"The TV screen was lit up when I woke up at three in the morning," Sammy told me. "I went over to get the clicker (which was next to the TV set). I turned it off and I ... fell right on my ass."
I looked at Sammy as he lay in his ER bed, telling me the story. He looked so frail, so vulnerable, so scared ... I was really hit with the fact that he was 90 years old and won't have him around forever.
Just then a nurse came in and opened the computer terminal by his bed. "Sam ... I have some questions for you. First ... where do you live?"
"Menorah Manor ... nice place ... I love it. You know the other day there was a girl in my bed (uh oh ... here comes the old Sammy). She was ... naked ... so I said if I paid you ... would you get out of my bed?"
There was nervous laughter from the nurse. I shook my head. As usual ... Sammy told a joke that he had totally screwed up and had no idea what the punchline really was. He had a big smile on his face.
The nurse tried to continue the questions for the chart. "Do you have any family history of medical problems ... like heart, stomache, etc.?"
Sammy looked at her confused.
"Sam," She continued. "Did your parents have any medical problems?"
"Yeah ... but it's too late now. They died."
She smiled ... "What did they die of?"
"I don't know ... heart attacks I guess. I have a question for you."
She stopped typing. "Okay."
"Do you perform?"
She was stunned. "Um ... perform?"
"Yeah. Are you doing my surgery?"
"Oh ... no ... I'm the nurse."
"Are you an LPN?"
"No I'm an RN."
"Do you have a certificate?"
"Even better ... I have a license."
"Good ... Then you can treat me."
It was a long day. The surgeon was operating all day and couldn't fit him in the schedule. Sammy was restless. He thought we would go out for sandwiches after he had surgery. I told him to be prepared for a long stay.
He frowned. Then when the ER nurse came in again he said ... "Excuse me honey. I'll take a room now."
Sam usually feels no pain ... literally ... no pain. He is amazing. He was in discomfort but really didn't complain much. The nurses were in shock.
They gave him pain meds anyway.
He was happy boy. Not a drinker, I have never seen Sammy high or drunk. He was singing, yelling, kissing Debbie, kissing me ... He asked the same questions over and over. "How am I doing? Did I have surgery? Why are you here?"\
One thing I will guarantee ... he will make a new friend.