be very confusing in its twists and turns. As the rain was still on I was having a hard time getting the defogging gadgets working so I could see clearly out the front window. While driving through rush hour traffic, I was opening the driver’s window, the passenger window and even the back seat window. Eventually I got things working and I’m sure a few people behind me thought I was drunk as I swerved a bit trying to get everything organized.

Once I reached the twists and turns of Portage Road I accidentally took a wrong right and ended up in unfamiliar territory. I was now baffled and confused. I made a couple more turns and headed towards the parking lot of a Church to get my bearings. I reset the GPS to get me to the Hospital from where I was and luckily I was only a couple blocks away.

Departing from the car with the rain still on I grabbed the umbrella which was stuck in the down position and I was getting soaked by the time I managed to get the damn thing put up. I headed towards the Emergency Room, found the two ambulance attendants who were now getting ready to leave and was directed to where Nat lay waiting . He was plugged in again with blood being taken along with the blood pressure cuff making its noise every so many minutes. The orderly was hooking him up to another monitor and asking him a dozen questions – the same asked by the ambulance attendants. I sat beside his bed and we began to wait. Somehow we had been here before but, God willing, for not as long

We had a gorgeous Roast Chicken waiting for us at home and it was now past 4:00 pm. We waited a bit more, spoke to the orderly whenever he appeared to check on Nat and waited some more.

Finally the Doctor arrived, checked all of Nat’s test results, asked him the same questions and gave us her thoughts. She advised that the pain was coming from the stomach area and she asked Nat more questions about ulcers, etc. She was satisfied that Nat was okay, the pain had now completely cleared and he was finally disconnected from all of that machinery and cleared to go home.

As Nat was getting dressed, his hand began to bleed where the shunt had been removed.  We grabbed some Kleenex  for him to hold over his hand until we reached the car. As we were exiting the Emergency room, I realized I had forgotten Nat’s shoes (he was in his slippers) and coat. The rain was still on, so I went to get the car to pick him up. Damn, I had left the back window down and the rain had pretty much drenched the entire side of the door, along with parts of the back seat.  Luckily the parking lot was practically empty and no one stole our little red “Ruby” as I had also managed to leave the damn thing unlocked!!

With Nat now safely seated in the car and with me at the wheel, he began to direct me out of this foreign establishment. The rain was a bit heavier now and as I was trying to turn left onto Stanley I assumed an approaching car was turning right onto the street I was on.  It turns out I was wrong and as he angrily beeped his horn at me I back off and tried to explain to my very scared husband that the rain made it look like his lights were flashing to turn. Finally all things were clear and we were soon on our way home.

One of these days, I swear, my foggy brain is going to get me into deep trouble. As weird as it sounds I have to remember to think, think, think!!!

When we arrived home it was now 5:45 pm but we were both very hungry and decided to proceed with our supper plans – Roast Chicken with French fries.  With all things now calm we enjoyed our meal, sat back and watched the news as if the day was all a crappy dream.

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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