You know those days on your life’s calendar that you’ve come to accept… but that you’ve been dreading?
Yesterday was one of those life calendar days for me.
My Mom had surgery scheduled for early yesterday morning. I was awake all the previous night. Tossing. Turning. Trying to turn off the thinking.
I got out of bed at 4:00 am. I turned on my television. I got dressed. I drove to our local Dunkin’ Donuts for an iced coffee. I read a bit of our local newspaper.
I called my Mom, as she had asked me to do, at 5:30 am.
Hmmmmmm, I thought. This is unusual. My Mom never oversleeps, never mind on an important morning like this one.
Truth be told, I wasn’t hmmmmm casual. I was in immediate panic mode from the second ring on. My Mom truly does not oversleep. EVER. She has a system of 200 backups to prevent this from happening. She’s a wake-up genius.
I was supposed to pick up my Mom at her senior complex at 6:00 am. She was scheduled for pre-op at 6:30 am. The hospital is a good 15 minutes from her home.
I got in my car. I called my Mom’s number every 2 minutes. She never picked up. I broke every traffic law along the way.
That’s not a U-turn? Oops.
I know my Mom wears hearing aids and that she cannot hear the phone’s ring when doesn’t have them on. But it was very unlike my Mom to NOT BE UP, never mind NOT HAVE HER HEARING AIDS ON.
Was that just a red light? Oops.
As my Mom’s complex came into view, I saw NO LIGHTS from her windows. I drove right up to the front, rather than into the visitors’ parking area.
Oh, this is a Fire Lane? Oops.
I don’t have a front door swipe key to my Mom’s complex, but everyone knows me and I’ve NEVER had a problem getting in. I do have an apartment key.
Problem. It was 5:53 am. No-one was up.
But there was THE PAPERBOY. Or MAN. The saint with the orange box loaded with newspapers. He didn’t even let me ask if I could sneak in with him… one look at my frantic face was enough.
I tore up the elevator. Ran down the hallway. Unlocked my Mom’s door. To find her SOUND ASLEEP.
NOW IT WAS 5:55. AM.
The next few minutes were a whirl of mother/daughter with the daughter as the mother. Go to the bathroom. Not those pants. Where’s your shirt? You don’t need a bra. You’re going to be naked in 10 minutes. No lipstick. I said NO LIPSTICK. You don’t need socks. I’ll bring socks later. WE HAVE TO GO!
We sprint-marathoned it to the elevator, outside and to my illegally parked car.
“You parked here,” my Mom asked, shocked.
I didn’t answer because I was too busy breaking more traffic laws on our way to the hospital.
Fortunately, Jane was meeting us at the hospital… so I whipped right up to the entrance and sprinted my Mom to where she belonged while Jane parked my car.
We arrived in pre-op at 6:32 am.
Yes, I do deserve an Olympic medal for this new category: Pre-op Marathon
The edge was off the surgery a bit with all the craziness of the early morning and everything went beautifully from then on. Jane and I stayed with my Mom until we kissed her good-bye as she was whisked off to the OR. I choked back big, giant daughter tears until the sounds of the wheels were gone.
Then I waited. Jane had an appointment, so I waited alone. Barry texted that he had left a lunch in my car… and that made me cry. Barry showed up, waited with me awhile and then kissed me as he headed off to work. That made me cry. The agonized faces of the other people in the surgical waiting room made me cry.
Not CRYING crying. Filled eyes and tissues and heartache and the unknown kind of crying.
One by one, surgeons came to speak with the waiting people. One by one, at least yesterday, the news was good. Smiles. Hugs. Handshakes.
And 2 hours after I kissed my Mom on her way to the OR, my Mom’s surgeon appeared. She was smiling. She spoke. I got the basics. I’m a detail person, but this time I just got the basics. My Mom was going to experience some major pain. The pain would be managed. Re-assessments would be made day-to-day.
My Mom was fine. She was in Recovery. She would stay there until a hospital room was ready. That’s what I heard loudly and clearly.
I waited a couple of hours, checking in with the wonderful, wonderful nurses in Recovery by phone. I was told that I could call as often as I wanted… which was beyond wonderful.
At noon, one of the nurses said, “Why don’t you head home, have some lunch, so some errands. We’ll call if we need you.”
I live 5 minutes from the hospital. I hesitated with the leaving thing… but knew that Jane was working at my home. I needed Jane. I needed lunch. I had whipped up a huge pot of homemade chicken soup the night before. I left the hospital and headed home.
Jane and I ate. We told wonderful GrandmaRita stories.
And we went for a run. Well, first I called my Mom’s Recovery nurse, who told me to go for a run!
The short run with Jane’s company made me breathe easier. Feel better. Appreciate my relief & happiness even more.
But it would be Jane’s dog Tansy who would know what exactly I needed to actually bust out the joy after a very stressful day…
After our run, Jane popped in one of my favorite GAIAM dvd’s… Power Yoga Strength with Rodney Yee.
I had lots of emails to get out to family and friends about my Mom, so I couldn’t join in.
But within a minute or so, Jane whispered, “Mom. Come see this. But tip-toe.”
This is how Tansy busted out all the joy of a stressful day, as only a doggie can do…
But not only did she want to make me laugh, she was showing off her Yoga moves with her Mommy and Rodney Yee…
OK. OK. Maybe Tansy remained in her own “UPWARD DOG” position the entire time, but she did it with a great big, all-knowing, joyous smile…
And man… did she make Jane and me laugh with great joy at her great aplomb!
Yes, sometimes it just takes a smiling doggie doing Yoga to make one of those life calendar days all better.
(And I promise to go back to my law-abiding driving.)