Rock? Meet the Hard Place.

It was a difficult decision, but since Mom was stable – and the rest of the family was on call, and prepared to handle the potential discharge to the cardiac rehab facility on Monday or Tuesday – i decided to press on with a planned business trip this week.  The first portion (Annapolis) of high relevance to my job, the second portion (Chicago) less important, but a meeting of an industrial advisory panel, for which i am chairman, and therefore, feel obliged to attend.  At least to kick it off…

So here i sit in a hotel at O’Hare Airport.  i just got the text message from DQ telling me that Mom’s lung is no longer collapsed.  Mom’s fine.  Last night i had a bad night.

After my meeting yesterday, i got a call from my sister, S.  She was in a high state of panic – “Mom’s in pain! I’m headed to the hospital!  I just talked to DQ, and i heard Mom moaning in pain in the background!  She can’t breathe!”  After getting S calmed down, i asked her what the ICU nurse had said.  “Huh?  Haven’t talked to her!  I don’t know what’s going on!  I’ve got to get over there…”.  She said she thought we should call our sister, T, and get her home.  And that i should head home, too.  i suggested we find out more first… i told her i’d call the nurse and call her back. 

ICU Nurse said that Mom had been struggling with her breathing all day, and that she’d had trouble walking – because she was dizzy and winded.  She said Mom was resting, her heart is doing well, and that the respiratory doctor would be in first thing in the morning to find out what’s going on with the lungs.  No immediate danger.  Not life-threatening.

Called S back, calmed her down.  Told her to call me from the hospital to let me know how Mom was feeling.  When i got that call, i could hear Mom in the background – “Is that daisyfae?  Is she home yet?”

[sound of knife in heart goes here]

i didn’t sleep well.  Went through the logic a few times.  Need to wait to find out more.  Not life threatening.  She’s in ICU – 24 hour, nearly one-on-one critical care nursing staff.  Work issue needing attention… i was on leave all last week. This is what they pay me a lot of money to do when i’m not fucking off…

When i got the call late this morning from DQ, after banging through the necessary working session in near record time, i stepped outside the hotel to talk.  i was in front, standing on the covered walkway with the two young parking valets to stay out of the rain.  This is what they heard…

daisyfae:  What?  Her fucking lung collapsed?  How the fuck didn’t they notice that her lung had collapsed?

daisyfae (to the valets):  sorry.  family issue…

daisyfae:  OK.  i’ll head out soon – i’ll have more return flight options if i get to Chicago.  Keep me posted.  jesus-christ-on-a-fucking-sk8board, how the FUCK did they miss that?  no wonder she couldn’t breathe last night – she lost one of her fucking lungs.  i’m not a doctor or anything, but fuck, seems like something you’d check…

daisyfae (to the clearly amused valets): sorry.  really….

During the drive to the airport, i spoke with ICU Nurse again – and she confirmed that the Bronchial Loogie Extraction* would be done this evening, followed by a CT scan to confirm lung clearance.  Needle aspiration of remaining fluid** will be done in the morning if needed.  Confirmed again that it is non-life threatening.  Not out of the ordinary for smokers to encounter these things.  Oh, and no release to cardiac rehab until Thursday at the earliest.

Got to my hotel early.  This one has wireless.  Got some work done.  Talked to Mom – reassured her before the procedure that this was just another speedbump in the recovery process, and hopefully the last one!  She said she slept well last night – and has a new best friend named Xanax.  Will wait to hear the results of the CT scan before heading to the hotel bar to get ‘faced with a couple dawg boys colleagues.

In the meantime, just swapped text messages with DQ at the hospital:

DQ:  Got out a big chunk.  No tumors.  Lung opened.  CT Scan later 2night.

daisyfae:  Whew!  Did they keep it?  Told Mom i wanted to frame it.  She’s been working on it for a week – almost like part of the family.

DQ:  Went 2 the lab.  U want me 2 tell them?

daisyfae:  JUST KIDDING!***

The questions remain… Am i any less self-absorbed than anyone else in my clan?  Are my priorities just as fucked up?  Do you ever stop second-guessing yourself on work/family balance issues?  What’s the capital of North Dakota?  Can i drink my weight in martinis before i pass out?  Can i do so and be sufficiently functional in the morning to lead off the panel?


* Didn’t catch the medical term, but you get the idea…

** Thoracentesis, aka pleural tap.  i know that one!

*** DQ is a good soldier.  if i’d said “yes” she’d have probably done it.  scary.  but good to have her on the team…

21 thoughts on “Rock? Meet the Hard Place.

  1. Glad the “Yuck Suck” worked on your Mom. I wouldn’t frame it…it’d be better if you stuffed it and put it on the coffee table. As a ‘conversation piece’. Yeah, that’s it.

    As to that last two questions, I’ve no clue, but be sure to take lots of videos to share with us if you do try.

  2. Bronchial Loogie Extraction – best tag ever, again.

    Sounds like a dreadful night, but really, you appear to be an EXTREMELY dutiful daughter. Good grief. Your priorities are fine. You made the right choice, mom’s getting better and you’re still a star at work and the world keeps spinning round.

    Weighing in on the Loogie Question:
    I think I’d like to see a giant loogie framed Or stuffed.
    I saved my old dog’s bladder stones and teeth, but they’re just in an old pill bottle and not on display. Not very artistic, just nauseatingly sentimental.

