I received permission to share this story of a friend who is currently going through a family crisis. Names have been changed to protect their identity. Here is her recollection of what happened:
I was getting ready for bed at 11:30pm when my phone rang. The name on the screen was my Uncle Bill. We had become close over the years since his wife passed, however we still only talked maybe 2-3 times a month. For him to be calling this late was unusual. I picked up-"Emily? Emily, can you hear me?"
This wasn't my name, but I could hear that something was different in his voice and there were a lot of voices and rumbling in the background. I chose to tell the truth; "No Uncle Bill, this-"
Either he wasn't interested or he was distracted, and he cut me off mid sentence; "Well tell ya what Emily, I may have drank too much er somethin' but they're takin' me in the ambulance now. I think I fell...or...right fellows?" The noise in the background become clear as a man said, "Yes sir, we're taking you to the hospital." My uncle came back on the line, his words sliding together, "Yeah, they're takin' me somewhere....I'm fine."
This was not fine. I asked to speak to the paramedic, who updated me on the events of the evening. A breathalyzer revealed levels greater than .2, three times the legal limit. One the way to his car, my uncle slipped on ice and hit the back of his head. "You may want to come over and sign his papers. He can't legally sign anything," explained the paramedic.
And so, at midnight on a Tuesday evening I was sitting in the hospital next to my Uncle. He was upset at first that "they" called his niece, not remembering much of that evening, but glad that someone was there to take him home after he was cleared from the doctors. A miracle if you ask me, considering that he hit his head on pavement.
That evening was more than just an unusual chapter in the relationship of my Uncle Bill and I. This is why I came to Leah Korkis for guidance.
If your loved one is displaying unusual behavior or has an incident like the one above, it is a monstrous red flag regarding their emotional and mental well-being. Be sure to speak to a professional and/or a doctor on what you can do to keep this family member safe from harm and into the right hands.
What would you do in this situation? Have you ever been in a similar situation?