We were watching the Sea Inside last night and the part where Javier Bardem’s character is floating in the water was almost like a flashback this morning. I came to my desk, ready to put the weekend of Jazz Fest activity behind me and focus on work when I got a call from my mother that she had fallen and couldn’t get up (funny in a commercial and not so funny in real life).
I bolted out the door and got there only to unlock the door and find the chain lock on – the alarm went off, of course, and there was nothing I could do, I was trying to body slam the door and finally got the guys below to bring a hammer and claw the chain off.
Got to the bedroom and she was incapable of moving and didn’t seem capable of using anything – her hands, arms, legs – to help me get her back up in the bed and she didn’t want me to have the guys help. So I got in the bed and approached her from behind and got half of her in the bed and then peeled myself away and worked to use her leg to leverage a turn and roll to get the rest of her in.
She said I’d make a good nurse. Right.
After I got her in the bed, I went to call her doctor while she fell asleep. The police came, responding to the alarm, and I told them we were okay and then I picked up the basket that had fallen in the entry turmoil, the one she keeps on her front door for the pharmacy to put prescriptions in. There was a nest in it from a mourning dove.
I locked the door and felt like I was moving through jello – I sat down at the kitchen table and on her digital screen was a photograph of Arlene. Spread out on the table was yesterday’s newspaper open to the Obituaries. Again, thick thick Jello.
I took a deep breath and started the round robin of trying to get a doctor to tell me what to do next. Her primary care physician said he hadn’t seen her in over a year – funny, she told me she had seen him. The other doctor said she had Type II diabetes – I said really? I have asked her about this. Later, I questioned her and she said she did not.
Three doctors later, I told her I was taking her to the emergency room. She said, no way. We fought. I told her the only way she wasn’t going to the ER was to get up and walk to the bathroom by herself. I’ll be damn if in an hour she didn’t do it, shuffling like a crawfish and holding onto everything in her path.
So I told her she had bought time. I’m taking her to the cardiologist in the morning and then for blood work.
I repeat. 73 is not old.