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Family Hospital Fun

February 18, 2009

I could probably do a million posts with how awesome (and occasionally infuriating) my mom is – but I will spare you the thrill for an unexpected late breaking newsflash.

Mom went to the hospital yesterday after complaining about intense pain in her side.  After a long, long day it was determined that she has some sort of infection (low grade fever, elevated white blood cell count) and has both gall stones and kidney stones.

The kidney stones are bad, and there were two giant ones causing some sort of blockage. She thinks she passed one, but they will do more scans to check whatever it is they check. But, that’s what was causing the serious pain.

The fever and infection were apparently due to an inflamed gall bladder (filled with fun gall stones!) and so they are going to take that out tomorrow AM.

My family has no luck with gallbladders (I had mine removed when I was about 22) so I am familiar with the procedure, but am concerned about my mom’s recovery – but I guess only time will tell.

Unfortunately, because my dad has been so sick for the past few years (heart attacks, cancer) I am no stranger to the fear of having a parent in the hospital – but my mom’s mortality scares the hell out of me. I worry about her so much, and I hate to see her do things that I consider self-destructive – but really, what can I do? I am doing all I can not to be a nervous chalereh.*

Well, one thing I can do is watch over her in the hospital. I swear – she is so busy either worrying about everyone else or trying to get people to laugh or like her that it’s causing me some serious agita.

I am chatting with my sister as some nurse gets my mom ready for a scan of some sort. I hear her ask mom a question, and mom answers “not really.” My sister and my own ears perk up – “What was the question Mom?” Apparently, the nurse asked my mom if she was allergic to something, and my mom answered “Not Really.” As if you can be a little pregnant or something. It’s a “yes” or “no” question. Apparently, mom was allergic to sulfur drugs as a kid, but was under the (mistaken) impression that drugs don’t have sulfur any more, so she decided it wasn’t important.

I also caught her telling the doctor that her leg hasn’t hurt in the past few weeks, when in reality – she has been complaining about her leg for months. Apparently, they should have specific “upper leg.” And when a nurse offered her pain meds, she waffled and said “I guess it couldn’t hurt” (har-de-har-har). But when my sister came back, Mom told her, very excitedly that she was finally going to get some pain relief. When asked why the hell she didn’t seem excited to the nurse, or mention anything before? “Well, I thought they wanted me to be in pain so that I could tell them where it hurts.”

The woman is driving me insane.

Speaking of insane – you know that Crazy Grandma is involved somehow. Well, we made the decision to let Grandma know what was going on last night. She went insane – wailing, crying, my daughter, etc.  It was insanely over the top, given that we only just told her that mom had gallstones and was doing fine. Anyway, I bring her to the hospital today (after seven phone calls asking me where I was. As if on the way to pick her up, I may have forgotten I was on my way and just gone out for soup instead?) and we tell her the surgery is tomorrow at noon.  She has an accountant appointment at 10, and then a dinner engagement at her favorite restaurant at 4, so – she won’t be visiting the hospital. She was considering visiting afterwards, but when we told her that if she was driving, she can’t have a drink at dinner, no – not even at the beginning of dinner, she declined.  So much for the wailing and screaming. Let’s not talk about the 15 minute walk through the hospital where she keeps yelling at me that it can’t possibly be the main lobby because despite it being under construction, it can’t possibly look any different than it did in 1972.

* Yiddish alert!!! A nervous chalereh (yes, you do the gutteral “ch”) is a nervous wreck or a Nervous Nellie.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2009 9:17 am

    I’m sorry for your family troubles, but you have a real knack for making them funny! I love the part where Grandma chooses to have one drink rather than visit the hospital…perfect storytelling.

  2. February 20, 2009 1:50 am

    It is so refreshing to know that I am not the only one with a mother and a grandmother sliding off their rockers! So riddle me this, does mom exhibit some of the same behaviors as gramma but then denying or tell you when she starts behaving like that to just put her away, and then you and your sister look at each other like….who’s driving!
    sorry to hear about your mother, really. It can’t be fun even with the humour you are able to put into the story. Hope it all turns out well.

  3. February 20, 2009 7:49 am

    And as an update – Mom is out of surgery and seemingly doing well. Thanks for all the support. Hopefully, she is coming home today.


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