Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Well, at least now we know

My mother has ischemic colitis and has to stay in the ICU at least through the weekend. She is not in good shape, physically. It is hard for me to get my mind around this, since she is so alert and involved mentally.

There are surgeons monitoring her throughout the day, but hopefully surgery won't be necessary and her body will begin to repair itself. If she survives this, her diet will have to change radically.

She is where she needs to be. I am trying get my mind around this whole thing. It's hard.

Tomorrow I cancel my long-scheduled trip to Williamsburg. I am sad about this. Not only because I really could use the getaway, but because I feel like that, by canceling, I am giving up on my mom by admitting she might take a radical turn for the worse next week.

Call me "Narc"

Yesterday I spoke to my mom's nurse, letting her know that my mother doesn't want visitors to bring her magazines or flowers in the hospital, she wants Tums. And she convinced my kid sister to bring "a baggie full of them."

Sunday I thought my mother's passion for otc antacids was funny. First she asked me if I had any Tums. When I told her "no," she persisted, "In that big purse, you don't have any Tums? Are you sure?"

But then I read a little about Tums and, like aspirin or cold medicine, it's not completely harmless and could be interfering with her prescription meds. Not only that, it can exacerbate some of her symptoms -- including constipation and kidney problems.

I don't want my mother mad at me, so I asked the nurse not to name me as the source of this tip. But I want to help her get well!


This week's challenge: Check out the third definition of cheap (below), and use the word exactly as it appears, in no less than 33 and no more than 333 words.
     b : contemptible because of lack of any fine, lofty, or redeeming qualities 

It looked positively elegant, hanging there in the sun. The coat was a dark orange that reminded her of the leaves on the lawn in fall. It had chocolate brown buttons and was trimmed with golden fur.

Her grandma and big sister, Beth, were, as always, hand-in-hand as they went through the next rack of clothes.  They were looking at little t-shirts, more appropriate for the summer weather. But Tess was irresistibly drawn to the coat.

Grandma looked up and around, clearly annoyed. “Where is that girl?”

“Here I am, Grandma!” She called, standing proudly beside her find. “Look what I found! Isn’t it pretty? Look at the fur!”

“Geez, Tess! Your taste is so cheap. Let’s go!” As Grandma led Beth past the orange coat, Tess couldn’t miss her sister’s smirk.

“That’s not really fur. Not at a sidewalk sale,” Beth said. Her big sister was always more sophisticated. She was, after all, a woman of 9 to Tess’ mere 7½.


That long ago village sidewalk sale popped into Tess’ head decades later as she slipped into her favorite burnt orange car coat. Reminiscing about Grandma was never fun. There weren’t any Hallmark moments.

"Look at your knees! Tess, you could get dirty just standing still."
"Geez, Tess, do you have to drown your potatoes in gravy?" 
“Your voice is always too loud, Tess.”
"That's not music, Tess, it's noise."
“Don’t wear your hair like that, Tess. You have ugly ears.”
"How can you waste your time reading about pop stars, Tess?"
"Geez, Tess, stop jiggling your leg! Why can't you ever just sit still?"

Tess was 13 when her Grandma died. Today, thinking about the formidable older woman, Tess wanted to ask her, “How could a little girl annoy you so much? I was a child, for Christ’s sake. And I wanted to love you.”

Tess certainly remembered her grandmother. She just didn’t miss her.