Saturday, January 7, 2012

Did you receive a call from us?

We arrive at the hospital and park by the emergency entrance. That's where I assume he is. I just cannot believe that the hospital hasn't called me. Why did the hospital call "Mike's roommate's mom" but not me? Is Mikey that out of it? No, he can't be. He was conscious and coherent in the background. And when he had said, "I've been shot...I'm gonna die," I heard unmistakably in his tone that he was joking. That is what I'm clinging to, actually; he is OK enough to joke about this - he must be ok. [No, I wasn't thinking about his "steel balls" joke not even a year previously; he had been "hours away" from death at that time...I'm glad I hadn't remembered that tidbit of information at that moment.]

The girls and I walk inside the doors. There is a semi-circular desk right there at the entryway with the word, "information" in big letters right on the front of it. There is a nurse and a guard sitting there.

"I'm here to see my son. He's been shot and I was told he was here." They both look up, startled.

"Who are you?"

"I'm his mother. These are his sisters."

"Did you receive a call from us?"

Something is not right, here. How come they didn't look at their list (there is a clipboard of names on the desk), see his name and take us back? Why are they looking at each other with those weird expressions? Why would they ask me if I had received a call? Even though I'm STILL not really believing all that is happening, I don't think that in the emergency room, the first question after, "Who are you?" should be "Did you receive a call from us?" What is going on?

I tell them that Mike's roommate's mom called me on her cell phone to tell me about my son. (In retrospect, I'm sure that sounded strange. I didn't say, "Sheri", or "Cindy", or "Marvella", but "Mike's roommate's mom" - you know what? I still don't know her name!) When I say this, the nurse leaves the desk, and hurries to a row of intake windows to the left. She confers quickly with another nurse and that nurse looks up at us with the same weird, startled look. Somebody had better start talking to me. Nurse number one looks at us and motions us to the window.

"Now, who did you say called you?" Really? REALLY?!

Oh No!

Oh No! Oh NO! That's him! That's definitely Mikey's voice; what am I gonna do? What am I gonna DO?!

"Ok. Ok. What hospital did you say? St. Francis? Ok. Ok. I'll get there. Tell him I'll get there." I hang up.


So, that's how my girls learn about their brother. In a nice, calm, rational manner. The house phone rings. My recent graduate answers it. You guessed it - the dryer is on the way.

"Get dressed; April, you have to stay for the dryer. Tabby can stay here, too. I'm going to St. Francis, where Mikey is."

(Both girls together) "NO! I'm coming!"

Of course they're coming. What was I thinking? I have no idea what to think. I'm still stuck on, "Your son's been shot several times. You should come." "What??!??!"

"Ok, both of you get dressed. You're coming with me. I'll call grandma and grandpa to wait for the dryer. Hurry!"

Yep, my parents are still in town because of April's graduation 2 days before. This is good. I dial their cell phone number. My dad answers. Can you say, "instant replay"?

Me: "Dad. You and mom have to come now. The dryer is on the way and Mikey's been shot. We have to go to the hospital right now. Please can you just get here in 5 minutes??"

Dad: "What?"

He thinks he's put the phone to his bad ear. He puts mom on the phone. I repeat myself. Mom says, "What?" It's like PeeWee's Playhouse. "The word of the day is 'what'. Whenever you hear anyone say 'what', scream real loud!" And I want to. But I can't. I explain that they need to please come. Please. Now. I have to get to Mikey. Please. That is all I can say to them. After an eternally long 5 minutes, they understand and will be at my house within 10 minutes. Good. Because I still need to get dressed. Instead of doing that, however, I call my good friend, Charity.


"Charity, this is Melissa. Mikey's been shot and he's at St. Francis hospital. WHERE IN THE HELL IS ST. FRANCIS HOSPITAL???"

That's right. I have forgotten the location of the hospital. I need someone with a calm voice to tell me how to get to the hospital. Now, I know very well where that hospital is. Everyone in Tulsa knows where the pink hospital on the hill is. I could have driven there practically with my eyes closed any other day of the week. Not today. She understands at once. (She does NOT say "what". I do not have to "scream real loud".) She tells me how to get there, and then asks me if Mike is still in town. Mike? Mike? Oh, Mike! My ex-husband. Mikey's dad.

"MIKE! He's still here! I have to call him!"

Can someone be rationally hysterical? I think maybe I was. I knew what I had to do. I'd logically thought out everything. I needed everyone to get dressed. I needed to inform everyone about where I was going, figure out how to get there and explain why things were urgent. I even needed to get someone here for the dryer delivery. Why think about the dryer? Because I had to. The phone call for the delivery had come in as my mind was in the process of shifting into "emergency" mode. It had become part of my emergency. What if my parents had not been available? I honestly don't know what I would have done. Everything was of equal importance in my mind at that time. Everything was an emergency. That sounds strange, but there were no number one priorities. Everything was equally important. I'm just glad my parents were around to help me solve the delivery problem. It would have taken me longer to get to the hospital because I would have had to take the time to sort out priorities; I was not in any condition to do that - obviously.

I hang up from Charity and call Mike. He says, "What?! Wait a minute. He was WHAT?" The word of the day.

I finally make him understand that he does NOT have time to take a shower (I had woken him up), that he needs to get to St. Francis hospital. Yes, he remembered St Francis hospital. No, he didn't need directions; he still knew where it was. He would go there right away. He would probably be there before I got there because he wouldn't have to wait for someone to show up to accept delivery of a dryer. Ok. Good. I go to the bedroom to get dressed.

The delivery van and my parents show up at the same moment about 5 minutes after my conversation with Mike. The van blocks me in - naturally. The desperation and panic must have immediately shown on my face. Mom says, "Take the car. Just go." The girls and I jump into my parents car. It's been 15 minutes.