Looking After Mamma


Fifteen after eight and I’m in bed. I’m liking this getting to bed early thing lately. Boy, my body sure needs it too. I’ve had a lot going on. Two days ago, I noticed a golf-ball-sized knot sticking out of the side of my knee. I know it sounds like I’m a walking medical disaster lately but the truth is I’m usually the opposite. I’m almost never sick and injuries don’t hold me down for long if at all. (Witness the broken hand– which is feeling much better by the way without the splint and with reasonable manipulation and exercise.)

I’m grateful I’m sitting here grateful tonight. That’s a good thing because I do believe what I feed grows.

Back to the knee briefly. So yesterday, it was larger than the day before but not really painful to speak of. This morning when I got up I noticed it was somewhat stiffer and after I got out of the shower it was really hurting. I was planning to go to the gym first thing this morning but I thought, you know if this thing (whatever it is)–

Oh my God are y’all as bored by this fucking story as I am?! Anyway cut to the chase. Birmingham VA. 19 gage needed stuck into my knee to withdraw what amounted to about a pea-sized drop of liquid to send to be biopsied. The resident told me he feared it was septic and it wasn’t until I left the hospital (and checked in with my cousin who’s a doc) that I realized how full-of-shit he is. My knee is not septic and if it was it wouldn’t be no “come on back in on Monday and we’ll check it again” bullshit. It would be let’s get this fucker in the O.R. and flush this evilness out! I should have known when he told me he thought it might be from having unprotected oral sex. (I honestly thought I must have misheard him.)

Okay, enough of that boring story. I then rushed off to the hospital where Mom is because by this time I had heard that they decided (today) to replace the faulty leads on her pacemaker, which had apparently been recalled last year. I’m still wondering why I only found out about this recall today and why the fuck this problem wasn’t fixed last year! By the time I got to the hospital I — oh! actually when I say I “rushed” to the hospital what I really mean is that I went to lunch first because mom told me to (over the phone) and said that they probably wouldn’t come get her before two anyway– so I did. But nevertheless they had already taken her to the O.R. for the procedure by the time I got there and I felt like a shitty son. In the hall, I ran into the surgeon with whom I’ve had several conversations over the last couple of years and I actually trust him a good bit. He was on his way to scrub in. He said, “Let’s go talk in her room” and so we did. He said, “I’m not saying this to scare you but I just didn’t want you to thing this was some simple procedure. It’s actually quite serious and there is a chance of a chest bleed and if that happens that would be very bad and we would have to do an emergency surgical intervention to try to save her and…” And that is about where I got very fuzzy because I had heard enough to send me into a bit of a panic which I can assure you neither the doctor nor the nurse knew.

I love my mom. And a lot of my frustration and resentment towards her for taking such shitty care of herself is actually fear of losing her. Unhealthy or not, my mom and I are very close and the thought of loser her actually scares the shit out of me. There. I said it. Now I’m going to bed.

Tomorrow she has to have another procedure to see if she has colon cancer. I want to go to the gym first so I’m getting up early so I’m headed to sleep now.

Sydney is snoring by the bed. I have a lilac-scented candle lit on my writing desk and I can hear the crickets through the open window. With all that is going on, all the chaos all around, I actually feel very peaceful and happy.

When Mom was just first coming around from the anesthesia today, I said in that loud, wake people up from anesthesia voice, “Mom! You’re back in the room now and I’m here. Everything went just fine!” She said in her still-foggy voice, “Oh good. Did you tell your Daddy?” (Dad died a year a ago March 16.) “Yeah Mamma, I told him.”

See y’all tomorrow.

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