Sunday, December 09, 2012


Tonight, I am writing you from the future – a future where sneaky people write and backdate blog posts, because the weekend was mostly too busy and filled with emergency room visits for regular posting. It all started Friday night, when after a craptacular week of people being pushed over the edge of the fiscal cliff, I decided to celebrate still having a job by going Christmas shopping and out for dinner with my mom. It was all looking good until we stopped for cat litter and beyblades. The store was even relatively empty, considering Christmas was only two and a half week away. With it not being crowded, we took our time browsing around. My mom got jeans, I got a couple pairs of cute $10 pajamas. It was great, unless we decided to leave the safety of Target in search of food. And that is when it happened.

As we were walking out into the parking lot, trying to figure out which aisle we’d parked in, my mom tripped and fell face first into a concerete parking spot divider. It all happened so fast. One second she was walking and the next she was struggling to get up from the wet concrete with blood streaming down her face. Being super squeamish about blood, I kinda froze for a second before I realized that this was going to require more than whatever wadded up piece of napkin I could find in my car to clean up, so we went back into the store to ask for a first aid kit. In the end, the security people at the store (who are apparently trained to help in emergencies too!) were very helpful in getting the bleeding under control and calling 911.
 While we waited, some Target representative catalogued all the injuries down to the last scratch on her knees. I think the lady was actually genuinely nice and concerned, but it was also pretty clear that in this litigious age, they weren’t taking any chances that anyone could come back and sue them for anything that was not on the accident report. By the time the paramedics got there, every scrape and bump had been inventoried and my mom was convinced she was just fine. She always thinks she’s fine. The gaping flap of skin and quickly swelling bump on her forehead, however, begged to differ. In the end, the EMT’s proclaimed that she was going to need stitches and offered to chauffeur her to the hospital a few blocks away by ambulance, but she wasn’t having it. So, I ended up taking her to the emergency room myself after making sure they thought she would be okay if we declined their help.  
Anyone who knows my mom knows that she is no stranger to the emergency room. We joke that Kaiser Sunnyside should have a wing named for her, because I swear her emergency room copays paid for their most recent remodel. In the past ten years alone she’s been there for a pacemaker, a couple of dog bites, an infected hobo spider bit (almost lost a finger!), but there were previous visits too. She attends all of them with cheerful stoicism (really, I’m FINE! I barely feel it. I don’t even need to be here!). I, on the other hand, worry, fret and suffer gacktacular rumblings in my stomach trying not to look too closely at at whatever she’s done to herself this time. As she gets older, I hate these visits even more, because I always feel on the nagging edge of sadness for some future day when I’m going to be hanging around a hospital waiting room because something happened to her like when my dad had his stroke or the subsequent heart attack that killed him. But I try to shove that feeling down.

In the end, it turns out to be one of the quickest emergency room visits ever. An hour and three stitches later, we’re in an out in record time. The next day, the bruising darkens. She looks like someone punched her in the face. Because she insists on taunting me with requests to look at the wound, I know she’s feeling okay. All is well that ends well and with a good excuse to tell people she was in a cage fight at the senior center.

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