How I scored free flowers for my yard

My mom had a cardiac catheterization done today. Because her Scleroderma causes scar tissue to form in her lungs, there is the concern that it will begin to cause scar tissue in her pulmonary artery and/or cause pulmonary hypertension. Since she has been feeling so sick for the past several weeks, her doctors decided to get a closer look at what was going on inside.

I was the designated driver for this appointment because first of all, I volunteered for the job. A driver was needed because my mom would not be allowed to drive after the procedure for the remainder of the day. My dad, considered legally blind, was not an option as the driver. Pretty sure it would be frowned upon should he attempt to get behind the wheel again. I also went along because my dad would require some babysitting  entertainment company. It was going to be a long day. Once the procedure is completed, it requires the patient to lay flat on their back for several hours afterwards.

The appointment was at 6:00 am. I told my parents I would be in their driveway around 5:20 or so. I know how long it takes to get downtown, and I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get downtown, then to the parking ramp and then to the heart clinic without rushing. My mom is not capable of rushing. Apparently, neither is my dad.

I was in my parents’ driveway at 5:20. My mom was ready. Dad was still brushing his teeth. And gargling. And looking for his Chap Stick. And checking his blood sugar. And making sure he had his Bible to take with. And deciding (for unknown reasons) not to take the Bible with. We left the driveway at 5:35.

Thankfully, we made it to the clinic just in time and got my mom all checked in and ready to go. When it was time for the procedure, the nurse invited my dad and I to wait in the waiting room and to be sure to check in with the receptionist so that we could be informed when my mom was done. So we did just that, then made our way to the cafeteria for some coffee. (FYI – just because the hospital cafeteria says they sell Starbuck’s coffee does not mean that the coffee will taste anything like the real Starbuck’s. Mine ended up in the trash, unfinished.) The coffee run killed some time anyway and then we headed back to the waiting room where I asked my dad if he’d like to sit near the television so he could watch the morning news.  He did not want to. He did not bring anything to read. It was a long wait. The people-watching was lackluster.

I proceeded to read my book on my Nook, check my work email, check to see if anything interesting was happening on FaceBook. I accepted a friend request from a friend who I am sure I was already friends with several times over. He just needs to quit changing his name.

Time passed. I’m not sure how much. It had probably been an hour or so. Eventually, the receptionist approached us and said that my mom’s procedure was finished and that the doctor would be out to talk to us shortly. She shouldn’t have been so specific as to when the doctor would arrive.

We waited.

And waited.

And waited.

The receptionist came and apologized for the wait and said the doctor should arrive soon.

We waited some more.

My dad got up and walked over to the receptionist. My dad is not a very patient man. Never has been. To make matters worse, he had just informed me that he was becoming less patient than he normally is. I refrained from reminding him that patience has never been one of his virtues. I worried what he might be saying up there at the front desk, but the receptionist didn’t look annoyed at all, so I figured he must have behaved himself. When he returned to his seat, he told me that he said to the receptionist, “I know the doctor is very busy, but does he know how unbusy I am?”

He seemed to think that was funny, so I chuckled. The receptionist came over to us and apologized again and said she was going to go back and see if she could “light a fire under someone’s butt.” I told her I appreciated any attempt she could make at butt-lighting. She disappeared for a few minutes then came back to the waiting room and resumed her perch at the front desk.

We waited some more.

My dad’s patience, what miniscule amount he may have possessed, was dwindling.

“This is terrible,” he said dramatically.

I didn’t really think it was terrible. Slightly annoying, maybe. Terrible was a stretch.

“Dad,” I said, trying to appease him. “Whether or not the doctor comes to talk to us right now, Mom still has to lay flat for several hours before they’ll release her. We’re not going anywhere anytime soon.”

“Well,” he said in his dramatic, drawn-out fashion, “at least someone could come out here and tell us, I don’t know… that the procedure is finished.”

“They did,” I said. “The receptionist told us that.”

“Well,” he said again, leaving whatever thought might have been there unfinished.

A few minutes later the receptionist came and apologized profusely, saying the doctor had just returned her call and was on his way.

I thanked her.

As she walked away, my dad asked, “Well, where the heck is this guy coming from?”

“Wisconsin,” I said.

If my dad found any humor in that comment, he didn’t show it. But I get away with this stuff because he has my kidney. I try not to push my limits though.

