At the request of her family doctor, I took my 96-year-old mother to the emergency room in pain with both legs red and inflamed with a skin bacterial infection. I arrived around 7:00 PM and she was not taken in until 3:30 AM. She had to be admitted and when my son left at 6:00 AM to go to work, she was still in the emergency room waiting for a hospital room.
To make the experience more unforgettable, I had to deal with a Nazi nurse that was in a mission to enforce ""hospital policies"" that did not make any sense to me and she did not have the courtesy to explain. When my mother was checked in I told the nurse that she did not speak English. Immediately, she started dialing a number to call an interpreter. When I told her I was bilingual and could translate, she told me curtly that I could not serve as an interpreter because I was family and this was a hospital policy. She must have been psychic, because she knew I was family without ever asking my name or my relationship to the patient. Ironically, I ended up having to interpret anyway, because my mother could not understand the translator's voice on the speakerphone so I had to repeat her questions. At the other end, the translator did not understand my mother, so I had to coach her to answer in a way the translator would understand. What should have been 5 minutes took 20 and by the end my mother was very flustered and I was mad beyond words. Especially, when the questions she had to answer were the standard ones such as: For what reason you are here today? Are you allergic to any medication? What prescription drugs are you taken?
I have told my family and friends that unless I am unconscious or half dead and Mount Carmel is the closest hospital, I do not want to be taken there.