Malto Mario


The Lady & Sons

1,000 Italian Recipes

Thursday, March 01, 2007

This has been an interesting few days...

And by "interesting" I mean horrific.

I've been keeping my baking gal pals abreast of the situation - but I've also received many e-mails from wonderful friends wondering where I've been lately. So I figured I'd share my week with you here. :D

I get a call around 9ish Sunday morning - I had actually just woken up, which is so unbelievably rare for me (I'm usually up by 5ish). The caller? My Mom.. my very scared Mom.

A lil background on my Mommie- I moved her from our hometown up here to where we live so she could be closer to me as she gets older. She's been up here now for going on 2 years. After we moved her in, we bought her a computer - thinking she'd enjoy the e-mail and surfing thing once in a while. I had no idea I was creating an online bingo monster.. the first thing I set her up on was Pogo - so she could amuse herself with a few games here and there. Mmm hmmm.. she found the online bingo and that was it. At any given time you will find my Mom planted firmly in front of her PC playing Bingo. And it's not a leisurely pastime any more.. oh hells no. This is a "career" of sorts now. She's discovered "tourneys" as she calls them. Yes, online bingo tournaments. The epitome of life in the fast lane, yes? She's ranked No. 2 you know. If I were to call my Mom to see what's up or to see if she needs anything and she is in a "tourney" at the time.. well - she won't answer the fakkin' phone. No, she won't. She'll call me back either after she's won or has been eliminated. Can you believe it?? She chooses BINGO over her FAVORITE DAUGHTER.

Okay so really? What's wrong with it? It gives her pleasure and she's made a few online friends - gals her age that love to talk about the "good old days".. a nice way to pass the time, eh? Well I'd agree with that mostly, BUT, my Mom's a smoker.. and she's always smoked quite a bit.. but since she's become a PC vegetable - her smoking has gotten out of control - it's over 2 packs a day now! And she doesn't eat (God forbid she miss a fakkin tourney while making dinner) more than once a day but prefers to guzzle pot after pot of coffee. I've noticed the effects just by listening to her wheeze when she speaks. I've begged her to keep snacks at her desk, to walk around her complex when the weather is nice, to leave the damn house on occasion - anything but sit there for 85% of the day (and night) smoking and drinking coffee. Her response to all of my nagging? She's 70 years old, she's raised her kids, ran her business, and has been responsible her whole life. Now she's going to relax and do as she pleases and no one, not even her dear daughter, is going to stop her. And so.. I give up. What else can I do? She's right.. she's earned the right to live out the rest of her days as she pleases - it's her life.

Okay so that's the background on my Mom.. back to that phone call.

Me: "Hello?" (all groggy-like)
Mom: "Lisa?"
Me: "Yes, Mommie?"
Mom: "Are you sleeping???" (all alarmed-like)
Me: "No, just getting up.. I sat up all night watching movies"
Mom: "Oh. Well I don't want to bother you, but..."
Mom: "I fell."
Me: "What do you mean you fell? Where? Are you okay?"
Mom: "I fell outside on the ice and I think I'm okay but I hit my head twice"
Me: "OH MY GOD! We'll be right over - DON'T MOVE" (I panic easily when it comes to her.. can you tell?)
Mom: "NO. I don't want you coming over, it's all ice outside and you'll fall."
Me: "..."
Me: "Mom, I'll be right over - are you in pain?"
Mom: "Yes, my head hurts and my back and my side"
Me: "Okay, just sit there.. we'll be there in 10 minutes."
Mom: "Okay, bye."


We both procede to get dressed in a manner that would be quite comical any other time.. we're rushing and neither of us are fully awake yet so there's a lot of stumbling and fumbling going on..

Just as we're leaving the phone rings again...

