I seldom go out to an evening event, but last night a couple of the "girls" I work with planned a surprise dinner out at a local restaurant to celebrate the 60th. birthday of another work colleague. So I had accepted the invitation and went.
I had a lovely time, and really enjoyed it. The meal was good, and the fifteen of us were all old friends, so we had plenty of laughter and fun. Looking at the clock I saw it had got round to 11.30 p.m., so, said to them, "I`ll have to be going now, as I`ve got to pick mother up, I`ve left her round at her friend`s, and he`ll probably we wanting to get to bed now". Little did I know how true those words of mine would be. So, I said my goodbyes to them all, got in the car and drove the short distance home. (No, I`d had nothing to drink, so I was quite ok to drive!)
I collected Mum from her friends, drove home, got her walking aid out of the car, opened the front door and took my bag and various bits indoors, leaving her to follow. A few seconds later I heard her call my name, going to do the door I couldn`t see her, but I saw her walking aid running down the pavement, then I saw her, she`d fallen over onto the drive and pavement.
Now, she`s too big and heavy for me to pick up, and with her arthritis couldn`t get herself up. It`s now about 10 to midnight, no neighbours have lights on to show they`re still up, no-one was walking up or down the road. What to do?
After a minute or two of indicision I went to the phone in the hall and dialled 999. The helpful operator of the Ambulance who answered asked me quite a few questions, and said she`d send help, but the ambulance could take up to 45minutes to arrive, if it got diverted to a more serious emergency.
So, there I stood out in the cold with my parent laying on the concrete. Eventually after what seemed an age, but was about 15-20 minutes, flashing blue lights appeared and a medic in a car arrived, assessed the problem and decided that he couldn`t lift her on his own either, he rang through to find how long the ambulance crew would be as he needed their assistance. They were still about 20-25 minutes away! Whilst he was doing this our neighbour came up the road, we called to him and he came to see what was the matter, whilst he was coming, a neighbour opposite got into his car to go and collect his disabled son from the same event that I`d been at. I didn`t see him get in the car, but was aware of his car going very, very slowly past looking to try and see what was happening at ours, he drove very slow and hesitantly down the road, then turned at the bottom and came back to see if we needed assistance.
Between the three of them they managed to get Mum up and into the house. She fortunately hadn`t done any damage to herself, apart from bruises, but the medic thoroughly checked her before he left.
What an end to an enjoyable evening, but how thankful we were to have such good neighbours, even at past midnight!