The call

Yesterday was kind of a shit storm. I woke up with a migraine, which isn’t unusual for me, but it still sucked. I suffered through it for about two hours before I found my Imitrex, and even then it never fully went away. Mine are always accompanied by nausea, too. Then the cramps starting kicking my ass, which is doubly sad because my husband and I want a baby and have been trying unsuccessfully all year. My cycles have started growing longer again, which could mean I’m not ovulating at all, could just mean that my body hates me, and always means that there’s that tiny glimmer of hope that dies abruptly. And I’m not comfortable telling anyone in my real life about the situation, so that always adds a layer of frustration. You can see how I was sitting at work feeling pretty sorry for myself.

Then my mom calls. I had been waiting for this call since the day before. She lives in a podunk town three hours south of where I grew up, so any time she has any medical need beyond basic physicals and prescription fills, it’s kind of an ordeal. Some dizziness and neck pain led to her basically forcing her doctor to send her in for an MRI. It came back with something worrisome, so they sent her in for another one on Monday, with the results promised by Tuesday. It was probably nothing, they said. Just a shadow.

But it’s an aneurysm. That’s what they told her yesterday, 24 hours later than promised. If it truly was nothing, a delay isn’t a biggie, but to call and say, “Hey, sorry for the delay, but your carotid may rupture. It’s an emergency. Should have called sooner. K BYE” is pretty shitty. So yes, my 59-year-old mother has an aneurysm in her carotid artery. It will require surgery, but not in her podunk town. They are supposed to make her an appointment with a neurosurgeon she has seen for her disc problems before, though only God knows when that will happen. He operates at a private hospital in my hometown.

I’m now waiting for another call, the one with the appointment time, and then I’ll be waiting for a surgery date. I have to be there. I can’t fathom not being there for my mom while she undergoes surgery on her neck. I’m just waiting for the call.

I’m so scared and angry and frustrated and trying to keep calm and it’s not working and I don’t know how to let it all out with everything going on at work today and this week and for the next two months. I told my boss so that she would be expecting me to hop on a plane as soon as I know when. I hate the limbo. It makes it hard to get anything done or prepare or have any idea how to feel. I’m a spring-int0-action type of person, and when I just have to sit on my hands and concentrate on other things (ha!) while other people get things down . . . well . . . I’m utterly useless.

And I feel like an asshole for feeling so sorry for myself the first half of the day. So what if my fucking head hurt? So what if I had to keep a heating pack on my lower back all day? And boo-fucking-hoo that I’m not pregnant, when frankly I don’t know how we could afford to bring a baby into our lives right now but selfishly want one anyway. My mom needs me to get my shit together and act my age while she deals with a real crisis.

Here’s one of my favorite pictures of my mom, taken during a visit to Italy in 2005:

Now I will go back to waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the next call.


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