Finally, the doctor arrived. He suggested we all go back to my mom’s room so that he could explain the test results to all of us.  It was good news. Although the scarring in my mom’s lungs prevents them from absorbing as much oxygen as most people are able, (65% is normal, vs. about 13% for my mom) the scarring has not progressed to her pulmonary artery. In fact, the pressures in her ventricles and aortas are okay and the doctor described her arteries as “beautiful.”

At least there is not further damage. But the lack of absorption of oxygen in her lungs explains her constant fatigue. I guess it’s good to know the reason behind some of her symptoms so she can try to combat them whenever possible. (ie. stop pushing herself to do more physical activity than she feels able to manage.)

Armed with the good news, my dad’s lack of patience subsided to his normal levels of impatience. My mom was tired and wanted to try to sleep for a while, so she suggested Dad and I go find some lunch and not feel guilty about leaving her alone for a while. So we did. I must say that the cheeseburgers and onion rings served in the cafeteria were much more pleasing than the pseudo-Starbuck’s coffee we’d had earlier. We actually conversed and actually enjoyed each other’s company too!

An hour later, we returned to the room where Mom informed us it was impossible to sleep. But I know she enjoyed the break from Dad and me for a while. It would be two and a half more hours before my mom would be discharged and we could all go home.

Thankfully, my dad fell asleep.

Later on, after we had all returned home, I walked over to my parents’ house to check on my mom and she seemed to be doing well. She informed me that she wanted to buy me a hanging basket of flowers for my yard as a thank you for taking care of her and Dad today. I told her that wasn’t necessary.

She insisted that she wanted to.

I said on second thought, I would take her up on her offer. I think I earned it!

14 thoughts on “How I scored free flowers for my yard

  1. I’m so glad everything turned out OK. When I started reading the post and the name of the procedure, I was immediately thinking the worse. Then all those descriptions of waiting at the hospital brought all kinds of flashbacks. You are, as usual, such a caring, kind soul.


  2. Aww, that’s great news about your mom!! Yay!!!

    I know EXACTLY what your talking about with the fake-Starbucks. You might be surprised at how precise the process is for brewing coffee at Starbucks. Very detailed.

    So you have a guy friend who keeps changing his name? Ummm, that’s weird…..for anyone, but especially a guy!


  3. Playing the ole “he has my kidney” card again, huh? I bet you get a looooot of mileage outta that, don’t you? ;)

    Glad your Mom’s doing well. Even though the procedure sounds fairly “routine”, being in, or having someone else in the hospital is never less than nerve wracking!


  4. That is a very sweet gift for your mom to want to give you. Hopefully the plant will last a very long time. You sound like you got your patience from your mom, certainly not your dad. Ha. So glad things are going well for your mom. 13% is not much. Bless her heart.


  5. Glad things went okay. You never know, even when they say it’s a “routine procedure” and all.

    That’s sweet of your mom to want to gift you for your troubles. The doctor’s coming from Wisconsin. HA!


  6. Your comment about your Dad having to accept your joke because he had your kidney made me laugh. You’d think he got some of your sense of humor along with the transplant.

    Good to hear your mom is doing better.


  7. Glad your mom hadn’t had more damage.
    My mom does the “Well,………..” thing too… it can be very annoying at times.

    What kind of hanging basket are you going to get? I expect we may see some pictures of it!?


  8. Very pleased to hear the good news about your mom! I hope she gets to take it easy.

    And kudos to you on the new flowers. I’d say you earned them too. Sitting in a hospital for hours on end is never fun, regardless of what it is for.


  9. Glad to hear everything went ok. Nothing is ever routine when it comes to hospital procedures. I know it is necessary, but I still don’t like any procedure where they have to “open you up” to fix the problem. Some things are just not meant to be opened up. Still, glad mom came out ok and I hope she is feeling better.

    Your dad sounds like mine. Little tolerance for the “sit & wait game”. I did that several years back when my mom went if for a heart valve replacement. Spent the whole day in the waiting room. It really sobers one up when the child has to take care of the parents.


  10. That sounds like it was a long day for all of you … it’s hard to sit & wait, and even harder on Dads (who can’t do anything about it).

    You definitely earned the flowers … MJ


  11. I’m so glad your mother received good news. I’m sure you were relieved.

    I feel for your Dad. I am an impatient person. When my limited patience ends, well, I get a little argumentative. I also feel sorry for the people who are family to or have to live with impatient people. Trying might be a good word to describe us.

    Enjoy the flowers!


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