Can’t Take Us Anywhere

That’s what I start to think when I go places with my family. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll know that yesterday my mom was in the emergency room. This sent me and my siblings into a full-blown panic. No one knew what was wrong with her, only that Mom was at the hospital.

My brother and sister work very close to the hospital, so were there within five minutes. I work nearly an hour away, but the minute I heard about her being in the hospital, I was driving like Mario Andretti to get to her side. When I arrived at the hospital to see her, I was told that she had had too many visitors and I couldn’t go in. I was devastated. What? That’s my Mom!

So I go outside to fume and call one of my siblings. There’s my sister having a smoke. I told her what the nurse said and she complained, of course. Then, later I realized the nurses had a good reason for this new rule. Mom has severe hearing problems. She’s having surgery Thursday to try to correct one ear, but for now, you have to practically yell at her. Since my brother and sister were there with her, they were interpreting what the nurses and doctors were saying in Mom-speak.


That kind of thing. On top of this, is my family’s natural absurdity. That pulse clip they put on your finger? Apparently mom had done something to dislodge it (she might’ve ripped it off because she’s insane) and it fell to the floor. My brilliant sister knew the nurses would come running if they saw Mom had no pulse, so what does she do? No, she didn’t put it back on Mom’s finger. No, my sister put it on her own finger while our brother watched in stunned surprise before he started laughing. They were loud. It’s just how my family is.

Then I get to the hospital. My brother went back to work, my sister stayed in the lobby so I could go see Mom. She was sleeping, but woke up when I showed. She had a look of dread on her face. She knew she was in trouble. Why? Because she didn’t tell me she wasn’t feeling well. She’d been at the hospital since 8:30 in the morning and didn’t tell anyone that she was there until noon. 4 hours! If she hadn’t looked so small and helpless in that bed, I’d have strangled her with her oxygen tube.  I told her they wouldn’t let more than one of us back there at a time and she gave me this look…I can’t even explain it.

She said, Is there someone on the other side of this curtain?

I nodded.

She glared at it. She’s the reason they aren’t allowing y’all back here. Tell them I want both of you with me. Go!

I didn’t of course, that would’ve been foolish. Instead, I distracted her with her purse, which I’d taken from my sister. She was appeased. Sometimes I feel like I’m dealing with an angry would-be empress, trying to make her happy with little sacrifices and offerings.

The doctor showed up and speaks in Doctor-talk. You know, low, soothing…completely unintelligible to my mother. She’d look at him, then at me. It was a long, arduous conversation, but the gist was that Mom had an anxiety attack or some weird cartilage inflammation crap in her chest. I’m going with the anxiety attack. He also said something about smoking sometimes causing problems and my mom gave him the-laser-stare-of-death with the words:

You doctors always blame everything on smoking!

I tapped her shoulder because really, I don’t want them to cart her away for psychiatric evaluation.

They let her go home and she seems to be doing well today. This was nothing though, trust me. Come Thursday I’ll be dealing with a virago of petulance. She’ll whine the entire (2 hour) drive home about something or other. But she’s my mom and I love her even though she’s going to give me a heart attack.

Thanks for the support yesterday, y’all. And people wonder why I wax poetic over my writing buddies!


Filed under Family

4 responses to “Can’t Take Us Anywhere

  1. How scary. I’m sorry that happened. Nothing worse than seeing a family member in the hospital, for sure!

    Hang in there!

  2. Wow! I’m so sorry you had to go through that!! It is very scary to see your loved in ones the hospital. Good luck with the surgery on Thursday.

    • Thanks, Tonya. I think she’s just really nervous about the surgery. This morning the first words out of her mouth were, “I don’t think they can do the surgery, I have a fever.” But I checked and she doesn’t have a fever. Poor Mom.

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