In which I am *not* the first terrorist of the year

nctsunI was not the first terrorist of the year this year because I was down here on The Planet Ann Arbor, slaving away in the salt mines on THE DAY THE SOO LOCKS OPENED! Two years ago, I totally confused some locks security folks in the small, usually quiet, city of Sault Ste. Siberia.

I remember that day pretty well, actually. I remember The Commander bustling around in her beloved house cooking for us, etc., etc. She was making a pork roast and I remember us discussing how to kind of jazz it up, plus we needed a couple of grokkery items in general. I put my backpack on and walked down the escarpment to the SuperValu and schlepped a whole pineapple and I fergit what else back up. I was worried about her living alone and driving (at 90!) but she seemed to be doing okay…

A few weeks later, we made another trip up. Similar stuff. We went hiking with the North Country Trail folks and then attended their annual meeting/presentation type thing at the Pure Country Restaurant in Rudyard. Looking back, I see a warning sign. The Commander didn’t want to go to the dinner. She had attended the year before, had a wonderful time, and was treated like royalty. Mrs. Finlayson, what would you like, can I get you anything, etc. … … But, okay. She was still bopping around cooking for us…

The next day, we drove down south and I didn’t call her for a few days. That was dicey. We were getting to the point where I felt like I really needed to call her every day. Or most days. It was hard. The Comm did not have dementia but she had difficulties processing conversational speech* and phone conversations in particular were tortuous. I wish I *had* called her sooner that week but I didn’t. She had seemed okay the Sunday we left, bustling around making breakfast for us. And then. I work. And we bought a blasted vee-hickle (The Frog Hopper) that Monday. When I finally called her on Wednesday night, her speech was slurred… Apparently, she suffered a small stroke later on Sunday (the day we left) and didn’t quite figure out that she needed help with that until I called.

A rather wild scramble ensued. I drove up the next morning only to find that a totally incompetent ER doc had DISCHARGED her with nausea meds!!!!! I have gone over and over and over and over in my mind what I should’ve done when I got there that day but the fact is that I am a systems analyst and I had no clue. So I spent a HORRENDOUS night alone with her in her house, got her back (by ambulance) to the ER the next morning only to have the same nincompoop try to discharge her again. No!!! (Thanks again to Our Northern Correspondent and also the GG and the UU for help and moral support. That was an awful day.)

That was the last night The Comm slept in her house (with me “sleeping” on the floor in the bedroom across the hall from hers listening for her to fall out of bed…). She initially recovered from the stroke quite well and I kind of expected her to live on for a few years. I was hoping that she would be able to do overnights at her house or the moomincabin when we were around. It was not to be. She never spent more than a few hours at her house again. She did an overnight at the moomincabin and a couple weeks at Jeep and Pan’s house. And then a loverly apartment at Freighter View assisted living. A downhill slide ensued. Repeated aspiration pneumonia incidents and then a damn c. diff infection that took her down. Hospital infections are bad…

I didn’t really mean to blahg about this stuff today but some of my facebook friends posted photos and videos about the beginning of the shipping season. And it got me thinking about the last couple years. And the year that *i* was walking around down by the Soo Locks when it opened for the season.

* A wonderful friend of Lizard Breath’s is a speech therapist and she has a *word* for what The Comm struggled with.

3 Responses to “In which I am *not* the first terrorist of the year”

  1. Tonya Watkins Says:

    I think it helps us cope to write about these things. For a while (I know for me, at least) I just couldn’t think about my mom dying. Couldn’t go there, just went on with life’s day-to-day “stuff,” which was actually horrific when I look back because the WEEK that she died, I had just started a new high-pressure job. She also contracted a very serious infection in the hospital after her latest (of many) back surgeries. It was so bad that she had to spend a whole month in a convalescent care facility (she was only 69!) Such a dark time, and I rarely revisit it. It’s a little easier now. It will be 7 years on May 14th (which was Mother’s Day then, plus her 70th birthday). Life is so very different without her. (It was “complicated” *with* her, but I would sure rather have her around.) :o(

  2. Tonya Watkins Says:

    Those DAMNED automatic emoticons! Not intuitive!

  3. Margaret Says:

    I too write to work through my emotions and it helps that others do the same. I enjoyed “getting to know” your mom through your blog; she was an interesting and strong personality. December is a blur to me, although much of it I would like to remember better.