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May 2nd, 2007

May. 2nd, 2007

My life recently has been centered on my aging parent (the mom one, not the dad one - he's fine).

My mom's always been amazing. She worked as a bookstore manager (yeah, I know, the apple doesn't fall far...) for 17 years without a single sick day. Up until she was fiftysomething she'd been in the hospital exactly once, and that was when she had me. She'd glide untouched through every flu epidemic or cold season, while the rest of us downed our Sudafeds and threw another blanket on the bed.

At 72, she looked 52. I couldn't keep up with her. She was in ultra-perfect health and looked like she'd made a diabolical deal. Then, at 73, she broke her hip. It was a stupid accident (mom's always been a bit clutzy), but it involved her first longtime hospital stay, and she started to gripe. And then she turned 74 last November...

And she's been sick ever since. It started with just the usual pre-Christmas cold, but she didn't like either the cold or being derailed from all of her holiday activities. Then she had an allergic reaction to a medication (she started fainting). She got off the medication and stopped fainting in January...but ever since then it's been one complaint after another. She's been in the emergency ward nine times since January. They've run every possible test on her. The good news is that she's fine. The bad news is she's convinced she's not. I get almost-daily calls when she panics over a backache or nausea or sudden sweats.

Which leaves me worried and making extra trips to her doctors and generally too tired to do much of anything else. I don't mind caring for her - I always expected that I would someday. It's one of the reasons I've tried to be productive for the last few years; I was on a clock. I have no siblings, so momcare will be completely mine.

I just thought I'd have a little longer, given her former secret identity as Superwoman. I still of course hope to get her back on track and get back to my own career...but of course life may have other plans for me. It usually does.