Me: "What's the matter, Mom - is the pain worse??" (caller ID ya gotta love it)
Mom: "No, but you can't come over here - the parking lot is nothing but a sheet of ice, you'll fall Lisa!"
Me: "Ma.. quit worrying about me.. I'll be fine - now don't move, I'm on my way."
Mom: "No, you'll fall and then what will I do??"
Me: "Okay ma.. then I'm calling an ambulance."
Mom: "No.. I don't need an ambulance, I just think I'm more scared than anything else."
Me: "Ma, Wayne worked for an elderly man a few weeks ago and on the last day of the job, the man tripped and fell down the last 3 steps and hit his head. He said he was fine.. he died the next day."
Mom: "Okay, call the ambulance."

I called the ambulance as we were walking out the door.

Thank God the rescue squad is about 1/8 of a mile from her apartment complex, so they were there by the time we got there. She was coherent and complaining of back, head and hip pain. Naturally, the MD that I am, diagnosed her with a broken hip. They put her neck in a brace and got her up on the stretcher and Wayne ran outside to salt the parking lot as it was unbelieveably slippery. Oh and by the way, if you were wondering what the hell she was doing out at 9 am on a Sunday morning after an ice storm? Well.. she doesn't watch TV or read the newspaper anymore - you see it gets in the way of Bingo. So she had no idea we had an ice storm and her niece and nephew were coming later in the day so she wanted to run to the grocery store to get lettuce. LETTUCE. As if they'd beat her with a leather strap because she didn't have salad in the house. God.

Okay so they get her in the ambulance and we were to follow after I rounded up her medications and her insurance cards. While I was doing that, he went outside to move the car up closer to her apartment. As soon as he got the driver's side door open, of course he slid on the ice.. to stop himself from falling he threw the keys inside the car and grabbed onto the door - somehow though, while he was getting his balance the door shut. And immediately locked. With the keys inside.

Shoot me.

He came back in and told me what had just happened. I started laughing.. the kind of laugh that I like to refer to as the bathtub laugh. If you've ever seen The Money Pit, then you must remember Tom Hanks' crazy laugh after he poured the hot water into the tub and the tub fell right through the floor? That laugh. Nothing alarms W more than when the bathtub laugh starts. So he was running around looking for my Mom's car keys. And while he's doing that it hits me (in between my manic giggling) - the image of my poor mom, crawling on her hands and knees from the parking lot back into the apartment - clawing into the snowbanks to give her leverage. That is how she got back into the apartment to call me. This would be the point where the laughing stopped and the breakdown started. So he stops searching to console me and then we both look for the fakkin' keys. Needless to say, we didn't get to the hospital until about 45 minutes later.

This story could go on for days people.. DAYS. As a matter of fact, it did. But I shall not put you through the shite my mother went through.. we'll fast forward to the day before yesterday..

She did NOT have a broken hip, she did NOT have an aneurysm, she did NOT even have a broken tail bone. Nope, none of the things that were giving her great pain were broken or on the verge of explosion. Her neck felt fine though. Mmm hmmm.. I never thought I'd see the day that I could announce to anyone this:

My mom has a broken neck. It's not just one broken vertabrae, no. It's two broken vertabrae. Specifically C4 and C7. BROKEN NECK. TWO VERTEBRAE. When she does it up.. she does it up right, eh?

But wait.. it gets better! Come to find out that the neck? It's not that bigga deal, kids. Nope.. they are more concerned about her blood/ox levels. She's only up to 85% and the normal level should be around 92%. She spent 4 days in the hospital because of her blood/ox level. Her neurosurgeon said she could have left the day after she fell. But the pulmonary gal.. huh uh, she wasn't having it. And because they couldn't get her level up - she could only leave if she agreed to use oxygen at all times and to quit smoking. She wouldn't agree to this on the 3rd day - so her ass was stuck there. She did agree to it on the 4th day.

