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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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A long wait for the ambulance

January 22nd, 2013 · 9 Comments

It took over an hour on Sunday evening for the ambulance to reach my mother’s modest WWII-era home in Kahala. My sister, Bonnie, says it was 72 minutes, to be precise.

Earlier that day, it seemed like we were making some progress. My mother’s condition was about the same, but the hospice agency had readily agreed to at least a temporary “respite” placement in a care home while her condition could be evaluated. The level of care she needs is now beyond our abilities and competence, and the hospice agency agreed, scheduling their RN to arrive first thing Monday morning to facilitate the transfer.

But events intervened when my mother, in her drug-muddled state, tried to get out of bed on her own. The good news is that she didn’t fall and hit her head. Instead, she fell and injured her leg or ankle, I’m still not completely sure which. One dislocation, one fracture. Then she lay on the floor for over an hour waiting for the ambulance to arrive. What if it were a stroke, or a heart attack? If this is typical, it’s another city service imploding. Take a look, Mayor Caldwell!

At about 4 a.m. Monday morning, my mom was transferred to an 8-bed care home in Palolo. It’s really quite a nice place. She has a private room and was sleeping peacefully when we visited. I don’t know if she’s going to survive, but while we worry about her condition, we don’t have to worry about her care any more. She’s being well taken care of by people who know what they’re doing. That’s a huge relief.

Islands Hospice gets a rave review for stepping in and making all the arrangements to move my mom to the Palolo home late Sunday night and early Monday. Bonnie is still amazed that the RN on duty not only arranged the transportation and found the empty bed, but showed up at the emergency room, waiting with Bonnie until the transporter arrived, then drove Bonnie home before returning to Palolo to check my mom’s condition and make sure all was well.

We are now in waiting mode. Our mother has been non responsive, and we’re waiting to see whether this changes as the pain meds are ratcheted down.

Hoping for the best, expecting…who knows?

Tags: Aging & dementia · Health

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mr. Mike in Hilo // Jan 22, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Mr. Ian,

    Sorry to read about this new development, but we are hoping for a good outcome. Our best to you and Bonnie.

    Mr. Mike and Miss Mae

  • 2 Alex Salkever // Jan 22, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Ian – my prayers are with you. May she pass peacefully.

  • 3 cwd // Jan 22, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I’m going through the same set of decisions although not with respect to my parents. My mother died when she was 36 and my father shortly before his 50th birthday.

    Keep us posted, Ian.

  • 4 kimo in kailua // Jan 22, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Prayers. My 89 year old mom was rushed to the hospital with breathing difficulties compounded by the Flu. She’s being discharged to a rehab facility and we being the process of finding an assisted living facility for her to move to from her home of 15 years. This is tough stuff.

  • 5 Rich // Jan 22, 2013 at 10:01 am

    We took my mom to the Palolo Hospice, where she eventually passed on. They are fine people there. They took care of my mom, and took care of me during one of the most difficult moments I’ve experienced in my life.

  • 6 Kat // Jan 22, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Our prayers are with your Mom, you, Bonnie and Meda, Ian. Wishing you all peace and solace. Love, kat

  • 7 aikea808 // Jan 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Second that. I’m sure your Mom’s in good hands.

    Hospice nurses are THE best – always go the extra mile. The one assigned to my Mom was an absolute angel. He would come at any time of the day or night if we had an issue we couldn’t handle.

  • 8 jb // Jan 22, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    This is such difficult stuff to deal with and my heart goes out to you and Meda and Bonnie. Having no control and not wanting suffering can make us feel so out of place and crazy.

    Hoping your mom’s condition resolves itself soon. Rest up and take care of each other…you deserve it too.

  • 9 cwd // Jan 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    What happens if someone who has no extra money to pay for these services, is not eligible for government funding, and has no family members to provide money and services?

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