Thursday, March 25, 2010

Parental Health A-Go-Go

(Ed. note: My mother came through with flying colors and is now waiting to watch the UK-Cornell game.)

This morning I'm in my office, about to run up the wall. My mother is having a cataract removed back home, and I'm not there because she insisted that she and my father could manage this without either my sister or me. Joy. That's the blind driving the blind...Daddy won't take the time off from his practice to get his own vision checked.

I called to check in last night and Mom informed me, with no little exasperation, that not only did they expect her to show up without hairspray, she was to arrive at the surgical suite with no cosmetics. As every Southern girl will attest, and particularly those who know my mother, that's tantamount to saying, "Why don't you just roll in here buck naked?" I have known more than one Southern lady, including my late grandmother, a former Miss Arizona and native of Texas, who expressed nothing short of outrage over this. All three times I've had surgery, I've taken my own pajamas and a full makeup kit to the hospital. I've dragged my tired, drugged-up butt out of the bed to put on my face and clothes while strung out on morphine...just in case I got visitors, you see.

As Mom continued to carp about the hairspray, it dawned on me that I had an ace in the hole: "Uh, Mom, hairspray is flammable. They're going to have a laser up by your hair in the morning. You need to forgo styling products." Of course, no sooner did I say it then I had a vision of Mom's hair catching fire during the procedure with a resounding FWOOSH! Bad thought. Very, very bad thought...Lady Clairol is keeping her a nominal redhead at this juncture, and we don't need to add literal flames to that.

I realize that this is routine, but Mom reacts strangely to things that have no effect on most other people. Three years ago, she nearly bled to death from a low dose of the most common bloodthinner on the market- something from which she has just barely recovered. Her hemoglobin count just rose into the low-normal range, which is why they can proceed with the cataract surgery today. I'm not prone to panic and I can't afford to let it get to me, but my nerves are shot. Now I get to sit here and stare at my cell phone until Dad remembers to call.

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