Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wasting my time for mom

My mother called last Saturday and asked for a favor. I don't mind doing my mom a favor. I just don't see that I should have to waste the whole day to do it.

My day went something like this:

I get out of bed and do the usual stuff while I wait for my husband to get out of bed. This doesn't take as long as usual, because on Saturday he has to work earlier than most other days. So I read the "news" on Yahoo while he takes a shower. I don't have a bath right then, there isn't time, but that's okay, cause I had a bath just before going to bed the night before. I brush my teeth and get dressed.

He is soon dressed and such, and we go get a McSomething for breakfast. We then come back home, make sure that he has everything he needs for the day, pack his lunch, etc.... He leaves at about 8.

I water the plants and look at a few things on eBay. At almost 9 I still haven't had a bath. I figure that I should get a few more things done outside before I do that. I'm still trying to remove two trees from the backyard, and I've cut down a large bush in the front yard, so I have this almost daily chore of cutting branches down into smaller pieces and tying them up for removal. There's not much point in taking a bath before I get this done, as I would just need another bath after.

I'm thinking that before I do any really hard work (and getting really sweaty and really needing that bath) I should go to Home Depot. In my head I start organizing my day. I'll go to Home Depot first, while I'm still clean, and buy string and check for clearance paint and lumber in the scrap pile. If I find lumber, that will be a lot of work, work results in sweat, things that result in sweat should be done before taking a bath. So Home Depot first. Then the rest of the outdoor work. Then the bath. Then lunch. Then indoor work that will probably not result in sweat. Then at some point I'll probably go to my brother's place. Then after all of that I might need another bath before bed, just because it's June and it's Texas and it's hot, even if you don't do that much stuff that usually results in sweat.

So at just about 9 I have a mental schedule of my day in my head, and I'm getting my keys out so I can go, and just before I leave the phone rings.

My mother doesn't feel well. She hasn't felt well all week and should probably have gone to the doctor earlier. But she didn't do that, she waits till Saturday to decide she needs a doctor, and she can't see her regular doctor on Saturday so she'll have to go to the minor emergency clinic type place.

Seeing someone other than her regular doctor probably isn't going to do much good, but she has decided that she really needs to go, and she has insurance that will pay, so she's going. She wants me to drive her to the clinic.

The clinic is right next to the Home Depot. Not only do I not mind doing my mother a favor, this happens to be where I'm going anyway. And I now feel better about the plan to go there, as earlier I'd wondered if it was a waste of gas just to go looking for clearance stuff. I could probably get the string someplace else.

My mother doesn't want to leave right away. She wants to take a bath first.

My mother is one of those people who always takes a bath first, even before going to the doctor. The is because a.) having a bath almost always feels good, and b.) my mother is one of those people who thinks that when you feel bad you should get up anyway and do all the stuff that you would have done if you felt good, and maybe while you're doing that you'll sort of forget that you feel bad. So maybe having a bath would really make her feel better, and maybe she'd stop feeling bad and not even need to go to the clinic.

But I'm thinking that she's sick and that she really does mean she's just going to take a bath first. I know that on a normal day (when she is not sick and asking for something other than a ride to the doctor) that the delay is going to be two or even three hours, and that I should say no, or that I should agree to whatever she's asking only if we have a set time later in the day and I can get my work done first. Usually, if she wants to do something at 9 she won't really want to go anywhere til 11 or 12. But I'm thinking that she's sick and that she's not going to be putting on makeup and doing her hair and such, or whatever it is that she does for those two or three hours. I'm thinking that she's literally going to take a bath and brush her teeth and get dressed and comb her hair, and that she'll be calling me back at about 9:30.

So I agree. My mother is sick, and I'll do her a favor, but it is early in the day and I'll probably still have time to do some of the stuff I'd planned to do before lunch.

I don't take a bath myself. All of the earlier reasoning and plans still apply, I'm just delaying for half and hour or so. And I don't even know if it's going to take that long. She's sick, she might be in a hurry, and she might call back very soon.

