I get a call from my dad that I don't answer, because every time he calls me it's either to praise me for something I haven't done ("we're so proud of you!"), or to admonish me for the same ("go to the dentist! your face is going to fall off!"). I don't check the message until 3 a.m., and it says, "no big deal, but mom is in the hospital with chest pains, and here's the phone number to her room, in case you want to give her a call." I don't sleep.

I call her in the morning, and she says, "Hi!"

Which does not make me think she's not going to die.

Before all this, she's at work, and she feels pain in her chest. It gets worse. She can't breathe very well, and not at all if she doesn't keep pressure on or around her heart. She dismisses it, because she's a tough broad.

It's flu-shot day at work. (She works at a hygienic lab. Apparently they do things like this.) She goes to get her flu-shot, and the nurse with the needles asks, "Are you alright?" Clearly, she is not alright, so the nurse makes her go back to her desk to call her family physician. She calls her family physician, and the receptionist says, "I'm sorry, no doctors or nurses are available." So she calls the hospital and talks to a triage nurse. The triage nurse hears her symptoms and says, "Lie flat on your back and don't move. An ambulance is on the way."

Moms hasn't told anyone about this. So she's trying to explain to her supervisor, but she starts crying. She lies flat on her back, and she's crying, and her supervisor doesn't know what to do, but she flies into action anyway, so a big fracas busts up. Everybody's running around not doing much, and moms is laying flat on her back, crying, waiting from the ambulance.

The ambulance comes. She's lifted and strapped into a gurney and wheeled out to the ambulance. They put nitrates under her tongue, and then again, and again, and again. The pressure in her chest eventually lessens. She is swept into the ER, x-rayed, myocardiogrammed, and injected in the belly with blood thinners by a four-inch needle, four times.

Later, it turns out moms has an enlarged aorta. The woman eats like a rabbit, but apparently her cholesterol is suspicious. The schedule her for an angiogram.

They stab her in an artery in her thigh, and the blood shoots four feet in the air. This is standard procedure. Then they put a camera in the laceration and snake it through her insides until it gets to her heart. Everything is clear. She does not need an angioplasty (the thing with the balloon).

The good news is, moms is back home with the dog and the bird after laying flat on her back for six hours to let her blood get back on track. The other news is, all of this is genetic and inherited, though nobody knows from whom, so at some point I have to go in for an echocardiogram, which moms describes as, "SO COOL! You actually see your actual heart actually beating." So that's something to look forward to.

She got a dozen batches of flowers and plants.

But I was furious at moms.

Laid up in the hospital, gowned and intravenously fed, on the phone with me. I tell her that I really don't need the money she's been sending me, much as I appreciate it. She lowers her voice and says, "I might not be able to." Hmm... "Don't tell anyone this." OK. "One of the things that contributed to this was stress. And I'm in charge of the employee appreciation dinner. I booked a room in the Holiday Inn, and we're having 140 people. We're charging $5 per person. We're giving everyone a $4 drink voucher. The bill comes to $5,000, which is way more than we have in our employee fund. So I'm going to have to pay for a lot of it myself. You're the first person I've told. It was really stressing me out."

So, one of the things that contributed to my mom's episode was anxiety that she wouldn't be able to send me a hundred bucks for groceries, because she's dead-set on throwing a $5,000 dinner for her co-workers, because she "really wants to do something nice for them," even if it means recouping $140 at the door.

I was able to convince her to take off the $4 drink vouchers, put up a stocking cap for donations, and not send me any money. But that was about it.

So, god bless you, moms. Take some deep breaths, take the dog for a walk, and don't be so goddamn nice all the time. It's bad for you.

She says, "Getting old sucks."

I love you, moms.


Sisyphus said...

Ah, momses! Hope she gets all better.

Tempest said...

I'm glad she's ok.

D said...

Thanks a lot, guys. :)