January 16th, 2011

at the lake

(no subject)

I'm watching Hoarders right now, which reminded me of something that happened to my husband's coworker, B. Bear in mind this is related third hand from B to my husband to me.

B's parents are hoarders. Sometime just before Thanksgiving (U.S.), B's mom wakes up to find her husband unresponsive beside her in the bed, eyes open, but unmoving. She leaves him there and goes off to work (WTF?). After an hour or so, she calls her daughter and asks if she will go check on her dad. Daughter calls B, because their dad often sleeps naked and daughter doesn't want to deal with seeing him like that. So B goes over and finds his dad just as his mom described him, laying in the bed, unresponsive, basically looking dead. He calls 911, and then begins clearing a path for the EMTs.

First on the scene is a local cop, who sees the state of the house and his attitude immediately goes from helpful to disgusted and condescending. The conversation between him and B goes something like this:

Cop: So, got a hoarding problem here I see.
B: Yeah, I know we've got to deal with that, but right now I'm just worried about my dad.
Cop: Well I'm going to have to call the town inspector out here.
B: I understand, but right now I just want to take care of my dad.
Cop (now pissed off): You're not getting it. What I'm saying is, you can't leave here until the inspector has been through.

When the ambulance arrives, as promised, the cop won't let B leave with his dad. He makes him stay until the inspector arrives. It takes over an hour for the inspector to get there. He goes through and says that yes, the house is a mess, but it's structurally sound and no one has complained about it, so there's nothing he can do. (From what I gather, the inspector was sort of miffed at the cop for dragging him out there unnecessarily, which made the cop even angrier.)

Cop is pissed, telling the inspector that he saw B cleaning some of it before he arrived and it was much worse before. (The "cleaning" in question was B clearing a path.) Then the cop starts yelling at B that he ought to be locked up because of the mess, etc, and then finally FINALLY leaves so that B can go find out about his dad.

Thankfully his dad was okay, but his blood sugar had dropped so drastically that one hour more without medical attention and he would've died.

(Just in case it's not clear, B no longer lives in the house, nor does he have any legal responsibility for it.)