It’s inevitable now that each time July rolls around I will think of how my father used to sing happy birthday to me over the phone – he rang every year without fail so he’s really been in my thoughts the last few days and so perhaps I channeled an email that I received today.
The email reminded me of the time dad called the police when nursing home staff ignored his pressing of the call button. (probably a lot of people remember this story) The “joke” made me laugh but it also touched a nerve as I wondered how close to a real situation this might be:
A sweet grandmother telephoned St. Joseph’s Hospital and timidly asked: “Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?”
The operator said, “I’ll be glad to help, dear. What’s the name and room number of the patient?”
The grandmother in her weak, tremulous voice said “Norma Findlay, Room 302”.
The operator replied “Let me put you on hold while I check with the nurse’s station for that room.”
After a few minutes the operator returned to the phone and said “I have good news. Her nurse just told me that Norma is doing well. Her blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back normal and her physician, Dr. Cohen, has scheduled her to be discharged tomorrow.”
The grandmother said “Thank you. That’s wonderful. I was so worried. God bless you for the good news”.
The operator said “You’re more than welcome. Is Norma your daughter?”
The grandmother replied “No, I’m Norma Findlay in Room 302. No-one tells me shit”.