Last week, three emails from my mom downloaded into my box, respectively titled, “(Dad’s) metabolic panel for your records,” “thyroid screen” and “A1c.” Each opened to screenshots of Dad’s medical records full of incomprehensible (to me) numbers and abbreviations, copy-pasta’d and cc’d to my sisters and brothers-in-law.
I did what any rational person would and assumed this meant something terrible had happened. Probably, Mom sent them from the Emergency Room, in real time as soon as the doctors worked on my Dad.
(All my fearful, worrisome years as a mother of infants* with the accompanying thermometers and baby books, the paranoia about health and growth, the sleepless nights wondering if that cough dignifies a trip to the virus ridden pediatrician’s office — I’d thought I could retire the skill set. Instead, it neatly transferred to worrying about my dad. Which is the most useless thing ever, since 1) I don’t take care of him and 2) his health is declining, so worrying about it is totally useless.)
I braced myself and called home. When my mom acted totally normal and started talking about planting season, I couldn’t think of what to say or how to change the subject to what I’d called about, because I THOUGHT DAD WAS DEAD seemed kind of awkward. Although I did glean some enlightenment that maybe I should calm the fuck down, take off my hooded robe, and chuck the scythe I seem to be carrying around during all matters Dad related. I mean, how gruesome, right? But this is what life looks like right now.
“Dad woke up with some lucidity,” Mom said when I finally got her around to the emails. “He came right over to me and demanded I send you girls all his health history. He also told me to send everything we know about his mother’s medical records.” Then, “Those moments are so hard because when he’s his old self, I realize how much I miss him.”
By the time I call, Dad is already ‘gone’ again. The next day, Mom sends a treasure trove of medical data about Dad and his mother. It feels like a love letter, like Past Dad came through a portal of time to deliver it. It also feels spooky as hell, a warning written in ms/Lg ratios and ranges of ulU/mLs. I can’t shake the suspicion he broke the dementia barrier to warn me, or show me there a way to save myself if I can figure out the puzzle: despite their strong genetic and blood work similarities, my grandmother lived to her 90’s and never got dementia.
*Khaleesi of Childcare, the unburnt dinner supplier, Queen of the Andals and the First Husband, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Timeout.
OMIGOD TALK ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE
In an effort to distract myself from all the bullshit I can’t control
(and rather than do the productive thing like teach myself medicine, research my dad’s/grandmother’s medical records, make a stunning discovery, save my dad, save myself, and get some kind of shiny award, wheeeeeeeee!)
I’ve been spending my down time toying with the idea of self-publishing my wattpad story. It soothes my anxiety nicely, mostly because: ALL THE CONTROL! FONT! COVER! FINDING ALL THE HIDEOUS TYPOS AND THEN FINDING SOME MORE! AND THEN DYING WHEN ITS PUBLISHED AND THERE’S A TYPO ON THE FIRST PAGE, NOOOOOOOOO!
I probably won’t talk about that much here, but if we happen to share the unusual combo of interests (1)me bitching and 2)self publishing smutty books) shoot me an email, because I could always use more distraction.