    Give mom a squeeze for me.

  3. Sounds like they did a bronchoscopy with vacuuming. Ok, I don’t really know anything except bronchoscopy. Hey, you gave her a week, there are other people there. It’s OK.
    As for how they missed it at the hospital, I don’t know. But at least they got their sh** together and did what they had to do. And families always panic, especially folks like S. I got one of those, too. Good luck. Hope this is the last speed bump.

  4. Troubling questions, all. Seriously though, if you’re asking the first three, it seems extremely unlikely that you’re anywhere near becoming completely self-obsessed. Incidentally, I believe the capital of North Dakota is about $17.

  5. Link Wray practically invented his own musical genre and went on to inspire everyone from Dylan to Townshend. With only one lung.

    So, it follows (more or less) that your mom’s going to be up and doing the Boogie… Loogie before you know it, dear. Now, that’s worth raising a martini glass (or 5) to.

  6. gnu – great idea! or better yet, encase it in lucite! alas, failed in my quest – sticking with a couple of light beers instead… that pesky job thing…

    bc – very sweetly sentimental… not sure how to display dog teeth, but perhaps a necklace?

    silverstar – Mom was feeling great last night – amazing what a little extra oxygen can do for ones outlook! She was apparently up joking and laughing… all’s well. for now…

    kyknoord – in theory i agree. but self-awareness and monitoring my motives and actions is necessary when one originates from a trailer park. oh, and screw the spell checker… drat. now that you’ve busted me, i can’t even go back and edit…

    nm – they’re drilling for oil out there now that it’s worth more. my guess is that it’s up in the $100’s by now!

    Mrs. B – “Boogie Loogie”… *snort* too fun! Beer was safer under the circumstances. As for the avatars, WordPress Vista implemented the option for “unknown” avatars – choices are quilt squares, happy emoticons or the little monster peeps. The solution lies in wordpress people being logged into wordpress prior to commenting… otherwise, goofy blue loogie-man will show up…

  7. Sometimes other family members have to share some of the load too. As a fellow responsible child, we have things that must be done, as well. It doesn’t hurt the rest of the family to manage a crisis, occasionally. You still had your fingers on the strings, and could get back in a few hours if absolutely necessary. Don’t second guess yourself; nothing would have happened differently had you been there.

    With the current value of the dollar, the capital of North Dakota may be in Canada now.

  8. I was going to take a stab at a comment, but I like what Uncle Keith said. He pretty much summed up what I think.

    Oh, except about that part about the North Dakota capital. I’ve been to ND and…..I don’t think we’d want it. Wait, can I change my mind? Maybe if we had it we could do something about the annual flooding of the Red River that is contributed to by shenanigans in ND. Oh, and hey? Aren’t there ICBM silos in ND? It would be cool to have a few of those to call our own too.

    Seriously, though – hope your mom is doing better. And you too, of course.

  9. uncle keith – “logical brain” knows this. “irrational brain” still feels like a weasel. no matter how old we get, we’re still someones kid… As of today, after the lung was re-inflated and the fluid drained? She’s feeling great! My sister-in-law took a turn on “dinner detail” giving S and DQ the night off. (sigh)

    tony – failed. chickened out – i’d had a rather bad run in with alcohol last friday (may write that up one up for y’all to chuckle over… ) – and decided to stick with beer. Stress + Alcohol = Bad Plan

    Rob – everybody needs ICBMs! Maybe if y’all make an offer you can get some of the oil wells, too?

  10. Hey Dais. I’ll add my voice to the fray and say; you are a numero uno loin fruit. I frequently crap my mother out because she doesn’t look after herself (still smokes, challenges men to arm wrestling and then wonders why she has 3 slipped disks; you know, average maternal behaviour). But only because I’m terrified I’m going to have to look after her if she really buggers something up. Selfish? Hell yes. But dammit, I’m too young to be wiping bums and drool. Unless if that of my own offspring.

    I think you rock.

  11. dolce – i love your mother. i am also known to challenge large men to arm-wrestling matches in bars — most recently to win the affections of a hot bar-tendress. tell her i wanna be in her gang… i shall suck up my silly emo-girl bullshit and get back to being a functional fruit loin. thanks..

  12. Glad that your mom came through the “scare”.

    And you are not self-absorbed. Life revolves around no one. Not even the sick. The weekend my late husband came down with his first case of pneumonia, I was out of town (my dad was having surgery and nearly died himself). The nursing home had my cell number and so I didn’t let them know I was going to be out of town. Just figured if they didn’t reach me at the home number they would call my cell. Wrong. I got home at 3PM on a Sunday to find an answering machine full of messages – the last one being that my LH was in the ICU of a local hospital (with my mother-in-law at his side refusing to tell the hospital staff my cell number – another story).

    Short of the long story is that we cannot be “there” – wherever there is – all the time. And it doesn’t make us bad people.

  13. in fact i was…officially, i was known as “blue goo” but this led to mucho misunderstandings, especially with those in the vice dept…

  14. annie – i find much comfort in your words, knowing some of your circumstances. thanks…

    tony – there absolutely has to be a story there! will it be on “dine in/take out” anytime?

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