Wednesday, December 6, 2006

One Thousand Four Hundred Sixty-Two Days (give or take)

Chapter One
As usual, I didn’t eat breakfast this morning and it’s now a little after 3pm and no time for lunch. I’m not sure if the sick feeling I have in my stomach is hunger or the dread of having to visit Mom at the rehab center. Maybe I’m coming down with mono. Are my glands swollen? I start grabbing my neck.
My two children had just finished their final day of school, last week, when, under previous arrangements, my Mom called me at work and said that she wouldn’t be able to pick them up at school and oh , by the way, after I picked them up could I stop by and take her to the hospital.
She said this in such a matter a fact way that my hearing was on delay. 2
It took me a moment to catch up. I was on anger when I heard the last part. Then I was at the rolling my eyes part to the point I was about to fall off my chair.
You see, Mom had always been of the generation that didn’t really go to the doctor. It was much less expensive to stay home and self diagnose that 3 pound, nasty looking thing on your foot or the remnants in you Kleenex or God forbid the bathroom issues!
In Gramma’s words…”it’ll get better on its own”.
For my Mom, whom I’ve referred to as Gramma since the birth of my first child, to request that we detour to the hospital was serious.
It was a long wait in the ER, with two little girls. Emma didn’t want to have anything to do with anything gross. The Lysol hospital smell and bodily sounds and other odors eeking from behind the curtained patients in the ER was just about to do her in. One of the ER nurses was watching and felt a Popsicle might prevent another pediatric admission. Of course, Katie needed one too.
As they were sticking one needle after another into Gamma, and hanging “banana bags” (hey, I watch those hospital shows), one test after another, they sent a group of interns in. I was impressed that they thought we needed more than one.
There they were looking so nice in their long white coats (they probably had them a week) and had decided (in unison) that she would need more tests and would be staying the night.
At this point, I’m not sure if they thought they could tell me 6 hours earlier when we got there or thought that watching a woman in her 30’s with two small children in the ER, who were ready to puke at the next sight of blood being drawn or shrill from the curtain next door was just a teeny bit humorous for their afternoon.
I preferred the first scenario.

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