Saturday, October 28, 2006

Brain cells leaking out ears by now.

If I don't form complete sentences or this is riddled with typos, I apologize in advance for the vodka. Because this day called for vodka.

Today the cellphone was a-buzzin'. My mother called with a dire report that my great aunt is in the hospital, and from her description, it was AWFUL and HORRIBLE. She talked to her and she sounded terrible, so weak, and had to get off the phone. And then went off into a story about how the doctors aren't telling her anything and it's just like with my father, he died never knowing what was wrong with him. This is irrational bullshit,he'd been sick for 20 years, he was bedridden and on oxygen and a feeding tube, and the diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia was not hidden from anyone and I called it from a hundred freaking miles away two days before he was hospitalized. But he didn't know he was sick, and when he died, it was an Awful Shock! Welcome to My Mother's Parallel Universe.

We had just sent great aunt a cake via an online bakery and my mother was concerned that it was sitting on the front porch, so I needed to call my cousin, so she could call the neighbor across the street to collect the cake.

But the whole conversation was focused on the dire condition of the great aunt, and I was truly upset and trying to figure out how to get my mother to see her aunt, and remember my mother is 80 and I have a job that is killing me and I'd like to have a life of my own, selfish bitch that I am.

So I called Cousin C, who is the glue that holds the flaky communication tree together these days, and she told me a totally different story - she'd talked to the very same great aunt in the hospital, live and in person, and she's feeling much better. It was pneumonia, nothing to mess with when you're 93, and she's on antibiotics and has no temp and they checked her heart and pronounced it fine, and she's feeling much better and plans to go home tomorrow or the next day.

So my mother called back, AFTER talking at great length to my cousin, and is still telling me this grim version of reality of my great aunt's condition. My mother's version of it is that "there was someone in the room" so "she couldn't talk." Christ Almighty, I know exactly why great aunt had to get off the phone and promise to call her after she got home, I can imagine how she felt, lying there in the freaking hospital, 93 and sick, with my mother moaning over her, convinced the doctors are lying about her condition. I'd hang up on her too. Welcome to Paranoid World, aka, the world in which I spent half my childhood.

And I'm in the same fucked up world I grew up in, as if I'd never left, and of course I didn't - the clash between my mother's version of reality and everybody else's. To hear my mother, I should be planning to put in for days off for a funeral. My cousin tells me eh, the tough old bird is doing just fine. I told my cousin my mother's version of the story and she just sighed, "She always looks for the darkest side of everything. It's really sad." Yeah, hon, and I was raised in that shit, and the old lady is my responsibility. Pass the vodka. If I can't laugh about this, it'll kill me before her.

I was going to post pictures of actual knitting, but never got around to it. And this is my weekend, my break from the stress of the week. If my brain and/or heart explodes in the next year, you all will know why.


Amie said...

Screw knitting photos! I want pictures of the ring and the guy hot enough to take your gorgeous daughter off the market!!!

Congrats to her, best wishes to you all!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in that same sucks.
big time.
I just thank god
that I don't live in the same town or the same
house as she does any more.
I pretend I'm an archeologist
studying some weird social aberration
when i have to talk (well LISTEN)
to her on the phone...
hang in there, and I'd lend you my
*don't let the TURKEYS get you down*
MUG for the vodka,
but uh, I NEED it right now.

Bess said...

Blogger ate my earlier comment which is probably good - it was more information than anybody needs. But you're singin' my song, oh timewarp parallel universe sister of mine.

Let us all embrace our diseases and while we're at it, find more misery in life than ever put there by the guys in charge!

And aren't you glad you haven't taken those sewing lessons yet? Can't be asked to make the wedding dress that way.

Congratulations all around! and yes yes. we want pix!

KnitNana said...

What is there to say...? I was luckier than you in that my mom was cool and a stoic, but DD is like your mom! Not sure how that happened - must be from HIS side of the family, huh? lolol
Hang in there..

carlarey said...

How did I miss the engagement news? Congrats to the Girl Child. As for your mother, she sounds exactly like my grandmother. I refused to see or talk to her when I was pregnant because I wouldn't tolerate the predictions of impending doom. A woman who forty years ago wouldn't spring for a warrantied twenty year roof, because she wasn't going to live much longer. Two roofs later, she's still here.

Geogrrl said...

Ah, yes... that's familiar. I grew up with the same thing. There is no mishap so small that it cannot be turned into a dire event or gloomy news.

Once when my brother and his wife had not called her RIGHT AWAY after coming home from a trip, my mother started calling everyone she could think of. She was sure they'd been kidnapped or had an accident and were dead in a ditch somewhere. While trying to reassure her that they were probably fine, I got the snarky comeback from my mother "Well... I wish I could be as calm [read: uncaring] as you are." I merely replied that as yet I hadn't seen evidence of anything worth getting excited about.

Of course, they were fine. They'd just been too tired to "report in" when they got home.

Sorry to hear that she "got" to you again and glad to hear you had sense enough to get the straight story from your cousin. I started doing that myself as I cannot rely on my mother's version of events.

Catherine said...

I'll get her to beautify her nails and take a picture of the ring, and try to get her and the guy one of these days. We keep different hours and are hardly ever in the same room. I'll ask if they are game for an engagement photo on the internets.

Catherine said...

Carlarey - Oh, I so TOTALLY know that story! My son was born via an emergency c-section after a failed induction, his heart rate dropped to below 60 and we were raced to an ER. He spent a few days in the ICU on oxygen. The OB performed the fasted c-section in history and yanked him out of there (I know, I was awake on an epidural because they didn't want to risk putting me under, and the epidural didn't quite reach up to my ribcage, and holy shit it hurt). He was fine but for a partially collapsed lung which re-inflated on its own. We were both fine.

My loving parents visted their only daughter in the hospital, flat on her back after emergency surgery, and proceeded to tell me that there was probably something seriously wrong with my son but the doctors were keeping it from me.

Yeah. I'm not making that up.

Of course, the kid was fine, grew up insanely healthy and with a genius IQ, and was followed by a healthy smart sister 3 years later. If the doctor's 3 minute c-section and yank-that-kid-out delivery collapsed his lung and saved him from the severe brain damage he was on the brink of, she done real good.

So yeah, stay away from negative energy when you're having a baby. I took the word of the pediatric surgeon from Johns Hopkins over my mother's "feelings," and damned if he wasn't right! :-)