My mom is 81-years old and pretty good health. She has her aches and pains, but she eats well, gets a lot of exercise (running to Wal-Mart every day), and usually follows the doctors directions. A couple of months ago, I had a scream-fest on the phone with her for not going to the doctor when she was feeling bad due to a serious urinary infection. I finally got my dad on the phone, and convinced him to disregard what mom was saying and call 911 to get her to a hospital.
I was running interference from 1,000 miles away because my mother has begun to lose all of her common sense marbles. They didn’t admit her that day, but sent her home with some serious medication, which was followed up by the visiting nurse every other day for three weeks to make sure she was getting better. She did get better, and she told me that I’m not allowed to yell at her any more. I told her if she was going to be pig-headed, then I was going to yell. End of story.
When I was in Florida recently, we had a good conversation, and she agreed that if “anything” came up, i.e., no matter what – she would call the doctor. Our “Come to Jesus Meeting” wasn’t painful for either of us.
This, however, was the conversation that we had yesterday:
Mom: I have to tell you something that happened to me yesterday. It scared the crap out of me!
Me: What happened?
Mom: I was walking into the kitchen and my legs were paralyzed! I couldn’t move my legs at all, so I grabbed onto the kitchen counter so I wouldn’t fall. Then my heart started pounding so hard I could see it beating in my chest. It looked like it was going to pop out of my chest!
Me: What was that all about, and why didn’t you tell me sooner? What did you do?
Mom: I called to your dad to come help me to lie down on the bed. He said I looked kind of pale, too.
Me: And, the next thing was you called 911 or daddy took you to the emergency room, right?
Mom: No. After about an hour, I felt fine.
Me: Did you at least call the doctor?
Mom: No. Last time this happened, Dr. G. set me up with one of this blood pressure monitors that I had to wear for a week or 10 days, and it was a pain in the butt.
Me: WHAT? What do you mean last time?
Mom: Oh. Yeah. I guess I forgot to tell you, this happened before about a year ago, too. Doctor G. couldn’t find anything wrong with me.
Me: So, now you are a doctor? And you know that you are ok just because this happened once before and you think its ok?
Mom: Well, yeah. That and the fact that there was an article in the newspaper and the doctor that wrote it said that sometimes this happens, and they can’t figure out why.
Me: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? NOW YOU THINK YOU CAN DIAGNOSE YOURSELF? WHEN DID YOU GRADUATE FROM MEDICAL SCHOOL? WHAT THE HECK? WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST GO TO THE DOCTOR AND FIND OUT FOR SURE WHAT WAS WRONG?
Mom: If I knew you were going to get upset, I wouldn’t have told you.
ME: WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK? YOU COULD HAVE HAD A TIA. YOU DON’T KNOW!
Mom: Well, considering that I had this happen before, and then the article in the newspaper, I figured I would be fine.
ME: MOM, FOR ALL YOU KNOW THE GUY THAT WROTE THE ARTICLE? HIS FIRST NAME COULD BE DOCTOR!
Mom: [Laughing] Ok. Ok. I am taking your Aunt to see Dr. G on Tuesday, so I’ll make sure to talk with Lisa or the new PA. Will that make you happy?
Me: Yes. And, you better do it too. I have Sharon’s (Dr. G’s Office Manager) e-mail so I’ll be checking on you.
Mom: OH. MY GOD.