“A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running” ~Groucho Marx
”The Impatient Patient” says it all. This was how I spent my beautiful sunny October Saturday, but it’s all good. Here’s the deal: Mom had a bad cold for the past two weeks and lost her hearing about five days ago. After a crazy “deaf mom” call the other day, I decided to get down to Ocean City and cart her ass to the hospital (her fourth time seeing a doctor, mind you) to see what’s up.
Yes, you can hit seventy and see a doctor less than a handful of times — a pretty good track record for someone who smokes, has a daily Coke infusion and her excerise regimen consists of dialing QVC.
Mom’s sick list: 1. when she had me (OK, this is not technically sick) – 2. emergency gall bladder surgery 3. When she was hit by a truck (story for another day, but again, not really sick either).
My brother, Jesse, pulled up just as I rolled in to town, and after telling Mom he’d pick her up kicking and screaming if she didn’t come quietly, we arrived at Shore Memorial and checked in. Soon after, an extremely fidgety Mom began rattling off some pretty funny lines, so after the first few, I just had to get my pen and start jotting them down. Here they are – with a bit of context:
Soon after she had to put on the dreaded blue and white hospital gown: “I better get some damn good drugs out of this.”
They ran some tests, with all looking of them good except her off-the-charts blood pressure reading, so she had to take a pill and wait. When we were told it would be about an hour (which turned out to be four) she looked at us and said calmly: “I’m contemplating murder right now…” About an hour into the wait, she said “Can we hit a fire alarm so we can get the hell out of here already?” She then asked me if she smoked in the restroom would an alarm go off — come on, are you f’in’ kidding me, ma?
When mom walked back into the room after her Catscan, she looked at us and said deadpan “The lobotomy went fine”. The lady in the other bed said “wow – she’s really funny!” through her slightly blood-stained curtain.
While we waited and waited and waited for the discharge paperwork she muttered “I’m growing older by the minute waiting here.”
Ma, you know you really shouldn’t smoke any more, right? Her reply was simply, “I’m addicted”. Well, what if they tell you no beer with your new meds, ma? “I just don’t care what they say.”
ITALIAN LESSON: Hospital room = stanza di ospedale
Reading the caution list for those with high blood pressure, NO SMOKING was one of the top ten commandments. Mom’s retort to that “So, which is worse, smoking or eating and drinking, because if I quit smoking I’ll end up being a fat alcoholic.”
Today she told me not to waste my money on her prescriptions, since you wouldn’t keep putting money into an old car, because it’s gonna conk out anyway, so why bother? (UPDATE: she IS taking her meds).
So far so good. The hard part is going to get ma to see a doc for her high blood pressure, so if me and my bro Jesse (seen below) are among the missing anytime soon, you know who probably did it.
Don’t make our blood pressure rise, go back to the home of MADNESS here: www.MadnessMomandMe.com – thanks!