Grandma(pa) to the Rescue: How to Conduct Business from the Emergency Room





What’s taking them so long?
-Ziva E-M, my granddaughter




If you get hurt, I’m not spending the night in the ER!
–Daily family motivational speech by Judy King, my mother

For a moment in time, life, the universe, and business are cruising along. Business is gaining traction. Projects are rolling in. Family is stable. Things are as they should be—or as we envision them to be.

Then the storm hits:

  • The car needs a major fix.
  • The computer chooses to malfunction during a critical project.
  • A family member has a health emergency

The week began with my granddaughter not her normal self. The energetic, smiling Ziva had become restless, tired, and easily moved to tears. By the time she was naming body aches and having potty accidents, we knew something was wrong.

I was on my way home from the Startup Connection in St. Louis when my daughter called.

“What should I do Mom?” (Side note: Urgent Care closed 10 minutes ago).

“Take her to the ER.”

Can you guess the next question?

“Will you come with me?”

Minutes later, we checked into the ER. After 5 hours of waiting, answering medical questions, and soothing an ailing 4 year old with a 103˚ fever and a severe UTI, it was decided that she should be admitted to the children’s hospital—at 3am.

Despite the timing for these incidents, which is never convenient, positive bonuses resulted from the experience:

Family bonus:

  • My daughter sought my comfort and counsel during the experience.
  • She sincerely thanked me for my WISDOM (yes, wisdom!) and willingness to accompany her.
  • We shared memories and stories during the agonizing wait for answers.
  • She confessed additional sins from her past which at the time would have been grounds for solitary confinement, but now were the source of shock and laughter.

Getting Ziva to cooperate with hospital staff was another challenge (as was soothing my daughter), however a little crazy grandparent innovation solved the problem.

 Entertaining the grandchild bonus:

  • Refusal to wear the hospital gown was greeted with laughter and acceptance when I pretended to dance with a gown-ghost.
  • Three bites of her coveted grape pop sickle motivated Ziva to eat her sandwich.
  • Challenging her to video call (with my cell phone) with her non-dominant hand helped keep her IV-locked dominant arm straight.
  • On day 2, I brought a few items from home: yarn, buttons, crochet blocks, quilt scraps, and coloring tools. We experimented with ways to use the tools with one hand, and explored adding toes to the exercises. We worked in educational moments with counting, sorting, and shape recognition.

Business bonus:

  • Ziva helped sort business cards by letter recognition or area code.
  • I gained three blog ideas from the experience.
  • The long hours in a hospital room were the perfect opportunity for follow-ups, business correspondences, and business development.

Add a little self-care: sleep, bathing, and food (in no particular order) and the situation was manageable.

With a little ingenuity and willingness to adapt, progress was made. The lesson learned: whatever storm comes your way, your routine will cruise again.

How do you cope during the disruptions? Share below and share with others in the know!

Kristen Edens
A grandparent in business

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