In about 30 years, when you’re pushing 70, if you fall down and find yourself in pain and your grown child says “Y’know…you might arta go see about that”, just go. Why?
Cause, like, if you call your grown kid a week after said fall, at 10:38 on a Saturday night, just as she’s finally getting around to engaging in watching “A Donny & Marie Christmas”(I didn’t get around to watching any of my favorite Christmas movies til after the 25) and say “I’m hurting” whilst making gasping for breath noises and grown kid says “Ok, I”m coming” and then you say “Well, come on and we’ll see when you get here” and Grown Kid says “Uh, no…if I come all the way out there, there will be medical attention” and then when GK arrives to take you for medical attention, you’re all like “I have to fix my hair” (like you’re going to be seeing anybody?) and then sit back and smoke a cigarette, choking GK so that she has to go outside (this will not apply to you then because you will never smoke again) and lollygagging in general while moaning and groaning and saying you don’t know if you want to go and then GK reminds you “You have a friggin’ stent in your chest and you are hurting there….you don’t mess around with that stuff now get in the car and come on”.
You go to local, Catholic hospital, giggle because there is a huge, life-size portrait of a late physician that used to treat your parents and whom you had a not-so-pleasant experience with back in Reagan’s first administration, that the ER is named in honor of. You giggle because late physician with the ER named after him was Jewish and his face on one wall and Jesus on the other just makes you laugh.
The GK notices the waiting room is full of other Sandwich Generationers who have brought their parents in and you know that you are in for a long night. You are escorted back to the room at 12:15, where you begin to fuss and the GK tells you you must behave.
After waiting, and waiting, finally at 3:30, the doctor pronounces you as about to have an attack of Shingles and that chest xray looks good…no rib fractures, no lung problems (amazing because you do like your Marlboros). GK lectures you on how you should’ve quit smoking 20 years ago and you tell about how you wish you’d have never started and that it was a dentist who gave you your first cigarette. (WTF?) Ahh…but it was a bonding time in the ER, yes indeed.
The GK has to get home and doesn’t want to sleep on your couch because she has two boys at home alone, plus, she’s just plain wo’ out, but, she doesn’t mind at all seeing that you’re ok because you are her mother. The GK is also relieved that you didn’t have a heart attack, get a weird diagnosis of some sort of lung funk because she worries about you living alone 35 minutes away, not having neighbors who speak English and all.
The moral of this little love note in advance to yourself….just go see about whatever is ailing you when it’s daylight. Just do it.
39 38 Year Old You
And now, I am going to bed.