drama drama

My life has recently been a bit more dramatic than I’d like.

Here is a picture of a surgical resident making a nice picture of the small intestine/large intestine/appendix.

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Why, might you ask, did this illustration come into my life?

Here’s what happened:

Last Tuesday morning, my mother had a sudden onset of some abdominal swelling. For reasons best understood by her, she decided this meant she had gained some weight and had to do situps (?! I have given her lots of lectures about how spot reducing isn’t a thing but she’s stuck in the 80s with her fitness. Also weight loss is gradual, not overnight, guys).

Then Wednesday she worked a full day of work, got home, and realized when trying to reposition herself to get out of her car that she was in quite a bit of abdominal pain. She paged our doctor. She reported to him that she thought the pain might be from the situps (!) Our doctor thought that might be possible, but that it could also be appendicitis. The doctor said to go to the hospital if it got any worse, but if she could use ibuprofen and heat and got some relief, maybe it was muscular. She got some relief from the ibuprofen and a hot water bottle.

Then she woke up Thursday and was in so much pain that she couldn’t even bend over to lace up her shoes (agh!). Did she go to the hospital? No. She drove herself to our family doctor (!) At that point he examined her and was like “Gurl, yes, this is appendicitis”. At this point, does she call an ambulance? Even an Uber? Of course not. Homegirl drives herself to the ER.

There, a CT scan confirmed that yes, she had appendicitis, and they had to yank that bad boy out.

My mom thought to call someone, anyone, only on Thursday when already at the ER. My sister and I hustled into the car and began the drive to Virginia. Then, because my mom for some reason had not called her sister who lives 30 minutes away, we did. And my mom’s sister Dena went to the hospital so that my poor mother would not be all alone getting ready to have major surgery.

By the time my sister and I arrived, my mom was under the knife. Normally appendectomies are done laparascopically, but hers was a bad case (so let this be a lesson to all of you not to avoid dealing with pain and swelling in favor of doing situps?!) and they had to do an incision. Her abdomen is literally held together with staples right now. It is pretty badass.

All things considered, things went as well as they could.

My mom got a room with a randomly GORGEOUS view of surrounding trees. Her coworkers sent some lovely flowers.

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The nurses and techs were all so, so helpful and kind.

Her dietitian daughters did lots of pestering the staff advocating for the patient.

The hospital (as all hospitals should!) had absolutely delicious smelling (and per my mom, tasting) chicken noodle soup.

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So the patient is now recovering at home, 8 days post surgery. She is under strict doctor’s orders to stay out of work until the staples are removed (which will be another week) and to slowly transition after that.

My poor mama.

Anyway, my sister and I drove back to NC on Sunday. We knew our mom was in good hands, with family and friends popping by frequently for visits and coming in to take care of her.

So that was enough drama for one week, right…?

Well, that would be incorrect.

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Above, please enjoy a photo of the slaughtered suspension of my poor, sweet Camry.

On Labor Day I went to visit my cousin Sophia, her husband Mike, their sweet squishy baby Chase, and Soph’s sister Nicole, who was visiting for the week from Florida (Nicole just got her Masters in Social Work! Go Nicole!)

I was innocently driving home that afternoon, driving responsibly below the speed limit in the right lane. When some bloke headed down the highway in the opposite direction turns left directly in front of me. I did my best to veer, but a collision was inevitable.

RIP, Camry. Now I’m dealing with insurance drama, browsing local options for new and used cars. Not really what I needed this week, but as I keep reminding myself, things can be replaced and people can’t. The other driver and I both walked away from the accident, and that is absolutely a blessing.

PRO TIP: I have learned a LOT about insurance in the past four days. GET COLLISION INSURANCE IF YOU DON’T ALREADY HAVE IT. I didn’t because I made (with some well-intentioned advice) the determination that my 15-year-old car wasn’t worth insuring for collision. However, now I have to worry about what coverage I have for the car that I am renting. Obviously, the car I am renting is not 15 years old and I want it to be covered for collisions. However, my car insurance company won’t let me add collision to my policy until I have a new car. Thus, I have to pay the car rental company’s loss damage waiver of $30 a day. Regardless of whether I get a payout from the other driver’s liability insurance (which everyone- cops, my insurance guys, AAA tow truck driver- expects I will), the liability insurance won’t cover the loss damage waiver, just the rental itself. My insurance company said in the future if I had collision insurance it would cover a rental car, no drama, in a situation like this << Pro #1. Pro #2 of getting collision insurance: my insurance company also informed me that if you are even 10% negligent in a case (even if the other driver is 90% responsible for the accident) you get nothin’ from the other person’s liability insurance, per the laws of North Carolina (and maybe other states as well!) If you were speeding. If your car is missing a headlight. Etc. Save yourself the stress- get collision insurance!

After the cluster****ery of that week, I still had to prepare for my new job, which starts MONDAY. My new job for which I’ll be making home visits with patients and need a good, reliable car! So. It’s been intense. Taking ibuprofen around the clock for my whiplash injury (I’m getting a massage later today, for which I am SO EXCITED), constantly checking in with my mom to see how her healing is going and whether she is able to keep down food (it’s been a challenge D:), sifting through new and used cars figuring out what’s going to meet my needs, running the numbers of the financial aspect of all this. QUITE EXCITING!

All of this is to say that I was really pleased that my friend agreed to have a midweek drink with me. I have to say, when contending with a whiplash injury, wine is better than anything else for coping.

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