I called Woodland Terrace on my way home from work tonight to try to talk to mom. Someone answered the phone on the second ring and I said that I was trying to get in touch with my mom, who was in room 207 on the West wing. The woman said, “That’s on the West wing. Hold on and I’ll transfer you there.” I felt pretty confident that I’d be able to talk to mom tonight, since I had previously discussed my plan to do so with Nurse Cheryl and she said she’d be prepared for my call.

After being on hold for two minutes and five seconds, someone picked up the line and then immediately hung up.

I called again, and the same woman answered the phone. I explained that I was the one who had called two minutes ago, and that the call wasn’t transferred. She said something along the lines of, “They must not have picked up. Hold on,” and put me on hold again.

This time I only waited one minute and then Lisa answered the line in the West wing. I told her I was trying to get in touch with my mother in room 207 and she asked me to hold so she could get Nurse Cheryl. I waited on hold for five minutes and twenty seconds and then the line disconnected.

I called again and this time Lisa answered on the first ring. She apologized for the disconnection and I asked her if she had a number to the West wing, so I could call her directly instead of going through the front desk. She told me that was a good idea, especially after seven o’clock when there is nobody at the front desk. She said she wasn’t sure, but she thought that the number to the West wing was (386) 740-3017. She said that she found Cheryl and was going to let me talk to her. Cheryl picked up the line, asked me to hold on, and then I got disconnected.

Less than a minute later Cheryl called me. She apologized for disconnecting me and said she was going to try to transfer my call to the portable phone so she could take it to mom’s room. I listened to the sounds of her attempting to transfer the call for about five minutes. There seemed to be some problem with the portable phones — it sounded like the whole phone system there might be something like Vonage or one of those Internet phone systems — and she kept mentioning that they’d recently had a very bad rainstorm.

After a few minutes she was able to get one (of the two?) portable phones working. Then I listened for another few minutes while she tried to transfer the call from the “regular” phone to the portable. She did manage to get that working, and then walked down the hall to mom’s room with the portable phone.

As soon as she got to mom’s room — I heard her say, “Kathie?” — the line disconnected.

She called me just a few seconds later to say that she didn’t think the portable phone was strong enough to reach down the hall to my mom’s room. She said she would make a note that they were having problems with the phones and suggested I try again in the morning.

Typing a frowny-face emoticon here doesn’t really seem appropriate.