One Simple Phone Call Changes Things

My Mom and DadAll it took was a phone call to change my mood and my focus.

I had an idea of what I was going to write about tonight – a conversation with a thin person on the bus about overeating at the holidays and being fat – but that all went out the window when my brother called.

My 77 year old mother had severe abdominal pains this afternoon and naturally (since she’s related to me) sat down at the computer to research it. She decided she had appendicitis so she and my dad went to the “doc in the box” clinic near their house where they were told that yes, she did indeed have acute appendicitis.

Mom went to the hospital in an ambulance while Dad went home to pick up some things for her and to call my brother before heading in to town to sit with her. Surgery will probably be tonight and if not, first thing in the morning. I’m not entirely sure what determines that, just that if the surgery is tonight, she may go home tomorrow. They certainly kick you out fast these days.

So instead of musing about food and points and the usual stuff about dealing with all of this during the holidays – I have something infinitely more important on my mind.

My mom has been living with COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) for serveral years and her lungs are damaged, making it hard to breathe. She’s a tiny little person, very careful with her food and making an effort to exercise more, though it’s difficult with limited breath and stamina. But she seems frail to me and I worry about her and about Dad who adores her. They celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary last weekend.

I told my brother that I’d always expected that one day I would pick up the phone and it would be him on the other end, telling me something had happened to one of the parents. After all, he lives in Texas, too, and sees them far more often than I do. I just never thought he’d be telling me an appendectomy was in the cards.

I know that the odds are that she will be fine, that Dad will be a rock and take care of her and maybe cook more than hot dogs. She’s only had one major surgery in her adult life and that was a hip replacement 17 years ago, and before that one she gave him lessons on cooking and cleaning. He’s relapsed, though, and this time there was no advance warning or time to prepare.

They were scheduled to drive down to Houston on Sunday to spend Christmas with my brother and all the grandkids; they have all of my presents to bring down with them. Now, though, who knows. There are things a lot more important than presents.

Please say a prayer for my mom and dad.