I brought her home last night and she handed over all of her cigarettes (3 CARTONS + 3 PACKS just laying around her house!), all of her lighters and we cleared out all the ashtrays. The medical company that supplies her with oxygen came and set her up with an oxygen making machine and gave her some back up tanks in case the power were to go out. She took a shower and made herself a bowl of cereal (no, she wouldn't let me make her anything - she's the mom you know! She's perfectly capable of deciding all she wants for dinner is a bowl of cereal and she's perfectly capable of fixing herself a bowl of it! Sheesh.) And then I got ready to leave (it was 11ish by that time).. went to say good bye to her, figuring she'd be laying in bed.. found her sitting in front of her PC signing up for a tourney.

What did we all learn from this story?

Let's all say it together now: ONLINE BINGO IS DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH!

Comments on "This has been an interesting few days..."


Blogger Ilva said ... (3/02/2007 8:39 AM) : 

Poor you and poor your mother! But on the other hand, in a way it was good that she fell so that the blood thing came out...Always thought that bingo is dangerous, any online gambling is I think. Even food blogging creates dependence.


Blogger Gattina Cheung said ... (3/02/2007 9:00 AM) : 

Lis *hug hug*... although it's ture our parents absolutely have the right to live whatever the life they like, still, it just can't stop us worrying about them *loooong sigh*


Blogger breadchick said ... (3/02/2007 10:18 AM) : 

Lis! I'm so glad your mom is home. And how you kept your composure is beyond me. I know last year when I received the voice mail from my dad saying (in his best sing songy voice) "Honey, can you call me?" and when I call I find out my mom had a heart attack THREE DAYS before but didn't want to tell anyone because she didn't want to "worry the kids" I so lost it. Our parents are funny creatures huh? Hang in there!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3/02/2007 10:45 AM) : 

wow, that´s one heck of a bad week for you. Stubborn parents... I guess the whole role reversal phase when they get older must be extremely hard for both sides, but hopefully she´ll start taking better care of her health... and go a bit easier on the bingo as well ;)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3/02/2007 11:23 AM) : 

WOW! what a time! And yes online gaming is dangerous to your health, I have friends who are addicted now to online poker and they do just like your Mom they don't shower, eat, clean their house or go to work, go figure, all for poker!


Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (3/02/2007 12:41 PM) : 

Roller coaster of a ride with older parents. They do have very independent stubborn streaks.
Wait, I think I'm getting there very quickly! I think my boys might have some choice things to say along those lines.
You did very well Lis. Hope the stopping smoking is a success - that would be an excellent outcome with all this!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3/02/2007 3:02 PM) : 

Oh my, Lisa! I hope she has a healthy and comfortable recovery and is able to kick the habit for good! You did good - take care!


Blogger Unknown said ... (3/02/2007 3:11 PM) : 

Wow! I'm glad that she's okay and hope she's serious about quitting'll help her SO much! Hope your week has improved and that you get back to cooking soon!


Blogger Callipygia said ... (3/02/2007 4:16 PM) : 

Gosh Lis, glad she is addressing her smoking and perhaps find balance with the bingo- On a funny side, it is pay back for all the worries that we must put parents through growing up. There is the desire to say "it is my life" but of course we do affect each other. Be well sweet friend and make sure you and Wayne are taking care of yourselves!


Blogger Laura Rebecca said ... (3/02/2007 6:56 PM) : 

Oy. I'm so sorry for you and your mom. I'm glad she's home.


Blogger Peabody said ... (3/02/2007 7:21 PM) : 

Hang in there Lis.


Blogger tammy said ... (3/02/2007 9:45 PM) : 

Wow, what an unbelievable story. So glad your mom is okay.

What a great blog you have. And thanks for visiting mine. Sorry I made you snork!


Blogger maltese parakeet said ... (3/02/2007 11:17 PM) : 

gah! hope she's feeling much better soon.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3/03/2007 12:21 AM) : 

I am so sorry you've had a week. Its crazy how the roles get reversed as we get older. Hang in there!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3/03/2007 1:44 AM) : 


What an incredible story. I'm glad that you're close enough to your mom that you're there for her! I know that she'll be fine and I know that she's in good hands. Sending you a hug!


