It's been a couple of weeks now that I've been dealing with hospitals and nurses and long distance calls. My father fell and broke his hip. This lead to all sorts of complications and for one reason or the other I became the family contact person. Mostly my job has been gathering information from the nurses, first in the ICU and then on the ward, and passing it along to my mother and to the rest of the family. I've had only a few clashes about information flow which led to the social work department helping out, but mostly it's gone fairly well.
When Dad was first injured he had to be transported to a hospital in another town for surgery. He was there for several days and just yesterday he was well enough to be transferred back to his home town. He was looking forward to it, my mother was looking forward to it and so was I. It was a real sign of his recovery and, at 93, a miracle that just kept unfolding.
Today when I called the ward of his new hospital, I was a little on edge. What kind of reception would I meet from the nurses, how was my father doing after the trip, all of that anxiety made me misdial, twice. When I got ahold of his nurse she was friendly and informative and quite welcoming. But then something happened that put me completely at my ease.
She tried several times to transfer me to the portable phone so she could bring my call to my father. She kept messing up, once sending me off to the wrong extension and three times just simply, nothing happened. I could hear her getting flustered through her apologies but then ... she just laughed. A hearty laugh. She apologized for laughing at herself and the situation knowing I wanted to talk to my Dad.
But, good heavens, that laugh made me feel so good. I want people who can laugh at stressful situations to care for my Dad. I want people who don't park their sense of humour at the door to be the one's that help hi get up. I want friendly, smiling, laughing people to encourage him to one more step today than yesterday.
I want that.
It's amazing how, when I hung up from my chat with my Dad that, after I mulled over all that he had reported, it was her laugh that I remembered, and it was her laugh that comforted me.