My Week: 911 Works

DD was off at another conference so there was no visit on Sunday. I’m still in Lazy Mode which translates into Not Much Accomplished. I did talk to my sister who is at her daughter’s place about an hour away. We decided I’d go see her on Thursday unless something happened to change that to Wednesday. Nothing happened.

Monday-Wednesday were sorta non-days. I’m going to have to snap out of this funk and start doing something constructive if not profitable. I spent some time working on my temp neighbor’s computer but that was about it.

I was up before the alarm went off on Thursday and juned about. It was the first day in a long time I was out of bananas. I’d managed to make my food stretch except for those. That was okay. It didn’t really mean I was going to die or die sooner if I didn’t have my banana.

Before I walked out the door, I called my sister to let her have an idea of when to expect me. Pulling into the driveway and up to the house, I could see her sitting inside the screened-in porch. The weather had been cool enough for some heat in the house but Thursday warmed up.

We had a good time talking and catching up. She’d made soup and I’d taken stuff for Super Duper Gut Bomb sandwiches. When I assembled it (we shared the first one), she was shocked at the thickness of the tomato I’d sliced to go on it. I asked her if she could read a newspaper through the ones she fixes and she admitted she probably could. She was also thrown off by the onion slice, but she managed both.

I’d thought I wouldn’t stay long enough to go with her to get her grandchildren from school but I did, after all. My great-niece had gotten a laptop for her birthday and my sister had volunteered me to install an anti-virus program on it. I took care of that and left.

On the way home, I stopped at the university market, Walmart, and Bi-Lo. I’d said I didn’t want to be unloading in the dark and I didn’t. It was almost dark but not quite.

Yesterday, I woke to the sound of a thunderstorm. It must have been good sleeping weather because, instead of waking up at daylight, it was almost 7 a.m., Tommie Time.

When I get up, I drink two 16 ozzie glasses of water. I take my thyroid med with the first one which means I have to wait at least an hour before I eat. That threw me ‘way late eating breakfast and I didn’t get out to check the mail until around 2. I noticed my temporary neighbor who is house-sitting for my cousin had her car parked in the driveway.

A bit later, I wasn’t surprised to hear a knock at the door and then the doorbell rang. Opening the door, I expected to see the temp standing there but it was someone I had never seen before in my life. The woman appeared to be in her mid- to late-twenties and was so thin she would make my sisters look obese. Her speech was slurred and I could hardly understand a word she was saying. She kept asking for “Allie” and said Allie drove a blue car and lived next to me. I knew that wasn’t true.

She wanted to use my phone so I took it to her. She kept trying to dial but it was like she couldn’t remember the number. Her mouth was very dry and it looked as though she’d been drinking red Kool-Aid and it had dried on her teeth and around her lips. She asked for a glass of water so I took her some.

The water seemed to revive her somewhat so she went over and sat on one of the chairs I have on the deck. She informed me she’d had nothing to eat in four days and her boyfriend is in jail. I came into the house and juiced a couple of oranges, poured it up without the pulp (I love pulp in my OJ and had quite a fight with DD’s juicer because it doesn’t want to give it up) and took her a smallish glass. I cautioned her to sip it. If she, indeed, hadn’t had anything to eat in four days, she didn’t need to throw a whole lot of anything into her stomach.

The temperature was not quite 60 and the sun was blocked by a low layer of clouds. She was wearing threadbare baggy slacks (that looked to be a size minus 2) with a thin top and a light jacket. Her shoes were flip flops. If she weighed 80 pounds, I would be surprised.

I took her a warm top I’d bought at Goodwill and the bedspread DH and I slept under. She wanted to come into the house and I felt bad but I didn’t let her. At one point, she asked me not to call the police. She must’ve been reading my mind because I was thinking I probably should.

When I called the pastor, I got voice mail. I knew the head elder was out of town so I tried someone else with no luck. One of my good friends from church is also the pastor’s assistant so I called her. I told her everything that had happened and said I was at a loss as to what to do. She figured I’d already done too much and I might have a camper on my deck. The woman knocked on the door again. My friend said she’d stay on the phone while I went to answer it. During all this time, I would have welcomed an interruption by the Squatter but he was still at work (surprise, surprise).

