I spent all day Monday with my mother. In a hospital. (Hospital, on my day off.) Around the sick and injured. (I don't do sick and injured.) All day. (I certainly don't do sick and injured and hospital IN THE DAY TIME.) Gah! With a crappy signal on my iPhone. (NO INTERWEB?) This was not looking good.
My mom is having spinal surgery next month. Today, we drove to Oakland Kaiser Hospital for her preoperative consultations. I seriously considered smothering myself with one of those plastic, patient belongings bags on several occasions during the day.
The first meeting was with her surgeon. He was, like most surgeons tend to be, an arrogant ass. When I discussed some concerns that had arisen during her previous surgery, he became a bit pissy. Rather than address our concerns, he blew us off. One thing he did do that I liked, he lowered my mother's expectations for the surgery. She had been thinking that this surgery would SOLVE ALL HER PROBLEMS. He made it clear that it might NOT solve ANY of her problems. I just want her to be prepared.
Then we met with anesthesia. The dude was nice. He seemed to understand my mom's long history and complex medical problems. Then we met the education nurse. Her accent was so thick, my mom could not understand her, and I had to translate. I could have done that meeting at home, in my pajamas, sans bra, all comfy like. One hour I will never get back. Then we went for lunch.
Since it took us 40 minutes to find a handicapped parking space that morning, there was no way we were going to forfeit it. I wanted to eat in the hospital cafeteria. My mom wanted to walk. This is the woman that falls down all of the time. She wanted to walk. She is having surgery primarily to improve her gate. She wanted to walk. JUST FUCKING KILL ME NOW. You know how parents walk with their hands encircling their just walking toddler as they stumble along like a drunk? I did that through the streets of Piedmont with my mother.
After lunch, back to the hospital. Met with the general medicine doctor. He had no grasp of my mom's cardiac history or bleeding disorder history. He freaked out about her low blood pressure, even though it has been that low for four decades. He also had an accent my mother could not understand and I had to translate for my mom. Great. Back to the waiting room.
The waiting room was so full that we had to go sit in the children's area. All I could think of while we were sitting there was that it was probably covered in snot, poo and puke cooties. Sitting in there was seriously creeping me out. All we were waiting for was labs and pre admissions. I offered to draw her labs myself if I could please get out of the germ-infested waiting room. They wouldn't let me.
Finally just as rush hour traffic was about to start, we finished. Then I got to spend an hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic with my neurotic mother. I just kept breathing deeply. I started to plan my evening: change into my jammies, pet the dogs, hug the spouse, watch RuPaul's Drag Race, then Dancing With The Stars, play on the internets, maybe have some dinner at some point, take some allergy medication and get into my comfy bed. It worked. I got home in one piece.
But after Drag Queens, Dancing Queens, etc. I am still wound up. I can feel the day sitting right where the shoulder and neck meet. And cooties. I still feel the cooties.