Archive for the ‘Life Stuff’ Category

Ma mère . . . .

Took Moms to Little Rock for what only turned out to be tests and a conversation with the surgeon.  I worked a 12-hour shift, ending at 7am, hopped in the car for the 40-minute drive (in the opposite direction) to pick her up, then back to go to my house for a shower, and then, finally, started the two-hour drive to Little Rock.  We had to be at the hospital at 12:30 for a 1:00 appointment for the tests, followed by an appointment with the surgeon.  About a year ago, I went to get her for some tests and I got hung up in traffic and was too late for us to make the appointment.  We had to wait another week to get the tests, which made her pain last a week longer, which made me feel like a complete failure as a son.  Well thanks to my paranoia of that happening again and to the fact that I tend to peddle my little Hyundai over the speed limit, we got there at a slightly early 11:30.  The receptionist gave us a slight hint of shit for getting there early.  She said that we had time to go eat or whatever because it WOULD be no earlier than 1 before they could see us.  After which she promptly gathered her stuff and waddled out to pack an hour’s worth of eating into the 45 minutes she was taking for her 30-minute lunch break.  They finally started at the prompt time of 1:20pm for tests that would last at least an hour, making us late for the appointment we had to see the surgeon at 2pm.  On top of that, I got to hear the receptionist be rude to everyone who had the nerve to trespass her office, even those she had told to come in.

After finally getting to see the surgeon, the news was pretty much the usual rhetoric.  “Yep, you got some blockage.”  “Yep, we gonna operate.”  “Won’t know what we got til we get in there and root around.”  Of course he prettied it up with some fancy doctor talkin’ but that’s the gist.  They had ran some kind of something-of-a-gram to take a look at her left leg.  Can’t remember the name but it did involve Doppler because i could hear it from outside the room.  The man administering the test told Mom that her leg looked like a puzzle inside.  That’s cheery.  They also said that she had 85% blood pressure in her right foot (the somewhat good leg) and 34% in the left which, according to the surgeon, sucks (his exact word).  But, she had better color in the left foot than he thought she would have under those circumstances so I guess that’s a kind of plus.  We go back September 12 for another kind of something-a-gram that involves the blue dye and then he will perform some kind of bypass the next day.

After we left the hospital, I decided to take Mom to PF Chang’s, figuring she deserved a really nice dinner.  By this time, I had been up for 24 hours.  Stuffing myself with Chinese food wasn’t the most well thought out plan.  Dinner was long and filled with food, especially considering the cook made me orange peel shrimp instead of the orange peel beef I ordered so we got to keep it free of charge and Mom promptly tore into it.  I tried to pay the check but my Mom snapped at me, telling me to give her the check before she gets pissed.  You have to see what my mother looks like to truly get the humor in that.  Needless to say, both the waiter and I were shocked.

Just as we got outside Little Rock on the drive home, sleepiness started tapping me on the shoulder.  I toughed it out but after another 50 miles, sleep was smacking me around hard.  I pulled over and got Mom to drive.  My Mom is 69 years-old, 5’2″, maybe 95 pounds (most likely after all the PF Chang’s she had put away), and most of that weight must be in her right foot.  I had exited off the interstate and then stopped on the on-ramp to go back on the interstate for us to perform the Chinese fire drill.  After we were both buckled in, Mom launched the Hyundai (as much as you can launch a Hyundai) back onto the on-ramp, which had a major curve.  My head literally bounced off the headrest.  Her heavy-footness continued on the interstate.  I was almost too scared to nap.  I alternated between dozing and grabbing the oh-shit-handle above the door for about 30 minutes until we turned off and I took the reins again, driving home still jittered up from her mad wheel skills.


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At a loss . . . .

I have to take my mother to a hospital in Little Rock for some tests Monday. For those of you that don’t know, (and that’s all but 2 people) my mother had had a series of arterial bypasses and stints in both legs over the last three years or so. Lately it’s been nearly every three months. A few weeks ago, the doctor went in behind left knee to open up a blockage and she spent one night in the hospital. Things were looking up since she usually spends at least one day in ICU afterward and normally three to four days total in the hospital. Not even two weeks after this last procedure, she had either no feeling whatsoever in her left foot, or nothing but pain. You can pinch a spot and it will stay pink so she is getting blood flow there, but her surgeon is has no more ideas and is sending her to another doctor.

She is scared because a man she worked with went to the same doctor and came home without his foot and eventually lost his leg. I keep telling her that it was his situation, not her’s, and just because he lost his doesn’t mean she will lose her foot. How do I allay her fears but yet prepare her for something that is a possibility? I’ve told her over and over that lets just wait and see what the doctor says and that we can face anything that gets thrown our way. But honestly, I don’t think she can survive losing her foot. She has spent years staying in and staying away from situations that are difficult to tackle. After each surgery, especially when they started gaining in frequecy and difficulty, she became more and more depressed, especially when she wasn’t able to leave the house. She loses her foot, she’ll be too embarrased to leave the house. I am so scared that she will whither away and die.

I used to have an innate talent for saying the right things or at the very least give the heavy a little lightening but my words now sound hollow, even to my own ears. I am truly at a loss and probably for the first time in my life, truly scared of losing a parent.

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