The Queen and the Grape

This story is not fiction and the names have not been changed to protect the innocent.  April 1, 2014, April Fools Day, I wake up to three calls on my cell all of which came in between 2:03 am and 2:21 am which is not normal and the first thing that wen through my head is “Mom.”  Sure enough, I call to retrieve my emails and it is a nurse at Sutter, Roseville and mom was taken into the emergency room (ER).  The voice continued to talk and I hear him say, “She fell on a grape and broke her knee.”  Who, When, Where, Why, WHAT?  That was not what I was expecting to hear at 5:27 am.  The nurse was nice enough to ask if I wanted to speak with her, I replied with “She most likely doesn’t have her hearing aids and she won’t be able to hear me any way, I’ll be up in about am hour.”  I rushed to call Mark and Jim (brother and other brother) to let them know and to say I would keep them informed once I made it to the hospital.


I made it to the ER entrance in 58 minutes 36 seconds.  Once I made it to the check in desk in ER, all I said was, “my mom was brought in last night around 2 am,”  Not even finishing my sentence the nurse says, “Oh you her for Mrs. Kreis, the grape.  Go back to bed 25.”  I round the corner expecting to see a cast or something being applied but no all I hear is mom groaning like a kid who just had her toy doll taken away. They were in the process of putting on a catheter and was asked to wait outside, I had no problem with that.  When they were done only 10-15 minutes went by before the Orthopedic Surgeon came in to discuss the issue and let us know what was going to be done.  Apparently what happened was mom’s days and nights are mixed up so at 9 pm Sunday night mom was grabbing something to eat which involved grapes (don’t know if they where green, red or black), one of the little buggers fell onto the floor and as mom turned around her foot planted right on top of one and with having hardwood floors her foot went right out from under her.  She came down onto her knee, then hip and her face decided to attack Taffy’s food dish causing a shiner Mike Tyson would be proud to wear.  OK so due to the medications she is on, they have made her bones brittle and when the knee hit the floor it snapped her femur in two (clean Sample of Mom's Plate and Screwsbreak).  The Orthopedic surgeon explained that due to the severity of the injury that mom would be going into surgery within a few hours.  What they are needing to do is, insert a rod into the bone, place a full length plate along the outside of her femur and them apply six screws to hold it all in place.  The surgery would take about 2-3 hours.  We signed all the waivers and away we go.  The nurse was really close behind with a super dose of morphine and explained that it was to help with the pain and also get mom ready for the surgery.  Now I have a few minutes to talk with mom before she goes in and this is what I find out happened;

9:00 pm (+/-)             Mom takes her spill and is attacked by Taffy’s water bowl.

9:00 – 12:00 am        Mom takes three hours to crawl 15 feet maximum from her kitchen to her dining room where the phone is.  She moves a little then grabs a book

out of the donation bag and places it under her leg for support.  This happens every 6″-12″.  She finally grabs a scarf off a dining room table and throws it over the

phone to pull it onto the floor.

12:00 am (+/-)          Mom finally makes a 911 call and has fire and paramedics arrive.

2:03 am                      My phone receives the first call

Now the real funny thing here is all of this could have been avoided if mom had called and activated the “Life Alert” device that she ordered, received four weeks ago and it is still sitting in the box.  My self and brothers went to visit mom two days after it arrived and actually took it out, plugged it in so all mom has to do is call “Life Alert” its up and running.  Why she never got around to it, her depression has been causing her to sleep a lot and to her that wasn’t on her priority list of things to do, its now on my list (See info on Life Alert at bottom of page).   Of course with the depression and now this, being put on the spot about this isn’t a great idea right now.  Just 43 minutes after I arrive their rolling mom back to the surgery center and I have all of her cloths, the pillows the paramedics grabbed to support her and my stuff, so I head out to throw this in the car and mom’s sister Susie goes up with her to the surgery waiting room.  I get back in and can’t find them so I go to the Family Waiting Area and take the time to get everyone else informed with my trusty iPhone5, one mass text (now that Mark finally purchased an iPhone) and everyone’s updated.  Finally Susie finds me and tells me that the anesthesiologist needs to speak with mom’s cardiologist to confirm she’s had a stress test recently (2 months ago) to confirm her heart can take the surgery and that their okay with where her Coumadin levels are.  The surgeon comes out and is explaining exactly whats needed and talks about the surgery.  He say that mom’s recovery will be a 6-8 week “No Weight” period then another 6-8 week “Light Weight” period and finally a 2-4 week “Full Weight.”  All in all we are looking at any where from a 4-5 month recovery period with mom being in a facility for at least 1/2 – 2/3 of that. WOW!! mom is not going to like that when she is coherent.


Well the 2-3 hour surgery just finished up at 4 1/2 hours and everything went great.  The doctor was able to totally avoid the false knee area and did check it why he was there and found no damage to it.  The extra time it took was due to the size of mom’s leg and nothing else.  The time frames he provided stay with everything he saw, she will be in the hospital for about 3-5 days (so Friday-Monday) she should be out and then into a rehab facility, which Sutter has one right on the hospital property and mom should be a candidate for it due to her double false knees, weight and now the plate, screws and rod.  It’s now another 1-1/2 hours in the recovery room and then a bed.  After another hour I end up leaving, my back it tearing me apart plus, brother and other brother as well as sister Sue are all there.  Time for a few minutes of calm, get home in time to get Robert off the van and some time with the dogs, Trish and Robert.



Life Alert Information:

Life Alert ® is a medical alert system specifically designed to protect seniors and all family members in a home health emergency.  Life Alert ® services can help seniors remain independent and possibly avoid a retirement home by sending help fast in the event of a fall, fire, CO Gas poison, and home invasion emergencies. Senior health and longevity is as simple as a push of button allowing independent seniors to live alone without ever being alone.  As the creator of the, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” company, Life Alert’s ® medical alert system provides emergency help 24/7 even if you can’t reach a phone and peace of mind to family members.  Live a better life with Life Alert ®. Feel safer with our Life Alert ® system, for medical alert emergency responses.



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