Friday, June 01, 2007

My mother got back from the hospital last night. She was there since the previous Thursday. She’s fine now, but needless to say, my life this past week wasn’t its usual chucklefest.

Basically, Mom had a blood infection that made her cough, vomit, then stop breathing. They helped her breathe and gave her antibiotics for a few days until she got better.

There. See how easy it was to convey that? For some reason the assisted living employees and the hospital staff felt a need to use fancy medical jargon whenever I tried to get some information. I consider myself a somewhat bright guy with a decent vocabulary, so when people spew out words like “respiratory arrest” and “aspirated” and “sepsis” and “intubated” without being able define them in simple terms, I can’t help but suspect they’re covering up their own stupidity with fancy euphemistic technobabble.

And that was when there was communication. Don’t get me started on what it took to get my mom released, and then to get her personal items the hospital lost. I shoulda known based on what I went through early on. Despite numerous calls to doctors and nurses and daily visits to the hospital, I rarely got updates. It was pretty scary, especially because I didn’t know what was what. But within a couple of days, I could see my mother’s improvement. And hear it, when she could talk again. On or off meds, Mom doesn't always make much sense in recent years. Usually the ol’ lady’s crazy prattling is frustrating, but now I took the nonsense as a return to normalcy.

Like the non sequitur about how I “caved”. What did she mean? “Adelphia likes cats!” Mom said. No, I explained, my girlfriend and I didn’t get a cat. Adelphia hates cats. Adelphia also hates maps. I mentioned it the other day, how there’s no maps at our new place; perhaps Mom misheard me? “There’ll be maps in the other house.” What house? “New York.” But we’re not in New York, anymore. We’re in California. “Duh. They have a state lottery, here, too.” Lottery? What? Okay, wait -- so we’re gonna play the California Lotto, which is like the NY Lotto and win? “On my shoe!”

After much deciphering, I determined Mom's story: She was out walking (when? and how, considering she needs a wheelchair) and stepped on a winning Lotto ticket that she cashed and we’re buying a new house in New York -- except she hates the snow, so maybe the Caribbean -- for the whole family to live in together.

Great, I said.

For the record, you’d have a better chance of hitting the lottery while getting snowed on in the Caribbean than me moving into a house with my mom and sister and cousins. But all in all, it was nice to see Mom babbling again.


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