Yet another day in The Park taking Mom to her cardiologist, the lovely Dr. M. Prior to determining next steps – double bypass or not – Mom will need additional tests done over the next couple weeks before meeting with a surgeon in April.
When we last left The Park, the heart catheterization revealed that Mom has a substantial blockage in her left main artery. Although it wasn’t immediately life threatening, the doctor recommended that we move quickly to clear the blockage. Mom is at a higher risk of heart attack, and due to the location of the blockage, the likelihood of fatality from a cardiac event is high.
Do the people who (in theory) share my genetics understand that this means Mom does not need additional stress or trauma? Apparently not…
At lunch on Wednesday, Mom called me in tears to report that DQ was on her way to the hospital due to a miscarriage. In between sobs, i learned that the miscarriage started around 4:00 am, and after going to her gynecologist at 11:00 am, she was sent to the emergency room due to severe blood loss. They left 13 year old DQ, Jr. at home with 6 month old DQ, III, and the clan once again descended on a local hospital.
After calming Mom down, telling her that everything would be ok, and that DQ would be well taken care of at the hospital, i had to ask why Mom had been brought into this situation.
They asked her to call the “prayer chain” at church. And they also offered to have someone come by the house and pick her up to bring her to the hospital waiting room.
Despite the obscene failure to demonstrate any substantive concern for Mom, this was a sad situation, so i offered to drive down and stay with the two children if needed. Mom called later that night with an update. DQ was home from the hospital by 7:00 pm. The recommendation was for rest, fluids, healthy eating – and to avoid getting knocked up for at least 6 weeks*.
Of course, there was much drama at the hospital – all shared in technicolor detail with Mom. Apparently the clan has forgotten that just two weeks ago, we learned that Mom has a potentially exploding heart. DQ lost so much blood, there was a crash cart. As nurses plugged in IVs, DQ told her mother, S, “Please take care of my baby” – quite the “Gray’s Anatomy” deathbed moment. DQ’s husband, BJ, had been left with major bio-hazard clean-up at the house from nearly 6 hours of “waiting to go to the doctor”.
Fast forward to the cardiologist appointment today. Dr. M helped impress upon Mom the need to avoid stress. When she came into the examining room, she asked Mom “How are you doing?”. Mom replied “Oh, it’s been a terrible week…” and proceeded to relay the drama from the trailer next door. Listening patiently, Dr. M then asked “No, I meant ‘how do you feel?’ What has this done to your blood pressure?”.
Mom’s BP was high, so the doctor prescribed nitroglycerin** and reinforced the need to avoid external stress. Dr. M told her “Look, there was nothing you could do about the situation, so you need stop worrying and tell any friend or family member that you just can’t deal with their issues right now…”. Mom said “Well, I called the prayer chain”…. Upon hearing my sharp intake of breath, Dr. M gave me a sympathetic look – she is starting to understand this particular playing field.
We moved on to planning for surgery. Mom had many questions, including hospital options. The doctor said of the three hospitals that the surgeon used, all are fine. Under my breath, i suggested that perhaps we should make the decision based on reviews of the hospital cafeteria food, which got a suppressed laugh and snort out of Dr. M.
Discussing near term medication, Dr. M offered to provide sample packages of the new beta blocker that would tide her over a few days. As she left the room, i said “Could you be a dear and bring me some Xanax while you’re at it?”. A sweet voice from the hallway trilled “I heard that…” as she went to retrieve the pills.
On the return trip home, i stopped to get the nitro prescription filled, impressing upon Mom the seriousness of the situation – and the need to avoid anxiety and worry and take care of herself.
As we left the pharmacy, Mom asked if we could stop to buy cigarettes. Returning to the car with 4 cartons***, she told me that she always gets anxious when she’s running low on smokes, and that by stocking up it’s one less thing to worry about. They calm her down.
i didn’t say a word. but if i did say a word, that word would have been in-fucking-credible.
* The kids and i will have a pool. This pregnancy was a “surprise”, and both DQ and her husband, BJ swore they didn’t want another baby so soon after DQ, III. My guess is that with the loss, there’s a high probability they’ll actually try this time… My pick is pregnant again within 3 months. Stay tuned…
** Oh, if i could only do a little kitchen chemistry and use it in explosive form on the trailer next door….
*** Four cartons of cigarettes. That’s 10 packs/carton, 20 cigs/pack, or 800 cigarettes – at $160.00. She claimed that would last her the month (1 1/2 pack a day rate), but i’ve seen her burn through 3 packs/day easily – lighting one cigarette from another. More likely? It’ll last 2 weeks.