On Thursday, I was sleeping at my friend’s house (that is another story, one in which I will avoid discussing at the moment), when I received the Bat signal.
I programmed Sophia’s ringtone as the 1960’s Batman song, because lately her calls mean someone is in trouble.
“Vartan is back in the hospital,” she said.
I wouldn’t say that I was surprised. Even though we hired an aide, caring for my father-in-law has been difficult, especially as his decline continues. My mother-in-law, looking ragged from the stress, still refused to place her beloved husband into a nursing home, despite the advice of doctors.
By Saturday, my mother in law was so exhausted, she was unable to visit her husband in the hospital. I volunteered to watch over my father-in-law during the day.
It was freezing in the room. They keep these rooms cool to prevent infection. I wrapped an extra blanket around my shoulders. My father-in-law was completely out of it, drugged up many times over.
I sat there, bored with listening to the whoosh of oxygen in tubes. I went on Twitter, chatting with whoever showed up at the time.
That’s when I received the bat signal. I answered the phone. It was Sophia. An ambulance was whisking her mother to the hospital. She was having trouble breathing.
Husband and wife, both at the same hospital. This is not that uncommon; I later learned this from one of the nurses. For the next two hours on Saturday, I ran back and forth between the emergency room and my father-in-law’s room.
I think my mother-in-law will be OK after a few days in the hospital. In fact, the first thing she said to Sophia when she arrived was to point at me and say something in Russian. I assumed that she was touting me as a wonderful caretaker.
“What did she say?” I asked Sophia.
“She says you need to comb your hair. You look like a homeless person!”
That night, I went to sleep at 7PM.
Today is Monday. I’m currently in the Cedars Sinai Hospital cafeteria eating lunch. My father in law is on the fifth floor of the North Tower. My mother-in-law is on the fifth floor of the South Tower. My father-in-law does not know his wife is so close. It is probably better that way.