Holy shit! The backlog of DLU photos I had leftover from my Birth Week was big enough -- I didn't even think to check this until this morning: as of today, I have 819 photos (that's after subtracting the three in today's entry) ready for use in future Daily Lunch Updates. We have Pride coming up this weekend, and Independence Day a week and a half after that. It's going to be a long time before I'm struggling to find photos for my entries again. It's always feast or famine, isn't it? Never a happy medium! Okay, that's not really true. Honestly it's closer to a happy medium most of the time. It just won't be for quite a while this year.
I got quite the scare this morning. I still don't know if being scared was all that justified, but it did bring home a reality I'm not sure I have truly, truly faced before now.
I got this message from Christopher on Facebook:
Just letting you know Mom is in the hospital again. She woke up this morning, went to the bathroom, started watching TV & then after a bit started having slurred speech, had hardly any control over her movements / balance & started throwing up. Face wasn't droopy but obviously cause for concern. Call an ambulance & she's currently at Shoshone Hospital. As I get more info I'll keep you posted.
At first I just responded to him: OMG. Okay, thank you
I still haven't sent anything else to him. But, this news alone overwhelmed me a little. Slurred speech? Vomiting? Barely more than a week after her last time going to the ER and needing stent placement surgery? Jesus fucking Christ. Suddenly a realization came crushing down on me: this could be it. Like, it. And I knew: okay, probably not. But one of these times it will be. And I am certain that time is coming, likely sooner than later, specifically with Mom.
The knowledge weighed on me quite suddenly, in a way it never has before. I was overwhelmed. I felt like I was going to vomit. I had to go out and get some air on the patio for a few minutes. The view of Puget Sound, always beautiful, was effectively calming. It really helped. When I came in, though, I started to text Danielle about it. She lost her dad just a few years ago (fall 2015), so of all my friends, I knew she would most easily be able to relate. She was exactly the friend I needed in this circumstance, and, really, she came through. She asked if I needed her to call me and I said no. Texting was sufficient and probably better. Talking about it would probably make me cry, which I don't need to be doing at work.
While I was texting her, I realized it would probably make me feel better to call Shoshone Medical Center in Kellogg, Idaho to speak to someone myself. I went to the private phone room near my desk and did just that. Very little is still known at this point, but I was assured that she's doing much better, resting after taking some nausea medication that immediately stopped the vomiting. I told the person I was kind of panicking and just needed to find out if I needed to be. She's going to need to have some tests done, so now I just wait for news about that.
Then I was asked if I'd like to be connected to Mom directly in her room, and I immediately said yes. Weirdly I was slightly taken aback by that suggestion; maybe deep down I sort of thought that wasn't likely an option if she was at the ER? Because that's specifically where I was transferred to. The transfer dropped the call and I had to call back and ask to be transferred again.
So, I talked to Mom. I could hear a little more slurring than usual in her speech myself. She's completely convinced that whatever it is is not a big deal and I have no reason to worry, but of course that doesn't make her right. I suspect that when her time finally does come, she'll be relatively clueless to a lot of stuff. Comforting as it is that my mother wants to try to keep me from worrying, now I worry to an extent I actually hide from her: I started to cry while I was on the phone with her. I managed to keep that from her, though; she couldn't hear it -- and I only spoke when I knew I could do it without my voice breaking. I just had this sinking feeling: whether it's now (probably not) or later, the day will come when I have a conversation like this and it will be the last time I ever speak to her. I thought a lot about "I love you" being the last thing we said to each other, which she actually said first when we ended the short conversation.
It's a surreal experience, this whole thing. Even when it's a parent you don't especially connect with anymore, one with whom you have a complicated history at best. She's still my mother.
I got off the phone and composed myself. Went to the bathroom to make sure I didn't have smeared mascara all over my face. So far so good! Back to work, honestly an appreciated distraction.
Lynne, who sits in the desk behind me, had left a cup of strawberries from her home garden on my desk, along with what I think was a sort of churro -- a long, thin bread stick covered with sugar sprinkles. She had already told me she'd be offering me some strawberries, but I had no idea it would be this fancy. In any case, it sure was a sweet thing to come back to on my desk. I don't think she'll ever have any real understanding of what perfect timing it was.
Oh, I guess I could mention real quick that I spent much of the day with Danielle yesterday. She first came over just before 10:00 in the morning so we could watch my DVD copy of the original The Incredibles, which Shobhit joined us for most of. I had reserved the theatre downstairs and at first we put the breakfast casserole Danielle brought in the oven down there in the community kitchen -- but then the theatre wouldn't work, so we had to move upstairs, something Shobhit kept suggesting from the beginning and was now annoyed we hadn't done to start with. Well, both Danielle and I wanted to watch the movie in the theatre. Sure, I didn't go down to check early enough that the theatre was working properly, whatever. Shobhit wound up going down to fetch the casserole once it was done downstairs.
Shobhit left around 11:45 am to get to his work shift yesterday afternoon. Danielle and I finished the movie, and we were then cutting it so close before the 12:30 showing of Incredibles 2 at Cinerama that she suggested we take a Lyft -- her app had a 50% off promotion she could use, so it cost her all of six bucks. She declared it worth not having to stress over getting there on time. We even shared the ride with another person, which I think also yielded her a price break.
I asked the driver if he makes a good living doing this, which he said he's doing full time, and he said yes. Days can vary widely as to how much he makes depending on how many rides he gets, but I guess when the money is good, it's really good. They also get bonuses for reaching certain thresholds of numbers of rides in a day, or a week.
Incredibles 2 was, of course, a lot of fun -- not quite as good as the first, but close. I'll happily see it again if Shobhit wants to go see it next weekend. Danielle was actually about to be bolder than ever and for the first time contact a guy she met online who lives in Seattle and see if he wanted to meet up, but Patrick basically fucked that up for her. Apparently Jordan, his daughter from the marriage previous to Danielle -- who is now 23! I about shit myself -- texted her that she was uncomfortable with Patrick driving them home as he'd had five drinks and was now asleep at the Mariners game. So now Danielle had to go pick up Morgan and Rylee, and it became a big melodramatic thing as Patrick was very defensive about it and nasty to her. Danielle had to call me last night so I could assure her she actually did make the right decision. Whether Patrick was actually drunk or not is irrelevant; when you get a text like that, you don't fucking ignore it. Danielle felt much better, so actually, between last night and today, Danielle and I found ways to make each other feel better. It's nice to have such good friends.
I just ate my vegetable pot pie for lunch out on the deck, sitting at the table across from Noah. It's actually slightly too warm already -- oddly, my weather app still says the forecast high is 84°, but the National Weather Service, which is the most reliable source, I just noticed is predicting fucking 91°! What the shit? I'm going to have to bike home in that. Yuck! 88° tomorrow, 87° the next day. Yuck! I'd say "kill me now," except I don't especially want to joke about death at the moment.
Talking about the weather with Noah, I actually told him a little about Mom being in the hospital, and I mentioned how much it helped to go out there and get some air. The beautiful view of the Sound is something I never tire of, and it really does have a calming effect.
I really do feel much better, at this very moment at least. I'm still waiting for word, but am now quite so worried or worked up right now. As long as things get better for Mom -- they will, until they don't -- I should be fine. I need to get back to getting some work done, I have so much shit to catch up on.
[posted 12:23 pm]