Friday, January 1, 2010

Holiday 2009

Well, it appears I took a break from the blog. It wasn't intentional as I've developed a real love of the blog thing. It was just a very hectic and busy holiday around here.

We used to spend Christmas at my parents' house, but since my dad passed away in 2005, my mom has spent holidays at the cat house. I made the 99 mile trek to the high desert to pick up my mom so that she would be here for Christmas. She ended up getting sick. One morning she got up sounding congested and it quickly got worse. Since she is on various meds, I called her doctor's office to find out what I could get her over the counter that would be safe. I explained to the receptionist that my mom was with me (99 miles away from them), she was sick, and that I wanted to know what over the counter cold medication would be safe for her to take that would not cause problems or clash with her medication.

The receptionist asked me for the pharmacy phone number. I immediately thought that was odd, but I googled it and read the number to her. I told myself that she was going to call the pharmacy to confirm the meds and check safety issues, and she did say she'd call me back. Well she did call me back. Not with any OTC recommendations, but to let me know I gave her the wrong phone number for the pharmacy! OK. At this point I'm pretty convinced I caught them during their drinking holiday lunch party or something.

This time I googled CVS and clicked on "store locator" and gave the receptionist that number, telling her exactly how I found it (a technique that might be useful to her in the future). It was still striking me as odd that I'm looking up the pharmacy phone number for the doctor's office. The same pharmacy my mom has gone to for years to pick up the multitude of medication prescribed by the very doctor that this very receptionist works for. Needless to say, this was the last I heard from the receptionist.

I am a long time vegan, as is my younger sister. I learned to cook when I made the choice to change my diet as vegan options were slim in those days. I love cooking and sharing vegan meals with my veg and non-veg friends and family. On Christmas eve day, I left work early and began cooking my holiday food. My mom, sister and I were going to my older sister's house for Christmas dinner, and were following that up with a holiday dinner visit with close friends in Palm Springs the day after. As I didn't care to spend both days in the kitchen, I decided to prepare everything on Christmas eve. By the time I was ready to turn in for the night, my mom was not sounding good at all. The congestion was bad, her cheeks were flaming red and she was very weak. I made her a cup of hot water with lemon juice and honey (my mom is not a vegan) and she drank that and went back to sleep.

In the morning she got up and we had our gift exchange. She didn't feel that great and went back to bed. I checked on her in the early afternoon, asking her how she felt and if she wanted to get up and get ready to go for dinner. She didn't as she just felt so bad. Sadly, we had to cancel the holiday dinner and reschedule our visit with my sis and her family for this coming weekend.

I did run out to Rite Aid and Vons on Christmas day to get my mom Vicks VapoRub, juice, crackers, Vitamin C and zinc lozenges. That was all I felt safe getting since the doctor's office just blew me off. I should also add that with the stress of my mom being sick, my fear of unintentionally harming her, the busy end of year work load, and just the "hecticness" (did I just make up a word?) of the holiday, I never thought to take mom's bag of meds with me to Rite Aid so that I could ask the pharmacist what was safe to get. Ugh.

The day after Christmas, also known in the UK as Boxing Day, my mom felt better. Nowhere near 100%, but much better than the day before. She wanted to get out of the cat house and go for the holiday visit with our friends in Palm Springs. Off we went, car packed full of gifts and vegan holiday food - marinated tofu, vegan scalloped potatoes, vegan green bean casserole, tofu pumpkin pie and the world's BEST sweet potato casserole! Probably about half way into our two hour commute, she got sick to her stomach. Luckily my sister carries plastic shopping bags in her car and was able to hand one to my mom when she announced she was going to get sick.

We got to PS and had our gift exchange and my mom then went to sleep in my friend's guest room for a few hours. We did manage to have a wonderful visit and my dear friend, Kevin, got me the most FAB gift - wonderful vintage reindeer Christmas lights!

Then came the two hour trek from Palm Springs back to the cat house. We made it and began lugging all the bags of goodies, gifts and now empty Pyrex dishes from the car to the house. My sister was leading the way, loaded down with bags. My mom was in front of me carrying her beautiful wreath that Kevin made her, climbing up the steps of the concrete walkway. I was behind my mom, loaded down with bags, when she suddenly lost her balance and fell sideways! I screamed, "oh my God!" and dropped my bags. My sister came running back and we helped my mom up. She was okay and had not hurt herself, thank God! We got mom in and settled her on the couch with a glass of wine and kitties sitting with her.

I ended up taking my mom home on Monday since Sunday traffic was absolute gridlock. We had to stop at her pharmacy to pick up the two refills I called in. When we got there, the pharmacist informed us that there were four things to pick up. No, we only called in two. Turns out the doctor's office called in prescriptions for an antibiotic and some drug to break up the congestion! I hit the roof. I thought I was clear when I had called the doctor's office the week before saying she was with me in LA and asking for guidance on what OTC meds she could have. Sigh. All I can say is I love the holidays, but I'm so very glad this one is over. I'm also glad that my mom is now slowly feeling better.

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