I called Woodland Terrace when I left the office tonight in an attempt to get to talk to my mom. Someone answered the phone on the third or fourth ring and I just said, “Hi. My mom was just transferred there from Halifax Hospital on Friday and I haven’t been able to talk to her yet. Her name is Kathie Gagne, she’s in room 207, and she probably will need assistance with the phone.” The woman on the other end of the line said, “Okay. Hold on just a second.”

I waited for just a few seconds when someone new picked up the phone. She said, “Hi. This is Cheryl.”

I said, “Hi, Cheryl. My name is David. My mom is Kathie Gagne. She was transferred there on Friday and she’s in room 207 and she probably needs help with the phone.”

Cheryl said, “Oh. I’m Kathie’s nurse. She’s in her room right now so it will take us a few minutes to get her up here.”

I was confused. “Do you mean there aren’t phones in the rooms?” I asked. Cheryl told me that I’d have to call the Business Office tomorrow if I wanted to request a phone in the room. I was a little shocked because it never even occurred to me that there might not be a phone in each room.

It did, however, make it a little more clear why there were so many problems with the “portable phone” when I tried calling last night. I asked Cheryl about the portable phone and if she could bring that in to my mom’s room.

Cheryl said that if I wanted to buy a cordless phone for my mom’s room I could do that, but that it would probably be pretty expensive. (I am pretty sure you can get an amazing cordless phone in 2012 for about $19.95, but I wasn’t about to argue that point with her.) I explained to Cheryl that yesterday someone mentioned a portable phone at the nurses’ station that could be taken into my mom’s room. Cheryl said she didn’t know about that, but would check. She asked me to hold on for a second and I could tell that she put the phone down on the desk or something.

Less than a minute later Cheryl returned and said she had found the cordless phone and would see if she could transfer me to it. I heard a click or two and then heard Cheryl’s voice and it was pretty clear that now she was talking to me on the cordless phone. “Progress!” I thought. Cheryl said something along the lines of: Okay, we got that to work. Hold on and I’ll get your mom.

After a solid three minutes of waiting, the line went dead.

At that point I was pretty disheartened and disappointed, so I just gave up.