I woke up yesterday morning ready to get life going. The holidays were spent with my immediate family circle and the Monday after failed a little in productivity due to the need to assemble a basketball goal (see yesterday’s post). However, yesterday was going to be different; I would be getting things done. Yeah, Mom had a doctor’s appointment at 10AM, but we would be back by 11 from that and I could get rolling.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
I got Mom her change of clothes and loaded the wheelchair in Lisa’s car. It was overcast and a little drizzly, so I wanted to avoid the potential for a wet wheelchair. Load the elderly one into the car and we were off. Traffic on the shortest route looked heavy, so I took a slightly longer one through downtown. Checked the gas and we had plenty. Engine temperature looked low. That was odd.
We approached downtown and I glanced at the gauges. Engine temperature was climbing high, but then it started to fall to normal again. Then it climbed again. Crap. Something’s was wrong. Turned on the heat to try to cool the engine a little, but no heat came through the vents and the temperature continued to climb and fall. I got on the edge of the red so I pulled over to let things cool and began to swear.
I limped along for a little bit, going a bit and stopping to let things cool, but I had to stop short of the doctor’s office. I called Lisa and she came to get Mom and take her to her appointment while I waited for the tow. My day already was not looking great, but I figured we’d still make it home by noon.
While I was waiting for the tow truck Mom had her appointment. Lisa called me and I kind of listened in. Blood pressure was a little high. Weight down 5 lbs from last visit. Added bonus of maybe blood or something in her urine. I can feel a panic attack waiting for me just out of the edge of my peripheral vision. It’s wasn’t reaching out for my chest yet, but it waited. After her appointment they decided to do some blood work and a urine sample, but she had no more pee. They start to get her to drink water in hopes of getting something before she leaves. A new prescription for an appetite stimulant was called in.
During all of this, I was waiting for the tow truck which didn’t show up until a whole hour and fourty-five minutes. Noon was shot and the day was looking like it. I walked up to a Bojangles up the street and met Lisa & Mom. Did we want breakfast this late? No. I hopped in the back of the truck and we went to get burgers to take home for us and the offspring.
At least the ride in the back of the truck was fun.
The hospice CNA called just as we arrived home. She would be there in 2o minutes for Mom’s bath time. I was about halfway through my burger when she arrived. ‘Pulled out towels and a change of clothes for Mom. It was after 2. There’s a little discussion about if Mom wants a shower or a bed bath. The CNA discovers a rash on her bottom while getting her undressed. This was new. The panic attack was standing behind me again. I breathe.
During the nurse’s assistant’s visit we got a urine sample which then had to go to the doctor’s office. My son asked me if I could play a game of horse after we finish eating, which by this point is approaching 4. I hadn’t had any time with him all day. I told him I needed to do a little work, so I made a couple of calls, answered a couple of emails and we played horse while I kept the panic attack at bay.
I grabbed Mom’s cup of pee and run out the door to the doctor’s office at the bottom of the hour. For a moment, I was amused at the idea of speeding down the road to get a cup of someone else’s urine to the doctor. I walked in and tried to make as many “I come bearing gifts” jokes as I could. Urine delivered, I got in my truck and received the following text message.
“Don’t forget her prescription.”
Crap. It was almost five at this point. The day was shot. I didn’t get jack done.
On the way home, the mechanic called. It was the water pump and it was covered under our warranty and that meant factory replacement parts! At least there was a little bit of bright news to end the day with.
Sometime around September of last year, I quit asking God why things happen. I don’t think everything happens for a reason. The world is a broken place; things break, trees fall, people die. It’s not always a test. There’s not necessarily some lesson to be learned. Stuff happens. Eventually the pendulum swings and this too will pass.
That’s not to say that I don’t believe God uses things in our lives to build us up and chisel away at us. He’s an expert at taking the decimated fields of our lives and turning them into groves of trees bearing fruit. But this idea that everything that happens — every little inconvenience, every major tragedy — is orchestrated specifically to teach a lesson. That I don’t buy.
I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before and I’ll certainly be wrong again. But looking at things like this has allowed me to maintain a bit of sanity for these past few months. Sure, my grip gets a little sketchy at times and that anxiety attack is always standing around the corner like a drug dealer giving out free samples knowing you’ll come back for more, but I’m at least mostly functional.