Thursday, June 18, 2009

Role Reversal

Written in February 2008

It was about mid morning and I was chugging through the late week work, trying to meet my deadlines, when I my cell phone rang. My cell phone rarely rang at work, and I hear it even less. For some reason, I was able to hear it, and it was my mother. She was injured at her school and needed to get to the emergency room for some test. She was nervous, but being the stubborn woman that she is, insisted upon driving herself.

It was wierd, we were mother and daughter walking into the emergency room, but our roles were completely reveresed. As the sliding doors opened the smell of hospital disinfected assalted my nose. We were usered into a cubicle type room that was used for registering patients, and waiting began. A nervous paramedic in training named Maria popped into the room to take my mothers vitals. While Maria was in the small cubicle, a surly nurse squeezed in to make the room feel smaller. Poor Maria tried to finish her tests, but the surly nurse pulled rank and finished them for her.

Our next stop on the Emergency Room Journey was to our very own cozy room, with the warm and inviting lighting of the neon lights and the sterile furniture and uncomfortable bed. My mom was wheeled in and instructed to strip down and wear the gown. Now on a normal basis this would not sound inviting, but my poor mother was already cold with her two winter coats on. She was a true sport and did as she was told, without complaining as I would have.

After what seemed like an eternity, a woman came into our curtained room and introduced herself as the doctor. At first she was gentle and relating to my mother. She was attentive and answered my questions, but suddenly, the gentle doctor turned into a moodswing monster. The doctor snapped at my question, and shoot a look that would have killed a grizzly from miles away. It sure shut me up quickly. After the cold front left the room, we waited again.

A nurse, different from surly nurse, came in to take my mother for tests. I watched the clockand waited as the minutes clicked by. I used the phone, I got a drink, I read both pamphlets in the room (the first about germs and the second about tetnaus shots, and learned more than I really wanted to know about either), was completely out of my mind bored and worried about my mom. She may be stubborn, and tough, but she is still my mom.I started to think, how wierd it was to be worried about her. I had a flash of role reversal when we were on the way in, but it was really setting in this time. My stomach started to churn in a way I had never felt. My imagination had come up with a what seemed like a million scenarios as what the future held for my mother.

By the time my mom came back from some of the tests, I had concluded that she was going to have a myriad of diseases and health problems, most of which I could not spell, nor pronounce.Dr. Moodswing flew back into the room just long enough to curtly tell my mother she was FINE and should feel that way after taking multiple pain pills she was prescribing. We were discharged, FINALLY. We left the hospital the world was back the way it should be, my mother was ok.

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