Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Mother's Love: One Heart Broken; Another Heart Healed

There are so many reasons I love my mom. When I tell these stories, people often think I’m being mean or complaining or that she’s being mean to me. Maybe you can’t understand it unless you grew up with it. I don’t know. We have a funny way of showing affection in my family, but it’s affection nonetheless.

On Sunday I was really sick. I ended up crashed out at Jasmin’s house while everybody went to choir because I was too weak to stand up and was seeing double. I think it’s my blood pressure nastiness again.

In any case, the big debate of the night was: should I go to the hospital or not? Jasmin wanted me to go, my mom didn’t. They both had excellent points. Jasmin’s was, umm, you can’t walk you damn fool, go to the hospital before your vital organs shut down! My mom’s, well, you have to go to the doctor on Thursday anyway, and they’re not going to do anything permanent for you at the hospital. They’ll just straighten out the immediate attack with a super-expensive IV and refer you back to your family doctor. Ride this out and save a few hundred bucks.

I’m broke so mom won out.

Anyway, I finally dragged myself home at like 9 o’clock. I walked in and my mom was like: “God, you look awful. Pale as a ghost! Maybe you should have gone to the hospital after all.” I was like: “Yeah, this sucks, I’m just going to go to bed.” She responds: “Okay, well, hey, while you’re up could you bring me some grapes out of the fridge?”

All sympathy, my mom.

So this morning I went to the doctor. He heard how low my blood pressure was getting and kind of freaked out. In fact, I was supposed to be there because of my vertigo problem, but in the midst of all the blood pressure stuff, we never even ended up talking about that.

He ordered an ultrasound of my heart, blood work, and I guess I’m going to have to wear one of those 24 hour heart monitoring things. I called my parents when I got out and told my dad, who all freaked out and was like: “THEY THINK YOU HAVE HEART TROUBLE?” After calming him down, I talked to my mom, who, of course, couldn’t have been more cheerful. Our conversation went something like:

Me: Yeah, so I guess if the 24 hour monitor doesn’t catch anything he’s going to order another one for thirty days.
Mom: Oh, that’s not so bad. It’ll be a hassle, but no problem.
Me: Wow, I thought you’d be kind of upset, given the family track record with heart stuff.
Mom: It’s just like when I tell you “I’m going to die” and you’re like “Oh, we’re all going to die someday.” Same thing.
Me: Yeah, but there’s kind of a difference, mom, you say that every day. I don’t walk around saying “Oh, I’m going to die” all the time.
Mom: Not yet you don’t. Wait ‘til you fail that heart test!
Me: Mom! I’m actually worried here!
Mom: Trust me, once you fail that test, you’re going to worry a whole lot more!
Me: Oh my God, mom, your youngest child is sick and suffering and you laugh?
Mom: I can’t help that it’s funny!
Me: You are a sick, sick, cruel human being!
Mom: ::laugh ends in a sigh:: Yeah.

Thanks for the reassurance, mom! Nothing quite like a mother’s love.

I really do feel better about it all, though. Which probably makes me a pretty sick human being too.