I have safely returned from just under two weeks in Calgary, where I flew with my son Gilbert to help take care of my daughter Catherine, her new baby John, and the two older children, Maria Rose and Rae Maximilian. We arrived in the evening and met little John, who is a placid, easy-going baby, with a personality that seems at least at first glance to be very similar to that of my husband. He smiles, both awake and asleep, and I discovered a dimple in his right cheek when his smile is deep.
It was easy to see that we were needed. Catherine isn't allowed to carry anything heavier than ten pounds, so everyone else became the porters of baby seats, baskets of laundry, dinners from the freezer, and children who needed to be removed to "quiet time." A Home Health nurse was sent to change Catherine's bandages every other day, and the day after we arrived, her incision began to gush and we were told to get her to the emergency room.
Gilbert took over with the older children, and I took Catherine to the emergency room in a medical center undergoing reconstruction so that it was difficult to find where to park, where to go when we entered (there was blue and red electrical tape that showed you the path), and then we played an endless waiting game, rejoicing when we were finally called after several hours, only to be told to fill out some paperwork and sit back down to wait again. Little John peacefully slept, nursed, or looked around for hours, and was the object of many smiles. After four hours, Catherine was finally seen by an E.R. doctor, who said her incision is infected, took a swab to identify the culprit, and said he could just prescribe an antibiotic but he wanted her to wait to see one of the surgeons, and admitted that could take several hours. We had arrived at 2 P.M., the doctor saw her at 6, and a surgeon finally saw her at 11. While he was examining her incision, and pulling it about and re-bandaging it, I took John out in the hall since he had finally become a little fussy.
I walked him around for nearly an hour while he cried and I felt like joining in.
When Catherine was finally released from durance vile, I was told to go get the car and bring it around to the front entrance of the hospital. By then it was midnight, and I asked if it would be safe to go out in the parking lot by myself. The attendant laughed and said, "You're in Calgary; you don't have to worry about things like that." What I had to worry about instead was how to get the car out of the parking lot where there was still snow left from an unusually early storm, put in the credit card--no, put in the ticket, then the credit card--and then drive around all the construction trying to find the way back to the entrance. After entering another parking lot, driving the wrong way in still another, and finally circling the entire parking area, I got back to the hospital entrance, got Catherine and John into the car, and we headed back to the house. Gilbert had called the hotel we were switching to and let them know we would be arriving late, and when we finally walked into the room it was exactly 1:00 A.M.
And since it is now time for me to get to bed so I can once again play with our church choir tomorrow, I shall leave the audience waiting for the next installment of our Canadian adventures.