I watch TV for about half an hour.

I remember that there's stuff in the car that can't be in the car if I'm to have a passenger. The bag of clothes that I keep intending to drop off at Goodwill is still in the front seat. The stuff I bought at the garage sale two weeks ago is still in the back seat. Other stuff is in the floor. I've totally forgotten about it. I never have passengers. I just don't think about it anymore.

I run outside and look at the mess. A lot of it is junk that I don't really know what to do with. Some it is actual trash that needs to be thrown away. But I don't have time to sort it out. My mom needs me, and she'll be calling soon. I get a container, shovel everything in that I can, dump everything on the living room floor, and take the container back to the car and shovel in more stuff.

I find some glasses of the prescription before this one. I had wondered where those were. And here they were in a hard case in the front seat of my car, most days inches away from me, unseen. But I don't have time to do anything other than notice what they were and shovel them into the container. Then I take the container into the house and put it on the living room floor.

Okay, that was work. Not a lot of work, but it was starting to get warm outside. So the result of working outside when it is warm is--sweat. I don't like it. It isn't much sweat, but I don't like it. I haven't planned to have a bath this early, but now I want one. I decide that I can't have one, there isn't time. I have a Coke and watch more TV. The sweat dries up and probably isn't noticed by anyone but me. I don't think that I smell bad or anything. I remember to check the answering machine just in case my mom called in those few minutes that I was outside making sweat. Nothing. I go back to watching TV.

Sometime later I notice that it is about 11. I am sort of halfway mad at my mom and halfway wondering if her guts exploded and she's bleeding to death on the bathroom floor. Maybe I should call her.

But, she does finally call me. She is ready. She wanted to call and make sure I was still at home before she called the clinic.


She calls back. There's about a two hour wait at the clinic. But, she has heard that before, and she knows that she can "sign in" online, and that she can wait at home for the clinic to call just before it is her turn.

Okay, so I've just wasted two hours of my day because I thought she was really sick and needed to go to the clinic. But she wasn't that sick or she would have wanted to go at 9 or 9:30. And now I find out that she can do something online to reduce the time in the waiting room, but she didn't think that it was important enough to do that earlier, so there's probably going to be another two hours of waiting.

I don't ask her why she didn't do this online thing as soon as she got out of the tub, but that is what I'm wondering.

She says that she'll call back.

I still haven't had that bath. I still haven't done any work, other than getting all that stuff out of my car. And I can't either do my outside work or have a bath, because she thinks that it might be a while before she calls, but she doesn't really know that for sure. And I really don't want to start anything else that I would have to stop in the middle and/or put things away if she called.

I'm thinking that I should eat something. In my earlier mental schedule of the day, I either got things done well before lunch, or if I had taken mom to the clinic when I imagined she might have got done right about lunch time and we might have had lunch together. But now if I have lunch with mom it will be after noon, or even after 1, or even later than that. So I have some soup, and that way I won't starve, but I can still have lunch later with mom if she wants to do that.

While I'm heating up the soup she calls back, and says that she feels better. She still wants to go to the clinic, but she thinks that she feels up to driving by herself. She suggested that I go on and do whatever it was that I was going to do, and then if I get done in time I can drive her after, but if I don't get done in time she'll go by herself.

No, either I am driving her or I'm not. I'm not going to drive to Home Depot, buy stuff, take it home, pick up my mother, drive back to the Home Depot, and then wait for a hour or so. If she isn't sure she can drive, I will just wait some more.

She's sure. I go and eat my soup.

Before I finish my soup, she has changed her mind and calls back to ask if I can still drive her to the clinic. Since I haven't left yet, that's okay.

I go back to watching TV. I can't see getting anything useful done while I'm waiting for her to call. And I still haven't had a bath, cause I don't know for sure when she's going to need me. It will probably be still another hour, but it might not be.

She calls back and asks if I could come to her house and wait with her. Sure.

