Grandma's Car Accident

If only I had my own reality show. The drama can't get any better than this very real life stuff.

So, there I am, standing in the Department of Medicine at Was.hin.gton Hosp.ital Cen.ter, trying to make stuff happen when my cell rings. Usually, I don't answer if I don't know the number, but for some reason I answered. It was a Good Samaritan:

Good Samaritan: You don't know me, but my name is ______________ and I'm sitting here with your grandmother waiting for the paramedics. She's been in an accident.

Me: Where are you? How bad is it?

GS: We are at the corner of _____ & ______ and I think she is fine, but we called an ambulance.

Me: Where is the car? How bad is it? What hospital are they taking her to?

GS: I'll let you talk to her?

GMa: OOOOOH Lisa...Lord Jesus....it was awful....he came out of no where....Lord...AH Jesus, have mercy.....

Me (Interrupting)...Grandma! are you hurt? What happened?

GMa: I don't know, baby, my head hurts. Ummmm. I'm sore. Do you think I should stay with the car or go with the ambulance.

Me: GRANDMA! If you are hurt, go with the paramedics. Does the car need a tow?

GMa: (Crying) WHAT DO I DO?!!!!

Me: GRANDMA!!!!!! stop crying. I'll meet you at the hospital. Leave the car. We'll get it later or let them have it towed. I'll be there as soon as I can. Imma call Ron and he'll take care of it.

I call Ron...and he dons his Super Suit saving the day. When he calls me back (as I'm driving like a mad woman to gt back into MD) he gives me the run down....

"Willie was sitting at the light. Another car runs a police officer (unmarked car) off the road and he swerves and hits (more like scrapes) the bumper of Willie's car. No damage, airbag did not deploy. Car is being towed since it was in middle of road. I'll meet you at the hospital."

Breathing a sigh of relief, I slowed down and arrived alive at How.ard C.oun.ty Gen.era.l Hospital. Wile an ER is a necessary evil, I simply hate them. PERIOD. I hate the waiting & waiting & waiting & waiting. I hate being healthy and having to sit with a lot of sick people also waiting to be seen. People bleeding, wheezing, broken, sick to the stomach, feverish, swollen, sweating and so on. Ugggggah. I fidget just knowing that I'm going to have the cooties the next day and since I hate the ER, I'll have to wait to get an appointment to see my primary care provider. WHATEVER. My philosophy with ERs is that unless arterial blood is spewing, a limb is severed, a limb or organ going in the opposite direction than nature meant it to or heart/brain tissue is dying then it can wait. I HATE EMERGENCY ROOMS.

There are A LOT of people here...this is gonna take a while. Ron is sitting and I'm like "okay, what is her status?" For a moment, I thought Ron had taken off his Super Suit, cause he said, "I dunno, THEY said they'd let us know."


Ron replies, "Good question" and goes to find out. We are immediately ushered back to Grandma Willie. When we find her, she is being interviewed by some poor resident who's 1st language was clearly NOT English. This poor chick is trying to get some info (history, chief complaint, pain scale rating) outta my grandmother. NOT SO EASY. Especially if you run all your words together as one big sentence. "Lord, LEEEEEEEEESA!!!!! What is she saying?" I got this Grandma. I let the pitiful creature ask her questions as this is supposed to be a learning experience for her (called practicing medicine) while I repeat for my Grandmother every question she asks.

A nurse tech calls me over to tell me to let the resident handle it. WHAT!!!!! Don't mess with me. I've been in this industry long enough...don't let me turn this ER on its head. When I slam the brakes on her and start speaking in her language, attitude changes, BUT wait a minute...STOP....1st things first.....how she gonna pay was now the priority of the day. SOOOOOO, I'm rifling through Grandma's purse to find her insurance card. Come to find out Grandma Willie is better insured than probably most of us. She's got Tri.car.e Pri.me, Ma.il Han.d.lers & Me.d.icare. You go girl.
- Living Will/Advanced Directives? - YES
- Power of Attorney for your GMa? - YES

Great - Sign here.

They took her away to do a CAT scan and XRay's to make sure she's A-OK and then we had to sit a wait (well, just me - Ron & Erin went to get Willie's car out of the tow yard-$125/day) IN THE HALLWAY to be seen by a doctor. They actually have monitors on the wall that tell you what "Room" the patient is in, who the nurse & doctor is, the treatment orders (in code so I couldn't figure it out), patient status and my all time favorite - TID - Time in Department. We were in a hallway "room" NSO4 and a TID of 2 hours 53 minutes. (at the time of writing). KILL ME NOW!

While we continued waiting to see the doctor, Willie talked me to death and I sat there nodding while watching the parade of characters. One thing for sure, HCG is not a city ER. It's actually pretty quiet with people just laying around in various stages of waiting.

Occasionally an alarm went off. Nobody came running. Someone got an EKG in the hallway. An old lady kept calling for someone to help her. Eventually a nurse came by.

....AT LAST, the doctor came. CAT scan clean, XRay clear. Nothing broken. She can go home. She refuses the pain killer asking if her arthritis medicine and/or aspirin will be fine. Sure. The doctor humors her while he looks at me to fill it anyway. Just in case.

Ron loads her into the Hummer and I run home to get a drink.

Just so you know...the Sidecar Martini's & Sushi were wonderful...I don't know about grandma, but I'm feeling no pain.

P.S. GMa Willie (after 7 phone calls) is doing just fine. The car only needs minor repair.


  1. Wow! Glad grandma is okay! TNT huh? :)

  2. Lawd hab murcy!!! That's quiet a bit of activity.

    I am really glad that grandma is doing just fine. I know that was pretty scary for her.

  3. Life as a reality show. That sounds like it has multiple post potential.

    Good to know all is well. I lost my grandmother over 20 years ago (breast cancer) and think of her every day.

    LOVED the time I lived in Baltimore, Fell's Point. It would be great if you contribute to my new project...point your camera and share the view from your window!

  4. I am so glad she's o.k. and that you survived too!

  5. Aw lawd! Glad to know she's fine! Poor baby! I'm sure she was scared!