Blogger Caribbean Dreamer said ... (3/03/2007 9:37 AM) : 

Lis - I'll keep you & your mother in my thoughts. I hope she is well soon. Keep in touch & take care of yourself too!!


Blogger Kirsten said ... (3/03/2007 7:16 PM) : 

Oh my!!!! I hope your mom is resting and recovering and I hope you are feeling better after a big trauma!

Like I told Kristen re: her little sick Ella, if I could come over and make you homemade soup, lots of yummy cookies and strong cocktails and else whatever you needed to feel better, I would!! :)



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3/03/2007 10:47 PM) : 

Oh dear... you have had a ringer of a week! Hugs to you...
I'm glad your mom is home and if she can sit at a computer with not much pain in her neck, she must be doing pretty good!

I did have to chuckle at the keys in the car thing... I was laughing the bathtub laugh with you, not at you :)

Take care.... just remember... this too shall pass.


Blogger Sally said ... (3/04/2007 7:28 AM) : 

I'm glad your mom is OK and I wish her luck with stopping the smoking. I'm a Pogo addict too... but the bingo tourney's are crazy! I think they run all day and night.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3/04/2007 8:00 AM) : 

Oh my GAWD. I'm glad to hear that your ma can at least move about and is no longer in the hospital. I hope the non-smoking thing sticks and that she gets better soon :)


Blogger Helene said ... (3/04/2007 2:58 PM) : 

Lis: I am glad your mom is home and better. Wake up call, wasn't it? I hope things keep on improving.
I made a batch of chocolates, need some?


Blogger Lis said ... (3/04/2007 7:36 PM) : 

Aww you guys =) Thank you soooooooooooo much for the kind words and the well wishes! You have NO IDEA how much ya'll mean to me!

She's doing well.. 1 week into it and she's getting along well without cigarettes and seems to be in decent spirits. We'll start her doctor appointments next week and get a better handle of everything that's going on and how long we can expect her to be on the oxygen (if not forever)..

We've been doing a lot of laughing - it's the way we handle every stressful situation, my mom and I. If you can't laugh - you'll go insane, yes? =) But seriously, she really is doing well - and I whole heartedly agree with those of you who said that this fall was good because the effects of her smoking finally came out and she was forced to deal with it.. Secretly, I think she's pretty damn relieved to not be smoking anymore.

Again - thanks to each one of you! Many hugs!


Blogger Patricia Scarpin said ... (3/05/2007 7:40 AM) : 

I'm so late to comment on this, sorry!

I hope things are better now.
Be sure that all of us are praying for you!


Blogger Anne said ... (3/07/2007 6:34 AM) : 

I'm new to your blog, but I just wanted to say that, wow, what an experience for you. *big hug*


Blogger Lis said ... (3/07/2007 6:37 AM) : 

Patricia - Thank you, honey =)

Anne - Awww! Thank you for the hug - they are always very appreciated. BTW, I love your blog. :D


Blogger Ruth Daniels said ... (3/08/2007 4:55 PM) : 

Lis, I do hope all has settled down and that your mom can quit smoking "cold turkey". It's not that easy.

Love your sense of humor in the telling of this whole nightmare.


Blogger Meeta K. Wolff said ... (3/09/2007 1:35 PM) : 

Oh Lisa, you brave girl. I hope your mum is recovering and that you are keeping your nerves on the strong side. I am so sorry at this late response. Just catching up with all the missed posts during the time I was ill.
Huge Hugg!!


Blogger Barbara said ... (3/11/2007 9:56 PM) : 

Wow! That had to be incredibly scary for all of you! Thank goodness she didn't get hurt worse than she did. I'll be sure to keep her in my thoughts for a speedy recovery and to stay smoke free.


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