Happy to be Sad #4 From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Welcome to Coffee Hour and welcome to “Happy to be Sad,” a series based on the last eight days of my mom’s life. This series is also adding such color and depth to the “Loving the Unlovable” series we did just a few months ago. Please, grab your coffee or whatever you’re having and come on in. It’s a bit long today, so get comfy!

I forgot to share with you that my BFF had lent me her CD player and gotten my mom a CD of her favorite singer, Andrea Bochelli, and I had also brought some other CDs for her to listen to as well. I don’t know if you remember, but the Wednesday that she had been transferred back to the hospital, I was led to pray that she would be ministered to with music and she loves music. Anyway, she absolutely loved the CDs, and they so ministered to her heart and you could tell that she was becoming more at peace.

Now, getting back to where we left off, Monday, after I finished up with Blog Talk Radio, I hurried over to spend the afternoon with her and stayed for just a little while because she kept dozing in and out, mostly out. My brother got there about an hour after I did and sat with her when I left. He helped her with dinner and kept her company for several hours before joining us for dinner.

Tuesday, he had to fly back home to Washington and I was due back at Foothill Nursing to meet the van that was taking mom to her ortho appointment. Traffic was a bit heavier than usual, so I barely made it. I ran out of the elevator and there they were in the hallway. They had managed to dress mom in the new clothes I had gotten her for physical therapy so I was surprised to see her up, dressed and in her wheelchair.

When I got to her, I could tell something was wrong. She looked like she was about to cry, that is until she saw me and then you could see the fear disappear. The nurse was obviously also happy to see me. “There you are. She didn’t want to go.” I complimented mom on how good she looked, though deep inside I was the one getting scared because she literally looked as though she was disappearing before my very eyes.

The two people got her into the van, and strapped her in, and I got into the seat just in front of her. Every time I looked back to check on her, her head was bobbing up and down, and she wasn’t even fighting to keep her eyes opened. Looking back, I realize now that it’s because she should have been on her oxygen, but she wasn’t and a lack of oxygen tends to make one very weak and tired.

Anyway, the van ride from Glendora to Arcadia felt like forever, but finally we pulled up and got her out. We get in the place only to be stopped by the incredibly long line waiting for one elevator because the other one was broken. Finally it’s our turn and we get in and the girl helping with my mom gets us off on the wrong floor!@#$%^ So there we are, walking around and around, looking for this orthopedic office, while she’s calling her assistant who had foregone the wait and took the stairs to go ahead of us so he could give them the paper work. He isn’t answering his phone. Anxiety is oozing out of my pores and I’m trying to be calm while having to pee like a racehorse! Finally the elevator stops where we are; the door opens and the thing is crammed pack full! Next! So we wait another eternity while I’m doing the pee pee dance, and then finally get on and off and into the right office.

The drivers leave and I’m asked to fill out all this paperwork and by the time I sit down to fill it out, I’m crying tears of exhaustion and frustration, especially when it’s asking me all these things that I still don’t know about my own mother. I looked up, prayed a prayer for help and for calm, and proceeded to breathe in and out calmly, nudging my mom for answers to the questions I didn’t know.

A few minutes later, I finish the forms to the best of my ability and ten minutes later, I’m wheeling her in, but before I get her all the way in, what do you think I do? Crash the bottom of the wheelchair into the wall! Whew, those things need to come with driving instructions! Anyway, I got her into the exam room and the doctor finally comes in. He looks young enough to be my son! Great! At least Mom had gotten a good little nap by then.

After he examined her, he confirmed that he did not want any physical therapy being done on the shoulder/arm because it had to stay mobile. So much for getting all excited when we asked her to lift her arm as high as she could the day before! And we thought that was a good thing! Yikes, that’s why they are doctors and nurses and I’m a court reporter/author.

Wednesday, I had to work but my depo lasted just about 50 minutes, and it was real close to the MediCal office so I headed over there after work and optimistically went through the security check and proceeded up to Window 4, as I had been directed to do. I told the girl that I was trying to get MediCal for my Mom, and she handed me more forms to fill out. I took them and sat down, shaking my head in frustration because the forms were similar to the ones I had filled out. I swear, now I know why so many forests are gone! What a waste of paper, asking the same questions over and over again, for this and for that.

Anyway, I returned to the window with the completed forms, and she very quickly looked them over, typed a few things into the computer, left her seat to retrieve more papers and brought back the computerized version of what I had just handed her and asked me to verify that everything was correct. I perused it quickly, initialed it and handed it back. “Okay. Have a seat. We’ll call you in two to four hours.” “

What?” I shrieked. “Did you say two to four hours?” “Uh-huh.” “Well, can I leave and come back?” “No, ma’am, have a seat.” I sputtered my exasperation and turned around and walked back to my seat. “Guess it’s time to finish up that book on humility,” I muttered. So I took my book out and began to read it. It was one of those books where you can only read like four pages at a time because it’s so deep, you just drown if you read any more than that in one sitting.

About the third page, I hear my mom’s name called: “Shirley Bowers.” Sweet, I thought. I followed the little lady to her cubby down the hall and made this comment: “How do you guys do it? It’s so oppressive in here.” She looked at me and smiled and said, “Actually, yesterday and today have been quite nice. There’s usually a line wrapped around the building to get in here.” “Wow, then I know I’m blessed,” I exclaimed. Twenty minutes later, I was out of the MediCal office with a case number and the paperwork completed. All I needed now is about five of Mom’s signatures.

I called Foothill Nursing to check on my mom, and when her nurse came on the phone, she asked what time I was coming because my mom had been asking for me. My heart dropped, because I was actually going to take a day off; I was exhausted and knew I was getting close to my limit, not to mention, I had so much to do for Christmas. “I’ll be right there. I’m just leaving the MediCal office,” I told her. “Okay. I’ll tell her, then. She’ll be so happy because she’s been real lonely this morning.”

Great, that’s the last thing I ever want my mom to feel again, is lonely,” I told myself. I hung up and mentally put my plans on the back burner, following my heart to Foothill Nursing and Rehabilitation.

I better let you go, but, please, join me tomorrow for more of this bittersweet series.


Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Happy to be Sad #4 From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power”


    my head was spinning in circles trying to keep up with you. it made me dizzy. I can only imagine how you were feeling during all that. good work, keep it up…can’t wait till next time cuz you left me hangin.. 🙂 jk

  2. Sherrie says:

    Another rainbow from the storm to know your Mom was looking forward to being with you, and to know it was God thru you bringing her comfort and peace. Really warms my heart.
    Loving hugs, Sherrie