Friday, June 1, 2007

Busy Afternoon

Near the end of the work day, Bobby called. Could I leave early, drive to Stanton to pick up an order before they close at 5pm, then drive it down to the job site in Huntington Beach? He and his brother were going to finish up most of the install. So I left early (even though I'm about a day behind), and did just that. When I got there, Bobby said his car wouldn't start. He'd been listening to the radio and working, and suddenly it had just cut out.

Luckily, I always carry jumper cables. So we hook it up and... nothing. Still won't start.

I'll call AAA, have the car taken to the dealer, go with it and leave my car for Bobby while they work. Then I'll just have Mom pick me up.
So I look at my phone, and I have a missed call from Mom. I call AAA first, then call her back. I tell her I was going to call her, and noticed that she had called, then explain the situation and ask if she can come get me.

"Um... " (long pause)..."yeah."
Then she tells me why she called.
Gma's legs have been swelling for awhile now. Apparently people with her type of cancer often wind up dying of kidney failure, and her kidneys were operating at about 15%, so the doc had recently taken her off some drugs for her heart that have adverse effects on kidneys. The thinking was that her weak kidneys were allowing excess fluid to accumulate in her body. We were told to limit her fluid and sodium intake.

This morning Gma had complained that she was so swollen that it took her 45 minutes to find a pair of pants that would fit her. So my mom called the doctor's office, and asked what to do. The doc wasn't in, so they said to just go to the emergency room. When they got there, they got her an oxygen mask, and checked her in, but she wasn't actually seen for another 4 hours - they had two different 5-year-old children come in, both of which barely lived (one had been choking on a peice of food and was still choking when they got to the hospital; they wound up having to cut his throat open to get it out), so they were a little preoccupied. Gma was patient.

Once she finally saw the doctor, Mom explained her diagnosis and the situation. When the doctor left, the nurse asked Mom if she had a medical degree. She'd spent so much time trying to understand everything the doctor has been telling her so that she could relate it to her family, that she sounds like a doctor. The doctors wanted to keep her at the hospital for a few days. So yes, she could pick me up, but she was going right back to the hospital later.

(In making calls to the family to give the update, Mom talked to Rachel, and later said it seemed to dawn on Rachel why Mom had previously said it was too much responsibility for her. I think she realized then that she really wasn't ready for that, and really it was just that her pride was hurt.)

Back at the job site, Brian shows up and they are talking about the car, trying to see if they can figure out what is wrong. Bobby pulls out the owner's manual, "No way!" They tried jumping the car again, this time reading the directions, and... it works! Bobby joked that he felt like less of a man for having to read the directions.

I call AAA back to cancel the tow, and call Mom to let her know. Then I go to get some food for all of us, when Bobby calls again. They've cut a hole in a pipe and now they need to drain the system. They bust a pipe, can I drive home, pick up the hose and bring it back? Ugh. OK. Seemed like I did a lot of driving that day due to some poor planning.

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