Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Scream. Laugh. Scream. Laugh.
Life in Margaritaville had a few days where it felt like we were on a tightrope affixed to a seesaw on a pitching ship.
The trip to the endodontist seemed like a good thing last Thursday since the tooth had been wanting some attention for a while. My mom was full of novocain Thursday evening. It was after 6:00 when we arrived back home. She had a little leftover homemade cream of celery soup and a martini and called it dinner. Her mouth was so numb that chewing anything at all seemed like asking for trouble. She went to bed. I slept with my door open, fearing that moment when the anesthetic finally wears off.
She looked rather peaked in the morning, her jaw on the affected side a purple golf ball, but she had already mushed through a donut soaked in coffee by the time I got downstairs. Her tooth was definitely hurting, she said, but she'd taken her arthritis acetaminophen. She wasn't great, she said, but she was okay. I went to T'ai Chi Chih.
I thought the howling might be the neighbor's dog. I could hear it from the garage as soon as I opened my car door. My mom was in her room hovering around her pill boxes, hands to face like Edvard Munch's screamer. "I can't take it, Millie," she said. "I can't take the pain, Millie." I am not Millie. Millie is her twin sister who lives in a nursing home in Maryland. I called the dentist immediately. Got a prescription for vicodin. Gave my mom an ice pack. Ascertained that she was in her right mind despite the ache in her jaw. Checked to see if she had a fever. And proceeded to suddenly feel my own weird array of aches and pains swirling with a large dose of anxiety as I headed for that state of omygodwhaddoido.
The doorbell rang then. M was here earlier than usual for the weekend. When I told her what was going on, she threw open her arms and said, "Well, I'm glad I'm here then!" In the surreal movie version of this story, the camera would pan back to her and there she'd be in tall boots and a super-hero cape.
M and I went to the pharmacy and got the pain meds. Vicodin. Which my mom can't take. But forgot-- until the next morning when she woke up with the dry heaves. "I know I can't be pregnant," she said. "But I sure feel like it." But by noon on Saturday, she was almost feeling like herself. We got dressed up Saturday night and went out to the yacht club buffet and watched the boats float by festooned with Christmas lights. Shortly after we got back the man who loves me arrived. He and I sat at the kitchen island drinking wine while my mom stood across from us with her martini (so much better than the one she had at the club) and we laughed and talked about I don't know what. But we were laughing, which is the best pain killer ever. Oh--and we were feasting on the cookies my mom had made off with from the dessert platter. She swiped a big linen napkin and tied them up like a present. Feeling like herself again. There are still a couple of those cookies left. I'm going to go have one.