Tuesday, November 15, 2011

War of the Boscas

Yesterday the Other Mother struggled with the flu. On orders from our Son-the-Nurse I kept pushing fluids and making sure that she was eating and not putting herself in dangerous situations (walking down a flight of stairs).

At about 2:30 she made an incredibly rare request, "I think I should probably go to the hospital." Oh boy, let me tell you that if she requests help she's really in trouble. So I fired up the car as quickly as I could and navigated her down the stairs and into the car. Off to the emergency room we went.

Let me tell you a little background about the Other Mother. She was born in North Dakota to Polish immigrant parents. These were no-nonsense farmers who engaged in incredibly difficult physical labor every day of their lives. Her mother never helped with the farm chores except to tend to their chickens, so when the father fell ill the son left for the city to get a job to pay for his medication. Since her mother refused to do farm chores (seeing her chores inside the farmhouse as quite enough) the work fell to the Other Mother and her sister, probably only 10 and 12 years old at the time. Like I said, they were no nonsense and the theme formed that "work was God". Work and chores take precedence over anything and everything else.

Back to the tale. I pull the car up to the ER doors and duck inside for a wheelchair, admonishing the Other Mother to STAY PUT. I return, lock the wheels on the chair and she swings her legs out. This is when things go very wrong. She's so weak at this point that she kinds of melts before me, crumpling back and starting to slide out. OH MY!!! This has actually happened before.

I yelled at a passerby to get someone from the ER to help me. The Other Mother now swings into her I'm-tough-as-nails-and-I'm-going-to-get-myself-outta-this-car....nobody's-gonna-help-me mode. All this struggling and pulling is now making her slide further.

"Just stop it please!" I say. "You're making things so much worse".

All to no avail. She's gonna do what she's gonna do. A nurse arrives and we lift and navigate her into the chair. WHEW!

The ER is packed. It's full chaos mode. Later I discover that they've actually had to call in another doctor to help with the workload. She's registered and triaged and we return to the waiting room to wait. It's 3 p.m.

How long did we wait? This long:


I brought along a small ball of yarn and my needle, thinking that I might be able to get a little crocheting in whilst we waited. Oh yeah......


One yard of waiting and more. I finished a neck warmer and could have done two more if I'd had the yarn.

There were some very sick children in the room and it was hearbreaking to seem them literally passed out in their mothers arms. I'm am reminded that the very elderly are like two-year-olds and teenagers all rolled up in the same package.


As I said, the Other Mother was raised to be tough as nails. There's a term in Polish - Bosca - which roughly translates to "Boss Lady". Let's just say that the Bosca is in charge and running the show at all times, and a Bosca always gets her way. The Other Mother epitomizes the Bosca tradition.

After some tests are done it's determined that she needs fluids and at least an overnight stay in the hospital to gain some strength. Time is eternal in the ER. All tests take an hour or two. Slow and steady as we go...... and soon it's past midnight!!

She's finally transported to her room and then the fun begins. She wants her house slippers so that she can walk to the bathroom. Walk??? No, you just collapsed a few hours ago and you're too weak for that task.

In walks a nurse right out of central casting. She's probably 6 foot tall and zaftig. This woman eminates power..... and she's Polish! She's a Bosca of the highest level. The War of the Bosca's is on!!!

The nurse takes information from us, including the fact that Other Mother does not use her cane in the house, navigating by holding on to furniture and walls.

"There vill be NO vall valking in my hospital!"

Oh my goodness. This is going to be quite interesting.

As the Farmer and I walk out into the freezing parking lot at 1:30 a.m., he turns to me and says, "Good luck to the nursing staff".

So, that's the status here "At Home". I'll keep you updated.

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In thanks for your friendship and care, I'll be giving away this "Emergency Room Neck Warmer" to one of my readers. Please leave me a comment and I'll through your name in the bucket.

More later..........


Linda said...

