Never in my life did I think I would have to call emergency transportation to a hospital. However, yesterday June 28th, 2022, was the first time.
My dad’s symptoms had increasingly gotten worse. Aside from not wanting to eat for the past weeks, he no longer wanted to take his medications. He did not want to drink anything. He no longer called me by my name. He hardly recognized anybody from the family. At times he was lucid, and when he wasn’t, it was as if he was in a house full of strangers. He was incoherent.
The day I decided to call an ambulance, it was because my dad had been asleep for over 12 hours. It’s important to mention that he had had difficulty sleeping since his symptoms became more apparent. He would constantly get up throughout the night. That’s why the 28th was different.
By this point, I had already quit one of my jobs so that I’d be able to take care of my dad more. But I was still working at my summer job at the school district five minutes away from home. I got home from work that day and intended to take him to the emergency room. I had a difficult time trying to get him to wake up. He just wouldn’t open his eyes. He was breathing though. He was alive.
At around 5 p.m, the family and I decided to call an ambulance. My dad had no strength in his legs to walk to the car. When the paramedics arrived at my house, we managed to get my dad to sit up. He seemed so confused, irritable, and incoherent. He stared at us and did not recognize who we were. It was heartbreaking.
I got to the E.R at around 6 p.m. When I arrived, the receptionist told me that the nurse was not ready yet and asked me to wait another 15 minutes.
“What’s going on with my dad in there? Is everything okay?” I would ask the front desk receptionist every thirty minutes.
“The nurse isn’t ready for any visitors to come in. Give her a few more minutes,” she said.
It would be another 2 hours before they’d let me in. When I got to my dad’s bed, I understood why they took so long to let me in. My dad didn’t recognize anybody there or know where he was. He tried and succeeded in pulling off his IV twice. He was frustrated. The nurse decided to restrain his wrists to the bed for his safety. I cried.
I just couldn’t believe that the firm and intelligent man, my dad, was deteriorating rapidly before my eyes. He didn’t want to be there, but we had no choice. I felt terrible. I asked the nurse to please undo the restraints on him. She saw me crying, and I think she felt bad about the situation because she said, “I’ll undo one wrist, but please keep an eye on him, make sure he doesn’t take off his IV.” I agreed to do just that, but he attempted to take out his IV again as soon as the restraints came off.
I held his hand until they admitted him into a room. He fell asleep, and visitors were asked to leave. I kissed him and whispered, “Te quiero mucho apá. Mañana vengo a verte.”