“Lion King” to “Steel Magnolias”

My oldest sister, S, has a long history of ridiculous self-absorption. But she’s come a long way from weeping and wailing in hospital waiting rooms*.   In fact, during one of Mom’s previous procedures, S gave me enough blog fodder for a week….

Mom stayed with me over the weekend, and was moving slow.  She had pain in her legs, and i was pretty sure there was a blockage (or two) in the iliac arteries.  Again.  The angioplasty procedure has been done several times, and at least partially due to her diet**, her arteries have a tendency to continually re-clog. 

i had suggested a call to the cardiologist on Monday, and the lovely and completely edible Dr. Monica didn’t waste time.  She scheduled another angioplasty.  Waking up at the fuzzy, lint-encrusted butt-crack of dawn, i was on duty to pick up Mom and get her to the hospital for the procedure yesterday. 

But Thursday is scuba class, so i needed to have someone else on call to retrieve her, or stay until she was comfortably encamped at the hospital for the night.  S was able to take the afternoon off work, so i was on duty in the morning.  S made arrangements to arrive mid-day, releasing me by 4:00 pm for the hour drive home… in time to make it to class.

With delays and emergency procedures bumping Mom’s fairly routine roto-rooting, we were told that the doc was at least two hours behind schedule.  That meant Mom and i would be stuck in the pre-procedural holding pen from about 11:00 to at least 1:00.  So we both slept…  S arrived around 12:45 and woke us both up…

Low key, relaxed and light conversation followed until Mom was wheeled out at 2:00.  S and i were both hungry, so we hit the hospital cafeteria for a late lunch.  We had a very rational conversation about the need for S to audit the ‘construction’ expenses as her daughter, DQ, drives renovations on Mom’s house.  We discussed the need to keep the drama to a minimum – as in, nobody fuck with sister, T, in Florida… Let the sleeping pit bull lie…

As we reviewed the status of excavations at Mom’s house, i reminded S that if Mom drops dead before the house is done?  There is to be no guilt.  We are doing the right thing, she has chosen this option, and if she dies before it’s done, so be it… S simply nodded her head and said “I don’t think there’s anything we can do to make her happy”.

After lunch, we yakked a bit in the waiting room.  She asked me “Are you happy?”  Wow.  i don’t think anyone in my family has ever said those words to me before… i said “Very.  And thanks for asking.”  The nurse came out to inform us that Mom had a double-punch procedure, two iliac lard-packs blasted away, and she’d probably need to stay overnight at the hospital.

S and i went to see her in recovery, i bid farewell, and S stayed until Mom was settled in her room for the night.  She also stepped up to the retrieval duty upon Mom’s discharge. 

Not sure how it happened, but S seems to have it together.  Maybe it’s the fact that she’s been up to her armpits in raccoon turds in Mom’s attic for the past two weeks.  In any case, my big sister has at least started to grow up…

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* i usually put in links to prior ‘trailer park adventures’ to help some of the newer visitors track the history… but this one has perhaps the best series of comments ever.  loves me some smart-assed comments!  worth a look…  and more on the “we really miss kyknoord” thread…

** After the last angioplasty, i asked the doc if they’d done a biopsy on the plugs near her heart.  Confused the doctor – until i explained that i’d wager they were comprised of sausage gravy, deep-fried chicken livers and bacon fat… which is about what Mom ordered last Sunday for lunch when i was taking her home.