Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Mixed Day

My telephone rang at 7:00 p.m. yesterday. A glance at the caller ID informed me that the call was coming from my mother's cell phone, which I had thought my sister had taken from her when Mom was hospitalized. My mixed ancestry of Celtic fatalism and Germanic pessimism had me expecting the worst. I should not have!

The call was from my mother, re-establishing our normal routine of speaking with each other at about 7:00 p.m., just prior to Mom retiring for the night. I had not spoken to Mom since I saw her in the hospital on Monday, so it was a joy to hear her voice. My feelings of joy rose even more when Mom told me that she expected to be discharged from hospital today and would be returning to the rehab center.

I suppose that yesterday was a day of mixed happenings. In the morning I braved the 14 degree F temperature to go to the local Walmart grocery. Considering the pending lawsuit by 1.5 million female Walmart employees against this giant corporation, I was reluctant to give them my business. (You may remember that my father was a labor leader and activist whose belief in the rights of the proletariat where instilled in me when I was quite young).

However, I was motivated by two needs: Alex was running out of cat food and I was running out of the generic antidepressant my physician prescribed since I can no longer afford the medication that I had been taking. At the Walmart pharmacy I learned I can obtain a two-month supply of the medicine for only $4.00, which is about about 8% of what I have been paying. I also knew that Alex's choice cat food is sold my Walmart for about 60% of what it costs at the grocery where I used to purchase it.

So I braved the cold! And it was very cold! I shivered all the way to Walmart: the heater of my car, of course, did not begin to warm up until just before the trip there ended. I was still shaking from the cold when I went to the pharmacy and had my prescription transfered to Walmart.

It took me about three minutes to locate Alex's cat food; the wait at the pharmacy to have the prescription filled was about 45 minutes. The waiting area was filled with people, most exhibiting some form of physical distress: the sound of their coughing was a bizarre symphony from high pitched whooping to low pitched hacking.

After I obtained the medication, I returned to my no-longer-warm car and repeated the trip in the opposite direction. Alex met me at the door, expecting what I had brought him: his favorite wet cat food. When I opened the box and produced a packet of it, he leaped up on his dining table and began eating even before I could empty the packet into his bowl. The little furball didn't even say "thank you," although later he did invite me to rub his chin as he purred.

About 4:00 o'clock this morning I awakened to to find that my trip into the cold has brought me a cold, or perhaps the flu. I was shaking, chilled, and hacking. When I sat up and removed the CPAP mask, I found that I could not breath. So the trip into the cold brought a cold to me.

Yeah, I know that cold air or even being cold does not give one a cold. However, being around around people who are hacking and whooping and coughing just may bring one on.

I think I shall now go back to bed and try to recover!


I awakened from my nap to find I had four "missed calls" from my sister. I called her immediately and learned that Mom is having a blood transfusion: the blood thinning medication she had been receiving to melt the blood clots in her lung had done its job too well!

I talked with Mom, who is in good spirits and very hopeful that she will be back in the rehab center by tomorrow. She is determined to return to her home in Louisville as soon as possible.


  1. Oh dear. Love and healing to you and cyber chicken soup

  2. Rest well Nick, I hope you wake up feeling much better!

  3. So glad to hear that your mom is doing much better and anxious to get back home! Hopefully nothing else will stop that becoming a reality:-)

    I had to go to the Walk-In Clinic a few weeks ago go get a refill on my antidepressants and I'm pretty sure that's where I caught MY cold. The waiting room was packed and everyone was coughing on me...all I wanted was a stupid refill but had to wait 2 hours for it. Sigh. Hopefully you'll feel better real soon!!!

  4. Awww, at least Alex is happy!

    How cute is your mum? Going back to old habbits. It's nice.

    Get better soon Nick! Lots of rest and lots of drugs... be sure to get the extra soft tissues!


  5. I don't like walmart either, and you getting sick just gives me another reason not to like them! Take care of yourself.

  6. I hope you and your mum both get well soon.

  7. Like abby, I wish both you and your mom a quick recovery!

    (BTW? Alex is just a lovely cat! He's got personality that just shines through the pictures!)

  8. Hi Nick ~~ Sorry you caught a cold again and hope you are soon well.
    Glad your mother is coming good and
    will soon be home.
    That was a sad story of Alex. I hope the pet shop got fined heavily for
    what they did. His siblings probably died.
    Glad you liked the story of The Bell
    about the blind horse; it was nice.
    Take care Nick, Regards, Merle.

  9. oh my goodness what a day of ups and downs. I hope you feel better and your mom's health returns to the upswing it was before the blood transfusion.

    Take care Nick

  10. Hopefully the reports will be much better on your Mom tomorrow. Hope your cold is better soon. ec

  11. Can't have both you and your mother sick at the same time! One of you must get well fast! Hopefully, both if you.

  12. Nick, this is wonderful news about your mother! I am so happy! I also hate going to hellmart for the same reasons that you do. Every once in a while it becomes necessary. I justify these grudging trips because one of my brothers (the nicest one) works there. I hope you feel well soon, Nick. We all have colds here, too. It can be a miserable state of affairs.

  13. A blood transfusion worked wonders on Keith Richards- here's hoping for the same success with your mother!