Friday, June 15, 2007

why I’ve been MIA, or things that whip my ass

Ever felt like Stretch Armstrong? Too many obligations, too much drama, not enought time? Now imagine a vintage Stretch doll that’s someone’s been hoarding all these years in case it became a collectible that could be flogged on eBay for ninety times it’s original value. The plastic on this Stretch is getting crumbly and takes a dog's year to snap back to it’s original shape and it looks like the skin around the lips of a skinny old woman who’s had a two pack a day habit since before the Big War. That’s the kind of Stretch Armstrong I’ve felt like for the last three weeks. Aha, that's telling, it's only been two weeks, but I typed three because the last two weeks have felt like forever and a week.

My Mom, aka my best friend, had quintuple bypass surgery June 5 because she had an episode (can’t get any better info than that, but apparently whatever the episode was, it was significant enough to get her immediately admitted to the CCU) during an angiogram on June 1 to determine why her circulation is so bad no one can find a pulse in her right foot and a big old wound from erupting celluitis that she swears she got because my niece got into their hot tub with too much body lotion and hair product and Mom got blood poisoning from the tainted water. Hey, she's old, she's entitled to a few crack-brained ideas, I guess.

So, starting from the "episode," it all got very melodramatic: thoracic surgeon gives us a cheery prediction of a 50% chance of death or stroke during the bypass because her right carotid artery is 70% occluded (which she knew about but the medical professionals were just “keeping an eye” on it, WTH?) which resulted in a lovely Sunday afternoon with me perched on her hospital bed with a college ruled notebook jotting down her wishes for her funeral service and all the specific dispositions of certain assets that she was too tired to fight my rat bastard father (and no, I do not exaggerate or use the term lightly, in fact, I toned down the description to retain credibility) about when they did their estate planning but she figures that with a wedge of guilt and the wedge of my personality, she can make it happen from beyond the grave. Much too much drama for me, too many tears, so much to lose, very hard, very hard.

But, she survived the surgery! Recovery was a little dicey, heart rate wouldn’t regulate, but eventually it did, on its own, no pacemaker needed, and they sent her home yesterday. And just so you know what a rat bastard my Dad is, when they stopped at the local grocery/drug store to get her baker’s dozen of prescriptions filled, he went inside, determined that he did not want to wait, that he could come back later to pick up the meds, but that Man had his priorites straight. He bought a box of bear claws and Danishes because he was feeling a bit peckish. He had the nerve to hand the box to my Mom, my diabetic heart failure Mom, to hold on the way back to their house where he had not brought groceries home since she was admitted to the hospital a full two weeks prior. Frankly, he would not know how to shop for any food item that wasn't next to the check out stand. In all his 72-years, he has never grocery shopped. There wasn’t a speck of fresh food in the house, but by damn, he had something to eat for breakfast. Rat bastard.

Mom is now on the mend, which is such a relief. She will not last as long as I assumed she would last. My granny was 92 when she kicked the bucket and I didn't bother my pretty little head with thinking about what diabetes was doing to my mother because it looked like she had that old diabetes smacked into submission. But, sadly, the damn diabetes was just silently killing her, damn diabets. In a month, she'll go back in for the carotid artery surgery, then the femoral artery as soon as possible after that, and if she’s not dead or on the way there by that time, they will consider the renal arteries. My poor Mom. Diabetes is the real rat bastard, but my Dad gives it a run for the money.

So that explains where I’ve been, treading water and feeling pulled in a million jillion directions. I still have to work, no family emergency days for the self-employed; I have to keep the specter of malpractice away from and some revenue coming in through my office door, no matter what: I've got four kids. I had the big dilemna about whether to retain Nora in Kindergarten another year. Made a decision and then backed down. I'll try to blog that soon, I need to get my thoughts straight again on that issue. Then, to add to the big basket o’stress, I got a couple of other ass-kickings from some home improvement headaches which have vacuumed my bank account as clean as the 12,000 gallons of fresh water in my pool and, as always, Nora, who absorbed my stress and sadness and reflected it back in her best less than charming fashion. Just when I need her to suck it up and be a team player, she falls apart and acts out as badly as she ever has. Nice. I'm a sad and scared daughter, one step ahead of a bar complaint professional, rigid and over-reactive mother, home handy man failure kind of gal. But my mom is still alive, it's good to be me.


Yes, Minister... said...

I was really beginning to wonder about you and was getting ready to send you and e-mail to make sure that you were okay.

I am so very sorry about your mom. That is terrible to go through, and your dad seem to take the pill. At least you mom has you to be there for her, so she is not alone.

Poor Strech Armstrong, sounds like he just needs some R&R!

Abby in MA said...

Oh gosh, so sorry to hear about how rough these past weeks have been for you!!!!

If you only lived closer to MA, I would definitely offer some free babysitting/chauffering!

*big e-hugs to you and the girls* I'll keep you all in my prayers....