Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Mama Has Left the Building

Mama Has Left the Building
Originally uploaded by suzipaw.
Well, it's been a stressful week, but all's well that ends well.

When we last left our heroine, she was concerned that her dear mama would have difficulty recovering from her recent surgery. Mom wasn't feeling well when I left her last Wednesday after her "code" incident, and was about the same when I checked in on Thursday morning before heading down to pick up my aunt at the airport. The driving rain was the perfect setting for the turmoil in my mind--I couldn't do anything for mom, and it made me feel helpless as well as concerned.

Aunt J's plane was just a little late, but her baggage had not made her flight, so we had to file a claim before leaving the airport. We were promised that her luggage would make it chez moi that evening. (It finally arrived around 2 a.m.--Aunt J got up to check at about 5 a.m., and locked herself out of the house. Luckily, I was awake, and so heard her ringing the doorbell!) We drove right to the hospital, and mom wasn't feeling too bad, but she hadn't gotten up or accomplished any of the other bodily functions she needed to be discharged from the hospital. Friday morning was no better. Was it the painkillers? posited the nurse. Or perhaps she needed more blood? Turned out it was the latter, but they didn't pipe in two more units until Friday afternoon.

That was it--mom was a new woman on Saturday, moving around, unhooked from the respirator, catheter, and IV drip. We met the tres suave surgeon, who would've approved her discharge on Saturday, but we felt she should have one full day of doing well in the hospital before leaving, since she lives hours from a major hospital. We collected her Sunday at noon, and got to her place up on the coast by 3pm, despite the best efforts of a tourist on the windy-est part of the highway who was taking photographs while driving. Grr. But mom is now safely ensconced in her own bed, waited on by both Aunt J and my stepdad.

The one bright spot about mom's extended stay in the hospital was hanging out with my Aunt J. I've always felt very close to her and miss seeing her more often, as I was able to when I lived on the east coast. On Friday, we went shopping (my god--there is a lot of underwear out there in department stores--I had forgotten). She took me out for Thai food on Friday night--she ordered the extra spicy dish in preparation for her trip to India in January. I was able to use my vouchers for ushering at our local "cultural center" to get us a couple of tickets to see the Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra that night. (Very good, but not many in the audience. We clapped extra hard so they wouldn't feel so bad.) We had lots of time to blab in between all of our activities.

Last week was a bit stressful at home, too. M quit his job (what is he thinking???? He has a plan, please god...) and caught a very bad bug. He's still sick--exhausted and coughing. Rex has been plagued by itchy skin, and his recent trip to the vet revealed that his flea allergy was to blame, but not before he had nibbled a bald patch just above his tail. Antibiotics were prescribed, and he was supposed to wear one of those plastic collars for a week, but M couldn't take it, and it was off after just two days. (Yes, we sleep with our dog, so you can perhaps imagine, if you dare, our little mutt trying to burrow under the covers with this plastic ruff.) Before it came off, it did give us a bit of a chuckle to see him racing around the field on his walks, especially in the evening, when just the ghostly cone could just barely be made out, bobbing above the new grass.

Another sad thing: M has a friend serving in Iraq. They've been emailing regularly, but recently his friend was assigned to an escort mission to Baghdad. We haven't heard from him since, but of course we're hoping that no news is good news.

Random things: finished the hat for Isaac, watched Thirteen last night (scary, that one--but not so far from my own teen years...), am planning the Thanksgiving menu. We'll spend it up a mom's, with just a few other folks, so M and I will be in charge. Will we brine, a la Alton Brown, or deconstruct?

Wedding Update: The nice people at the Bidwell Park Society answered my query about an image of the Hooker Oak, a mighty specimen that fell in 1971. We thought it might make a nice symbol of our wedding, so they sent me a couple of photos that we might use on our stationery.


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