Monday, April 24, 2006

"The worst part of all this for me..."

Dad should be coming home today. I went up Saturday and he looked great. Almost himself.

So he was finally talking about the whole hospital experience, a conversation I have been looking forward to, though not willing to press him for. I figured he'd talk when he had something to say.

And so he did. He mentioned that he had no recollection, at first, of not only the day of surgery, but several days before and after it. So he woke up after having been returned to ICU and had no idea where he was or how he got there. He assumed he had been in a horrible car accident. That incredible disorientation, combined with the hallucinations caused by the drugs, (and the amazing number of invasive tubes and wires, while strapped to a hospital bed and surrounded by my weeping mother and sister and an ever changing roster of priests,) was his worst moment. Fair 'nuff.

Mom said HER worst moment was when they told her to say goodbye, before the surgery.

My worst moment, as several of you know, was when my mom called to say he'd had a heart attack (when he actually hadn't), a deadly case of pneumonia (before he actually had pneumonia), and, the winner and still champeen, a stroke (which, again, he did not have). If this sounds like the worst part of it for me was the fact that my mom made up bigger, more operatic problems to enhance the whole illness experience, you are right! ding! ding! ding! ding! ding!

A minor, but nagging, additional crappy part was just dealing with my mother's constant criticisms of

*the hospital
*my father
*their friends
*my uncles
*my father's dead relatives
*the entire extended family

and, of course, me. If I have to hear one more time about how UGly my great grandmother was, and how she used to stare into the mirror and CRY about it, and "you're the spitting image of her, Christine", I will scream.

When I saw them last, my mother recounted a dream she had this week about being on the playground, and everyone was teasing her about her grandmother. "Stop teasing me! It's not my fault she's so unattractive!"

I am going to take that as lightly veiled concern that MY appearance is an embarrassment to her. Because, honestly, what else could it possibly be?

And, the third worst part was the weekly confrontation with my absolute inability to drive well in DC. I have taken quite the tour of Anacostia and environs over the past 6 weeks, and am glad to be here blogging about it today.

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