Who Will Take Care of Joey

Who Will Take Care of Joey


A few days before the date Dav and I had made to go out for pie, I woke up feeling a little off, so I ate oatmeal and blueberries for breakfast thinking it was just hunger pangs. Then I drove up the hill to Costco for gas, but as I began to pump I suddenly felt the earth swaying like I was in a small boat in a wild storm. “I need to get home,”  was all I could think.


On the drive home I believe that I had angels guiding the car because I sure wasn’t. As I parked in the parallel space in front of my garage, my car seemed to bend like a slinky. Somehow I knew to keep my cell phone in my right hand as I opened the front door with my left. I let my dog Joey go in ahead of me. My legs buckled under me as the door slammed behind me. I couldn’t stop my descent and my head hit the floor. My little dog sat nearby while I made a few attempts to lift my head. I was able to call 911 and tell the operator I needed help. She connected me with a fireman who asked if I could get up and retrieve some papers from my room. I believe this was a test to see if I really could get up.


“I can’t even lift my head.”


“Turn on your side in case you throw up.”


I did as instructed and promptly lost my breakfast.


I heard the fire truck and ambulance sirens within minutes. I was the only person on the block with a door facing the alley. They quickly checked my vital signs and determined I needed immediate transport to the hospital. I could hear Joey barking anxiously. I asked one of the fireman to get on his level and call him. I heard him say, “Come here buddy, it’s okay.” My dog calmed down as the fireman picked him up and shut him in my room. I asked them to leave the door unlocked so someone could reach him if needed.


At the E.R., I was unable to lift one leg to cross the other or touch the doctor’s finger as instructed. Everything became a blur of rectangular lights  and far away voices as I was hoisted onto a cold metal table and slapped all over my head and chest with round sticky objects. I didn’t stop throwing up.


I could see white uniformed figures coming and going for what seemed like hours while a nearby machine beeps incessantly. Finally I was able to keep my stomach fluids inside, and the little pills that were supposed to do that job. I heard the garbled sound of people asking me questions which I was unable to answer. It was like being in a nightmare where you’re yelling but no sound comes out. Slowly I began to recover enough to answer questions and I was finally able to touch the doctor’s finger and cross my leg.


“Ms. Skarin, we need to keep you overnight for more tests.” The doctor said.


“What kind of tests, I’m fine now.”


“We are concerned that you weren’t able to lift your leg or touch my finger. We need to do a neurological assessment and an MRI, even though your x-rays and e.k.g. were fine.”


“But, I need to get home and take care of my dog. He’s home alone.”


“Is there anyone you can call?”


“Yes, my daughter lives in Lakewood.” My cellphone was brought to me.


“Sarah, could you go over to the house and feed Joey and let him out ”


“Why, where are you?”  I never asked her to take care of Joey.


“I’m in the hospital.”


“What? Why?”


“I fell and I couldn’t get up. I had to call an ambulance.”


“Mom, I’m coming right now. Which hospital?”


“Community. But, what about Joey, who’s going to take care of him?”


“I’ll call Jeremy and ask him to take care of Joey.” (I later found out that the firemen had locked all the doors with my dog still in the bedroom. My son didn’t have the keys so he had to pry a window open and move my microwave and toaster oven off the stand to squeeze in through the narrow opening. My son is 6 feet 3 inches tall.)


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