Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Not So Funny.

Sometimes I wonder why my sense of humor is so strange, then after one conversation with my mother I wonder no more. My parents have a place in Maine, where they spend most weekends in the summer. It is very close to a place we used to camp when my sister and I were young.

When we were on vacation almost with out fail someone in my family would end up getting rushed to the emergency room. We were at the hospital often enough that some of nurses knew us by name. “Oh the Dow family is here. What is it this time, third degree sunburn, spider bite, broken arm, bee sting, swimmers ear? No? You split your head open with an ax, Ok the Dr. will be right with you.” My father was the one who split his head open. I wasn’t there and was told my mother didn’t throw the ax at him, that he got it caught in a clothesline while he was splitting wood, but I am not sure I believe that.

A couple of years ago my father whacked his hand metal door handle. He hit it just hard enough to break the skin and cause bleeding. Not an injury bad enough to land you in the hospital, that is until he woke in the middle of the night to find his forearm had swollen to twice it’s normal size with large red lines running down the length of his arm. Off to the hospital he and my mother went. I am sure they argued the entire way about which was the best route to take and if he was actually over reacting to the pain and should have waited till morning.

As it turned out he had contracted an infection in the cut, overnight it had formed a cyst. The emergency room doctor put him on antibiotics and sent him home to see his primary physician. He was then referred to a surgeon to remove the cyst. God love the HMO’s. My father joked with surgeon about loosing his finger. Un-amused the doctor told my told him he would worry about his finger when he was sure he could save his whole hand. There are few things that spoil a joking mood like the loss of a hand. Luckily after a week in the hospital and surgery the surgeon was able to save his hand with his finger intact.

This past Saturday was my mothers turn for a health scare. That morning she slept a couple of hours later then is usual, like most people post 50 she is up a the crack of dawn. When she woke up her left arm was numb and she was feeling light headed. She thought she was having a heart attack. My father immediately went in to panic mode. He was able to get it together long enough to get an ambulance to take them to the hospital. This time he didn’t argue with her. Less then a week before they’d attended a funeral for a classmate who had dropped dead of a heart attack. He was a year younger then my mother.

In the emergency room she was hooked up to a heart monitor, she had tubes coming out of everywhere as she put it. My aunt and uncle who camp next to my parents came to the hospital to see if there was anything they could do. “I am the only person I know who gets visitors in the emergency room,” she told me chuckling.

The doctors tested her for everything they could and found nothing wrong, not even the stress test showed anything. The doctor told her it was probably nothing, just to be on the safe side he would monitor her overnight.

She was admitted they were able to give her a private room, no thanks to her HMO. Unable to take my father’s moping any longer she sent him back to camp with my aunt.

Her nurse came to take her dinner order and off handedly told her a priest was at in the building and asked if she’d like to see him.

“Priest?! I guess.”

The priest came and administered last rites.

The nurse came back. “Would you like to fill out a Do Not Resuscitate order?”

“What for? Am I dining and on one has told me?” again chuckling.

“Not that I know, but we have to ask everyone,” not chuckling.

“Can you believe it she asked me for a DNR right after I got last rites?” My mother thought this was hysterical.

She laughed when she told my grandmother. She laughed when she told my aunt. She laughed when she told me. When she told my father she laughed hardest. All he said was, “Maureen it will be a long time before I can laugh about this.” He walked away in a huff. She laughed again.


At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Nicole said...

This is a really beautiful story about your folks.

I'm rather sad that I didn't make it up actually. The last couple of sentences are gorgeous.

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Nicole said...


is she okay???

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Scott E D said...

Thanks, She is OK. She has just been under a lot of stress and hasn't been taken care of her self.

At 8:03 AM, Blogger The Persian said...

Holy shit the priest gave her Last Rites? And she was going to be fine? Thats insane I don't blame her for laughing.

At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Nicole said...

ach- well I hope you all tie her down and make her relax- :)

At 1:58 AM, Blogger coolbuddha said...

Sounds like the priest was doing a bulk order for last rites (do they get a commission?) Glad your mum's OK.


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