Sep 17th, 2005

I Don’t Like Mondays

Unlike Lake Wobegon, where every week is a quiet week, it's been a bitch of a week here at the Casa De Zapatos. It started on Monday morning, when I got a call from the home where my mother lives. She'd collapsed in the shower and they wanted me to take her to a doctor.
So I did. Not without some effort however, since I take the train to work and on Mondays and Wednesdays the RLA rides in with me, because this semester he's teaching at the mothership: Wolfson Campus. That means he also takes the car home from the train, about five hours before I leave work. It also means that I don't have the car keys, and thus had no way of getting from the train to the house.

Thanks and a shout out to TADTS (the artist down the street) who gave me a lift from point A to point B.

With my mother's health insurance cards in hand, I jumped into the PT Cruiser and tore down to her group home, picked up her and an aide, then back north to the doctor's office, where upon hearing the details of her "collapse" decided it was more of a seizure and sent me off to the hospital.

I could have taken her to the place I used to work. I could have. I could have eaten a lot of crow and listened to a lot of two-faced platitudes and gotten her put on a VIP list. I could have. But fuck that hell hole, I did not. Instead I took her to the very clean and nice opposition hospital nearer to my house.

It has a much less busy emergency room, and so I was only there for six hours before we finally got into an exam room. Only by then it was shift change so we sat in the exam room (to be acurate, I sat and she lay in a bed, plucking at her blood pressure cuff and her blood oxygen finger thingy) for another hour or so until she had another seizure and I pounded the nurse call button (astutely figuring out that turning red, going rigid and shrieking like a banshee were not normal condititions) until the cavalry came and threw me out of the room. This second seizure had the added benefit of expediting her admittance.

The result of her CT scan showed that she has a "suspicious area" in her brain. Ya think? The woman has end stage Alzheimer's. I should fucking think there's some funky looking spots in there. She isn't really responsive, they tell me. Hmmm? Less so than before or more? Can we tell? She has a lot of bruises. Yeah, that'd be right, seeing as how she's 87 years old and spent 80 of those years in the Florida sun before anybody figured out that that was a pretty bad idea, skin-wise. She's more delicate than onion skin paper and if you look at her harshly, she bruises. The doctors wanted to do more neuro testing, but I said no. Look, if she has a brain tumor, what are we going to do? Operate? I don't think so. Let's just make her comfortable, OK, guys? OK.

That was my Monday. The rest of the week was occupied by the pressing rush of getting together the swag and documenting materials for an executive retreat, the process of which was hampered by the fact that the executives in question kept changing their documents right up until the moment we sealed the cardboard boxes on Friday around 11 am. Every binder was stuffed at least twice, and sometimes more.

Today is the special dog Jojo's first birthday. By Purina standards, that means she's not a puppy any more. But Jojo is special, like round nosed scissors and blunt forks kind of special, and I suspect she'll be a puppy for much longer.

Remember in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the character that Michael Caine develops for Steve Martin to play when they are scamming the rich old ladies? The less-than-gently bewildered younger brother, Ruprecht? That's my Jojo. She's just... special. And fwench. I'm going to give her a birthday treat of doggie ice cream, carrot and cheddar cheese flavor.

My mom? She's going back to her group home Monday. Thanks for asking. That's more than my brother, Biggus Dickus, did.