By Joe Kerry
June 18, 2008
| Off to the hospital... |
Time Glenn was admitted to the ER--this is AM
Glenn, shortly before asking, "Are you really going to take this picture?"
Glenn's elbow was the size of a softball and I tried to capture it with this photo
No, the grimace isn't because of the pain. Glenn always makes that face when he tries to sit up.
True Love... Tania tying Glenn's shoes as they prepare to go home.
Time Glenn was discharged from the ER
What began as a late night work session ended with a trip to the emergency room. I was at Glenn’s home with the game plan of hammering out some research related projects. We (Glenn, Tania and I) were headed down to the basement. Less then two stairs into our descent Glenn lost his footing (yes, it was a lack of coordination, not malicious intent which caused his fall) and slid down what must have been 12 steps to the basement floor.
It was painful just watching him slide down the stairs. It was like a scene from the Matrix—you see it happening and time just seems to slow down. He just seemed to bounce from stair to stair as he headed down. The floor broke his fall and Glenn just laid there face up, eyes open—and grimacing. Tania rushed down and was asking how he felt, what hurt and what she could do. The other people in the room also closed around and were trying to be help.
After realizing that it was a painful but “could have been much worse” type of fall I thought about going upstairs and getting my camera but decided that would be bad form so I stayed put and took mental notes.
Glenn laid on the floor for about 20-30 minutes. Tania got a frozen bag of peas & carrots and placed them under his elbow which now was the size of a baseball and slid an ice pack under his back.
There was a lot of talk about calling an ambulance but Glenn said he didn’t need to go to a hospital and just needed a few more minutes to “shake it off.” I couldn’t believe that as he was on the floor he was talking about doing his radio and tv show the following day. He said it was very important to him. He also talked about a speaking engagement he had Thursday night—and how it was necessary that he be there. I stood there and thought he’ll be laid up in bed for at least a week.
Tania and I helped him to his feet—now Glenn had to walk up the same stairs he just came down. That took some time.
Glenn laid back down upstairs. Tania thought it was a good idea to go to a hospital, Glenn was still resisting that idea—I guess his last hospital stay was still too recent in his mind. We settled on middle ground—we called a doctor friend, Dr. Temple—and agreed to go with his advice. Well, about 1 minute into the conversation he was talking about blood in the urine, fractured bids, bone splinters floating around possibly lacerating the liver and kidneys, nerve damage and a general litany of horrors which eventually convinced Glenn to go to the emergency room.
As Glenn would say, the hospital was fantastic. I have never seen a hospital run so efficiently or professionally. People that worked there were actually smiling and didn’t appear ‘put out’ that we were there. I thought, wow—this is an amazing place—this is how health care should be run. Glenn commented several times about the personal and professional nature of the nurses, doctors and staff.
Not one to let a potential creative moment slip by, on the drive over the hospital Glenn told us he wanted to tell the intake nurse that he was pushed down the stairs by his wife’s boyfriend. Tania said he was ‘sick’ and I quickly added my concurrence as soon as I realized that I was the ‘boyfriend’ in his scenario. We convinced him that such a story would lead to a telephone call to the police and possibly the front page of ‘Drudge’—so he opted to go with the much, much better—I was pushed, but I don’t know who pushed me story—much better decision which only took 30 minutes of explaining to convince them it was a joke and that the local police should not be called.
Then, something I have never seen before happened: the doctor, at one point, was actually waiting I the room for Glenn to get back from the x-ray lab!!! Think about that—have you ever been in an emergency room where you didn’t have to wait for the attending doctor? I haven’t. But here was the doctor, telling Tania about some of the tests Glenn was going to have and then just waited for a few moments until Glenn was wheeled back into the room. Incredible. That’s the way health care should be administered. I know Glenn thanked them personally but I know he would also want to thank them publicly—so thank you Dr. Henry, Physician Assistant Sarah and RN Denise.
Glenn was still in lots of pain so they administered some heavy duty drugs. I thought he’d be out like a light. This was about 2:30 in the morning and I was sitting in a chair in the room trying to catch up on sleep. Tania was reading “Twilight” by Stephanie Meyers (my guess is that Glenn convinced her to read it after he read it on tour). But Glenn wasn’t tired. While he was laying on the bed, under the influence of prescription strength pain killers he wanted to review some notes with me on the upcoming special edition of Fusion Magazine. I actually thought he was joking—but we wasn’t. So at 3am I fired up the laptop and started to review some notes with him. He asked me to call Liz, the editor of Fusion at 3 am to let her know some of his thoughts and to apologize for the fact that he didn’t get back to her earlier in the night—I told him Liz would understand—but he wanted me to call her—fortunately I didn’t have her cell or home number with me so I just sent an email.
I would have taken more pictures but in an era of litigation hospital staff aren’t too keen on photographs of their patients—this was especially true after Glenn let them know that I was an attorney—took about awkward silence. But the photos I took are posted.
When we arrived back at Glenn’s home he still wanted to do his radio and tv shows. He still wanted to keep his speaking engagement on—but Adam rightfully convinced him that it would be best if he got some rest and stayed off the stairs.