Down in the Lightnin’ Bar

ambulanceSad to say, I was 99.9% sure I knew where this ambulance was going.

I was walking downtown and as I walked through the yellow slide playground, I saw what (at first) looked like some bags lined up on the sidewalk across the street. As I got a bit closer, I was horrified to see that it was an elderly man lying flat on his back. He didn’t look conscious. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do anything except avert my eyes. Three or four people were already looking after him. They had covered him with a blanket and put something underneath his head.

I continued my slow shuffle down the middle of that street, which was completely covered with ice and solidly frozen snow, and on downtown. After I crossed the Huron / Dexter / Jackson intersection a few blocks away, the ambulance in the photooo came by. I knew where it was going. I hope this man is okay. I can’t say for sure that he slipped on ice but we walked shuffled back by on our way home and there were two dangerous looking patches of black ice on that sidewalk right about where he had been lying.

A bit of PTSD? It was a fall on “ice” that took down my old coot. I don’t actually believe that he encountered ice that particular day and The Commander agreed with me about that. Maybe he stepped wrong. I don’t know exactly what happened. My dad was a *walker* and he was on his daily trek down the escarpment to the post office, etc., when he fell. And smashed his pelvis to smithereens. A cop happened to drive by and tried to get the old coot to accept an ambulance ride. No way. Okay. The cop scooped him up into the cop car, took him *home*, sat him up on the couch, then went down to the college pool to roust The Comm out of her water-ex class.

An ambulance ride (yes) ensued, then an air ambulance to the Henry Ford Hoosegow in Dee-troit, two huge surgeries, 11 days in the ICU, an ambulance ride *back* north (after 23 days in Dee-troit), a few weeks in a rehab facility in Sault Ste. Siberia, a festering bedsore, sepsis and death at good old War Memorial. Falling is not a good thing for anyone but elderly folks frequently don’t recover. Eventually a day came when *I* had to call for an ambulance for *The Commander* (even though she was sitting up eating scrambled eggs and toast with great gusto) but that’d be a whole ‘nother story and it didn’t involve a fall, or at least not the same kind of fall…

I am rambling. I hope this gentleman is okay but I suspect not. I suspect that it’ll be a long night and possibly a long haul for him and his family. People will be canceling plans and rearranging work schedules and arranging for family leave and figuring out where the best hospital parking places are and where to get food and coffee and plug in their phones and laptops and things. Some of that stuff’ll be a lot harder down here at the Citadel than it was at War Memorial, where you could usually park across the street (for free, although you might have to navigate a snowbank or two) and you could walk a block or two to any number of decent restaurants (some with barrooooms if it was one o’ *those* kinds of days). They’ll be doing a lot of sitting and waiting…

Again, I wish more people would put salt down after they shovel their sidewalks. There is an ordinance here for snow and ice removal but so many folks clear off the snow and don’t even try to prevent ice from forming. Snow is annoying to slodge through but black ice is dangerous!

Also, YakTrax!

Good night from Blackicelandia,
Kayak Woman

3 Responses to “Down in the Lightnin’ Bar”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Your talk of sepsis brings back bad memories for me too. It’s strange what can trigger the flashbacks and the sadness, isn’t it? Your weather needs to improve now!!

  2. jane Says:

    coincidentally (?) got ‘that’ call last night that a friend is at U-M, critical, blah blah blah. one positive outcome of this incident is that another friend who works at the hospital in another area realized that something the critical care area needs are phone chargers for family members to use. it is an urgent situation and phones are lifelines for communicating, but need to be re-charged. I predict that within a month U-M will be stocked, at least in certain units.

  3. l4827 Says:

    I agree. I was in the ER (UofM) two weeks ago. Surgery last week for a knee injury. People don’t go there with their phones fully charged. Though we didn’t need it, my ‘roommate’ did. It is good to have communication, when time is of the essence.

    – Cast in a different light, for six (now five) weeks.