Barry, I’m thirsty….

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A world away from football but a subject that will touch all our hearts – Barry’s tale about family, stress and remembrance has a gloriously happy ending…

Barry Edge writes…

Here is another story about my mum. At the time she was in her mid 90s….

“Barry, I’m thirsty”

I’ve lost count the number of times the night staff at the nursing home ‘phoned to say my mum was labouring in her sleep and not likely to make it til morning. Each time I’d reassure them that mum would be okay and that I’d call by first thing on my to work.

When calling in as promised mum would smile and say she was okay and that she had thanked the night staff for their concern.

The girl from Smallthorne – Bridget Edge nee McMahon – took great steps for being of good health and wellbeing, even before she crossed over in 2003 – aged 102 – she could still boast 120/80 blood pressure numbers.

It was around 1.30am and I was just walking in from work when the ‘phone rang. The Night Nurse said that because mum was not responding she had been taken to hospital. Also, the chances of making it through the night were very slim.

When I arrived at the hospital the ‘Emergency staff were very busy dealing with other patients. I went over to ‘Triage and gave my name and reason for attending, but before I could sit and wait an Orderly came over indicating I should follow him, and from the signs on the doors it was evident that this was not a pre-zone for admittance to the hospital wards. The palpable silence was in stark contrast to the hubbub of the ‘Emergency zone.

The Orderly introduced the Doctor before retreating back to ‘Triage.

Speaking softly the Doctor said mum would not make it through the night and asked if there was family to be notified. Also, she noted mum’s religion as Roman Catholic and “Can I assist arranging the Last Rites?” I nodded and said thank you. She said she would arrange for her priest to call by as soon as possible. With that the Doctor was gone leaving me in the two cubical zone – one empty, my mum in the other.

I made three ‘phone calls: the first to my wife; the second to my eldest brother in Kalgoorlie; the third to book off work later in the day. My wife said she would wait further news; Thomas, my eldest brother, said he would leave Kalgoorlie at first light and be in town around mid-day; my employer said to take all the time I needed.

It was around 4am and I’d been sitting with mum for over an hour recalling all the memorable moments over the years (the Doctor had checked in during this time, but each time shook her head), and even though I was doing all the talking not once did I cast my thoughts to Last Rights or funeral arrangements.

To the day I cross over I will never, ever forget what happened next.

“Barry, I’m thirsty”

Now I have say dear reader that my mum’s smile was a joy to behold and the eerie silence was shattered when she asked if there was any chance of a cup of tea. Any chance! Any chance!! You bet there was – every chance in the world.

It goes without saying the Duty Nurse looked a tad bewildered when I asked for a cup of tea for mum, but after gathering his thoughts he picked up the ‘phone to notify the Doctor. After a flurry of activity mum was whisked away to another part of the hospital and the message to me was to wait in Triage until called.

I made four ‘phone calls: the first to my wife; the second to my eldest brother in Kalgoorlie; the third to my employer; and the fourth to the nursing home. My wife, delighted with the news, said she would see me when I got home; Thomas, my eldest brother, said he was just leaving for Perth; my employer said to take all the time I needed; and the Night Nurse at the nursing home said she would pass on the good news.

Before being allowed to see mum the Doctor had spent some time explaining to her the what and why she was in hospital, and by the time I was by her bedside she was thanking everyone for their concern.

See you later…

Barry Edge

Western Australia

August 23, 2018

🙂

 

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