Having spent many ER moments w/my FIL & dad, I wish I could crochet or knit. The best I could do was to remember my latest reading material. Amazing how long it takes even when they're not so busy. Good luck.

Mary said...

dear lord, what a day. I am keeping you all in my prayers. And the staff too as they keep the other mother reined in. She sounds like a strong woman with a lot of pride. Bless her heart.

ellsworth said...

I am so sorry to hear of your troubles and hope that the Other Mother is on the mend.


Tess said...

Being of German stock, I can also relate. If I don't win the scarf, perhaps you would consider sending me the pattern.


Kay said...

Prayers for you, the Farmer, and the Other Mother, along with the nursing staff. Here in the south, we call that Bosca attitude "bull-headed". And every elderly woman I have known has had it. Peace be with you all!

shortoldlady said...

Get better thoughts swishing thru the internets your way! I bet those two came to an agreement as you were walking out - but THEY will NEVER let on!!!

bv said...

oh dear...our lifes are running on the same track....had dad in the hospital last week...german. nuff said....mom is sick also. and dad is her care giver. i'll pray for you and you pray for me!

Vee said...

Ohhh I do hate an Emergency Room. They are all alike and getting worse.

Hope that the OM has met her match because it sounds as if she needs to take it easy for a bit. May she be feeling better soon.

Now you...are you taking your echinacea?

Take it easy. This may be your chance to get some much-needed rest yourself.

Susan said...

Sorry the Bosca is sick, but your tale is so funny.
I guess you have to laugh to keep from crying sometimes like the rest of us.
Good luck!
And I might just need that emergency neck warmer for my mamma!

Susan said...

ER..the worst place to spend any time. That good ol' European will!! Please let us know how things are going at your house. Prayers.

Mary D from Redding, CA said...

My goodness! Just last Tuesday, I went to my 93 year old mother's house (she lives alone) at 11:30 am to take her to lunch at the senior center. I found her on the floor of her bedroom, where she'd been since 3 am! She has a beautiful four poster princess-and-the-pea bed, with three wooden steps to climb up to get in. She slid off the steps getting up at 3am. She was bruised and cold, but no broken bones. Spent three days in the hospital, where they found nothing wrong with her. She's now in rehab, building strength in her arms and legs. My job now is to talk her into getting a lower bed. But she loves her tall bed! Yikes! (But she was only in the ER for a couple hours)

Lisa D. said...

I grew up in a community with a large polish and ukrainian immigrant population. And my mom works in a nursing home type of place (she often says it's like junior high all over again).Your story made me smile. Glad you can see the humour in it. And hope you are all well again soon!!

lifeinredshoes said...

Over the years I have become a frequent flyer in the E.R.
Between my mother, the other mother, the kids and husband, let's just say I'm a seasoned pro.
I now keep a lovely RED basket packed and ready for action.
Yarn, needles, a magazine or 3, a book etc.
You should see the looks I got the last trip we took! The Mr. was ill, things were escalating, I grabbed my trusty basket and off we went!
Turns out he had the equivelent of a heart attack or stroke to his kidney :(
That stash served me well for the next 5 days :)
Hang in there, one day it will be us?

Pamela said...

Oh my goodness! Your life goes from one adventure to another! Caring for parents is certainly an adventure - balancing between being the daughter to the parent and parent to the parent.
Your neck warmer is lovely and the quilt underneath of it is equally beautiful!
Hope the Other Mother gets stronger real soon!

Connie (aka LOU) said...

Suzanne -
The other mother sounds like a very tough lady. I just read your most recent post about the mugging and news story. You certainly have your hands full. When do you rest? When I saw your neck warmer, I thought to myself, "now I LOVE that color". I guess with all the trips to the hospital you should just start taking more yarn. Hope things settle down for you a bit.
Connie LOU

JANET said...

Oh I hope eveything gets better for you. You are in my prayers

Mary Rex said...

That is quite a story. I hope things are better now. You are so right about the elderly being like 2 year olds and teens rolled into one.