Mark and I have an ongoing argument. He works on a 24-hour operation, so no matter what time of day or night, weekday or weekend, someone is on the job. When someone calls in sick, one of the crew makes phone calls to the guys that aren’t on shift at the time to find someone to cover the absence.
These calls have come before midnight, just as I’ve fallen into a deep sleep. They’ve come after midnight, long before my alarm clock is set to go off. And it seems as if I’M the one who always wakes to the phone ringing and runs in a panic to answer while he sleeps on blissfully. I value my sleep and I do not appreciate being dragged from a happy slumber just so that he can go work more than he already does.
The argument is this. I say he should have these calls placed to his cell phone. He can set the ringer to vibrate and put the cell phone on his night stand where it is less likely to disturb the rest of the household. He says they have to call the house phone. I say that’s just an excuse because he doesn’t actually use his cell phone. It sits in his truck, almost always. If he happens to be in his truck when the cell phone is ringing, he’ll answer it. Otherwise, don’t count on it. I say he’s just afraid he’ll miss out on overtime if he reroutes the calls to his cell phone because he’ll never remember to take it from his truck at night. I would probably still awaken if he got a call to his cell phone at night, but at least it wouldn’t be so jarring as a phone ringing loudly in the middle of the night.
So far I’m losing the argument. I turned the ringer volume down on both of the house phones in an effort to prove my point. I figured he might miss a few phone calls and be convinced that there’s another way to do this. So far, this has only served to make it more difficult for everyone in the house to hear a phone ringing, day or night. And when the phone rang early this morning at 2:30 a.m., and when I was (of course) the only one to be jarred from a sound sleep to answer it, I was mad.
Except it wasn’t one of Mark’s coworkers calling to ask him to come in to work. It was the thing I fear most whenever the phone rings in the middle of the night. It was my dad, asking me to come take my mom to the emergency room. My anger quickly dissipated and turned to fear. Dad said mom was having severe stomach pains and had asked to go to the hospital.
If Mom was asking to go to the hospital in the middle of the night, I knew it was bad. My mom has several health problems and I thought I knew what was going on, so I wasn’t completely panicked. She has a condition that causes very severe reflux and I assumed it was just a really bad case. I quickly dressed and drove to my parents’ house to pick them up. The hospital is only about ten minutes away, so we took off into the frigid night and were there in no time.
Thankfully, it was a slow night in the ER and the staff was extremely attentive to Mom. She had some wonderful nurses who took good care of her and we eventually found out that Mom has what they think is the start of a small bowel obstruction. She was informed of her initial treatment plan and was told she was being admitted. Just after 6:00 a.m., Mom was settled in her room and she kicked Dad and me out so we could all get some sleep.
My parents’ planned departure for Arizona this Wednesday will likely be delayed, but that’s okay. I’m glad this happened when they were still home and could call on me to help them. My mom’s health isn’t stellar on any given day and I’m not so sure I’m even comfortable with them going now, unless I feel confident she’ll recover enough to be able to travel and be away for the next three months. Hopefully she’ll be feeling better soon.