Riley’s school reading across my phone during the school day would normally put me on guard immediately. However, Riley’s bus could not even have reached the school yet.
“Hello, I am the Vice Principal of Riley’s School….”she started. “We have been trying to reach you.” You have? Neither my cell nor landline had rung all that morning. “Riley had a seizure aboard the bus. When they couldn’t reach you, he was put on the ambulance for NCH.”
In the past, I have been called to the location to sign releases and send everyone on their way. This was, however, not the moment for argument as I climbed into my car and headed south to the hospital locating the ER behind much construction. Check-in had no knowledge of Riley. I fretted, while a staff person searched the department and eventually led me back. I found Riley wailing at the two EMS gentlemen who had brought him to the hospital. My poor nonverbal child had no idea why he had been kidnapped and had his blood drawn by two huge strangers, seizure long over.
This scenario did not put me in my most charming mood. “What number have you been calling?” I quickly discovered that the school instructions must have reversed my number with John’s. John is frequently unreachable during the workday. Mental note: correct seizure paperwork with transportation. Hopefully I mustered a smile before they EMS techs left the room. After all, I do appreciate each and every one of them. My family has certainly called 911 for Riley many times over the years and they are always kind and generous to us.
Next order of business, discharge. I addressed the physician. “We are fine, you can discharge us.” She was completely understanding, recognizing quickly that Riley was complicated and as his parent I would be competent at handling most of his emergencies. She agreed to begin the release paperwork. “All I need” glancing around the room, “….is the wheelchair?”
I turned heel quickly to chase down the EMS gentlemen to learn that ambulances have no room for wheelchairs. So, you picked Riley up on a roadside and sent the wheelchair on north to school while you travelled south to the hospital. Did anyone consider how Riley was going to leave the hospital again? I suppose it is appropriate that their primary concern was having Riley tended to immediately. But now what should I do? As I pondered this my cell rang again with the Vice Principal on the line. “Hi! I just discovered Riley’s chair here at school.” Great. Now what do I do? Riley could not be left alone in the Emergency Room and I could not take him without a wheelchair. No volunteers were to be had. I located my mother but she was unavailable. John was not even reachable by phone at the moment. Curiously, John had posed a question to me a couple months ago: “You are stranded on the roadside. Calling me or an auto club is not an option. Who would you call for help?” I had shrugged the question off, but it was a real dilemma. Who is actually close enough and reliable enough to call upon when either of us is in a pickle? I came up with no one. Fortunately the school Vice Principal called yet again with the solution; a school custodian kindly volunteered to load Riley’s chair in his personal truck and deliver it to us. I had never encountered this man before yet he graciously saved Riley from several more hours of waiting out the ER until we reunited him with his chair.
Now I know, no wheelchairs on ambulances. Little details to be aware of. We also learned that Good Samaritan’s sometimes do cross our path. Also, there went our three year record of staying out of the ER. At least, he is still healthy considering Riley’s many complications. We are just continuing our hospital tour. Which shall be next?
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