Left Eye Lopes (Five Dollar Complaints #6, #7, #8)

Readers, you need either a thank you or apology up front. I realize this place, which I consider to be more of a front porch sit on a hot afternoon with a glass of tea than anything else, has been more of a hospital visit on a cold, sleety, Tuesday in February. Yeah, I don’t want to be there either. I’m glad you still come and visit though, because I sure as hell need to hear my own voice even if I don’t like what’s coming out of my mouth. And you are very, very good listeners. I will bake you cookies.

At dinner on Saturday, my father said three things in my earshot.
“Hi kiddo”
“I love you”And a chuckle when RR told her favorite joke (What do you call a snake on a car? A windshield viper.)

This may have been because he was barely breathing as his cold/pneumonia/something persists nearly three weeks later. My mother says to me, “Well what’s the point of taking him to a doctor. I mean, their job is to make you better and they can’t do that, so what’s the point?” (That’s five dollars for #6, thanks, I’ll just owe you) You know, there IS still a point. You could keep him alive a bit longer. Or, at least, see if you can get him breathing again. Respiratory illnesses actually kill people. This is a known fact. Perhaps this is a good reason not to take a cross-country trip on Tuesday.

They were at our house on Saturday because Debra and I were planning to spend the day on an adventure, leaving RR with them. Come Saturday morning, my mother remembered this as going to see a movie in the late afternoon. “Come at 5”, I said, giving up the struggle. Grouchily, as Debra will tell you. Come at 5. They arrived at 3:45. Long enough for chatting, but not long enough to go anywhere. Given that I had been through a full 4 different plans to celebrate my wife’s birthday, this was just another drop in the bucket (#7).

My mother, who needs someone to talk to because I cannot imagine what it must be like to live her life right now, joined me in the kitchen. I actually can’t imagine it because of the ugly sobbing (mine) that follows. Oh you know, she says, thanks for letting me rest at your house this week. You know, those eye drops really made it hard to see. I inquire. Oh yes, I can’t see out of my left eye anymore, she says covering her right eye for effect. You see, you’re not there at all anymore! Says the woman who is hoping to drive 500 miles a day for the next three days, hauling a beast of an RV behind her (#8).

So, there you have it. Numbers 6-8. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. But now I have to figure how to get you to come over to listen to my work problems. Or maybe the ugly sobbing problems. Or my wifely duty problems. I’ll bribe you with pictures of my daughter but I won’t blame you if you have to stay home and wash your hair, instead.

As for those cookies:


19 Responses

  1. My MIL once drove to ALABAMA from fucking OHIO with full blown sepsis.

    I hope this trip is either cancelled or…. safely completed.

  2. As someone who is still recovering from pneumonia, antibiotics are magical and breathing is very, very important. If anything, it will make him a lot more comfortable.
    I also hope the trip is cancelled, or if she's super stubborn, safe. :<

    • I’m crossing my fingers for safe. She sent a picture of a half of a ham sandwich with one bite out of it today as proof that he was eating. Oh wait….I didn’t mention the whole part where he STOPPED EATING.

      • What! Oh no. :< Well, I'm glad he's eating something now. Hopefully it's super calorie dense and she's reminding him, too.

  3. Since my cookies always tank, I’ll wait for you to bring me some of yours. Fingers crossed for you and yours. xo

  4. Oh, sweetie. I can only imagine, and it’s awful, and I’m so sorry.

    I don’t know if it helps at all, but here’s a story about my family. This is a bit of a family legend, and it occurred before I was born, so please forgive me if the details are fuzzy (read: unknown). My grandmother went for a hike in a quarry with my father, uncle, and several of their friends. It may not have been a quarry, but it was definitely somewhere she was supposed to be wearing a hard hat. My grandmother, being herself, elected to fill her hard hat with pleasing pine cones instead of putting it to its more prosaic intended purpose. Low and behold, a falling rock whacked her on her unprotected noggin, causing profuse bleeding. They did manage to talk her into going to a hospital (profuse bleeding and all), but not into abandoning the hat full of pine cones. As she was being taken into the hospital, my grandmother was giving out directions on how the turkey was to be cooked, because of course this all occurred on Thanksgiving. So, yay for questionable decision making? Hell, I don’t know. I’ve got cramps and have treated myself to a large glass of wine as a result, so this may make very little sense.

    In any case, I will come hang out on your front porch or in your hospital or wherever you need to be, provided that you can give me a few days (er, weeks, occasionally) to catch up. Big hugs to all of you, and I hope for everyone’s sake things get a little better soon.

  5. I love cookies! Also, I am happy to listen to any current problems. Apparently I missed my calling as a therapist. I know it helps me immensely to have someone to talk things through with (with whom to talk things through? Grammar!).

    Jenny F. Scientist will vouch for me, I have my share of crazy family. My favorite crazy grandma (corduroys and army boots) just passed away yesterday… Thank heaven I was able to spend time with her a few weeks before the end. I’m so glad RR is still telling jokes, and your father is still chuckling.

    I do hope his infection is treated soon, and their drive is safe! I realize there is practically zero chance of them coming to their senses and staying home.

  6. Yes, there is always a point and a good one to try to feel as well as one can, while dealing with the other ‘stuff’. I am sorry they don’t seem to feel that way. Hopefully they will get him as well as he can be so he can enjoy his time. And I know my son will enjoy RR’s joke!

  7. Whoo boy. That trip sounds like the kind of thing that there is no stopping, so I hope everyone gets there safely.

    I’d rather be drinking tea on a warm porch than damp in a grey hospital, but drinking tea is no fun when you know your friends are getting sleeted on. So I guess what I am saying is no apology or $5s needed.

  8. My nurse senses are on total alert from this post. Can’t breathe?! Go be seen! Can’t see and it’s a new thing? DEFINITELY go be seen! Holy crap lady I’m sorry.

    Is your mom in any sort of counseling or anything? It might help her cope, if only a little.

    And of course, hugs to you. I can’t imagine what YOUR life is like right now but I’m right here listening for whatever you need to talk about!

    • And while you’re at it if you’d like to convince MY mother to get the counseling she’s needed for 30 years, that would be a great service.

      • The sort of counseling my mother gets only serves to make my life harder so it’s a mixed bag. I hope she’s drawing some purpose or comfort from it but I get exasperated since what I suspect is happening is the therapist says advocacy and my mother hears relinquish responsibility, ie. “when your relatives visit, ask them to make dinner one night” translates to “I shouldn’t have to do anything”

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