Well, I'm back from Florida. No, I wasn't there on vacation--wish I had been. My mom has heart problems and experienced cardiac arrest. However, she's a tough old bird and pulled through this round. Hopefully the hospital and the rehab center will fair as well. I learned several lessons while I was down in the not-so-sunny state. (It was nasty and poured every day and sometimes all day, except one.)
The first lesson was never to fly US Air ever again. Absolutely not. This hadn't been the first miserable experience I had with that airline, but I am positive that it will be the last. I wanted to be on the first flight down to Florida. My mother was in DelRay Medical Center, so I booked a flight to land in Ft. Lauderdale with a stopover in Philadelphia. My son accompanied me and helped me keep my sanity.
We left the house about six o'clock in the morning and drove to LaGuardia Airport. The flight was supposed to take off at 9:30 AM, but they delayed it to 10 o'clock and then 10:15 AM before they told us we can no longer go to Ft. Lauderdale. The reason for that was we had missed our connecting flight to Philadelphia. The next flight going to Ft. Lauderdale would bring us there around 10:00 PM. We were told to go halfway across the terminal to another gate to speak to someone to help us. To make a long story short, we walked away from this crazy person who was going to reroute us via 2 more stops with one being Washington DC and some other place I can't even remember.
We ended up flying down to Miami via Philadelphia. Luckily for us, I had a friend who lived there and we crashed with her. We arrived in Miami around 8:30 PM. This was able to happen after arguing with the car rental agency to have our car picked up in Miami instead of Ft. Lauderdale.
The next day we drove to the hospital, hooked up with my brother and sister, saw my mother in the ICU and then went to the condo in Boca Raton where we were staying and signed in. The place wasn't too far, which was good, because we ended up driving back and forth every day, sometimes twice.
Skipping to 6 days later, I left my mom in rehab and drove to the airport with my son to go home. The flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Philadephia went off without a hitch. We never got out of Philadelphia, which I now believe is the black hole of airline passengers. Once you land there, you're stuck--if you're flying US Air. Our 7:30 flight ended up to be 10:30PM. I got back home at 1:30 AM.
I also learned that when people get old, they often become testy, possessing the patience of a flea, if they have that much. While my own mother was complaining,( a good sign she was feeling better) the woman in the next cubicle in the ICU was yelling at her poor daughter. I already told my son to shoot me if I begin to act that way. However, the highlight of being there happened on the second day. The doors to the ICU swing outward to allow the entrance of people. There is a large sign warning people of this. There is absolutely no way to miss it. It is also written in Spanish. We all stared in awe at the following scene: We all heard a loud bang. A woman had been standing too close to the doors was hit by them. She fell on her elbow, which had been operated upon recently. She kept telling the nurses who went to her aid that the door had tried to kill her. One nurse admonished her and told her she'd been here before and should have known about the door. Of course she maintained it had been the fault of the doors and not her disregarding the sign. She was taken away to be patched up and on her way out, refused to go through the door. There was no way she could leave without going through that type door. Finally, she went over to a doctor standing at the desk and told him that the door had tried to kill her. His reply was classic. "Well then, now you're safe. You see, the door only tries to kill a person once a day."
I guess getting old isn't fun sometimes. However, I know my mom will be out of rehab soon. She hates it there and complains thatall the nurses are mean and hate her. Nursing is such a hard job. It really takes a strong person to put up with all the feisty patients. Luckily for them, they have a lot of patience.