That time, she asked me to call an ambulance. She was feeling very weak. The OJ was hurting her stomach. I let my friend know what was going on. That’s when I called 911 for the first time ever with my MagicJack. I’d been wondering what would happen because the number I was assigned is in an area that is 125+ miles away. However, when the dispatcher answered the phone, she identified MY county and saw my address pop up. Well, that was a relief and the answer to one of my burning questions.

I explained that I needed an ambulance sent to my home for a woman who had just shown up on my doorstep. She asked to speak to the woman, explaining to me she wanted to make sure of who she was and if she was possibly wanted by the police. I took the phone to the party of interest and the dispatcher kept her talking. She must have asked where she was because the woman said, “I’m sitting in a zero gravity chair.” Hmmmmm. She kept her on the phone until the ambulance roared in front of the house, siren wailing. Oh, woe! It went right on by. I guess the dispatcher heard me say they’d passed us because it was just a minute or so that it came back. I was out in the driveway waving my arms.

They backed in as far as they could and an EMT came to the house and introduced herself as “Mary”. She questioned the then patient and the woman gave her several different versions of her story including the fact that she thought the people she’d been staying with (she said they’d thrown her out) poisoned her. The EMT asked her about the red on her teeth and she said her boyfriend had “busted” her lip. I didn’t know how he could do that from jail.

By that time, my temp neighbor had come back and, seeing the ambulance, was alarmed that something was wrong with me. She came over and, boy! was I glad to see her! I’d been dealing with the Situation for what seemed a lifetime but was something over an hour.

The woman started to take the warm top off but I told her to keep it along with the bedspread. She said she’d return them but I said not to—they were hers.

When she was being strapped to the gurney, I don’t know what the woman said but the EMT exclaimed, “WHERE did you get fresh orange juice??” That’s the only kind I have at my house. My temp neighbor overheard something about HIV. The EMT came up on the deck and said, “I don’t usually give out any health information but just so you know, she is HIV positive.” I told her I used to work at a hospital so I was aware of the procedures. She said, “Well, as long as she wasn’t bleeding or something…”

After the ambulance left with her on board, a deputy came to make sure everything was okay. He said she is a “regular” (we used to call them frequent flyers) and was in jail just last week. He warned me, too, that she is HIV positive. I can assure you we didn’t have an exchange of body fluids.

When everyone had left, I got a bowl with a strong bleach solution (not really necessary but it made me feel better) and washed down the glasses she’d used and plastic parts of the chairs she had occupied. I’m not sure the fabric would hold up to something that concentrated so I’ll let the sunshine do the sanitizing. The two handsets I had handy both got the bleach treatment. She probably only handled one but they were both there so I played it safe.

It was past my mealtime. I came in and juiced another orange to have with what was left. I also considerably scaled back what I was planning for the fellowship meal. My neighbor had called while the dispatcher was questioning the woman so I called her back as well as my friend from church.

On Facebook, I posted, “I learned something new today. 911 really does work on my MagicJack.” It even got a reaction from DD and she hardly ever responds. To tell you the truth, I can do with less excitement.

Before I went to bed, I washed some romaine for my fellowship meal contribution. There was a bit of waste I had to take out to put in the scrap container. When I turned the deck light on, I halfway expected to see her in one of the chairs. I hoped I wouldn’t have nightmares.

Well, to have nightmares, one must sleep. That was something I didn’t do much last night. I’d doze a bit and then I’d wake thinking about The Woman and would wonder how she was and what happened to her. The deputy had given me a bit of her background and it didn’t sound as if she would be pulling out of her current lifestyle any time soon. Miracles do happen, though. Knowing HIPAA laws and how they work, there’s no use for me to call the hospital to inquire about her. I’ll just have to keep wondering.

All through the experience, I was praying. “What should I do, Lord? I have no idea what I should do in this situation.” I wondered if I were being tested to see how I would react. A song that has been running through my mind is “Inasmuch”. It’s one my mother used to play for me to sing back when I did things like that. I’ve looked and looked online and (for a wonder) I can’t find it. I’ve found a couple but not this particular one. It’s based on Matthew 25:40. Part of it goes

Our hands are the hands that the Lord would use,
Our feet are the feet He would send.

