Crisis Management 101

When my phone rang at 10am, i wasn’t surprised that it was my sister, S.  i still let it go to voicemail.  It’s easier for me to talk to her if i have a few moments to get my head around whatever it is she’s on about.
But today?  i knew. 
i have been calling my folks on Sundays for over 20 years – now, just calling Mom on Sunday night.  Last night when i spoke with her, she was out of breath, and even more crabby than usual.  It was pretty obvious to me that she wasn’t feeling well even before she told me about the headaches and breathing trouble.
We went through some of the things i’d been researching for her regarding her supplemental medicare insurance choices, but she wasn’t tracking.  She said her head hurt, she was tired, wanted me to just come down to fill out the paperwork for her because she didn’t want to deal with it anymore. 
From there?  A brief pity party because  no one in the family seems willing to get together for Thanksgiving* this year.  i reminded her that she’s going to spend Thursday with S and her family for a home-cooked meal and some time playing games and watching movies. 

Not what she had in mind, apparently.  “The family is just falling apart…” she lamented.  i told her that i’d have been willing to host the family, but after the debacle from two years ago, i don’t think it would help.
Rather than be sucked into the conversation further, i suggested that she get some rest and think about going to see a doctor if she wasn’t feeling better soon.
Thus, the phone call this morning from my sister, S.  Mom spent yesterday with S’s clan, and apparently could barely keep her head up during dinner.  Weak, struggling to breathe, and she barely spoke for most of the day.  Earlier in the week, she’d been so weak she was unable to stand up from the wheelchair during a shopping excursion.

When they asked if she wanted to go to the doctor?  She said she wanted to wait until the last week in November, when she’s scheduled to see her cardiologist.  
S:  I swear, I don’t think she’s going to make it to Christmas!  Daisyfae, she’s going to die soon!  I’ve come to terms with it…
daisyfae:  We can’t change the outcome, but we can affect the path.  Can’t you just call and change the appointment with the cardiologist?  She might need to go to the emergency room even…
S:  She says she wants to wait to see the doctor.  This has been so hard to watch, and it’s been SO hard on DQ and BJ.  She says her last wish is for the family to get together** once more.  Last night?  She said she thought she was dying…

daisyfae [interrupting]:  Do you want me to call the cardiologist?  Seriously, if she thinks she’s dying, maybe we shouldn’t wait two weeks?
S:  That’s probably a good idea…
And so i was able to call the cardiology practice, and get Mom an appointment for 2:30 in the afternoon with the nurse practitioner.  At least someone will be doing triage on her symptoms.   
And so it goes….


* Given the number of divorces in my extended family, Thanksgiving was a particularly harrowing day for my trailer park siblings.  They’d have to be in five places at once, hauling kids here, having lunch there, stopping by a grandparents place after that…  We decided a long time ago to ‘time shift’ the family holiday to the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  My brother and his wife have been hosting for a few years, but after dealing with some of the shit for the past few, haven’t stepped up to do it again.  After my failed attempt a couple of years ago?  Fuck that.
** But that conflicts with my last wish, which is for the family to NEVER AGAIN be assembled under the same roof… because that means i’d have to be there, too (sigh).