It’s been 3 weeks since my mother’s death as of today, Tuesday October 4, 2011. I don’t believe I’m a contender for the ‘Daughter of the Year’’ award. My mother until today remained in the hospital morgue, no doubt decomposing. Only today was I financially able to send my mother to the crematorium and the funeral director came to see me at my friend’s apartment down the hall. My home is in a state of disarray and only getting worse day by day. I tend to my cats and the few remaining plants that are in my mom’s room, the rest of it can go to hell. We had a yard sale in the courtyard of my apartment building, took in $90.00, but it doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the things accumulated in 8 years of living in that apartment.
I wasn’t able to tell about my mother and me for a while, but now I’m strong and numb enough to tell our story. It may take a few entries because a lot has gone down in 3 weeks.
I didn’t know my mother was dying and it’s a blessing that she didn’t either. It was a cold. Just a common cold caught maybe in an emergency room, maybe at the local grocery store. My mother was healthy too, she had no compromised immune system, was full of life. The first week passed and I got the cold too, but I slowly got better. My mother didn’t. Two weeks went by and I began a campaign to get her to go to the doctor.
I’m getting better.
I think I’m getting better.
I’ll go next week if I don’t get better.
I once even threw my phone and nearly hit Dondee, the cat (not my intention). I remember mumbling terrible words, hopefully she didn’t hear. A word that started with a ‘B’, maybe even a ‘C’ word. But she forgave me like always. I don’t think I deserve forgiveness, but if she hadn’t forgave me, told me “I know you’re just worried and you’re hungry,” I would have that on my conscience for life.
All our arguments seem petty now. My mother was the one who could throw me into rages of my own making, my perfectionism and frustration. So stupid of me, so bitchy. I’m so thankful for her, “I know you’re just worried about me,” so thankful.
I should have known she was dying when she stopped watering her plants, when she wanted me to drive everywhere, when she’d leave food and drink containers out when she was done with them. I watered the plants a couple of times, but I was still weak and sick, coughing hard at exertion. Mama, I’m sorry. I tried so hard to get you to go to the doctor, but you were afraid of the cost and you were a former RN afraid of medical help. I’m really sorry.
Then Monday September 12, 2011 came.
“I need to go to the doctor. You were right. I’m not getting any better.” I always like to be right, but not this time. We debate on a walk-in clinic or the hospital. I call the walk-in clinic. $168.00 for a visit, up to $200.00 if a patient needs an x-ray. My mother had Medicare, a $100.00 deductible, though she never used it before. We decided the ER is the best bet, you can be billed. My mother realized she couldn’t walk enough to get to the car anyway. We came up with a plan, so that we wouldn’t be separated at the hospital. I’d call our friends, Elsie and Bob, they’d come to take me to the hospital, and we wouldn’t call the ambulance until they came. It wasn’t a matter of life or death anyway, right?
I called my best friend to let her know what was happening and she said she would try to come out after work. Waiting for my friends I tweeted on my phone:
trying not to act afraid. dissolved ativan under tongue, mom needs hospital
why is it everything bad happens in sept, autumns revenge?
i wish my friends would get here. still have urge to vomit
While waiting for our friends, I avoided my mother sitting in her chair in the kitchen, being with her made me more anxious. I’m sorry, Mama.
When my friends got there, I called 911. I told the dispatcher we thought she had pneumonia and that she was so weak, she had trouble walking. The woman told me to not let her drink anything anymore in case it affects what the rescue squad does to her. My mom thought this was silly, but complied. Though my mother could barely walk, she insisted on changing the garbage bag and I took out the trash. I helped my mother get to her ragged recliner and then went to meet the ambulance. The rescue workers took one look at the cluttered apartment and couldn’t figure how to get the stretcher inside, so I said, “It’s mainly mine. I kinda hoard stuff to resell.” More fodder for the’Daughter of the Year‘ award. The rescue worker listened to my mother’s lungs and said they didn’t sound too bad, but they decided to take her in her weakened state. When they got my mom in the ambulance they waited a long time stabilizing her inside as is customary now. I rushed through the apartment finding whatever I could. My mom’s toiletries, drinks and food in case I got weak, and a few amusements for me in case we had to stay a long time. I checked my cats’ food and water, then we were off.
Rush Limbaugh played in the background of Elsie and Bob’s truck as we made the 5 minute trip to the hospital. My mother and I often listened to him in the car while eating lunch, hearing the ‘other side’ of things and tsk tsking. It was sunny.
To be continued…