La la la la la la la la…
Our goods are the goods He would have us spend,
La la la la la la la la…
A cup of cold water in His dear name
Though small such a gift we may feel
Is needed so much in the world today
Our Father’s great love to reveal.
But if we are kind to our fellow man
The verdict of Jesus will be
“Inasmuch as ye did it to one of these,
Ye did it unto me.”

The “la la la’s” are what I can’t remember. I played it over several times before church in the hope that I would remember more of the words. If I could remember the words like I can the tune…

Something that struck me about The Woman was she had very clear eyes—not at all bloodshot—and, as merm would say, she had no pores. Her skin was beautiful and perfectly smooth. It was stretched over bone structure a model would envy. Was I entertaining an angel unawares? Hebrews 13:2 has kept coming to mind. I wonder, did I do enough? Some people would say I did too much. I don’t know. Maybe I never will and maybe I’m reading more into this than I should. One thing I know for certain is Jesus died for her, too.

Even though I got up a little after 5:30 TT, I had a full morning. I rushed around and got my food ready for the fellowship meal. It took so much time I didn’t get to eat much breakfast.

My cousin-in-law taught the Sabbath School lesson and led the song service. That was a treat. He has been taking a break from such but he filled in for the regular person today. Besides being able to hear him (that’s important), he’s an excellent teacher. There’s no way to drag the music when he’s leading and that’s a plus, too.

For some reason, I wasn’t able to hear the pastor as well as I usually can. I don’t know if the microphone wasn’t in a good position or what. I’m sure the sermon was good. It always is. It was Pastor Appreciation Day so there was some time at the end taken up with that.

My middle sister recently got two hearing aids and she’s been keeping me posted on her progress—or not. They’ve had to go back at least once for more work and she still isn’t completely comfortable with them. Until I can see my way clear, financially, to get one (or two), it doesn’t do me a whole lot of good to investigate the same.

On the way out of church, I asked the pastor if he’d gotten my voice mail. He has AT&T service and it’s pretty iffy. Sometimes he doesn’t get a VM for several days. I briefly told him about yesterday’s adventure and he figured I’d handled it the best way I could.

The dish I fixed for the fellowship meal was a big disappointment. I gave away what was left. I’d planned to go see Genese and take some of it to her but I’ve felt dragged out all day. I could have sat there like a bump on a log but I preferred coming home. Taking a nap occurred to me but I didn’t want to mess up my sleep tonight and I do plan to sleep.

This post is far too long. If you’ve made it this far, you are a brave (or foolhardy) person. I must confess I didn’t write all of it this evening. That would have been ‘way too much.

7 Responses to My Week: 911 Works

  1. Mary Jane October 14, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    What an experience you had with your unexpected visitor! Sounds like you handled it well, even though you were at a loss as to what you should do. Let’s hope and pray that the woman gets the help she needs to deal with what seems to be insurmountable problems.

    I would have enjoyed being with you on your other visit (but not with your unexpected one, although it would have been better than your being alone with her!).

    • Tommie October 14, 2012 at 10:59 am #

      Amen to the first paragraph and amen again to the second! It would have been nice to have visited with you, too. Lila will bring you at least one treat so don’t let her forget to give it to you!

      As for the woman, it would take a miracle, I’m sure, but miracles still happen. I’m praying for her.

  2. Cassandra October 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    Wow! What an adventure! I think you did the right thing. :) I hope that woman is able to get the help she needs!

    • Tommie October 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      I don’t know if she’s hit bottom but if she hasn’t, it isn’t far. It seems the only way for her is up.

  3. Shari October 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    Hopefully she was confused enough not to remember where you live! Because she will be back, if she puts it altogether. Junkies are like that.

    I adore working with people like her. We call it “12 step” work and it is how I stay sane and sober.

    S

    • Tommie October 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      If she does come back, I’ll do what I’ve been advised to do and call the sheriff to begin with. Working with people like that is something that could be satisfying but having one show up on your doorstep can be very unnerving.

  4. Joanie Crosby November 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    Yup! That’s why I don’t share my last name with my clients…..

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