It is about 1 when I get to her house. The clinic calls not long after that. I drive my mom to the clinic. I know where I'm going, but she complains that I'm taking the wrong street. I'm driving. This is the street I'm driving on. This is the way I drive to Home Depot. The clinic is right next to the Home Depot. They have the same parking lot and everything.

Mother is still explaining how her way is faster when we get to the clinic. I am distracted a bit. Someone else doesn't stop at the four-way stop sign. He didn't hit us. Clearly his fault if he did, but I rather not be hit just the same. And I'd rather not have someone in the passenger seat talking about directions, especially to a place we're already at.

My mom gets out of the car, and I drive a bit closer to Home Depot before parking.

I decide against the scrap lumber and the clearance paint. I wonder if there had been more stuff available at 9.

I wander around the store looking at odd things I have no intention of buying anytime soon. I just need to kill some time while the doctor is talking to mom.

I think an hour passed. That's long enough I think. I head to the clinic.

Mom isn't anywhere I can see. I sit down. Someone puts in The Blind Side dvd. After a while mom calls my cell phone. She's waiting on an X-ray or something. I watch about half of the movie while I wait.

At about 3 my mom is done with her doctor visit. I think that it was a waste of time. She has a stack of papers of tests she should have in the future and such. I don't think that they did anything to make her feel better that day, except to tell her to take some over the counter meds that she already had at home. She does get sick like this a lot. Probably these suggested tests are things that have been done in the past. They probably aren't going to learn anything this time that they didn't already know from last time.


But now that's she's seen a doctor, and they did not rush her to the hospital to have some test that's supposed to be done on an empty stomach, and they told her it was okay to eat something if she felt like it, I thought we'd be either rushing to someplace for lunch or at least rushing to the grocery store. But she doesn't seem in a hurry to do either. There were coupons at the clinic for Chick-fil-A, cause there is one in the same shopping center, so she decides to go there.

After we order our food she remembers that she should take some tablet before eating, and she can't find any in her purse. They sell them at Target, also in the shopping center, and if she'd thought of it she could have bought some earlier. It isn't that far, and I volunteer to go get some.

So I walk to Target and buy her some pills. When I get back she's going on about how she didn't think that I meant to walk. But it isn't that far, and it's less trouble than moving the car again.

So she thanks me and pays for my lunch and I take her home. It is nearly 4 now. There's no point in doing anything before going to my brother's place. Except when I got home I did finally have a bath.

I said something like she couldn't have really been that sick if she felt like waiting two hours to do her hair. She disagreed. Or, she should have at least signed in online before she did her hair. Again, she disagreed.

She just doesn't seem to get it.

When I got home I found that I had dropped the missing glasses and they were on the side of the street. I had run over them. The case is ruined, but it seems like the glasses themselves might be fixed. I think that they just need some adjusting.

1 comment:

silly rabbit said...

Yikes! I used to live where it was hot like that and I get what you mean about the bath issue.
I don't get why your mom doesn't organize her time better. It would have made much more sense to sign in on line before getting ready. She must have assumed that you didn't have important things to do and that's not very thoughtful if she is asking favors.
Parents can be like that. I don't know how old your mom is. My dad is 86. He's like that. With him I think its mostly because he has so little to do himself that he stretches out his day to fill it. I think he's so used to moving slowly that he sees it as normal, not wasting time.
He is 86, which sounds old, but he comes from folk who live to be 103. Unlike your mom, he is in very good health and acts more like he is 70 than 80 plus.
As for the distraction while you are trying to drive... how annoying! I passed a group of women raising money for Race for the Cure the other day on a busy intersection. Cars were going in all sorts of directions and pedestrians were all over. These women are honking horns in people's open car windows and shouting. I nearly did not see the
woman step out in front of me to cross the street because of the hoopla. That can be so dangerous!
I'm guessing your mom wanted attention more than anything. If she feels sick like that all the time, maybe its depression and she doesn't realize it. If all those tests come out as nothing wrong, I'd suggest she try an antidepressant. Of course, I'm no doctor and I don't know your mom. Just saying...