Wednesday, February 27, 2013

...Sometimes I'm Wrong, and Sometimes...

This time last week my mom drove herself to the emergency room.

After a few weeks of pain that no one could seem to determine the cause of, she finally decided it was worth the trip. This was a sure sign to the rest of us that something was really wrong since mom’s pain tolerance is off the chart but we had to remain cool because Mom can’t stand panicky people.

She called very late Wednesday to let me know she was still waiting to talk to one of the doctors. Thursday morning I got to work and had just missed a call from her. She left a very casual message on my voicemail about having been admitted and that she was scheduled for surgery that afternoon.

“If you want to call me back, I’m at…”

That’s a direct quote. As if I was going to decide, “Nah, I don’t want to call back.”

I called back immediately, got the details, called my sister to report, then fled from the office for the longest drive ever to the hospital.

She was watching something like People’s Court when I got there. She was supposed to be telling me what was wrong and what the surgery was about but she kept stopping to comment about the people on the show.

We talked like she wasn’t in a hospital gown with an IV drip next to her bed.

At noon they came to take her to pre-op and I walked down with her. The little transporter guy appeared to be about 10 years old. My mom says that’s a sign of aging: when everyone starts to look extra young to you.

I must be aging rapidly.

We were in pre-op trying to watch the Wendy Williams show when my sister finally made it. Over the next hour and a half various members of my mom’s health team came in including an anesthesiologist that was not only remarkably nice but at some point I noticed, remarkably attractive. And about seven feet tall. I’m not exaggerating. After he left I realized my neck was hurting from looking up.

The anesthetist was equally tall, nice, and handsome with a smile like Joel Osteen.

A few more people came and went including nurses and different types of doctors and I couldn’t believe how nice everyone was.

There’s usually one bad, ignorant and/or annoying person that keeps coming in with misinformation and a stank attitude. Or at least, as Family Guy’s Stewie would say, “the sassy black nurse. ” (We found her way later in the evening but she wasn’t on my mom’s team, thank goodness.) Still for the most part, everyone made me feel okay about the situation.

After her surgery they told us that recovery would take 1-2 hours but 20 minutes later one of the waiting room volunteers told us that our mom was awake and would be going back to her room soon and we could walk with her.

This transporter could pass for 12. He pushed my mom through some double doors and my mom’s head popped up and she smiled and said hi to us all. She said she didn’t remember a thing and it felt like she had taken a short nap but felt refreshed.

Back in the room, still more nice people coming and going before some conversation with my mom and the decision that she could go home that night. My mom was so happy to be leaving they almost had to chase her down to get her in the wheelchair to deliver her to the curb.

She rested most of Friday and by Saturday you would have never known what the week had been like.

Mom was fine and pain free and I was glad to be wrong about every thought I had been thinking about the health care “profession” during the weeks leading up to her getting better.

I still have some misgivings about doctors and hospitals and medicine in general but I can admit when I’m wrong, and this time and in this space, I was (happily) very wrong.

Then there are the times when I get it right the first time.

I was learning more and more to get into my Nook and my mom said she was surely wishing for one or something like it while she was sitting bored in the Emergency room waiting for someone to tell her something.

We went for the Kindle Fire HD and basically I can only say that had I received this instead of the Nook, I would not be (almost) converted. That crap would have gone right back to the store and I would have gone right back to practically living at the library and waiting for my favorite books to hit the price drop bin.

First of all, why do I have to pay extra money for a charger? When I opened my Nook everything was in it to get started. I ended up having to go back out to two stores to find the Power Fast adapter charger. That’s an extra $20 plus gas.

Then there was no charging light. We didn’t know if the adapter was broken, the Kindle was broken, is it charging, or is it done.

The Nook had enough stuff on it to let you take it for a test drive. The Kindle won’t let you do crap before you register but read the Oxford dictionary.

On top of that registration opens a floodgate of ads. Which is another $15 to have some of them removed. Yes I said, “some” – not all, only some.

There’s no user guide. The only user guide available for the HD is, guess what? A Kindle book for $3.

More nickels and dimes after dollars for something I shouldn’t have to pay for. Nook includes theirs for free (available to you before registration, too) and you can print a PDF version to read alongside your new gadget so you can practice as you learn.

And finally for mom, the big deal breaker is that bootleg camera. Good for Skyping and something that has to do with Facebook, but not for taking pictures. (Which in my opinion, if you want to take pictures, use a real camera. Cameras on other devices are simply do not take nice photos.)

A little more digging around and I found out that most people hate this Kindle for all the reasons I just named and then some and suggest you go back a version or wait for the next one.

I left my mom with the receipt and told her she could take it back or trade it for whatever or let me know if she felt like she absolutely had to have an eReader or a tablet anyway.

I have bought three different laptops for my mom over the years and all of them would have just collected dust were it not for her never removing them from their cases and coverings.

She claims this will be different because she can carry it around with her and being able to tap her way through things is easier and I thought she might be right about that after observing her on the touch screen monitors at Best Buy.

Then I observed her on the photo printer box thingy at the store and decided she was not so right after all.

This is why I don’t have kids. I’ve bought enough junk for my mom that she decides she doesn’t like, will not be using, and then just tosses in the corner.

This is shaping up to be one of those times that my first thought was probably the right thought: technology might be the devil.

Okay, that’s harsh but when I was a kid they taught us technology would advance in all these ways that would simplify life.

Simplify life.

Although I suppose if you consider the alternate meaning of “simple” maybe it’s true after all.

And since we're kind of on the subject-

Don’t Forget to Unplug this weekend for the National Day of Unplugging !!

~ ~
Playing a lot of old CDs I forgot about in Mom’s basement

This song still makes me feel all tingly.

Incognito – Spellbound and Speechless

This song still makes me want to do the Charleston
Outkast f/ Janelle Monae – Call the Law

And now that you're all revved and ready, go get your Al & Leon fix

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