WEDNESDAY: I accompanied my folks to get their drivers licenses renewed. That's a long story for another day, but Mom was very anxious about passing her test.
No amount of:
BUT YOU'VE NEVER HAD A TICKET (how are we related?),
and YOU'VE NEVER BEEN IN A CAR ACCIDENT,
and YOU DON'T NEED TO TAKE THE WRITTEN PART,
and THE DRIVING TEST ISN'T GOING TO BE HARD
would ease her mind.
As I mentioned, I'm trying to get over and visit my folks more frequently. When my sisters aren't present, we are able to visit and converse easily. We had my folks over for dinner the day after Ed flew home from Budapest. This was largely because I didn't see Mom for Mother's Day. We had a delightful meal and we were all here. Lots of laughs. My kids were like, we should do that more often.
FRIDAY NIGHT: As I headed out the door to Reg's travel game, I asked Curly to ride her bike over and spend some time with my folks. She did that and Lad walked over with Finnegan.
Later Culry shared that when Nana went outside to pet Finn, Dad told her he'd only eaten a peanut butter sandwich for dinner because Nana didn't feel well. That might be the first sandwich Dad has ever prepared for himself. He doesn't make meals. Ever.
SATURDAY: Before I raced off to Reg's next set of games, Curly and I went to Costco. I got my folks a rotisserie chicken, a pulled pork meal to make in the microwave, and a bag of chicken strips for the freezer. Coach ran to the grocery store and bought them some easy potatoes and veggies.
When we dropped it off, I told Mom THIS COOKS RIGHT IN THE MICROWAVE.
Curly pointed to the world's greatest appliance and Mom sort of nodded. I marched into the family room and showed Dad the bag of breaded chicken strips and told him that he COULD make these himself if needed. "The directions are right here. You put them on a cookie sheet." I also told him that if they had no dinner to CALL ME, I'm a 2 minute drive away and I always have mountains of dinner food ready to go.
SUNDAY: I saw Dad at mass and I asked how Mom was feeling. He said she isn't any better, but when asked he said he wasn't sure what her issue was.
Me: Dad, on the way home from the DMV I begged Mom to go to the doctor. She said if she ever didn't feel well that she'd go. Remind her of that.
MONDAY: I was leaving for my writing group. Mini decided to come and meet my writing friends and listen to their comments about my writing. I asked Curly to go visit my folks again and Coach agreed to go with her.
Right after Mini and I arrived, Coach called to tell me that Dad needed to talk to me right away. Coach and Curly were still at our house when Dad called our landline.
I called Dad and he said: I THINK MOM'S HAD A STROKE (mini-stroke). THAT'S WHY SHE HASN'T BEEN FEELING WELL. ANN IS HERE. WE CAN'T CONVINCE MOM TO GET IN THE CAR.
I wasn't close to home, but Coach was. I told him I'd send Coach - besides, if Mom needed to be lifted into the car, he's the guy- he's stronger than me. (not by much, mind you, promise not to tell him that I admitted his superior strength). I think she'd already agreed to go by the time Coach arrived, but she kept stalling/arguing.
Coach: We can do this the easy way, with you walking to the car, or we can call 911 and all the neighbors will come running.
Coach later imitated Mom when she FINALLY walked to the car. She followed Dad and Ann. Coach walked behind her with his arms outstretched because she was unsteady. He said she stuck her tongue out at Dad and Ann like a little kid. Goodness.
Ann and my youngest brother, Mike, were at the hospital (2 visitor limit), so Mini and Tank and I went and hung out with Dad back at his house. One of my nieces was there too. Dad was watching Better Off Dead, finding it hilarious.
Dad told me when he thought something was wrong he called Pat. In Ireland. Pat and Aunt Leprechaun are in Ireland visiting her family for most of July. Aunt Leprechaun is a doctor, but I LIVE A FEW MINUTES AWAY. He admitted that Mom told him a few days before that her hand and her foot felt heavy. I was like DAD, THIS WOULD'VE BEEN GOOD INFORMATION TO HAVE.
Dad's brother is a neurologist in Texas and he told Dad to have her outstretch her arms. If one hand curled up a little, she'd had a stroke. The hand curled. Dad called Ann, a nurse next. I do appreciate that I was called, not for my medical know-how, but for my heavy persuasion or heavy lifting skills, perhaps.
Honestly, I believe this is a blessing in disguise. Mom is doing well and now she's being assessed. All the tests and blood work imaginable. The doctors asked her if she'd take a pill for things like cholesterol, if that was needed. She said no. Sigh.
In the meantime, I must say that navigating a sick parent is a challenge, but I feel like navigating a sick parent with our family dynamics is really difficult. Whatever issues are present are magnified.
There's a group text with my siblings. Marie insisted on coming in town from Milwaukee. This wasn't really necessary as any of us who are local could spend the day sitting bed-side watching Mom have tests done. When I texted to say that I had planned to go the hospital, Marie asked me to adjust the time when I was going to go. I went for a little while this morning, and left shortly after Marie got there.
Marie's texts have included things like THE SOCIAL WORKER WAS HERE. I GAVE HER MY NUMBER, AND ANN'S, SINCE SHE'S LOCAL. Of course.
I called Dad this afternoon to see if he needed help with dinner. He said Marie was picking up Culver's. I reminded him that I just bought them meals and that they are in the fridge.
I continue to feel boxed out, but I'm trying to focus on my feeling of overall gratitude - that Mom is getting assessed and that this was not a massive stroke.