Posts Tagged ‘grandmother’

My Mom is My Hero

March 17, 2010

Alright, it’s corny, but it’s true. And it’s all because my mom can be a A Level Bitch when she needs to be. She’s always had this quality of being able to stand up for herself against anyone and relentlessly argue a point if she feels she is in the right. Granted, it’s something that has dimmed a bit with age but once in awhile the embers are given a quick puff of air and the flames alight anew. And last night she saved her mother, my grandmother, from death.

Yesterday afternoon my grandmother was taken to the hospital. My mom left work (and might actually be punished for having left work for this by being given a “point”) to be there, as nearly any child would if they knew their mother was being taken to a hospital. Once there the attending physician in the ER aid there were two possible diagnoses. One was cellulitis and the other was a blood clot, as they have similar symptoms.

My grandmother has had cellulitis before. Two christmases ago, my uncle died from complications from cellullitis because an emergency room didn’t recognize how ill he was and sent him home. Last night, the attending physician tried to send my grandmother home. He said he had seen worst cases of cellulitis. That she’d be fine. That modern antibiotics were very strong and would fight it off just as easily there as in the hospital.

Then my mom became a bitch. She argued with the doctor until he finally gave in. they admitted my grandmother. They ran blood cultures. This morning they found that her leg was beginning to go septic. When I say her leg went septic, it means there was bacteria in her blood, or she was beginning to suffer from blood poisoning.  This is what killed my uncle in less than twenty-four hours. Sending my grandmother home last night would have been a death sentence.

What my mom does isn’t in everybody. I don’t know if it’s in me. But I hope that if or when the time comes that I can step up and be a son-of-a-bitch when I’m needed to be.

For more information on cellulitis, here’s the page for it. It says its common but, from the experience with two members of my family, it can be an insidiously dangerous and deadly disease.

Diaries, steno books and phlegm

October 30, 2008

yesterday I was at my grandma’s and I was helping her clean out closets. Grandpa died in April. We’ve been trying to get her to pack everything up and to get ready to move out but it’s like pulling teeth so wanting help cleaning out the closets was welcomed progress. one closet held a bunch of stuff that’s typical of old women. Old little baskets for fake flowers. Plastic junk, trinkets. That foam stuff you cram into flower pots. Bits of cloth. Etc.

The second closet was interesting, though. There was an old yellow pinto and a radio. Greatgrandma, grandma’s mother, owned a real yellow pinto which she bought soon after the brakes in her Chevy went out. The radio was just a radio. Then came a couple of boxes which got placed into a larger box on the floor. And then came the album after album after album. Some were photo albums. Some were scrapbooks. Big things. Old things. With the rope binding at the one end, tied into a knot in front. they go into a box. Grandma pulled the box over and started going through them. I pull more down from the attic. she starts talking about the pictures and scraps pasted in.

Grandma’s talking and I’m leafing through another album. Then I open one of the little boxes and I look inside. Grandma glances over and says,  “Oh, more diaries. I’ll have to pitch them, too.” Some months ago, a year ago maybe when Grandpa was still alive, there was some consternation over finding that Grandma had secretly burned a bunch of her mother’s diaries. These had been hidden away in the cupboard and she had forgotten about them.

Knowing this history, I grabbed them and kept them with me. When it came time to go, they left with me. Grandma glanced at them. I asked if she wanted to look through them and she said no, it was okay. I could read them. So I’ve brought them home and I read them a bit now every day.

They are nothing overly special. Just little notes on the day. Temperture. Something that happened. They only cover the last 15 years or so of her life and take up next to no space. I see my name mentioned occasionally. I wish I had the ones that hadn’t been burned so I could see other names mentioned. But these little notes on the day is really not so different from the poetry I write. I read what she writes and I see in it the familiar. The effort of noting something. Of laying down a mark.

Every once in awhile I keep a little stenopad of poems that I try to work on every day. Fill it up, move on to the next. They probably all suck but they’re really not much different from what great grandma was doing  and I wonder if it’s really different from the majority of poetry-recounting the time in some way. Trying to find that special nugget of existence.

Unfortunately, I appear to have lost a recent notebook. I can’t find it anywhere and it’s already been through so much. It was submerged into a pool and had many of its pages washed clean. It was wrinkled and crackly as I would hold it my hands and a lot of the pages no longer had lines to write along. And I feel like a part of me is just gone now. I’m happy greatgrandma didn’t have to know her daughter would burn her diaries. And I’m fairly certain I will never burn one of my own notebooks, regardless of how embarassing and/or poorly written it might be,

I’m trying to write more. But I’ve been sick lately. Hacking all of the time. I find it hard to write when I’m not feeling well. Blah.