Subject: January 4, 2005…a day that will live in…well, something or other
Date: Thursday 1/5/06 11:49:00 PM
Tags: blog: tag me, blog: edit me
“Matt, the apartments burned out, Uncle Al is in the E.R. and Howard’s missing…”
And I’ll admit this…I laughed, and I laughed hard.
I knew it was inappropriate for the situation…that is, if you didn’t know the characters.
Uncle Al is interesting, Howard is more interesting. Howard is a Slightly Mentally Retarded, Paranoid Schizophrenic cousin who (a long, long time ago) killed his Mother and served time in Sing Sing (a Maximum Security Prison); Uncle Al is my great uncle, Howard is his son which makes him My Cousin of some separation.
Now, unleashing a Mentally Retarded Paranoid Schizophrenic on New York is not a good thing on any given day, not because people will be in any more danger than they usually are, just that they tend to blend in so well with everyone else that it’s hard to find them. That said, as my Father and I drove to Brooklyn we had three missions:
1: Find Uncle Al and
2: Locate Howard
3: Damage Control if Needed
This is probably where I should explain why I’m being brought along. Though my father will never admit that he needs my assistance, I’ve worked in medical settings almost exclusively since I was 13 (when I volunteered at a Nursing Home); all of my Jobs (that were real jobs) were high stress one’s in Medical Centers whether as support staff (Secretary, Clerk, Network Technician) or as employee (Pharmacy Technician) or as a researcher (Queens College Psychological Research Group) so “I speak medical words good” and I can usually find my way around Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, EMTs, etc and talk to them in a way that’s efficacious and informative – I know the questions to ask and I know the lingo and really, when you can see a guy get shot and killed in front of your car and not hesitate or freak out, well…you’re good in a situation like this.
So we get to the hospital and the first thing I do is take us over to the E.R. and in to the nurses station and I find the nurse and by stroke of luck find the attending doctor (Dr. David Ng, M.D.) where I whip out my folder with Medical Proxy and get a run down on his stats and ask the doctor what happened (my Dad at this point was mostly quiet and just let me do the talking).
The Doctor explained to me that He and Howard were in an apartment fire (they live in Co-Op City) and that he not only suffered smoke inhalation, but the he also had a heart attack – which Uncle Al didn’t feel – during the event so he was going to need to be brought to CCU (Cardiac Care Unit) for observation and assistance.
I asked why he was restrained and he said Uncle Al “was slightly belligerent and using colorful words” and my response was “that’s a nice way to put it…sedate him.”
Uncle Al at this point is now as high as a kite.
So once we knew where Uncle Al was new that there was no way in hell he was feeling anything other than happy it was now time to find Howard which turned out to be much easier than either Dad or I thought it would be.
When we were first thinking of how we could find Howard we tossed a few options back and forth “Marines?…no that’s if you need it destroyed in 24 hours or less, etc…” but as it turned out a Nurse came up to me and said “Are you looking for Howard” and I said “Yes” so she directed me to his social worker (it turns out he was going for Treatment at Jacobi since 1997) so I found his social worker with my Dad and we got her into a conference room and she met with us for about an hour so we could fill in some information and I was taking notes rapidly (she at one point stopped what she was saying and went “you write fast” which I thought was interesting because it’s my general impression that I as most other New Yorkers do, do everything fast…well, all but one thing but this is neither the time nor the place to discuss golf). So Dad and I found out how Howard was (mentally) and then the Social Worker and I talked about some other related things (“what tests did you run,” “what was his intonation,” etc.). So after an hour I was finally like “Okay, that’s all good and well…but where IS he!?”
Turns out he’s now in a Psychiatric Hospital in Manhattan (they opted against sending him to the Red Cross…good call, if I do say so myself considering they had to take him to the Psychiatric Hospital in Handcuffs).
Okay…so Uncle Al was in the E.R. harassing The Doctors, Howard was in Manhattan harassing The Doctors…really, things seemed to be quite normal at this point; so Dad and I head back to the first E.R. (there are Multiple E.R.’s at Jacobi) and they’re in the process of bringing Uncle Al to CCU so we go up with him and start giving medical history and outlining the story for his new medical team.
It was at this point that the two doctors leave, a Nurse and a CNA enter, my Father leaves and it’s just Me, Uncle Al, The Nurse & the CNA and I’m talking on the phone to my Mom and I hang up; take another call from a friend and then when I’m done with that the Nurse goes to me “Doctor…” and I was like “excuse me” and she’s like “you are the doctor, right?” and I’m like “Excuse me” – I mean, I get that the Doctor on Call can come in wearing Pajamas if he wants, but really. She then goes “Oh…you sounded like a doctor” and the CNA goes “…if you’re not a doctor what do you do!?” (clearly I was lying about not being a doctor…um, yeah…that makes sense) so I was like “I’m a Communication Scientist at UB” because I was NOT listing everything I do/have done and/or study so I briefly explained to them what people who study communication theory and informatics do at which point Uncle Al decided to take a break from cloud nine and go “What a family I have” which was nice to hear…because after hearing word from my Grandmother today he has no idea that we were there with him, which is fine I’d rather he be happy, high and not belligerent to the medical staff who are supposed to help him.
So about five hours later we leave Uncle Al and head home. We’ll find out more about the situation as it develops, including the cause of the fire which is currently under investigation by the Arson Investigation Team.
Family’s are Fun!